In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Will dogs ever live longer? We will give you six points to take into consideration if you want your furry friend to live a longer and happier life.
Will dogs ever live longer?
Dogs’ life expectancy has doubled in the last 40 years, which means that there is hope that with time, they will live longer.
As we all know, having a dog is one of the greatest joys in life. Our furry friends give us unconditional love, company, and more smiles than is possible to count. Still, there is a downside to owning a dog. We can withstand the mess and minor damage, but the fact that people live longer than dogs, who eventually cease to be among us, is undeniable.
However, anyone will say that, of course, it pays to live with a dog, in such a way that it even becomes a member of the family. There is no specific way to answer the question of how long dogs live, as it will vary from case to case, but there are many studies of the average life expectancy of breeds such as the Golden Retriever, Bulldog, and many other breeds.
But the average life expectancy is not the only important thing. The same definition of mean means that many dogs will live less, while others may live significantly longer. A better way to assess the longevity of our pets is to turn dog years into human years. In this way, we can understand when a dog becomes an adult, an old living, or even a centenary.
Knowing how long dogs live won’t ease the pain, but it can help owners take better care of them and keep their pets as happy as possible. Although sometimes these faithful friends behave in an inappropriate way (be it playing, barking at home, or disobeying our orders), we must reflect on the treatment we give them.
We must never hurt them. We must teach them with other techniques and NEVER with blows. Since they offer you love and dedication each time you come home, reciprocate by feeding them, playing with them, stroking them, and bathing them. Do not forget that they will benefit your health and will make your coexistence with them more pleasant.
On the other hand, do not forget to take them to the vet to vaccinate him or whenever you suspect that he is unwell. It is crucial to prevent diseases or to seek a cure for them.
How long do dogs live?
There is no exact figure that can answer this question. The life expectancy of dogs is highly variable. Criteria such as race or size influence it. Smaller dogs will finish their growth earlier, mature sexually at younger ages, and generally, live longer.
It is not unusual to meet small dogs up to 18 years old. On the other hand, with larger dogs, just the opposite happens. They take longer to complete their growth, are fertile at more months of age, and live, on average, fewer years. These breeds are considered old before and many do not exceed 8-12 years of life.
We cannot change genetics, but if we optimize the quality of life we offer the dog the possibility of reaching the maximum of its life expectancy. And, what is more important, they will be years enjoyed with a good quality of life. For dogs, a year is much more than for us. They prefer quality to quantity.
How to make my dog live longer?
Want your furry friend to live as long as possible and live a happy life? Read carefully the next tips!
The diet that we offer our dog is a basic pillar for its health. At our fingertips, we will find dry, humid, dehydrated food or we can choose homemade food. Depending on the characteristics of the dog, its living conditions, and ours, we can decide between all these diets or mix several of them.
But, in any case, it is important to look for quality. There are good options for all budgets, we just have to inform ourselves well before deciding. In addition, the diet must be adapted to the life stage of the dog. A puppy cannot eat the same as an old man or a lactating female and a dog that hardly exercises.
Both internal and external deworming is essential. Not only because of the local annoyances that parasites such as fleas or ticks can cause but also because of the diseases they can transmit. Some are life-threatening like Babesia or Ehrlich.
Furthermore, humans can also be affected by intestinal parasites or leishmaniasis, for example. Therefore, from the first weeks of life, we must worry about establishing, together with the veterinarian, a correct calendar of internal and external deworming.
And if it is important to deworm, vaccinating is essential, especially in the case of puppies. These, having an immature immune system, will be more vulnerable to any disease. They are very sensitive to viruses such as distemper or parvovirus.
Both are pathologies of viral origin that are easily contagious and present high percentages of mortality and sequelae. The best prevention is to vaccinate and revaccinate the puppy, as indicated by the veterinarian, and not take it out on the street without having the complete vaccination schedule.
Following minimum hygiene standards, bathing and brushing the dog everything it needs depending on its characteristics and circumstances, and, above all, going to the vet as soon as we perceive that something is happening to it are measures that allow us to maintain a good quality of life.
