Dogs are the pride and joy of so many. They are your best friend that you take on hikes, your child’s little buddy to play with all the time, a loyal companion when you need them, and a devoted friend at all times.
Dogs are one of the best things in life. But one of the saddest things about dogs is that their average life expectancy just doesn’t line up with our own.
The loss of a pet is a difficult event for any person, and many of us are willing to do anything to keep our furry friends around as long as possible.
So today, let’s talk about our canine companions and their lives. Let’s remind ourselves how to take care of our dogs properly to maximize their lifespan and some things you can do to keep that friend around for years to come.
Ages of Various Dogs
Surprisingly, male dogs and female dogs don’t deviate much in life span, unless you spay or neuter your pet. In that case, spayed and neutered dogs both live longer than their “intact” counterparts, but this increased lifespan effect is greater in females than males.
The average lifespan of a dog is mostly dependent on how big they are, but the specific breed also plays a key role in determining how long your dog will live.
Small dog breeds, like chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Jack Russell Terriers, and Yorkshire terriers, have an average lifespan of about 10-15 human years. But ages vary a lot in this category.
Chihuahuas, in particular, are among the longest living dog breeds. They end up living between 15 and 17 years most of the time. Small breed dogs like toy poodles or a Shetland Sheepdog are a great choice if you are looking for a companion to last you years and years.
The average lifespan of a medium-sized dog is between 10 and 13 years. However, certain breeds of medium-sized dogs can live even longer than that. This category of dogs has a pretty significant size range, varying from French Bulldogs, Shiba Inus, and the Siberian Husky all the way up to Border Collies, German Shepherds, and Australian Shepherds.
Australian shepherds have the longest lifespan in this category, living from 12 to 15 years, and Frenchies are on the low end of the spectrum with 11 to 13 years. It is difficult to accurately predict dog longevity in medium-sized breeds because there is so much variance in data between all the different breeders and data, but these numbers seem to be fairly accurate.
Still, two of the oldest dogs on record were Australian Cattle Dogs—Bluey and Chilla.
Large breeds have the shortest lifespan of any dog. The range is a little tricky because of the “giant breed dog” category, but for the most part, these dogs live to be between eight and 12 years of age.
Some of the biggest dogs, like Great Danes, English Mastiffs, and Bernese Mountain Dogs, only live between seven and 10 years. But regular large dogs like Rottweilers, Labrador Retrievers, Irish Wolfhounds, and golden retrievers typically live between 10 and 12 years.
The fact that large dogs have a shorter lifespan than smaller dogs is actually a subject of confusion among scientists. For the most part, in the animal kingdom, bigger animals have longer lifespans, with elephants and whales having some of the longest lifespans on earth.
But with dogs, this concept is reversed. It is thought to be because large dogs grow from being tiny puppies to full-sized, big dogs very quickly.
This rapid growth spurt is thought to increase the likelihood of diseases and cancers, but more research is needed to confirm this theory.
How To Keep Your Dog Healthy
The most immediate thing you can do to get the most years out of your furry friend is to help your dog live a healthy lifestyle. You are their caretaker, and they need your help to stay healthy and strong.
Doing the following things will help to keep your dog happy and feeling great so that they can live as long as possible.
Manage Their Weight
Managing your dog’s weight is one of the most important things you can do to maintain their health. Just as in humans, obesity can lead to a myriad of health problems for your dog, including heart problems, blood sugar issues, musculoskeletal problems, and more.
The first thing you can do to help your dog get to and keep a healthy weight is to feed them right. Limit the number of snacks you give them off of your own plate. Table scraps are often not the healthiest food for your dog.
In addition, check the nutrition label on the dog treats you buy. Make sure that they aren’t high-calorie treats, as these can lead to your dog gaining weight. And as for dog food, make sure you get nutritiously balanced food so your pet can get the nutrients they need.
It may also help to slow down your pet’s consumption of food. Food puzzles are a great way to keep your dog from eating too fast, but there are also toys that dispense food in small amounts to help with this.
Exercise is a healthy choice for any creature, including dogs. It’s important to make sure your dogs get up and move every day so they can stay in a caloric deficit and keep those extra pounds off.
Not only that, but exercise can strengthen your dog’s heart and body, giving them a better chance at longevity.
Vaccinations and Checkups
The veterinarian is an important factor in keeping your dogs healthy. Make sure your dogs are fully vaccinated to keep away harmful diseases that could hurt your pup and take them in to get checked by their vet once a year so you can make sure everything is in top shape.
How To Stop Your Dog’s Aging
Keeping your dog healthy is great, but that’s only a way to get the most out of your dog’s current lifespan. But what if there was a way to actually lengthen the potential lifespan of your dog so that it could continue to be your companion for more time?
The good news is that scientists have discovered a way to improve the health of your dog’s genes and, thus, lengthen their lifespan!
The solution is sirtuin activators. Sirtuins are a specific family of genes in mammals. Sirtuins are actually present in all sorts of creatures, from bacteria to humans. The SIRT family consists of seven genes, SIRT1 through SIRT7, and they are directly linked to aging and lifespan.
Scientists have recently discovered the link between the SIRT6 gene and age. They have shown that animals with a more robust SIRT6 gene have longer lifespans, and that, by protecting SIRT6 and helping your body repair this gene as it degrades, you could actually delay or even halt the aging process.
Where To Find This Treatment
Gen Flow Biosciences offers this innovative treatment that utilizes AAV gene therapy to target the SIRT6 gene, promoting the health of the protective telomeres of genetic material and supporting the natural gene repairing process.
Unfortunately, dogs don’t live forever. 10 to 15 years just isn’t enough time to spend with a man’s best friend.
Take charge of your dog’s health. Help them not only live a healthy lifestyle but help protect their DNA to help extend the years of their lives. Your furry friend will thank you.