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    How Long Do Dogs Live?

    How Long Do Dogs Live?

    by Health / 3 min read


    Estimated Read Time: 4 ½ minutes

    Summary: In this blog, we learn all about a typical dog’s lifespan. We’ll learn how long a dog can live depending on their breed size and how to help preserve their life expectancy…

    We all wish our pets could live forever, but unfortunately, they are mortals - just like us! However, is there a way of knowing how long a dog can live for…? 

    How Long Does A Dog Live?

    On average, most dogs will live between 10-13 years, but one of the main factors contributing to whether this lifespan is longer or shorter than this is the size of a dog. Usually, the larger a dog is, the shorter their life is. It’s also worth noting that these averages are based on purebred pups.

    Dogs With Longest Lifespan

    Smaller breeds like Chihuahuas can live for up to 17 years and a Jack Russell as long as 16 years. Other small breeds can live for around a similar length of time. These include Pomeranians, Shi Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers, Poodles, and Malteses.

    Dog With The Shortest Lifespan

    Giant breeds like Great Danes live for an average of 8-10 years, a Golden Retriever can be expected to live for 8-12 years, and a Boxer’s life span is typically 10-12 years. So, as you can see, larger dogs typically have the shortest life expectancies.

    A copper-haired dog with a white chest and golden-yellow eyes stands on a bridge, with fallen autumn leaves all around. The dog has a black, leather collar, with a golden name tag and a body harness.

    What About The Lifespan Of Medium-Sized Breeds?

    Medium-sized dogs like the Australian Cattle Dogs and Shiba Inus can live for up to around 15 years! Again, this expectancy can vary from dog to dog though. For example, a French Bulldog, which would be considered a medium-sized dog, can expect to live anywhere between 10-12 years. 

    What About Mixed-Breed Dogs? 

    When it comes to mixed-breed dogs, you have to assess them by weight more than breed. Typically dogs that weigh over 90lbs live an average of 8 years. Those under 90lbs live an average of 11 years. And, if you own a mixed toy breed (like a Shih Tzu crossed Yorkshire Terrier) you can expect them to live much longer than say, a Golden Retriever crossed with a Labrador. 

    However, as medicinal understanding improves and advances in science continue, we can expect these lifespan statistics across all types of breeds to improve year on year, just as they do in humans. 

    Responsible breeding can also ensure a longer length of life in dogs - the closer dogs are bred, the more likely they are to develop genetic health conditions that can hinder their expected lifespan. 

    How Long Do Teacup Dogs Live?

    Teacup dogs are bred to be as small as possible, usually from the toy dog group category. These include Yorkshire Terriers, Miniature Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and Pomeranians. A teacup dog usually weighs less than 5lbs in weight!

    A teacup dog’s life span will completely depend on whether they develop a health condition and the vigilance of care provided by a pet parent. If you’re interested in purchasing or adopting a teacup dog, it’s imperative you do your research to understand what owning a teacup dog involves and source them from a trusted breeder who can provide authentic documents regarding the genetic history of the dog. When a dog is this tiny, their major organs are incredibly small too so their good functioning can be a concern if they’re too closely bred. 

    Can I Ensure My Dog’s Expected Lifespan?

    Good nutrition and regular, appropriate exercise (over-exercising as well as under-exercising a dog can be detrimental to their health) can help preserve life expectancy in dogs and humans alike. Maintaining an appropriate weight for your dog is key to sustaining healthy joints and healthy organs too. If your dog is over or underweight this can cause or exacerbate unwanted health conditions that can diminish life expectancy. 

    If you’re unsure about how much your dog should weigh, you can use our handy PetLab Co. Bodyweight Assessor below and ask their vet:

    A blue, white and red infographic detailing how to tell if your dog is overweight by touching them

    You should also make sure your dog stays up-to-date on their vaccinations and go for a check in with the vet once a year for an overall doggy health check. This will help you stay abreast of their health status and pick up and solve any issues before they become major problems. 


    Author Hildebrand, Mia “Dog Lifespan: How Long Do Dogs Live?” Sidekick by Finn, Mar. 02 2022

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