How old do dogs get? Interesting facts about life expectancy
How old do dogs become? This is a question that concerns many dog owners. The life expectancy for dogs is significantly lower than that of us humans. Most four-legged friends live between 10 and 16 years, depending on the dog breed and life circumstances.
The oldest dog in the world was (probably) a bitch. The Kelpie lady Maggie reached a biblical age for fur noses and became 30. So she was by her owner Brian McLaren’s side for almost a third of human life, until she finally fell asleep in her dog basket in 2016. Such an advanced dog age, however, is scarce.
Does one human year equal seven dog years?
It used to be a widely accepted calculation rule that one human year equals seven dog years. Accordingly, dogs would have a life expectancy of about 14 years. However, this cannot be said so generally because it depends on how old a dog becomes – and besides, a dog like a human being is always as old as he feels. For example, some four-legged friends are much more agile and fit at an age in the double digits than congeners, such as seven or eight years old.
Life expectancy depends on dog breed.
One of these factors is the breed of a dog. Small dog breeds under 15 kilograms of body weight generally live longer than large dog breeds over 40 kilograms. Medium breeds between 15 and 40 kilograms of body weight have a longer life expectancy on average than large dogs but do not live as long as small dogs. Large dog breeds such as Great Danes are not fully grown until they are two years old, but they begin to show old age by six or seven. Their life expectancy is eleven years at the most.
Medium-sized dogs such as Schnauzers or Cocker Spaniels start to grow old at about seven or eight years of age. Small four-legged dogs like Dachshunds or Shih Tzu can theoretically live as long as 20 years and are not considered senior citizens until they are about ten years old. Medium-sized and tiny dog breeds grow up faster and have usually already reached their full size at one to one and a half years.
How dogs live longer: tips
However, the average life expectancy of dogs is only a guideline; in fact, it also depends very much on the circumstances of a dog, how old he becomes. For example, a healthy dog diet can usually improve and extend dog life. In addition, dogs need plenty of activity, exercise, and loving care to live a long, happy life.
When the first signs of aging begin to show in your dog, you should regularly take him to the vet for medical check-ups. You can recognize a senior dog, for example, because he gets gray hairs around his muzzle and seems a bit tired and slow overall. Sometimes the senses can also gradually diminish; hearing, eyes, sense of smell no longer work properly. However, with a lot of patience and love, you can give your old dog a nice retirement.