Wondering which dog breeds live the longest? As a general rule, smaller breed dogs live longer than medium to large breed dogs because they don’t grow or age as quickly. That means that small dog breeds will dominate the list of the top five dog breeds that live the longest. We’ll list these breeds and offer tips to help your dog live a long healthy life.
Factors that Affect How Long Your Dog Will Love
Several factors affect how long your dog will live:
- Size: Studies have found that dog size affects how quickly the dog ages. Large dogs age much faster than smaller dogs. Larger dogs are also more susceptible to cancers and diseases because their cells grow faster than small dogs.
- Breed: Dog breeds with a broader population and lower inbreeding live longer than dogs that do not. Large breeds have an average lifespan of 13.38 years, medium size dogs live 13.86 years, and small dog breeds live an average of 14.95 years.
- Dental Health: Annual dental cleanings by a veterinarian can reduce the risk of death by 20%. Good dental health keeps your dog’s teeth in good condition so that they can eat well as they get older, which often can become a factor for senior dogs.
- Weight: Maintaining a healthy weight for your dog is essential to living a longer life because they stay active and are less susceptible to disease. Obese and overweight dogs are more likely to develop breathing problems, joint disease, cancer, and reduced quality of life.
Related Link: How Much Should I Feed My Dog?
Top 5 Dog Breeds That Live The Longest
While this list can be a bit subjective because dogs can live within a range that many breeds have. Here are the longest living dog breeds:
Chihuahuas lead this list with an average lifespan of a whopping 17 years. These tiny dogs top the list because they need little exercise to remain healthy. Chihuahuas are also hardy dogs that are less prone to disease and sickness.
Full of energy and intelligence, Chihuahuas make great pets because they are very loyal to their people. And because of their small size, they are easy to exercise.
These tiny poofs can live up to 16 years if taken care of well. A playful breed, Pomeranians do not develop diseases or illnesses as much as a medium to large breed. Although, the most significant factor threatening a Pomeranian’s lifespan is trauma. These tiny dogs often die from being stepped on accidentally, dropped, or hit by a car.
If you get a Pomeranian, you need to take extra precautions to keep this small dog from getting hurt because of its tiny size. Other factors that can shorten your dog’s life include gastrointestinal issues, infection, and ticks.
3. Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell Terrier is considered a medium-size breed that can live for 15 years on average, depending on their care. Their high energy levels inspire an active lifestyle that keeps them healthy. Breeders have also strengthened their longevity by protecting the gene pool and preventing in-line breeding.
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The adorable sausage dogs can live much longer than most normal breeds, living an average of 15 years. When properly cared for, Dachshunds generally die of old age because of their strong nature. But Dachshunds can develop cancer, heart disease, and neurological issues that can shorten their lifespan.
Dachshunds need to see the veterinarian regularly to mitigate many of these issues. Overall, Dachshunds are very playful, loyal, and active. But be warned, these dogs can be aggressive if not properly socialized.
Another medium-size dog, Beagles, can live an average of 15 years when you ensure a healthy lifestyle. These dogs are an active breed that needs lots of exercises. The most common causes of death for a Beagle include cancer, trauma, infection, and congenital diseases.
What Dog Breeds Have the Shortest Lifespan?
On the other end of the spectrum, large dog breeds mainly dominated the shortest lifespans for dogs. These dogs grow fairly quickly, which ages them faster:
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Irish Wolfhound
- Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
- Great Dane
How Can You Help Your Dog Live Longer
Because of the advances in veterinary medicine, dogs are living longer, high-quality lives. As an invested pet parent, there are several things you can do to ensure your dog enjoys a long, healthy life:
- Feed your dog a healthy diet of well-balanced dog food and healthy snacks.
- Ensure your dog maintains a healthy weight.
- Exercise your dog regularly through walks and play.
- Take your dog to the veterinarian regularly.
- Take good care of your dog’s teeth.
- Give your dog proper vaccinations and preventative medications.
- Loving and spending time with your dog.
Regardless of breed, doing these things can extend your dog’s life.
Choose a Smaller Breed for a Longer Lifespan
Smaller breed dogs, on average, live much longer than medium to large dogs. Smaller breeds like the Chihuahua don’t need as much exercise and don’t age as quickly because of their smaller body frames. But even medium to large dogs can live to be thirteen or fourteen with proper care and love.
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