Why do dogs die so fast? (Top 5 reasons)

In this article, we will answer the following question: Why do dogs die so fast? We will also help you reconcile with the death of your beloved pet.

Why do dogs die so fast?

There is no way we can determine this exactly. The lifespan of a dog depends on its diet, lifestyle, care and affection that you show it and the breed of the animal itself. It also matters the weight, which is closely connected with the breed of the animal – we can not compare a bichon with a shepherd dog, for example.

For crossbreed dogs, owners can use the animal’s weight to determine how long it will live. In general terms, smaller dogs tend to live longer than large ones. Moreover, a recent analysis of the records of several veterinary offices revealed that animals under 9 kilograms live on average for 11 years. On the other hand, dogs over 40 kilograms have a life expectancy of only 8 years. Medium-sized dogs are somewhere in the middle.

But the phrase “on average” can create confusion in itself among dog owners. Some animals can live less than the average calculated from the reports, as there can be animals that exceed this average and have a longer life.

A study conducted in 2013 also revealed that crossbreeds live on average 1.2 years longer than purebred dogs and that obesity is closely linked to life expectancy and negatively influences it. As in the case of humans, by the way.

Maltese bichon dogs live on average between 12 and 15 years. Most of them live to the age of 13.5 years if they do not have serious health problems or are not involved in accidents. Even if this is the average life expectancy for Maltese bichons, it is not uncommon for some specimens to reach 16 or even 17 years.

Furthermore, females live on average 1 year longer than males.

Due to unfavourable environmental conditions, stray dogs live on average only 4 years. They do not have a constant supply of food, are prone to disease and involved in many fights with other dogs for the territory. What is sadder is that the strays do not have the love of a man, they are often hit and chased. All these factors dramatically reduce their life expectancy.

How long does a dog live?

The life expectancy of dogs varies depending on the breed. Here are some of the key elements that can guide you, some things being easy to do when we want our animal to live longer. 

The average lifespan of dogs, including all breeds, is between 10-13 years, with plus and minus variants that cannot be taken as a benchmark. Think that we humans also live in fairly wide intervals, which would be to consider that we will all live as the oldest on the planet. A sensitive, painful but necessary subject. Here are the facts:

If we evaluate the situation according to breeds, a life expectancy below average, of 8-9 years, would have the dogs belonging to the breeds: Bull terrier, Bulldog, Newfoundland, German Dog, Bloodhound, Bordeaux Dog, etc.

On the other hand, the longest-lived breeds, with a lifespan of 14-15 years, are the dwarf kennel, the Dachshund, the Chihuahua, the dwarf Schnauzer, the small terrier dogs.

Another rule would be that, in general, dogs from mixed breeds (so-called “mittens”), regardless of size, live a year or two longer than the pure breeds from which they come. 

However, it is known that small breeds live longer than large ones and that the average lifespan of large dogs is close to the minimum lifespan of small dogs. Other elements contribute a lot here, such as nutrition, exercise, living conditions, medical care provided in case of need. 

It is known, for example, that sterilized animals live longer than unsterilized animals as a result of a decrease in the incidence of tumours in the genital area or as a result of the prevention of surgical diseases of the genitals.

 Besides, it is known that obese animals live less than lean or normal-weight ones. Heavy breeds with deep breasts are prone to one of the most relentless surgical conditions that can affect them, namely gastric dilation / gastric torsion which unfortunately has a very high death rate. So, the answer to the question is complicated and depends on countless variables, but every time our hopes, care and optimism are what make the moments together more beautiful and why not, longer.

The main element in increasing the longevity but especially the quality of the time spent by animals near the house is your love and attention together with care and recommendations of the professional veterinarian.

How to reconcile with the death of your pet?

Most of the time, the presence of a pet in our life is an opportunity for peace, balance and enthusiasm. When we decide to co-opt a non-speaking friend in our life, we do so based on certain emotional needs. 

The reasons for choosing the pet can be multiple, but regardless of their nature, the pet becomes the centre of interest for the whole family once he enters our home, he becomes a member with “full rights” in the family. He occupies a central place among other family members, from children to adults. 

Most of the time, the non-speaking friend is seen as more than a dog, for example, people personify him, talk to him, attribute behaviours to him and specifically human reactions. Family members become concerned about the needs of the non-speaking friend, providing them with basic needs, food or rest, to emotional needs or adaptation to the environment. 

People condition their program according to the needs of the animal, they become receptive and empathetic to the needs and behaviours of the animal. Under these conditions, it is easy to understand that the loss, disappearance or death of a pet feels like a profound loss. 

Often, the sudden disappearance of the animal from our lives produces an emotional void that is difficult to fill. Although rationally we know that the lifespan of a pet is much shorter than that of man, expecting it to be a moment to disappear from our life, the attachment and connection with the animal are so deep emotionally that family members do not conceive of life without its presence among them. 

The more evolved the animal in terms of behavioural, emotional and intellectual development, approaching the level of human development, its disappearance will have a stronger impact. 

Thus, the loss of an evolved animal such as the dog is felt much more deeply than the disappearance of a fish or a canary, for example, because man and dog communicates and transfers similar behaviours, much more appropriate than in the case of animals endowed with primary behaviours. 

Why do dogs die?

The death of a pet  can occur as a result of three causes:

Natural death due to the advanced age of the animal. Although his disappearance is expected, it is felt by family members as a loss that is difficult to cover emotionally. In this situation, family members resign more easily after the death of the animal than in cases where its disappearance occurs as a result of accidents or incurable diseases.

Accidental death from a physical accident or incurable disease. In this situation, the master’s commotion is much greater, being about a context with deep emotional implications, which occurs at a time when it is taken by surprise.

Euthanasia, in cases where as a result of a fatal diagnosis, without any hope of recovery, the owners decide to end the animal’s life. Although it is an assumed decision, family members do not come to terms with it after the animal disappears, are tempted by feelings of guilt, are sad and hardly resign themselves to the effect.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of the context in which the death of the pet occurs, its disappearance brings with it a period of mourning. Family members are sad and find it difficult to adapt to the new context that involves giving up certain habits or behaviours specific to the period when the animal lived with them. 

The mourning phase is variable, from case to case. After the mourning period, the phase of acceptance and adaptation to the context is installed. The owners accept the disappearance of the animal and adapt to the situation. 

In certain situations, after a certain period, the people who have gone through the experience of the death of the pet, decide to co-opt another animal in their life to take the place of the missing one. If the decision is made to co-opt a new partner in the family, we recommend that this approach be done only after overcoming the mourning stage. 

It is important to know that the new member has his own identity, must be treated and educated as such, has his own needs, and the interaction with him must be done following his resources and needs.

If you want to share your story, or if you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!


Can dogs sense their death?

In most cases, when it’s due to natural causes, dogs can sense their death. It is believed that dogs have some sort of sixth sense that lets them know their time is ending. 

Why do dogs isolate themselves when dying?

Dogs isolate themselves when dying because they are weaker and cannot defend themselves against possible dangers. They also want to rest and spend time in a quiet and calm place. 

Do dogs know you love them?

Yes, dogs know we love them. Dogs and humans can create a really special relationship and this is proven by the fact that our oxytocin levels go up high when we play or even when we just stare at our dog!

Can a dog wake up after euthanasia?

No, a dog cannot wake up after euthanasia. However, it makes it more peaceful and it makes it possible for you to hold your pet at the final moment.





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