You have an old dog or are planning to adopt one, and you are curious about the lifespan. The first thing you should know is that dogs cannot live as long as humans. Why don’t dogs live longer? This is the next question that needs to be answered. In this article, we will explain the matter and give you all the essential facts.
How Long Can Dogs Live?
Sadly, dogs don’t live very long. Their life expectancy depends mostly on their breed and size. If we take a shallow approach, we can see that dogs live between 6 and 13 years. For instance, a Bulldog can live up to 6 years, while a Bearded Collie can live up to 13 years.
Why don’t dogs live longer lives, or at least as long as humans?This is a more delicate question.
Keep in mind that all the information we have given in this section is simply based on statistical odds. This means that a dog that comes from a breed with a short lifespan can live longer. It also means that a Bearded Collie, who can live up to 13 years, may live shorter.
There are countless reasons for that. Some of the most obvious ones are health, physical activity, food, and way of life.
Yes, you can affect the lifespan of your dog, but don’t expect massive changes. You can prolong his life for one or two years. A sad truth is that dogs live short lives, and you must accept that reality.
Why Don’t Dogs Live As Long As Humans?
This is the question you have been asking for a long time. Now we will answer it and try to keep things as simple as possible. In general, scientists believe that lifespan depends on the weight and size of an animal. Bigger animals live longer.
However, dogs don’t follow this rule. We can see that a 70-kg Great Dane has a life expectancy of 7 years or less. A small Chihuahua can live 10 years or much longer, and it has 4 kg of weight.
At the end of the day, dogs cannot live very long due to their metabolism. This is the most obvious and generic explanation you can find.
Metabolism is based on the heart rate and the processes inside the body. In some animals, the hearts beat faster. The blood flow is faster as well. This applies to all chemical processes in the body.
A faster metabolism means that the animal can recover faster, it grows faster, and it ages faster. This is the reason why some animals live very short lives. In a nutshell, this explanation affects all living creatures.
Once again, we can see that this rule cannot be used for all animals. Certain species of parrots have an extremely fast heart rate of 600 beats per minute. Yes, they can live up to 80 years. Humans have 80–100 beats per minute, so you can imagine how fast their heartbeats are every single minute.
A human will need 18 years to become an adult. Even after that, he will need more years to fully mature. Dogs need months.
A dog is fully adult at age 15 months for large breeds and 9 months for smaller breeds. They age much faster than humans, and we can notice that. Some signs that a dog is old or ageing include white fur, arthritis, too much sleeping, and anxiety.
You can see that dogs develop and age much faster than humans. As such, they will grow old in less time and have a shorter lifespan.
This development in animals is usually present in most species. They need to develop as quickly as possible due to numerous reasons. Animals don’t have that need. Also, we have an extremely sophisticated brain that needs more time to develop than anything else.
How Can Your Dog Live Longer?
This is one question that every single dog owner wants an answer to. After all, you want to live as long as possible with your pet. He is your friend, and you want him to stay in your life for decades.
There are some things you can do to help your pet live longer. You can increase his lifespan for a few months or even a few years, but don’t expect too much. Try to stay realistic. Here are the things you can do:
1. Give Him Nutritious Food
This is a more complicated point than you may believe. You need to consult your vet and find a diet that is perfectly healthy for your specific dog but still provides all the needed nutrients.
By doing this, you will help your pet maintain a healthy weight and also get all the vitamins and nutrients he needs so his body and mind can work perfectly. The best diet for your pet will depend on age, breed, and a few other factors.
2. Daily Exercise Is A Key
If you see a person who is 70 years old but is in great shape and runs every single day, you can deduce that physical activity has something to do with that. The situation is the same with dogs. Those who run every single day and play outside will live longer than those who spend the entire day inside a room.
Provide as much physical activity as you can to your dog. More is merrier. It will keep his muscles and whole body in perfect shape. The minimum is providing him physical activity 3 times per week for 20-30 minutes.
3. Check His health On A Regular Basis
Your dog can suffer from many issues and diseases. Regular visitations to a vet make sure they are discovered as quickly as possible and treated. As a result, there will be no permanent or severe damage to your dog’s body.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do small dogs live longer than large dogs?
Small dogs tend to live longer than large dogs due to differences in the way they age. Large dogs mature faster and generally age quicker, which can lead to a shorter lifespan.
2. Can a dog’s breed determine its lifespan?
Yes, a dog’s breed can significantly impact its lifespan. Some breeds are known to have longer lifespans, while others may be prone to certain health issues that can shorten their lifespan.
3. What is the average lifespan of a dog?
The average lifespan of a dog can vary widely based on factors like breed, size, and overall health. Small dogs typically live 10-15 years, medium-sized dogs around 10-13 years, and large dogs about 8-10 years.
4. How can I help extend my dog’s lifespan?
Regular veterinary care, a balanced diet, plenty of exercise, and mental stimulation can all contribute to a longer, healthier life for your dog. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is particularly important.
5. Are purebred dogs more likely to have health issues?
While not all purebred dogs will experience health problems, certain breeds can be predisposed to specific health issues. It’s important to research a breed thoroughly before adopting or purchasing a dog.
6. Do neutered or spayed dogs live longer?
Studies have suggested that neutered or spayed dogs may live longer, possibly due to a reduced risk of certain health issues like reproductive cancers.
7. Can a dog’s diet affect its lifespan?
Yes, a dog’s diet plays a critical role in its overall health and lifespan. A balanced diet that is appropriate for your dog’s age, size, and health status can contribute to a longer, healthier life.
Why don’t dogs live longer? Take another look at the content above. We have covered and explained all the basics. All you need to remember is that dogs have a faster metabolism and they develop and age faster. With a few tips, you can help them live longer but don’t be unrealistic.