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How Long Does A Dog Live?

When you adopt a new puppy, you're probably not giving a whole lot of thought to how long your new pet will live. Sadly, as our dogs age we begin to wonder just how long our faithful companion will be by our side. Many pet owners ask how long does a dog live, but the answer isn't a simple one.

The information in this guide will only give you an estimate as to how long your dog may live. No one can tell you for sure, but can examine a number of factors to get a rough estimate of how long your dog's lifespan may be.

Whether your pet lives for 10 years or 100 years, it will never be enough. Losing a pet is never easy. However, knowing when your dog is entering his senior years will give you time to prepare for the inevitable.

How Long Does A Dog Live?

how long does a dog live

The short answer is that the average life expectancy of a dog is 10-13 years. However, a dog’s lifespan is dependent on many factors, including:

  • breed
  • size
  • spaying/neutering
  • regular exercise
  • veterinary care

The average life expectancy of dogs is a very inaccurate estimate. This is because dog breeds vary so greatly in size and genetics. Some small breeds have a life expectancy of about 20 years, while extra large breeds may only have an average life expectancy of 6-8 years.

Breed plays a large part in a dog’s life expectancy, but not as large a part as breeding. Sadly, humans have overbred and inbred so many dogs over the years that some dog breeds are now well-known for being especially susceptible to certain life threatening diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

This is why it is so important for potential pet owners to ensure that they are only buying puppies from reputable dog breeders. For more information on finding a reputable breeder, click the links below for tips and information on finding a respectable breeder that tests their parents and litters for genetic problems.

senior dog

Overweight dogs and dogs that do not get enough daily exercise will also live a shorter life. Obesity has been linked to life threatening diseases such as certain cancers, diabetes and heart failure. Keeping your pet trim and ensuring that he gets plenty of exercise will add years to his life.

Did you know that, on average, a dog that has been spayed or neutered lives 20% longer than a dog that isn’t? Female dogs are less likely to have serious illnesses of the bladder as well as bladder and breast cancers. Male dogs have fewer instances of testicular and prostate cancers when they've been neutered.

Finally, access to regular veterinary care is one of the most important factors that will affect a dog’s lifespan. Getting regular health screenings will ensure that any health problems are treated as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will also guide you in prescribing preventative medications for parasites that are prevalent in your region. For example, preventative meds for heart worm and tick borne illnesses may be necessary to keep your pet safe while outdoors around your home.

As your dog ages, your vet can recommend changes in care and diet. They will guide you through providing the best care for your pet throughout his life, which will surely add to your dog’s lifespan.

READ NEXT: 15 Dog Breeds That Have the Longest Lifespan

Samantha’s biggest passion in life is spending time with her Boxer dogs. After she rescued her first Boxer in 2004, Samantha fell in love with the breed and has continued to rescue three other Boxers since then. She enjoys hiking and swimming with her Boxers, Maddie and Chloe.