How Long Do Mixed Breed Dogs Live?
For mixed breed dogs, owners can use an individual’s weight to help determine how long he or she would be expected to live. In general, small dogs enjoy longer lives than do their larger counterparts. A recent analysis of veterinary records revealed that dogs under 20 pounds had an average lifespan of 11 years while those over 90 pounds typically lived for only 8 years. Medium and large dogs fell in the middle at around 11 years. (State of Pet Health 2013 Report, Banfield Pet Hospital).
But average life expectancy isn’t the whole story. The very definition of “average” means that many individuals will have shorter lifespans while others can be expected to live much longer than the norm. Perhaps a better way to evaluate a dog’s longevity is to convert “dog years” into “human years.” In this way, we can understand just when a dog is an adult, a senior citizen, geriatric, or the equivalent of a human centenarian.
Information about a dog’s expected lifespan won’t help blunt the pain of his or her loss, but it can help owners plan how to best care for their companions during the time we do have together.
Humans have much longer lifespans than dogs. This is a basic fact of dog ownership and one that many owners struggle with when the time comes to say goodbye. While we may wish our dogs could live forever, knowing how long dogs live helps prepare us for their needs as seniors, ensuring that we give them the best possible care throughout their lives so that we get to spend as much time with them as possible.
There are several factors that determine the longevity of dogs, including size, breed, and the general health of the animal. These factors can help answer the questions on most dog owner’s minds: How long do dogs live? And how can I help my dog live longer?
Do Small Dog Breeds Live Longer than Large Dog Breeds?
Scientists have long been baffled about why small dog breeds tend to live longer than large dog breeds. In the rest of the animal kingdom, size seems to positively correlate with longevity. Elephants and whales are some of the largest and longest-lived mammals, with some whale species living more than 100 years. The same cannot be said of dogs.
Small dogs live significantly longer than their larger counterparts, in many cases up to several years longer. Scientists are not entirely sure why this occurs, although there is speculation that larger dogs develop age-related diseases sooner than smaller dogs. This could be because the larger breeds grow from puppies to adults at an accelerated rate, which may increase the likelihood of abnormal cell growth and death from cancer.
Regardless of the reasons behind why some dogs live longer than others, there are similar characteristics among small, medium, and large dog breeds that help determine the longevity of each group.
Comparison: Lifespan of Dog Breeds | How Long Will Your Dog Live?
Larger animals tend to live longer than smaller ones (most of the time). Think about it. Humans live longer than cats, which live longer than a rat, which lives longer than a fly. But why isn’t this true when it comes to animals within their species?
A person who weighs 150 pounds will most likely live longer than a person who weighs 300 pounds. They live longer because of increased health risks for a person who weighs 300 pounds.
When it comes to dogs’ life expectancy, how can you compare a Great Dane to a Chihuahua? Their anatomic builds are completely different, and their lifespans reflect this. Beyond size, is there an average age of a dog based on breed or other factors? Yes. Let’s explore the answers to these questions: “how long do dogs live?” and “what is the dog lifespan by breed?” Table Of Contents
Want to know how you can help your pup live a longer, happier life? Below are some factors that help determine a canine’s lifespan.
As the owner, you can impact the care you provide for your dog. A dog with a proper, nutritious diet and exercise can live longer than one without. In addition, taking your furry friend to annual wellness exams at the veterinarian and getting her booster shots can result in a healthy dog with a longer lifespan.
Research shows that larger dogs live for a shorter period of time when compared to smaller ones. For example, an Irish Wolfhound (average 115 pounds) has an average lifespan of seven years, while a Jack Russell Terrier (average of 15 pounds) can live up to 13-16 years.
Inbreeding can reduce the lifespan of canines. Cross-breed dogs have a longer lifespan in comparison. Inbred dogs have a risk of carrying genes for illnesses that are common to that specific breed. Further, “mutts” who have at least two breeds tend to have the least health problems and live longer than their purebred counterparts.
Spaying and neutering a puppy at a relatively young age can positively affect a dog’s lifespan. Most studies recommend surgical sterilization before five months of age for small breed dogs and 12-15 months for larger breed house dogs.
Studies suggest that these surgeries can help reduce the risk of some types of cancer in dogs — especially cancers affecting the ovaries, breast, and testicles.
Recent studies show that these benefits may or may not be completely accurate, but there is no question that your life will be easier without a litter of puppies, and this will be less stress on your pup, which could mean a longer life.