Likewise, at least once a year you must go through a review at the vet. In addition to the complete general examination, it is recommended to perform a blood test and a urine test. This guideline is especially important in older dogs. With aging, it is easier for tumors or pain in bones and joints to appear.
More kidney, dental and eye diseases are also seen, in addition to cognitive dysfunction syndrome. Unfortunately, detecting these problems promptly does not usually serve to cure them, but by trying from the initial stages we can slow down their progression and, consequently, make the dog live longer.
So far we have seen the physical care that will help us keep the dog healthy for as long as possible. But the quality of life is also in the daily routine. Thus, health is also maintained by respecting the psychological needs of the dog.
You must have adequate accommodation and sufficient opportunities to exercise. Socialization is also another fundamental aspect. To avoid problems in this regard, it is recommended that puppies are not separated from their mother or siblings before, at least, eight weeks of age.
Getting the dog used to different stimuli and situations, offering him games, company, affection, respect, and activity, also mental, is a guarantee of good psychological health. A stress-free dog will generally have better health and, consequently, a higher quality of life.
Does spaying a dog make it live longer?
By sterilization, we understand the extraction of the testicles in dogs and the uterus and ovaries in female dogs. It is an intervention that is recommended to avoid the birth of unwanted litters and the symptoms of heat.
In addition, it reduces or prevents the appearance of diseases associated with sex hormones, such as tumors of the breast, testicles, or pyometra, or uterine infection. Studies indicate that sterilizing prolongs life expectancy. Operated dogs are less likely to die from certain infectious diseases or accidents.
Saying goodbye to your dog
The loss of a dog means that a very special relationship is lost and, although not all people can understand it, the most important thing in these moments is to let the feelings surface because ignoring the grief will not make it go away. When the dog reaches old age, the option of euthanasia may need to be considered.
This decision must be made together with the veterinarian and honestly evaluating the health of the animal; It is not simple, but it can be considered as the last act of love towards him. Avoiding suffering is, normally, a constant of the owners during the life of pets and, in the final moment, it should be more than ever.
If the owner decides to be present during the process, it is essential to reassure the dog, dedicate words of affection to him and be as cheerful as possible, since the animal will perceive these emotions. Remembering the good times that you have given us can be of great help to avoid tears that, on the other hand, would be completely natural, but that would annoy the dog.
For some people, it is important to check that their pet has left in a calm way and, at the same time, having the possibility to say goodbye can be a great help to overcome the loss. However, for many, this could be a traumatic situation difficult to handle, so it is necessary to think carefully whether being with the animal in this circumstance will be beneficial for him or not.
The first few days many owners will be devastated at the thought that they will never see their pet again, but the pain is a logical response to death and there is no need to feel ashamed about it. And, although each person lives it in their own way, when facing death it is usual that the first feeling that appears is that of denial.
It is difficult to accept the idea that we will not see our animal again and that it will be worse in the face of sudden death. Anger is another of the phases of grief, and it is produced by the loss and against everything that seems to us that has not helped to keep the dog by our side. Guilt is another of the inevitable feelings when we wonder if we have done everything possible to prevent his death.
Depression is the stage in which you are fully aware of what has happened, so the feeling of loss will be even greater. But, little by little, the situation is assumed, which happens during the acceptance phase when there is already greater tranquillity and the pain begins to be replaced by the pleasant memories of our faithful companion.
If after a few weeks their loss has not been accepted or the sadness seems to increase, it is possible to go to specialized counselors or support groups, with whom our veterinarian or any animal association can put us in contact.
We know that losing your dog is a very hard time, however, remember that your responsibility is to avoid transmitting your sadness and try to make it happy. When you see that he is panting a lot, that he sleeps more than necessary, that he barely eats, and that his gums are black, you will know that he may be about to die.
Find someone to talk about the subject and what you feel, pamper your dog a lot and celebrate all the years that you have been together.
If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!
FAQ on Will dogs ever live longer?
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.