Did you grow up with a dog? I did. If you did, too, then you know how amazing it is to have a best friend always cheerfully and patiently waiting for you to come home from school, from work, or from anywhere you came from. It feels overwhelming always to have someone eager to play with you and comfort you in times of need.
I’ve been with my dog for most of my childhood, and it’s a shame that he can’t be with me anymore.
It’s a sad fact of life that our furry buddies can’t join us for the rest of our lives. Most dog breeds can live up to 8, even 10, years. If a dog is well taken care of, he or she can live up to 13 years. Of course, there are exceptions to this as some breeds innately have longer lifespans than others.
In this article, we will share the top breeds well known for their incredibly long lifespan, factors affecting the health of a dog,and how we, as owners, can assist our dog to extend their stay withus.
Longest living dog breeds
Knowing which dogs are known to have long lives might affect your decision when getting or choosing a dog breed for you. If it’s your first time getting a dog, this information will be very useful to you.
Here is a list of the topmost breeds that are known to have a long lifespan:
Right at the top of our list, taking the number 1 spot are Chihuahuas.
Yes, you read that right, my dear friends. Chihuahuas are certainly small, but for their species, their lifespan is enormous. These small balls of fur live on average for up to 15 to 20 years, making them an excellent companion for children to grow up. Chihuahuas will be there with them during their childhood, adolescence, and teen years.
The oldest Chihuahua that has ever lived has reportedly died at the age of 22.
2. Yorkshire Terrier
These cute-looking terriers are packed with wonderful times waiting to be spent with you for years. The Yorkshire Terrier is a very popular companion in England since that’s where the very breed was developed – Yorkshire, England.
This pet lover’s favorite has a life expectancy of 13 to 17 years on average. The oldest recorded Yorkshire Terrier is a little pooch named Jack; Jack had lived for 26 years!
Pomeranian, another pet lover’s favorite, is a playful breed of the Spitz dog type. Much like the Chihuahua, they are also referred to as toy dogs for their size, playfulness, and extroverted personality.
These toy dogs have a life expectancy of 12 to 16 years on average. The oldest recorded Pomeranian is Coty from Florida. Coty lived for up to 21 years.
I’m sure we’ve all seen a Dachshund by now, they’re often seen in movies and on TV shows, and they’re often called sausage dogs or wiener dogs because of their innately lengthy construction.
These long-bodied sausage dogs have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years. The oldest living Dachshund on record is a wiener dog named Chanel who lived up to 21 years of age.
5. Toy Poodle
Toy poodles are one of the three poodle groups: toy poodles, miniature, and standard poodles. Among the three, toy poodles have the longest lifespan; they are expected to live for 12 to 15 years on average. They also have the shortest height – only 24 to 28 cm.
Due to life expectancy, height, weight, and attitude of toy poodles, they fit very well with most households. It’s like having a stuffed toy that adores you and follows you everywhere you go.
The oldest recorded age of a toy poodle is 24 years old, far higher than their expected lifespan
Much like the Toy Poodle, the Maltese dog breed also belongs to the toy group or breed, mainly because of their size and energy.
Maltese dogs are very vibrant and responsive, they can play with you as long as you can. They are affectionate and also very smart, making them an excellent pet if you want to train a dog.
Maltese dogs live up to 12 to 15 years on average. On record, the oldest Maltese lived up to 20 years old.
7. Lhasa Apso
Historically, Lhasa Apso dog breeds were often used or tasked by Buddhists to guard or watch over their temples. Nowadays, they are considered to be common household pets much like Toy Poodles and Chihuahuas.
Lhasa Apso dogs are very dedicated, smart, and obedient, as you can tell from their history.
They are also fearless and assertive, which is why they were charged with alarming Buddhist monks in the temples if there were any trespassers.
Lhasa Apso dogs can live up to 12 to 14 years. However, the oldest Lhasa Apso that ever lived died at the shocking age of 29 – more than double its life expectancy.
Pugs are very famous; you’ve probably seen them a lot of times on TV, videos on the internet, posts from celebrities, or even your friends. I’m sure that you’re familiar with this breed, they are mostly known for their distinct physical looks. They’re a small breed, like Chihuahuas and French Bulldogs. They are often quite and shy at first, but they get really playful, attentive, and even stubborn when they get comfortable around you.
Pugs have a life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years on average. They are great with growing up kids as they can be very affectionate.
The oldest recorded age of a pug is 27 years old, this record belongs to Snookie from South Africa.
