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How many dogs live: what affects life expectancy and how the age of a dog counts?

How many dogs live?

The life expectancy of our dogs, or what to do to keep them in good health as long as possible?

For practical advice for dog handlers, see this article.

Every owner of a domestic dog, regardless of breed or sex, can talk about his pet for a long time, praising his abilities, wisdom, specific behavior or numerous evidence of his uniqueness and uniqueness.

And it is undoubtedly true, because our dog, whether it is a superbred medalist or an ordinary mongrel, is one of a kind and there is no other such dog in the world.

More than once, which is certainly pleasing, the approach to dogs has also changed, which have made an incredible advance, becoming typically domestic and companion animals.

In many cases, they are even family members with their many rights, privileges, and only sometimes responsibilities.

Contemporary society, imitating the patterns coming from abroad, ceases to see in the dog an individual standing on a short chain by the kennel, eating waste from the table and living his own life, as long as they are healthy and can work for themselves by even keeping an eye on the house.

Today, an animal such as a dog is more and more often treated with respect, cares for it, and shows great care for it in all aspects of its life.

Along with the constantly changing mentality of many people, veterinary medicine will of course follow, offering more and more detailed and specialized medical examinations and procedures for dogs.

All this is to make our dog friends live as long as possible and thus enjoy their guardian presence.

Probably everyone would like his unique dog to be with him as long as possible, not getting sick of course and remaining in good health until the end of his days.

Modern dogs live longer and longer, which probably does not surprise anyone because they can use more and more perfect diagnostic tools, better drugs and, above all, greater awareness of their owners and specific actions that follow.

Always, however, this life expectancy is too short compared to that of a human being and all that is expected.

So what can we do to enjoy our relationship for as long as possible, what to watch out for?

What we need to know about the lifespan of our dogs, I will try to describe in this article.

  • How many dogs live?
  • The aging process of dogs
  • How the age of the dog matters?
  • What does the life expectancy of the dog depend on?
    • Age of the dog
    • How many dogs of different breeds live?
    • Does the sex of the dog affect life expectancy?
    • Illnesses and injuries can shorten a dog's life
    • Dog's life expectancy and physical activity
    • Lifestyle and environment
    • Periodic examinations of your dog can extend his life
    • Dog oral hygiene
    • Does dog food affect life expectancy??
    • Dog life expectancy and character
  • The effects of aging and the symptoms of a dog's old age
  • Diseases of older dogs
  • How to extend your dog's life?

How many dogs live?

How long do dogs live?

Every living organism, including the domestic dog, is programmed for a specific life span.

The very definition of life is very difficult, even impossible to accurately describe in order to include all its features.

Nevertheless, as life we ​​understand a set of ongoing, ongoing life processes, specific, highly organized physical and metabolic transformations, occurring in thermodynamically closed systems separated from the environment, morphologically built consisting of many cells forming systems and organs and constituting a single functional whole.

The definition itself is therefore difficult to understand and does not fully reflect all that life is.

Colloquially, we mean a feature of the system, an organism characterized by the following attributes: the ability to maintain homeostasis, i.e. the stability of the internal environment, hierarchies, metabolism, growth, adaptation, reproduction or responses to stimuli from the environment.

Every living organism, from its beginning or birth to its natural death, which is the end of life, is subject to the same biological processes and laws.

You can boldly write that from the moment we come into the world to leave it, we age inexorably every day and the process itself proceeds with varying intensity.

Domestic dogs as a species of mammals actually have a "programmed " life expectancy and this information is stored in every cell of the organism.

The biological life expectancy is a characteristic of each species and assigned to it in the form of genetic information.

Yes, not everyone lives the same, it's true, but we must be aware that there are certain limits that we cannot cross for now, and that is the length of life.

This is one of the basic information stored in the genetic material.

Even if we do not know what they did and what methods they used, no dog will live 40 or 50 years, just like a human 200-300 years.

