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How Long Do Dogs Live?

When it comes to understanding a dog's age, the old "dog years" calculation doesn’t quite cover it. Studies show that a dog’s lifespan varies significantly with breed, size, and other factors. Here's what you need to know about the lifespan of dogs and how to ensure your furry friend lives a long, healthy life.

The Average Dog Lifespan

The average lifespan for dogs is between 10-13 years, though this varies among breeds and sizes. Generally, smaller dogs live longer than larger dogs. The reasons for this aren't entirely clear, but it might be due to the difficulty in managing common medical conditions in larger dogs and differences in the types of illnesses they experience. Genetics also play a huge role, with purebred dogs often being more prone to specific hereditary diseases compared to mixed-breed dogs.

How Long Do Small Dogs Live?

Small-breed dogs tend to live the longest, averaging 10-15 years. However, as they age, they are more prone to liver, kidney, and adrenal diseases, as well as dental issues.

Here are some popular small dog breeds and their average lifespans:

  • Chihuahua: 14-16 years

  • Pomeranian: 12-16 years

  • Yorkshire Terrier: 11-15 years

  • Parson Russell Terrier: 13-15 years

How Long Do Medium-Size Dogs Live?

Medium-size dogs generally live 10-13 years. Lifespans can vary significantly within this category, with some breeds living longer than others.

Here are some popular medium-size dog breeds and their average lifespans:

  • French Bulldog: 10-12 years

  • Cocker Spaniel: 10-14 years

  • Bulldog: 8-10 years

  • Boxer: 10-12 years

How Long Do Large Dogs Live?

Large-breed dogs typically live 9-12 years. These dogs are more likely to suffer from arthritis and certain cancers as they age.

Here are some popular large dog breeds and their average lifespans:

  • Golden Retriever: 10-12 years

  • Rottweiler: 9-10 years

  • Belgian Malinois: 14-16 years

  • Bernese Mountain Dog: 7-10 years

How Long Do Giant Dogs Live?

Giant-breed dogs have the shortest average lifespan, living 8-10 years. They often face joint issues and are more prone to certain cancers and neurological diseases.

Here are some popular giant dog breeds and their average lifespans:

  • Great Dane: 7-10 years

  • Irish Wolfhound: 6-8 years

  • Newfoundland: 9-10 years

  • Saint Bernard: 8-10 years

How to Help Your Dog Live Longer

1. Do Your Research Understanding the specific health risks and average lifespan of the breed you're interested in is crucial. Choose a responsible breeder who tests for common hereditary diseases. Mixed-breed dogs, especially those from shelters, often have fewer genetic health issues.

2. Follow Your Vet’s Guidance Adhere to your veterinarian’s recommendations for preventative care. This includes vaccinations, flea, tick, and heartworm prevention, and routine health screenings. Regular check-ups can help detect health issues early, making them easier to manage.

3. Keep Your Dog at a Healthy Weight Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for longevity. Studies show that dogs kept at a healthy weight live longer than their overweight counterparts. Feed measured meals and monitor treats and snacks.

For more information and tips on caring for your dog, visit

By understanding these factors and taking proactive steps, you can help ensure your dog lives a long, healthy, and happy life.

Dog life span chart
Dog life span chart


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