How Long Can Dogs Actually Live For? A dog’s life expectancy depends on a variety of factors. The breed of the dog and their genetics play a huge role in determining how many years will they be alive. Also, how you care for your dog matters. Whether their nutritional requirements are being met and whether they are given treatment when ill play a considerable role as well. The life expectancy of an average dog is 10- 12 years but do they live the longest?
The answer will be “no” in case of bigger breeds. However, the smaller breeds can live for 6- 7 years longer than the larger ones. Read on as we dissect the reasons for the difference between the life expectancy.
What Are the Factors Contributing to the Longevity of a Canine’s Life?
One year in a dog’s life is said to be equivalent to seven years in the presence of a human being. As mentioned above, a dog’s life expectancy is a result of a conglomeration of many influences. Some of the main elements have been listed below:
The Care Received by the Canine
The level of care you give to a dog plays a very huge role in their longevity. Dog owners should try to fulfill all of their dog’s requirements. A dog should be well-fed and not be overweight, which makes exercise equally important. Just like human beings, an adequate, nutritious diet can help a dog live a healthy, longer life. You should also take your canine friends for walks, exercise as well as play dates, etc. Activity will help keep them mobile and reduce the chances of becoming unwell.
The Size of the Canine
In this case, size really does matter. Usually, it’s observed that larger organisms have a higher life expectancy. After all, human beings are quite big and live the longest. However, canines break this rule. Smaller dogs can actually outlive the bigger ones by a couple of years. After a lot of research, experts found that in the case of larger dogs, everything goes in fast motion. This makes them age at an increased rate. Also, the life of a dog reduces by a month with every 4.4 pounds of body mass. The reason for this remains unanswered, but there are quite a few guesses. As large dogs grow at an accelerated pace. They may suffer from abnormal cell growth or acquire age-related problems sooner in comparison to the smaller dogs. But then again, these are guesses.
The Facial Structure of the Canine
The make-up of a canine’s face can have a significant impact on their life expectancy. Flat-faced dogs have short lives. Now, smaller dogs do have longer lives when compared to larger ones, but a flat-faced, smaller breed doesn’t Brachycephalic dogs refer to those who have flat faces with short noses. Why they have shorter lives than other dogs? The reason is the short noses make it difficult for them to breathe. This may result in a lack of proper oxygen and other related life-limiting problems.
The Genetic Make-Up of the Canine
This reason is quite similar to those of the human beings. If a dog has good genetics, this will give him a more protracted, disease-free life but. And if the dog possesses genetics which is disease-prone, then the case will be the exact opposite. You must’ve been advised by some well-wishers to find out about the parents of your canine when you were thinking of getting pets. This is mainly because of how big a role genetics and inbreeding play in deciding the longevity. The phrase ‘in the blood’ comes literally into play here.
The Overall Health of the Canine
Some dogs are born with specific diseases or have a very high chance of acquiring an inherited disease. These animals require special care, and even if they are, their life will still be on the shorter side. Nowadays, vets give booster shots to canines to help keep them fit and healthy. You can opt for those to ensure some extra care for your dog. P.S: Health screening tests are now available for dogs. You can know more about your dog’s genetic inclination if you get them tested.
Neutering and Spaying of the Canine
This may sound surprising, but neutering and spaying will actually add years to your dog’s lives. The likely average increase is 23% in the case of female dogs and 18% in the case of male dogs. The reason is due to the absence of sex-related diseases. There are reduced risks for testicular cancer and prostate cancer in the fact of males, and reduced risks for breast cancer and uterus infection for females. So yes, neutering and spaying have enormous benefits too.
The Gender of the Female Canine dogs is found to live longer than their male counterparts by one or two years. This may not always be the case, but on an average, the females had more longevity.
How Can You Help Increase Your Dog’s Life Span?
You, as a dog owner, you can create a difference in their life spans. Well, to an extent.
Look after your dog’s health. Keep an eye on what your canine eats, drinks, breathes and where he roams about. Cigarette smoke, hazardous items, chemical fumes, poop, etc., can have severe effects on your dog’s health.
Keep making regular trips to the vet. Get his medications, vaccinations, etc., done. Dental care is also critical in the case of canines.
Find out about the genetic inclination of dogs before going to adopt them. As you invest your love, time and money for the well being of the dog, you are allowed to take precautions.
Some Dog Breeds with Longer Life Expectancy
You may want to know about which dog breeds live longer and what their average lifespan is.
Below is a list with includes top five dog breeds and their life expectancy.
- New Guinea-Singing Dogs are really rare but live for about 18 years.
- Chihuahuas can live for about 17 years.
- Toy Poodle has an average lifespan of 16 years.
- Cockapoos live for an average of 16 years
- Beagles can live for around 15 years.
Long Live Thy Dog Smaller breeds can live longer but that doesn’t mean big dogs can’t be a long-term companion. Proper care and food can work wonders. Just keep making trips to the vet, take your dogs out for walks, and everything will be okay.
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