From a biological point of view, it is not feasible today.

With the duration of life, diseases appear or individual organs stop efficiently performing their activities for which they were created.

It is safe to say that they simply wear out, the consequences of which we see more often in the dog's old age.

The progress that has been made and is still ongoing in the field of veterinary medicine, new and better diagnostic methods available in every clinic and the changing awareness of dog keepers themselves have undoubtedly contributed to the extension of the life of these animals.

A faster diagnosis of the disease creates a better chance of curing or by delaying symptoms to control its course and thus a longer life.

Adequate, balanced nutrition, all preventive measures in the aspect of infectious diseases resulted in a much lower incidence of parasitic or viral diseases.

Therefore, it should not be surprising that the life expectancy of dogs has significantly increased and is now several years, depending on the breed.

However, we are still powerless in the face of many diseases and even super-well-groomed, frequently examined, properly fed dogs are exposed to numerous diseases that lead to death, i.e. biological, natural end.

The aging process of the organism is inseparably connected with life expectancy, which is the accumulation of unfavorable changes leading to the weakening of physiological functions, the consequence of which is their exhaustion leading to natural death.

Aging is a process that progresses over time and cannot be treated as a disease.

Aging is therefore associated with the deterioration of the work and efficiency of individual systems and organs, which results in the occurrence of various diseases and deterioration of the quality of life.

Of course, genes are responsible for the natural aging process, but also:

  • existing diseases,
  • malnutrition,
  • degree of physical activity,
  • numerous, not always known environmental factors.

I am writing this because the aging process is inherently related to our dog's lifespan.

Many different and not always fully discovered factors determine the length of life, but we can confidently say one thing today.

Modern dogs live really longer than some time ago and no one is surprised today by a teenage dog or even a 20-year-old dog.

Of course, we judge age in human years.

The Guinness record for a dog's life expectancy belongs to a little dog named Bluey, who is an Australian Shepherd Dog who lived 29 years and 5 months, which undoubtedly makes him unique.

This dog was born in 1910 and passed away in 1939.

However, in order not to look far, everyone probably knows the stories from their backyard repeated by friends or neighbors describing their animals living 20 or 21 years.

Such cases do occur, although they are not common.

The aging process of dogs

The aging process of dogs

Observing such a large range in the life expectancy of our dogs, we often wonder how it is that some live much longer than others, although they can live together in good environmental conditions.

In any case, the aging process of the dog leads to natural death.

We cannot stop it and eliminate it, which does not mean, of course, that we cannot fight for as long as possible in the right comfort for our pet.

According to many theories that try to explain aging, one very general one seems logical for the time being.

Well, the biological development and life of the organism is genetically determined and stored in the material of each cell and lasts until its natural wear.

Of course, the speed with which this process progresses depends on many acquired, environmental, disease, nutrition and maintenance factors, and is the sum of these factors.

No one is surprised that some dogs age faster and are more likely to get sick, while others, despite the same age, enjoy good health.

However, they all undergo the same biological processes from birth to natural death.

However, environmental factors may vary, which must be carefully remembered while avoiding the harmful ones.

Generally, the bigger the dog, the heavier the dog, the shorter it lives. Smaller dogs with lower body weight live longer.

Therefore, whenever we like comparisons, let's do it within not one species but a given specific breed of dog.

Many also say that ordinary little mongrels live the longest and sometimes it does.

How the age of the dog matters?

How the age of the dog matters?

We all like comparisons because it allows us to approximate many aspects of life that interest us.

It is similar with the age of dogs.

In many clinics we can even find hanging posters with tables and graphs relating to the life expectancy of a dog or cat.

Of course, let's say at the beginning that these are only approximate values ​​that allow us to find out more or less what age our dog is, but do not accurately reflect the whole truth.

So let's treat them with a lot of caution and a bit with a grain of salt.

