As a dog owner, you’re well aware of the special kind of joy that having a dog brings. The only down side to it is that our pets don’t live as long as we do. Chances are high you’ll see your pet go before you do. I don’t know anyone selects a dog based on expected lifespan, but if someone was going to, I wondered which breed of dog lives the longest? So I set out to find the answer to that question.
Experts believe there are several factors that contribute to a dog’s longevity. If you want a breed that’s in it for the long haul, these two words should be your guide: think small.
Big vs. Small
For the battle between small and large breeds on which breed of dog lives the longest, studies show that almost 40 percent of small breeds live more than ten years, while only 13 percent of large breeds live that long. It was found that small-breed dogs with the longest life spans are dachshunds, poodles, and Shetland sheepdogs—these breeds can live longer than twelve years. Large-breed dogs with the shortest life spans are Bernese mountain dogs, rottweilers, and sight hounds, like Irish wolfhounds and greyhounds.
Mixed Breeds vs. Pedigrees
Mixed breeds have been found to live longer for a full year than their pedigreed counterparts. This is because purebred dogs have a median life span of ten years, no thanks to the number of health problems that come with most purebreds. So you might consider getting a mutt from your local shelter. Mutts tend to live longer and healthier lives since they don’t normally go through the inbreeding process.
Male vs. Female
Gender plays a role in determining which breed of dog lives the longest. Studies show that female dogs live a bit longer than male dogs. And spayed dogs live even longer.
While breed, gender, and size play crucial roles in your dog’s life span there are also things you can do to extend your dog’s life.
- Feed your furry friend food that is rich in vitamins and nutrients and keep him at his ideal weight. Obese dogs are more likely to acquire health problems which lead to an early death.
- Establish a regular exercise routine with your dog, like devoting thirty minutes to an hour of playtime and running around daily.
- Be sure he gets the vaccinations he needs. Make those trips to the vet a regular thing, not just when you notice something wrong with your dog.
If you’re looking to bring a new dog into your home, knowing which breed of dog lives the longest is of interest, but be sure to also read up on the breed you’re considering. Knowing the breed’s health issues and temperament beforehand helps you prepare to better care for your dog, and better care leads to a long, healthy, and happy life.