The lifespan of your dog can vary greatly due to a few different determining factors.  The biggest one is breed.  Breed plays a huge role in lifespan.  Not only what breed your dog is, but if they are purebred or crossbred. 

Purebred dogs have a tendency to suffer from more health specific concerns.  While “mutts” or crossbred dogs tend to be healthier and not need as many trips to the vet.  Crossbred dogs also have a tendency to live longer. 

How you care for your dog also can play a role in how long they live.  Giving your pet the right nutrition, making sure they get their wellness check ups, and give them plenty of exercise can help give them a few more years.  Some dogs that are kept at a healthy weight their whole lives have shown to live 2 years longer than other dogs of the same breed that are overweight. 

Another factor into the lifespan of a dog is their size.  Larger dogs tend to have shorter lifespans than small dogs.  Larger breeds tend to age quicker.  There are some giant breeds such as the Great Dane that is thought to be a senior dog at the age of 6 years old.  

The average lifespan of all dogs is 10-13 years.  The breed that seems to have the longest lifespan are Chihuahuas.  They can live between 15-20 years old.  Another breed that has shown to sometimes surpass even the 20 year old mark are Australian Cattle Dogs.  They can live past 20 years of age.  

Small breed dogs have the longest lifespan.  Usually between 10-15 years.  Not unusual for a small breed dog to live closer to 20 years.  They may live longer, but this puts them at a higher risk for liver, kidney and adrenal disease.  They are also at a higher risk for degenerative heart disease and dental disease.  The common small breeds and their lifespans are Chihuahua 14-20 years, Pomeranian 12-16 years, Yorkshire terriers 11-15 years, and Parson Russell Terrier 13-15 years.  Small breed dogs are considered to be dogs that are under 30 pounds.  

Medium dogs which are dogs that weigh between 30 pounds and 55 pounds have a lifespan that is similar to the small breed dogs, but tend to be a little shorter.  Common medium sized dogs are French Bulldog 10-12 year lifespan, Cocker Spaniel 10-14 year lifespan, Bulldog 8-10 year lifespan, and Boxer 10-12 year lifespan.

Any dog over 55 pounds are considered large breed dogs.  Large breed dogs tend to age faster than the smaller breeds.  They have a higher risk of arthritis and cancer.  Golden retrievers have a lifespan of 10-12 years, Rottweiler 9-10 years, and Bernese Mountain dogs 7-10 years.  

Giant dog breeds are dogs that weigh over 100 pounds.  These dogs tend to be thought of as senior dogs by the age of 6 years old.  Great Danes are an example of a giant dog breed.  Great Danes have a lifespan of 7-10 years, Irish Wolfhounds 6-8 years, Newfoundlands 9-10 years, and Saint Bernards 8-10 years.  These giant breeds have lots of wear and tear on their joints due to their large size.  They are also more prone to bone cancer.  

When searching for a dog, looking into their lifespan can be a big factor in picking a breed.  Lifespan can vary, but it can be mostly determined by the breed of the dog.  Crossbred dogs tend to live longer than purebred dogs.  Smaller sized dogs have a much longer lifespan than larger or giant breeds of dogs.  How you care for your pet can also play a role in their lifespan.  Making sure they have a healthy diet, plenty of exercise and have regular vet visits can all play a role in the extra years you may be able to get out of your dog.  

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