Dog's age Small dog's age and human's age Medium dog's age and human's age Large dog's age and human's age
1 month1 year1 year1 year
3 months5 years3 years2 years
6 months10 years8 years6 years
1 yearTwenty years18 years12 years
1.5 years25 years23 years17 years
2 years30 years28 years22 years
3 years33 years35 years31 years old
4 years36 years40 years41 years
5 years40 years45 years48 years
6 years44 years52 years55 years
7 years48 years58 years old62 years
8 years50 years63 years68 years
9 years55 years69 years old75 years
10 years58 years old75 years82 years
11 years63 years80 years89 years old
12 years67 years87 years old97 years
13 years71 years92 years103 years
14 years75 years98 years old110 years
15 years78 years103 years118 years
16 years83 years109 years123 years
17 years87 years old115 years130 years
18 years90 years120 years135 years
19 years95 years125 years143 years
Twenty years98 years old130 years150 years
Dog age and human age table

The age of a one-year-old dog can be roughly compared to our 10-15 years.

Usually, our dog at the age of 12 months has already reached its height and is sexually mature, although this usually applies to dogs of smaller breeds.

The large ones grow longer and they assume the limit of growth for the second year of life.

Such a one-year-old dog is therefore a "human teenager", which is reflected, for example, in his behavior.

The second year of life corresponds to 3-8 human years, and each subsequent year to 4-5 human years.

The intense increase in body weight, noticeable with the naked eye, is best visible during the first year of life.

Of course, such a comparison is burdened with a large range depending on a given race and is error-prone, so let's treat it a bit not too seriously.

The truth is, we best notice a dog's height and the changes in size it undergoes during the first year of life.

Different age is also taken as the beginning of the older period, which depends on the size of the dog breed.

And so we treat small breed dogs as geriatric dogs over 11 years of age, medium breeds over 10 years old, and large breeds over 6-7 years old.

The range is therefore huge even within one species, which should not surprise anyone due to the numerous breeds.

These are also statistical data that do not always reflect reality, which must be remembered.

Because no tables will reflect the age of our pooch most accurately.

Because each table is more to help the owner of a given race find out when his ward enters a given stage of life and what to do to take best care of him.

What does the life expectancy of the dog depend on?

What does the life expectancy of the dog depend on?

We have already told ourselves a bit about this and we know that many, not fully defined factors determine how long our dog will live.

This question is often asked by the owners during a visit to the clinic:

How much will the dog live?

Which breed is the healthiest and what to choose?

Let us be clear that in this matter 100% rules do not apply.

Modern dogs live longer and longer, which makes them happy.

Many owners also agree that mongrels, i.e. multiracial dogs, live longer than purebred dogs and in many cases this is indeed the case.

Age of the dog

The greatest mortality is recorded in young animals, let's say up to a year of age, and in the oldest (15-18 years old) animals dying from natural causes or existing diseases.

The youngest dogs die not only of infectious diseases but are also more likely to suffer accidents or poisoning, while the older dogs are more likely to suffer from cancer.

How many dogs of different breeds live?

How many dogs of different breeds live?

One of the determinants of life expectancy is race.

Not all dogs mature, age, and leave at the same time.

The breeding conducted for many years, aimed at preserving certain desirable features of appearance or character, also contributes to the transmission of genes responsible for the occurrence of given diseases to the offspring, which, for obvious reasons, shorten the life expectancy.

So it is good to know the history of a given dog family, i.e. before buying a puppy, know as much as possible about his parents, grandparents, their lifespan or know the diseases they suffered from.

For obvious reasons, this is only a theory as dog breeders are reluctant to share such news.

Each breed of dog has a life expectancy, such as:

  • life expectancy of a boxer dog 10.4 l.
  • life expectancy of Bernese Mountain Dogs 7 l,
  • golden retriever lives about 12 years,
  • a dachshund has an average lifespan of 12.2 liters,
  • The large poodle lives about 14.4 liters.

Does the sex of the dog affect life expectancy?

