Which Dog Breeds Live the Longest?
Some say that dogs live for 10 years, while others say 15 or even 20. What’s the true life expectancy of a dog?
The answer, in short, is that it varies – by breed, genetic predisposition, and more. But in general, some breeds are known to live longer than others.
Currently the Guinness World Record for the longest-living dog is held by Bobi, a 30 year old, and he’s a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, a dog breed that typically lives 12-14 years. So … it’s never possible to tell exactly how long your pet will live for.
Here's a rundown of some of the longest living dog breeds that are known for their longevity.
Top 10 Longest-Living Dog Breeds
Lifespan: 15-20 years
Chihuahuas are not only the smallest dog breed, but one of the longest-living ones as well. As with other small dog breeds, their small size contributes to their longevity.
Chihuahua puppies can live a long life, especially if they are well cared for and kept in an appropriate weight range.
Lifespan: 13-16 years
When kept healthy and active, Doxies live long and happy lives. They need moderate exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy.
This breed is prone to some health issues like spinal issues due to their elongated shape, so that’s something to keep an eye out for.
Lifespan: 12-16 years
Toy and miniature Poodle dogs tend to live longer than Standard Poodles. This may be because smaller breeds have a lower metabolic rate and age more slowly. Small dog breeds also grow more slowly leading to less stress on their bodies.
Toy Poodles don’t suffer from very many hereditary diseases, and for this reason are often mixed with other dog breeds (to create “Doodles”), contributing to their longevity.
Lifespan: 11-16 years
Shih Tzus are a robust breed with few genetic conditions. This means that they are typically healthy, and also benefit from the “small size lifespan advantage”.
Shih Tzu puppies form close bonds with their owners and live their best lives in their companionship.
Lifespan: 12-16 years
This affectionate dog breed gets along with everyone. Their love for exploring scents means that they are often active and curious, which benefits their longevity.
Beagles are relatively free from major genetic diseases.
Lifespan: 13-15 years
This rare breed originated in Belgium and is known for its longevity. This active breed doesn’t have many genetic diseases and its energetic personality makes it less prone to easily gaining weight.
Jack Russell Terrier
Lifespan: 13-15 years
This breed is extremely high-energy, which contributes to preventing obesity, cardiovascular health, and a longer lifespan. This breed does require plenty of mental stimulation, so keep that in mind when bringing one home!
Lifespan: 13-15 years
Lhasa Apsos are often confused with Maltese or Shih Tzu puppies, and when it comes to longevity, they live just as long. This beloved breed prefers quiet indoor lifestyles.
A healthy diet, consistent exercise, and regular grooming will make sure that your Lhasa Apso lives a long and happy life.
Lifespan: 12-15 years
This adorable breed boasts long luscious hair and is a great fit for allergy sufferers. Maltese puppies are generally sturdy and healthy, and don’t typically suffer from many genetic predispositions.
Malteses crave companionship and make for excellent emotional support animals. To give your Maltese pup the best life, make sure that you spend enough time by their side.
Mixed Toy Breeds
Generally smaller dog breeds, like some of the ones listed above, live longer than large dog breeds. This is because their bodies have slower metabolism and they age more slowly as well.
Additionally, mixed dog breeds can benefit from “hybrid vigor”, a phenomenon whereby mixed dogs experience greater longevity than purebred dogs. This is because hybrid breeds have a lower chance of recessive genetic diseases being passed along.
Mixed breeds like Maltipoo, Chi-poo, Malchi, Shih-poo are all small mixed breed dogs that can expect to have even longer lifespans.
How to Maximize Your Dog’s Lifespan
Regardless of your dog’s breed, there are important steps you should take to ensure that your pup lives a long and happy life. These include:
Balanced Nutrition: Making sure that your pup gets high-quality dog food (including dry and wet food) with high quality ingredients. It’s also important to keep a close eye on portion control to ensure your dog receives the right number of calories for his needs.
Exercise: Regular walks and play will ensure that your dog is both physically engaged and mentally stimulated. Exercise not only helps prevent obesity, but also keeps your pup’s mood in check.
Regular Veterinary Care: Early diagnosis and regular checkups are critical to catching health concerns early and receiving due treatment. Make sure that your pup has at least an annual checkup, and more frequently as a puppy and in his or her elderly years.
Companionship: Some breeds are more heavily dependent on their human companions and can really suffer from separation anxiety. Training and socialization will help, but you should ensure to provide enough time with your pup daily, especially for a companion breed.
Staying Attentive: If your dog’s behavior changes – i.e., becoming disengaged, sad, anxious, hiding away – these are signs that something is wrong. Keep a close eye on such behaviors and seek help from a veterinarian if you notice it.
If you are looking for a dog that will be along your side for a long time, you should consider a long-living dog breed.
The breeds listed here are some of the longest living dogs, which can live to 15 years or more. These breeds include Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Toy Poodles, Shih Tzus, Schipperkes, Jack Russell Terriers, Lhasa Apsos, Maltese, and Mixed Toy Breeds.
Smaller dog breeds tend to live longer, and so do mixed breeds – so that’s something to keep in mind when choosing the right breed for your lifestyle.
Finally, regardless of what breed you bring home, remember to feed them a balanced diet, provide regular exercise, veterinary care, companionship, and stay attentive of their needs – to make sure they stay happy and healthy along your side.
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