One of the hardest things as a dog owner is when we have to say goodbye to our pooch — dogs just don’t live long enough. And while it’s our sincerest hope that your dog lives well into their senior years, sometimes it’s tragically cut short.
At The Vet Set, we’re here to help with the health and wellness of your dog so they can live a long vibrant life chasing squirrels, catching frisbees, and doing whatever it is they love the most. Join us in today’s post as we take a look at what dog breeds typically live the longest.
There are many dogs that can live quite a long life but before we explore all the amazing breeds, let’s briefly talk about factors that can affect the longevity of your dog’s life.
Find a reputable breeder – If you do choose to go the way of a breeder when finding a dog, it’s very important that they’re reputable. Ensure that not only are they well known for their breeding services, but that they’re humane and they give all their dogs and puppies the proper health care. It’s important that breeders stay on top of the dogs they breed to keep an eye out for certain genetic conditions or health issues that keep cropping up in their puppies — this way they can retire a dog who is passing on their disadvantageous traits.
Consider nutrition – Just like humans, it’s important we are feeding our dogs high-quality pet food. It’s important they’re getting all the nutrients they need, while reducing their susceptibility to obesity that often shortens a dog’s life. In addition, feed them healthy treats like carrots or bones and reduce or completely cut out the amount of table food they are given.
Fix or neuter your dog – It’s important to not only fix or neuter your pet to prevent an overpopulation of dogs, but it’s also been shown that dogs that are fixed live longer than those who are not.
Small breeds live longer – The truth of the matter is, if you want to get the most out of your time with your dog, smaller breeds live longer than large breeds.
While there a multitude of things you can do as a dog owner to help your dog live a long life, sometimes it’s certain breeds that just fare better than others. Let’s look at the breeds that live the longest below!
Chihuahuas are a small, and delicate dog that people love because of their fierce loyalty. Not only that, they make great travel companions for jet-setting around the world! Chihuahuas have one of the longest lifespans, with some living over 15 years! There was even a chihuahua in 2014 named Megabyte who lived well into its 20th year!
Chihuahuas are known for their gumption so it’s important for them to get adequate exercise and stimulation to avoid behavior problems from developing.
Dachshunds are another small breed that can live well into their 20s, as was the case with Chanel who is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest dog living at 21 years old!
While dachshunds can live for a very long time, they’re not without their health issues such as bad backs and obesity, so it’s important they get plenty of exercise and eat a healthy diet.
A Jack Russell Terrier is considered a toy breed that can live well into 16 years of age. While the JRT Willie didn’t beat Chanel for the longest living dog, he was right behind her and lived to be 20 years old.
If you’re looking for a small dog that will relax and be a lap dog, this is far from the demeanor of a JRT. These dogs were bred as a working dog and need constant stimulation and exercise to manage their energy.
Shih Tzu’s are adaptable dogs who love your companionship and this breed is known for living to be over 15 years old. One thing you should know is Shih Tzu’s need proper maintenance because their coats can become a mess if not groomed regularly. The longest living Shih Tzu is known to have lived to be 28 named Smokey.
Yorkies can live anywhere between 16 to 18 years and like terriers, they need constant exercise and stimulation — they’re not a lap dog or purse dog no matter what the media tries to tell you!
A Pomeranian is known for its loyal, yet guarding behaviors and can be very friendly, while some describe them as bossy — what can we say, they love the limelight! Poms can live long lives and it’s not uncommon for them to live into their 20s.
These small and dainty breeds are not only known for their affection and flowing coats but their health. Many Maltese exceed 15 years of age but can suffer from stress and anxiety if not properly acquainted with alone time — they’re very prone to separation anxiety.
Shiba Inus are considered to be more of a medium-sized breed that can live well beyond 15 years! People love this breed because they are a quiet, adaptable, and friendly breed. If you’re looking for a constant companion, however, Shiba Inus are known for being very independent and aloof — they like doing things at their own pace!
Known also as a Blue Heeler, the Australian Cattle Dog is a medium-sized dog who lives as long as some of the smaller breeds! There was even one that was reported in 1939 that lived to be 29 years old! Typically Australian Cattle Dogs will live to be at least 15 years old.
If you’re ready for an extremely intelligent and immensely active dog breed, the Blue Heeler is for you!
In 2009, there was a Beagle named Butch who lived to be 27 years old, but their life expectancy ranges anywhere from 10 to 15 years. A Beagle is a great hunting companion who is friendly and easy-going, and great in families.
If you’re looking for a dog breed that maximizes your time together, there are many small and medium breeds that will live a long time! And while there are factors that help a dog reach a peak age such as a reputable breeder, their nutrition, being fixed/neutered, and proper vet care, smaller dog breeds typically live longer.