Gender can influence life expectancy through correlated diseases.

Male dogs suffer from prostate diseases or osteoarthritis due to their greater body weight, and bitches suffer from diseases of the mammary gland or pyomyositis.

Each of the serious, dangerous diseases can contribute to the shortening of the life expectancy, hence you probably do not need to convince anyone that it needs to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

Illnesses and injuries can shorten a dog's life

Diseases and injuries

Illnesses, injuries and accidents during life are also factors that determine life expectancy.

They all reduce life expectancy by damaging internal organs and organs, and by destroying the body's cells.

Many of these damages are irreversible (e.g. destroyed nephrons in the kidneys) which undoubtedly affects the length of the dog's life.

A dog can fall ill with a given disease without serious consequences and remain healthy until the end of its days, but it can also deal with serious complications that hinder and shorten its life.

Hence, all these activities aimed at preventing the occurrence of dangerous diseases wherever possible seem extremely important.

Dog's life expectancy and physical activity

Dog life expectancy and physical activity

A dog's lifestyle, physical activity, and maintenance of a healthy body weight will undoubtedly affect his lifespan.

Obese dogs, not very mobile, lying on the couch, for obvious reasons, live shorter lives, which is caused, for example, by diabetes or obesity, which is more common in them.

There are also many environmental factors, even unknown to the end, but they decide whether our dog will maintain good health until old age.

We can do everything, take care of the best we can and follow all medical recommendations, and still have a sick dog that will leave us in the prime of life.

Of course, this is not a justification and an exemption from caring for the pet, but biological processes that we are not always able to control and direct them as if we would like to.

Lifestyle and environment

How the living environment affects a dog's life span?

The lifestyle and environment in which the dog lives also determine the length of its life.

Domestic dogs that are more controlled, under tightly controlled and safe conditions, live longer.

Those outgoing, running outdoors, are more likely to suffer from fatal traffic accidents, fighting injuries or are more prone to parasites and infectious diseases.

Poisons or cruel inhuman behavior on the part of man himself are also not without significance.

Traffic accidents remain one of the most common causes of sudden death in outgoing animals in virtually every age group.

In order to stay healthy for a long time, every dog ​​must be regularly chased and dewormed, and every now and then vaccinated against infectious diseases.

Properly balanced and adapted to the age and physiological condition of the dog's nutrition also plays a significant role.

The same applies to specialized nutrition in the event of an underlying disease.

Such support in the treatment of a given problem sometimes extends life a lot, an excellent example of which is nutrition in chronic renal failure.

Surgical castration or sterilization by removing parts of the reproductive organs extends life.

This is because by removing an organ, of course one that is not essential to life, we do not expose the dog to diseases associated with it in the future.

Each breed has its genetic predisposition to specific diseases, which should be aware of when deciding on a particular dog.

Of course, this does not always mean that our dog will definitely get sick, but it significantly increases the likelihood of getting sick, so it is important to pay attention to the symptoms and, if necessary, react quickly.

Regular prevention of infectious diseases, i.e. vaccinations, as well as deworming and chafing, also significantly extend the life of our dog.

They do not expose him to premature death due to these dangerous, often fatal diseases.

Periodic examinations of your dog can extend his life

Periodic examinations of dogs

Periodic examinations in a veterinary office and performing tests recommended by the attending physician are an extremely important element in caring for the dog, leading to the extension of its life.

It has happened many times that during a seemingly trivial problem or a simple vaccination, disturbing symptoms were noticed in our ward, which as a result of careful diagnosis were named as a given disease.

And many diseases diagnosed early, even when incurable, can be treated and lead to an increase in the quality and length of life.

So let's not underestimate even the tiniest symptoms by applying the principle that it is better to be overzealous than to regret later that you did not fully take care of your friend.

Therefore, remember to perform regular blood tests, urine tests or ultrasound of the abdominal cavity at least once a year, and more often in animals at high risk.