Beagles are also very common, much like the Pug. Beagles are renowned for their lengthy ears and triple colors (black, brown, and white). A Beagle’s life expectancy is on average about 12 to 15 years, making them an excellent choice as a pet, especially if you’re growing up with children.
Beagles are incredibly child-friendly. Their playful and innocent nature, together with their long lifespan, making them great companions for kids.
The top 2 record for the oldest dogs who ever lived belongs to a Beagle named Butch who died at the age of 28, almost doubling the average lifespan of a normal Beagle. Butch was born in 1975 and died in 2003.
10. Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzers look like newly groomed Yorkshire Terriers and Maltese dogs. Miniature Schnauzers, as the name suggests, originated in Germany. According to the number of registrations, they are the 10th most popular dog breed.
Miniature Schnauzers are known for their intelligence, obedience, and attentiveness. They are very attentive and great at letting their owners know if there are strangers around.
The average life expectancy of Miniature Schnauzers is around 12 to 14 years. They are easy to train and very loving to their owners.
The oldest recorded age of a Miniature Schnauzer is 20 years old, a little over their average lifespan.
Factors that affect a dog’s health
The first step to helping our dog’s health is to know the things that affect it.
Many people believe there is a proportion between human age and dog age. The reality is that no such proportion exists. A few factors are the primary reason some dogs exceed their average lifespan by many years. The significant thing to note here is that all dogs are unique. There’s no way to make the age of a dog achieve a year of your decision. The individual lifespan of a dog depends heavily on a host of factors. These factors include:
- Dog breed – some dog breeds are more likely to get certain medical conditions like cancer, respiratory and circulatory complications, spinal and other bone diseases than others.
- Dog genetics – poor canine breeding can lead to poor genetics – and poor genetics can only mean nothing but a window medical conditions that your dog will likely attain in the near or distant future.
- Mental stimulation – you don’t enjoy getting bored, right? Your dogs feel the same way. If your dog is bored, untrained, and has got nothing to think about, chances are your dog will get unhappy, stressed, and it may manifest to physical complications for your dog.
- Dog’s diet – to feel and be the best that we can be, we need to eat right – so does our dogs! A dog’s nutrition mainly relies on the dog’s diet. If a puppy doesn’t get the right amount of nutrition that he should in a day, then his growth will be delayed, and it may cause complications. Similarly, if an adult dog is malnourished, his body may not be able to recover from heavy exercise or worse, he wouldn’t have the energy to exercise at all.
- Environmental factors – dogs like to lick and sniff almost anything. If your dog accidentally licks or inhales something toxic or polluted, it can’t end well for your dog.
- Emotional connection – much like humans, dogs need to be loved, too. Dogs are very needy, some like to express it by deliberately asking for pets and attention, while others like to play it cool and just wait for you to pet them. Nonetheless, they all need love, attention, and care. Dogs get so happy and relaxed when they are patted or petted.
- Healthcare – regularly visiting the veterinarian can greatly affect the health of your dog. Underlying illnesses may be treated right away, potential diseases can be avoided, and your dog will remain generally healthy if you regularly visit the veterinarian.
- Physical stimulation – dogs greatly need exercise. Without exercise, they get easily bored and frustrated. Dogs like to express their frustration by biting a lot of things like shoes, clothes, bags, furniture, and more. And as we’ve discussed, if the dog licks of digests something toxic, it can lead to critical illnesses.
How can we prolong our dog’s life
Now that we know the factors that affect our dog’s health, we can now make a list that can help prolong our dog’s life:
- Get your dog assessed by a veterinarian right away. In doing so, you will understand if your dog faces any health hazard due to its breed or genetics.
- Spend time with your dog. Whether it’s through training, petting, walking, running, talking, feeding, or belly rubbing your dog, always have time for your dogs. Having a lot of activities with your dog will satisfy your dog’s physical, mental, and emotional needs.
- Feed and hydrate your dog regularly. This is incredibly basic, but it still needs to be stressed out. Also, having food is not enough, you should have the RIGHT food for your dog. To know what nutrition your dog needs, visit your veterinarian.
- Get insurance for your dog. No one is immune to sickness. It’s better to be prepared for it rather than take it for granted. Having insurance for your dog ensures that you can get your dog treated whenever it is necessary.
- Exercise your dog. This is very important; If your dog is getting enough exercise, you are already protecting him from a lot of different diseases that he would likely have if you don’t exercise him.
- Don’t stress out your dog. No one wants to live a stressed life, and that includes your dog. As much as possible, try to remove anything that can cause any discomfort and stress for your dog.