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How Long Do Dogs Really Live hero

How Long Do Dogs Really Live

3 min read

We all love our furry friends but can’t help but wonder how much time we actually have with them.

We’ve put together an article to answer the question ‘how long do dogs live?’ and help you cherish your dog for years to come. Find out all you need to know below!

How long do dogs live?

On average in the UK, dogs live for 10-13 years, although there is no hard and fast way of working this out and is very dependent on breed, type and size. When thinking about ‘how long do dogs live?’, it’s important to note that elements like lifestyle, food and veterinary care can affect a dog’s life span. Some dogs have even lived into their 20s!

If you’re wondering how long specific breeds live, we have information on that below:

How long do Chihuahuas live?

The Chihuahua is one of those breeds where lifespan is really difficult to estimate. There are studies that put the average lifespan at just over seven years whereas others (including the Royal Kennel Club) put it at around 12 years with some living far longer. Females generally live longer than males by quite a considerable degree and would appear to be healthier.

This variation in lifespan could well be because ownership of Chihuahuas has increased five-fold in recent years and so there has been an associated rise in low-welfare breeding with financial gain as the prime motivator to cater to this demand. Yet another reason to make sure you find a good breeder who prioritises health and temperament when you are looking for a puppy.

How long do Pugs live?

Pugs are said to have an average lifespan of 7.65 years although some live longer. They are brachycephalic, which means that their skull is shorter, and their face is flattened. You’ve probably heard that like many brachycephalic breeds, Pugs are, unfortunately, predisposed to many health conditions, which means that their lifespan is shorter than most other small breeds.

How long do Border Terriers live for?

Border Terriers are a generally very healthy breed with the Royal Kennel Club reporting an median life expectancy of 12 years – which is two years longer than the median life expectancy of all breeds. The UK’s oldest recorded Border Terrier Alfie, lived to 17 years old.

How long do German Shepherds live?

German Shepherds are said to live for an average of 10.16 years. Once again, females generally live longer than males by an average of 1.4 years. Unfortunately, large dogs like German Shepherds, are prone to developing dog arthritis which results in decreased mobility. With big dogs, a greater mass means more stress on joints, so be sure to keep your pet at a healthy weight. Bear this in mind with German Shepherds and remember to consult a vet with any concerns.

Which dog breed has the longest life expectancy in the UK?

According to the Royal Veterinary College, Jack Russell Terriers have the longest dog life expectancy in the UK with Miniature Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers and Border Collies not far behind.

The same researchers also found that, on average, female dogs live 4 months longer than male dogs but in some breeds this difference can be greater.

From the PDSA, vet Claire Roberts has said that the smallest breeds survive the longest (7-14+ years) and large/giant dogs the shortest (5-13 years) although the French Bulldog while not large, now has the shortest average life expectancy at 4.5 years.

How to increase your dog’s life expectancy

We’ve answered, ‘how long do dogs live?’ but now you’re probably wondering ‘how can I increase my dog’s life expectancy?’ As we mentioned previously, keeping your dog healthy is key to having a robust, and potentially longer, life. This means:

Now that you know the answer to ‘how long do dogs live?’, find out more amazing dog facts! And don’t forget to check out your dog’s age in human years with our dog age calculator.