Dog oral hygiene

Periodic examinations of dogs

Oral hygiene, i.e. brushing the dog's teeth, is also important. It is not only about the health of the teeth themselves, but also about serious complications that may occur in often distant organs.

A perfect example of this is, for example, chronic kidney failure, which is accelerated by diseased teeth with a large amount of calculus and deposits full of bacteria and their toxins.

Does dog food affect life expectancy??

Feeding a dog and life expectancy

There is no need to convince anyone that a healthy, balanced, complete diet in every respect, adapted to the physiological condition and age of the dog, is of great importance in terms of life expectancy.

Vitamin and micronutrient deficiency will very quickly manifest with visible clinical symptoms.

Specialized nutrition, which should be administered in the event of a disease, is also extremely important.

Although it may not heal directly, but it supports the action of drugs, it does not relieve inefficient organs, creates better conditions for their regeneration, i.e. in a word, it accelerates and improves the treatment process, which significantly extends life.

Many chronic diseases that we cannot cure are controllable over long periods of time.

Our pet, like people, "is what eats ".

Dog life expectancy and character

The nature of the dog

Our dog's character traits also affect its life expectancy.

Well, animals that are friendlier to others, less fearful, are more prone to bites in contact with others.

These more cautious ones, as a rule, live longer, avoiding everything that is unknown and potentially dangerous.

The effects of aging and the symptoms of a dog's old age

Signs of the dog's old age

As we have already said, aging is an ongoing process, the effects of which are not visible immediately, overnight, but only after several years.

With the passage of time, there are functional and structural changes in the dog's body, which is also reflected in the change of habits and behavior of the dog.

Many dogs, even at a very advanced age, behave like a puppy, while others already have 7-8 years begin to show signs of old age.

In older animals, the metabolic rate decreases, which, combined with less physical activity, forces a reduction in caloric value of meals.

The immune system deteriorates and all processes responsible for proper immunity (eg. phagocytosis and chemotaxis).

Older animals have a reduced ability to fight infection.

Their percentage of body fat increases and their muscle mass decreases.

The skin becomes thicker, more pigmented and less elastic, and its products, e.g. claws more brittle and brittle.

There are degenerative changes in the joints and inflammation of the bones.

Tartar and periodontal disease can cause tooth loss and incorrect bite.

The number of liver cells, nephrons in the kidney decreases.

The ability to produce pancreatic enzymes is declining.

The vital capacity of the lungs decreases and the systolic activity of the heart decreases, which results in its failure.

Urinary incontinence often occurs.

The testicles atrophy and the prostate gland grows.

The bone marrow becomes fatty and hypoplasia, which can result in anemia.

The number of nerve cells decreases, which manifests itself in a change in learned behavior.

With age, the risk of any disease and organ failure increases.

The older dog just looks like what any layman will notice without any problems.

An older dog is a less active animal, lying down and resting a lot, tire faster, shows problems with moving and getting up from bed, often with gray hair.

His movements are less graceful, slow and less coordinated, he moves sluggishly and is sometimes difficult to get him to go for a walk.

It shows a worse appetite, which may result in weight loss, i.e. progressive emaciation.

He may also be obese due to reduced mobility caused by degenerations in the joints and spine.

The older dog is completely different from his youth, often exhibiting behaviors completely unsuitable for him.

However, this is the natural course of things that each of us will have to face sooner or later.

Diseases of older dogs

Diseases of older dogs

An older dog can get sick with virtually any disease that affects all systems and organs without exception.

He also often suffers from several diseases at the same time, which not only makes diagnosis difficult, but also possible treatment.

It is impossible to discuss all possible problems in an older animal, what exactly does science called geriatrics.

However, briefly and simplified, we can safely risk the statement that in old age the following are in the forefront:

  • cancers,
  • kidney disease,
  • osteoarthritis of the joints and spine,
  • organ failure such as the liver,
  • dental and periodontal diseases,
  • injuries.

