Thinking about getting a dog for the family or yourself? With so many breeds to choose from, it may seem overwhelming to pick the right one and one that will be with you as long as possible.
Read today’s blog about the top ten breeds of dogs that live the longest, so you can make an informed decision on which one is right for you.
Aging in Dogs
Regarding their longevity, dogs are categorized into sizes. Smaller dogs live the longest — over 16 years; medium-sized breeds live on average 10-13 years, while large and giant breeds live around 7-8 years. Of course, these averages are just that, and dogs can live longer or less long, depending on their care.
Interestingly, when talking about the terms “dog years” and “human years,” there are some misconceptions. A popular myth is that one human year equals seven dog years, but scientists differ on this, suggesting that the first year or two years represent 18-25 years, and the ratio varies with breed and size. Another myth is the one size fits all paradigm that suggests that the first two years equals that of 10.5 years each with subsequent years equaling four human years. Again, it fails to follow the size/breed, but it’s a little more accurate.
Approximately, the human equivalent of a one-year-old dog center around 10-15 years, meaning they’ve reached their full growth and are sexually mature. The second-year adds another 3-8 years regarding physical and mental acuity. Each year after is equivalent to only 4 or 5 human years.
Breeds that Live the Longest
When determining a dog’s longevity, there are several things to consider, such as genetics, environment, care, and injuries sustained in an accident or illness. Just as humans are predicted to live a certain length of time, barring accidental death or disease, dogs have a life expectancy. Note, the smaller the dog, the longer its lifespan, so if you want many years with a dog, don’t get a giant breed, as they rarely live longer than 8 years.
Here are the longest living dog breeds and their average lifespans.
Prized for their longevity, chihuahuas can live as long as 20 years, making them one of the longest living breeds. Even though they are quite small, chihuahuas still need exercise, mental stimulation, and training to be at their best. The breed is prone to heart and eye problems, so be aware of that when making your choice.
This breed can live more than 15 years, In fact, the oldest living dog who set a Guinness World Record and died in 2011 was 21 years old and a dachshund. They can have age-related health problems, especially back problems, which can be aggravated by obesity, but for the most part, dachshunds live a long, healthy life.
These great family pets are intelligent and sassy and live a long time — sometimes as long as 18 years. This breed needs a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to be healthy and is prone to orthopedic problems and eye diseases.
Jack Russel Terrier
This small breed lives on average about 16 years, but just like the dachshund, one did live for 20 years before dying in 2014. Jack Russels were bred to work and retain that desire with drive and energy.
These friendly and playful fur babies live around 15 years, sometimes longer. Bred to be companions, they love to frolic in the yard or go on short walks. The breed is typically healthy but can suffer from eye and orthopedic issues.
This dog breed lived approximately 15 years, with the females living one year longer than their male counterparts. Because they suffer from few serious genetic diseases, they’re expected to live longer, even longer than their average lifespan. Note, they can suffer from separation anxiety, and they thrive on company and affection.
Another terrier with a lifespan of 15 years or longer, Yorkshire terriers, is a popular toy breed that’s intelligent and full of life. Their natural guarding instinct makes them a loyal and affectionate pet, but be careful with kids, as they can become too vocal.
This friendly yet bossy breed is very loyal and barks a lot when being guarded, but with proper training and care, they make great family pets. With lifespans 16 years and older, Pomeranians are incredibly loyal to their families.
These adorable dogs live on average about 16 years, longer than the average medium-sized breed. Strong-willed and fiercely loyal, Shiba Inu are clean and quiet. They’re generally healthy, excepting a higher chance of developing allergies.
Australian Cattle Dog
Otherwise known as the Blue Heeler, this breed has a longer lifespan than that of a similar size. They can live as long as 16 years and even longer, depending on their care and activity. Since they also were bred for working, they thrive in homes where they can be involved in dog sports and other activities, such as hiking, swimming, running, and playing.
Other dogs that are similar in lifespans include:
- Miniature Schnauzer - Even though they’re about 12-14 inches tall, they are sturdy and muscular, living on average 12-14 years. This longevity makes them good pets for families, but be aware that they can suffer from pancreatitis, due to high levels of fat in their blood so they may need a special diet.
- Boston Terrier - Another terrier makes the list or at least close. Living on average 14 years, the Boston Terrier is a very active dog that loves to run and play. They do have issues with their eyes since they stick out from their face and can be harmed by the sun, wind, and dust.
- Beagle - Living just shy of 15 years, the Beagle is a curious and smart breed. The lovable, playful doggo is quite vocal but has a great sense of smell. However, they love food, so be careful about feeding them too much since those extra pounds can shorten their lifespan.
Shetland Sheepdog - These herd breeds were raised for farmers near Scotland, and since they ate less and were smaller than other breeds, they lived longer — about 12-14 years. They are more prone to eye issues (collie eyes) that can lead to blindness and a blood clotting disorder (Von Willebrand’s).
- Labrador Retriever - We can’t go without mentioning the lab, which is on many lists, longevity being one of them. Even though they are much bigger, they still live on average 10-12 years. Because they love to play, they keep you young. They are prone to hip problems, though, so take care to keep them fit and lean.
Pug - Living on average 12-15 years, pugs are a great family dog; however, they don’t do well in heat and can get fat quickly from their overactive eating lifestyle. Extra weight can introduce health problems, so watch what they eat and ensure they get exercise.
- Mixed Breeds - Who hoo, they make the list! Mixed breeds usually live on average about 14 years, most likely because of their mixed genetics. Purebreds generally live on average 10 years because dogs bred to meet standards often pass along their health problems.
Factors that Affect Longevity
Aside from breed, there are a few factors that influence life expectancy in dogs. They include diet, spaying, and neutering. For senior dogs, if fed a commercially manufactured dog food geared for them, older dogs can live beyond their life expectancies if they are disease-free and well-cared for in other areas.
According to a study by the British Veterinary Association, female dogs, who have been spayed, live longer than neutered male dogs. Neutering reduces and even eliminates the risk of some cases of early death.
Generally, dogs age like humans. Their bodies start to develop problems you see less in younger dogs. Cancer, stroke, etc. increase, and they become less mobile and can develop arthritis, just like humans.
Plush Paws Products
Dogs are great companions and can live for many years, but time flies, so enjoy them now. Take them on joyrides and to the dog park and the lake. Take care of their health with supplements and allow them plenty of exercise. For the best of health, visit Plush Paws Products. We carry multivitamins and eye solution for cataracts. Need car seat covers? We have those too. Contact us to learn about our premium covers in different sizes, textures, and colors.