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March 2024

Canine Longevity

Saturday, October 16, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

Unfortunately, dogs do not live as long as humans or even indoor cats for that matter. The lifespan of a dog depends on the breed, size, and gender. In general, the larger your dog, the less time it will live.  If you are considering a dog with a longer lifespan, consider the smaller breeds or mixed breeds.  The average lifespan of a purebred dog is between 10 and 15 years. A Golden labrador Retriever lives only between 10 and 12 years.

Chihuahuas can live up to 15 years or more. It’s not unusual to see a 17-year old miniature poodle. Any dog in the giant breeds — dogs weighing more than 100 pounds — is considered geriatric at 6 to 7 years.  Dogs that weight less than 30 pounds live the longest.  What matters in determining lifespan is the weight not the height of the dog. Short dogs like the English Bulldog can weigh 60 to 70 pounds therefore they will have a shorter lifespan.

Pure breed dogs can have genetic problems which can cut down on their lifespan. When considering a purebred dog, it’s a good idea to find out what kinds of illnesses run in the breed.  Breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Dobermans tend to suffer from hip dysplasia.  Cancer is the most common cause of death among older dogs. Some breeds, such as Boxers, Golden Retrievers, and Rottweilers, have unusually high rates of cancer. As many as a third of all Bernese Mountain Dogs die of cancer.

There’s lots to think about when choosing a dog with a longer lifespan.

Remember pets are family!

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