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How long do dogs live?

dog lifespan how long do dogs live

If you want to know how long dogs live, there’s a good chance you’re thinking about adopting one. Dogs are among the most popular pets for a reason. These loyal companions will bring a lot of joy to your life.

If you're thinking of buying a dog sometime soon, it's good to learn more about them.

It’s important to know how long dogs live so that you’d be ready for the future commitment. And we’ll also tell you what affects a dog’s life expectancy.

Dog lifespan

Dogs can live between six and seventeen years.

You might be surprized by such wide range. The reason is that two main factors affecting dog's longevity are it's size and breed.

Wild canines are a lot different than domestic dogs. Most wild dogs will only live for around five to seven years, but they can potentially live for as long as twelve years

What affects dog lifespan?

several different dogs on a walk

There are various factors that will have an impact on a dog's life expectancy. If you understand what plays a role in determining how long the dog will live, it'll be simpler to maintain reasonable expectations.

dog's size

The size of the dog affects how long it'll live.

Studies have shown that there's a corelation between a dog's size and their average life expectancy:

Dog's size Average lifespan
Small dogs 14.95 years
Medium-sized dogs 13.86 years
Large dogs 13.38 years

There is no definite answer why it is so. But the most common suggestion is that larger dogs grow and age faster, and this often leads to age-related deseases appearing sooner.

dog's breed

The breed of the dog will also play a role. You can look up specific information about dog breeds to learn how long they live.

Quite often purebred pups have genetic health issues or highet probability of life-threatening deseases. This is why, despite the size, even small-sized dog breeds can have a shorter life expectancy.

Another interesting thing is that a dog's lifespan can change over time. For example, average lifespan of Golden Retrievers has dropped from 15-17 years in 1970-s to 10-12 years today.

By now, you should feel like you have a good idea of how long dogs are likely to live. There's still more to learn, though.

To help your dog live for as long as possible, you need to know about potential health concerns. With more knowledge, you can take action when something goes wrong in your dog's life.

Common health issues shortening dog lifespan

dog on a health check up

Your dog's health will play a big part in determining how long it'll live. A healthy dog is going to live for longer than a dog that is suffering from many health issues.

It’s important to know that dogs of a certain breed can be more or less prone to some diseases. So make sure to read about the dog breed, the causes of the illness, and how to spot and treat it in time.

Here are some of the common health issues that a dog might face:


Obesity is something that can cause dogs to die faster than they normally would. Dogs can gain weight and become obese in the same way that humans can.

Overfeeding and lack of activity are the main reasons of obesity for dogs. Another danger is that obesity can cause secondary health issues, like joint problems, diabetes or serious respiratory issues.


There are many common types of cancer that dogs have to deal with. Melanoma, bone cancer, and lymphoma are all pretty commonly seen in dogs.

It's possible for any type of dog to develop cancer. Golden retrievers and boxers are two dog breeds that are known to get cancer more often than others.

The best chance of helping a dog is to pay attention to it. Early detection could save the dog and give it more years of life.


Hypothyroidism is a condition that can cause dogs to gain weight. If you're not feeding your dog too much and it's still having trouble maintaining a healthy weight, it could have a thyroid problem.

This can reduce the lifespan of the dog for the same reason that obesity does. If the dog has weight issues, it's more likely to suffer from various health complications.

Thankfully, this condition can be treated with medication.

dental diseases

As dogs get older, they can develop issues with their teeth. Dental problems can be very painful for dogs, and this might impact their ability to eat.

This is something that can happen to all dog breeds and all dog sizes.

Sometimes dogs lose teeth. The worst scenario involves bacteria entering the bloodstream and damaging the dog's internal organs.

If your dog has dental issues, it's imperative to get it checked out by a veterinarian. Dental issues can be fixed. But if you choose to ignore them, they could impact your dog's life expectancy.


Osteoarthritis occurs as dogs continue to age. It can make it tougher for a dog to run, jump, and play as it normally would.

When dogs have problems like this, it makes them want to lie around more often. They might not have an easy time staying at a healthy weight due to inactivity.

This problem can be treated with medications and special diets.

How to extend your dog's lifespan

happy dog in the lights

Extending your dog's lifespan is about making good choices as a dog owner. There are many things you can do that will help your dog to stay healthy and live for as long as possible.

healthy diet

Feeding your dog a healthy diet helps a lot. Give your dog a reasonable amount of food each day. Consider buying well-balanced dog food that is approved by veterinarians.

regular activities

Exercising helps dogs to stay in good shape, and it'll be easier for active dogs to maintain a healthy weight. There are many ways to play with your dog. Take the dog on walks and play fetch in your yard. You could buy a dog treadmill or even a dog treadwheel a.k.a. dog hamster wheel so that your dog could run indoors.

proper care

Paying close attention to the dog makes it easier to detect problems. If you check your dog regularly, you might notice cancer in its earliest stages. Tell a veterinarian when you notice lumps on your dog or health changes.

regular vet visits

Regular visits to the vet can keep your canine companion in good shape. Your dog needs regular health checkups just like you do. Consult with veterinarians whenever you have concerns.

If you follow the tips above, it should be easier to keep your dog in good health. You can have a positive impact on your dog's health and happiness.

Enjoy your time with your dog, and be sure to continue to make smart choices as a dog owner. Dogs can only live for so long. But they can have a longer life expectancy if you do your best.