They say it’s a dog’s life, but how long does it last? New figures show some owners will have their trusted pet at their side for a lot longer than they might have imagined.
Every dog is different of course, and it’s normally heartbreaking for owners when their beloved pet departs this world, however many years they end up being around for. Typically, that’s substantially less than human beings, and lots of other creatures.
Immortal jellyfish are just that – they can live forever, although they are, of course, the exception. For most creatures this mortal coil only stretches for so long, but much longer than dogs. One species of shark can live for 500 years, tortoises can keep going for 100 years or more, koi fish can continue swimming for 40 years, and macaws can live to be 80. Even cats can outlive their arch rivals in dogs with a life expectancy of 12-18 years. Plus they have their fabled nine lives!
When it comes to dogs, miniature poodles have the best life expectancy, living an average of 14.2 years, according to the RSPCA. Research from the Royal Veterinary College shows jack russells can be bound around on average for 12.72 years, while border collies are just a step behind on 12.1 years and springer spaniels – 11.92 years.
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This is how long some popular breeds of dogs can expect to live for (in years):
Miniature poodles – 14.2
Jack Russell – 12.72
Border collies – 12.1
Springer Spaniels – 11.92
Labradors – 11.77
Staffordshire Bull Terriers – 11.33
Shih-tzus – 11.05
german shepherds – 10.16
Beagles – 9.85
Huskies – 9.53
Chihuahuas – 7.91
Pugs – 7.65
english bulldogs – 7.39
french bulldog – 4.53
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels – 9.9
Dogue de Bordeaux – 5.5
Labradors also live long lives, for an average of 11.77 years, compared to Staffordshire bull terriers at 11.33 years and Shih-tzu at 11.05. Meanwhile, German shepherds have an expected lifespan of 10.16 years, compared to Beagles who live on average for 9.85 years and Huskys, 9.53 years.
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Chihuahuas can roam around for an average of 7.91 years, while pugs typically live until they are 7.65 years, compared to English bulldogs who live on average 7.39 years and the French bulldog, which can hit an average age of 4.53 years. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels live on average until they are 9.9 years, compared to Dogue de Bordeaux, which live on average until they are 5.5 years, according to RSPCA figures.
Experts at the RSPCA said dogs were generally living longer nowadays due to modern veterinary science and an increased understanding of their needs. It also said that dogs were living longer on average when they were crossbreeds, rather than with purebreeds.
Annual veterinary health checks are recommended to help manage problems earlier and more effectively, along with socialization of young puppies to help avoid undesirable behaviour. The main cause of death in older dogs is cancer in 18.2% of cases, compared to arthritis in 12.4% of cases and neurological in 11.6%.
Meanwhile, the main cause of death in dogs under three years is behavioral in 14.7%, compared to gastro-intestinal in 14.5% of cases and car accidents in 12.7%. Dogs can be helped to stay healthy in a number of ways – owners are advised to check their dog’s teeth regularly, monitor their behaviour, groom them regularly, never use human medicine, keep harmful substances out of reach and provide special care for older dogs.
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