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How long do dogs live?

What is the average lifespan of a dog? Whether out of pure curiosity or constant worry for their four-legged friends, many dog owners wonder how old dogs usually live for. TAG24 has this answer to this and more.

Many factors influence a dog's average lifespan.
Many factors influence a dog's average lifespan.  © Unsplash/Michael

The subject of a dog's age is always sensitive for animal lovers. After all, a pooch's life is much shorter than a human's. The inevitable heartbreak is definitely something worth considering before adopting a pet.

While proper care and nutrition remain the main factors influencing the life expectancy of a dog, genetics also play a major role – one that is sadly out of anyone's control.

In fact, the size and the breed are often decisive in setting the limits of a dog's age.

How old can dogs get?

Older dogs are often low on energy, so they are very grateful for a quiet, warm place to snooze in.
Older dogs are often low on energy, so they are very grateful for a quiet, warm place to snooze in.  © Unsplash/Alicia Gauthier

How old do dogs get on average?

Most dogs live for 10 to 15 years. Of course, there are plenty who fall outside this average – some lives are cut short by disease, others stick around to break records, like one old-timer who manged to turn 30.

Incidentally, that's nothing compared the record-holding feline, a Texas cat by the name of Creme Puff, who reached the absurd age of 38!

How old do mixed-breed dogs get?

Mixed breeds usually have a longer life expectancy that purebreds. This also has genetic causes. Cross-bred dogs are healthier because they are well-balanced, while pedigree pooches are often the result of generations of inbreeding, which comes with plenty of health defects.

How old do small dogs get?

Smaller dogs tend to live longer than the larger breeds and they can reach the age of 18. Big hounds who weigh over 90 pounds usually only get around 10 years. This is because the natural process of aging – cell division – happens faster in the bigger breed. But as always, there can be exceptional cases.

From 8 to 10 doggy years onwards, your pet is already a senior citizen.

Dog age: How to extend life expectancy

Nature doesn't decide everything – environmental factors are just as important for the life expectancy of a dog. Here are a few things that dog owners can do to keep their four-legged buddies around for longer:

  • a healthy and appropriate diet
  • regular exercise, adapted to the breed, age, and health of the dog
  • emotional care
  • as little stress as possible
Take good care of a dog's needs will have a guaranteed positive effect on its lifespan.


But nobody should blame themselves for a premature death. Some things just can't be helped.

Cover photo: Unsplash/Michael

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