Older dogs constitute a large proportion of patients in veterinary clinics, where their guardians expect doctors to delay or limit progressive changes in geriatric systems and organs in time.

Everything is possible to some extent, of course, thanks to the implementation of comprehensive veterinary care based not only on the treatment of diseases but also on proper nutrition.

Many of these problems are favored by improper body weight and obesity and the lack of an appropriate dose of exercise.

Others do not know where they came from because, as the guardian says, the dog has never been ill, during his life being an example of vitality.

What is certain is that an older animal will require much more attention from the handler and more intensive veterinary care.

Also, treating them may turn out to be long-lasting, if not lifelong, as is the case with chronic diseases.

This is a kind of regularity with which, unfortunately, we have to accept and acknowledge that in many cases an older animal requires constant and, therefore, costly care, which we should remember when taking a puppy.

After all, he will become an adult one day and then an older one.

We must also prepare ourselves mentally for the moment when prolonging life and treating an incurable disease does not make much sense.

Then we should think about euthanasia.

Good death simply belongs to our pooch, with whom we have lived many years together and is undoubtedly an expression of our humanitarianism.

Therefore, we should not forcefully heal, prolonging the suffering and discomfort of an incurably, seriously ill dog.

How to extend your dog's life?

How to extend your dog's life?

Statistics on the life expectancy of a race can never be taken as an oracle.

Yes, they are created on the basis of numerous observations, so to some extent they reflect the truth, but they do not mean that our dog cannot live longer than it would appear from them.

We will not change the genetic material present in every cell of the dog's organism and program it for a longer life. Remember, however, that we have a huge influence on the environmental factors that determine the quality and comfort of a dog's life.

After all, we, the guardians, are responsible for creating the dog's existence.

It is important that the immune system functions efficiently, hence all actions leading to the increase of non-specific immunity are justified. Leaving everything to a blind fate and relying only on that fate is a very irresponsible approach.

In fact, no one knows how long a given dog will live and what disease it will get, which does not mean that I must do everything possible to care for the animal as well as possible.

Seemingly small, insignificant choices and actions can extend the life of our pet. We just need to be aware of them because it is the first step before using them.

And so, ensuring a good, healthy lifestyle with an appropriate but systematic dose of exercise and balanced nutrition is of great importance in longevity. This should be followed by an appropriate, lifelong body weight and prevention of obesity in the dog.

We should not forget about regular health checks in the veterinary clinic and performing all recommended examinations.

Many diseases do not have to show very obvious clinical symptoms from the very beginning, but only barely noticeable changes. The earlier it is detected, the faster the therapy can be implemented.

We also always use the right diet adapted to a given patient and taking into account his health status and diseases.

The environment in which our dog lives should be calm, free of unnecessary stress, so that the dog is provided with safety and comfort.

Of course, these are only very general guidelines, because you should do it differently in each case.

That is why we should always ask the veterinarian how best to care for our dog in the case of a specific patient and possible diseases. Dogs, just like people, never die in old age, but because of a specific health problem that is associated with it.


The length of a dog's life depends largely on his guardian

I cannot answer the question of how long your dog will live and why, in many cases, only so much.

Nobody knows exactly how they will leave this world.

One thing I know for sure - a dog's life expectancy is a component of many factors, many of which we have real influence. We will not change our genes, but our lifestyle and nutrition will definitely be.

We will not protect our pupils from every possible disease, but we are able to detect many of them early and effectively control them for a long time, thus extending the life of the dog.

Sometimes, through skilful anti-inflammatory and analgesic treatment, we definitely improve the quality of life of an incurable dog. It is important not to let him suffer unnecessarily.

Sooner or later the moment will come when our possibilities will run out and then we should decide on euthanasia, which is a last resort, but also a manifestation of our care for the animal.

Of course, I wish everyone that this moment will come as late as possible, and we will be able to enjoy the presence of the dog and its good health.

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