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6 Things You Should Start Doing Now to Help Your Dog Live Longer

Updated by Sheryl on Dec 3, 2021

Your dog will grow in a blink of an eye. And as he gets older, the thought of losing him one day will grow along with him. We want our dogs to live forever. And fortunately, dogs are living longer than before now.

In 2013, a beagle, dachshund mix dog named Max peacefully died at the age of 29. Max's case was an odd exception. But there are many cases where dogs live a much greater life than their natural lifespan before.

Though dogs have a much shorter lifespan than we do, we can help them live as much longer lives as possible by making simple changes in their lifestyles.

Here are a few tips on how to help your dog live longer. Some breeds do live longer than others, but these 6 tips will work for every dog living on this planet.

happy dog
Factors That Affect Long Lifespan in Dogs
6 Things You Can Do to Help Your Dog Live Longer

Every dog species lives upto a certain time. But, there are a lot of other factors which affect a dog's long lifespan.

The size

How long will a dog live has a lot to do with its size. Large size dogs naturally have a shorter lifetime as compared to small and medium-sized dogs. Statistically, only 30% of the large size dogs live more than 10 years. Whereas 40%of the smaller dogs live ten years or even more.

Largest dogs such as Saint Bernards, Irish Wolfhounds, Bullmastiffs, Great Dane can live only 6 to 8 years on average. You will hardly find a 14-15-year-old mastiff. On the contrary, a Chihuahua is among a long lifespan dog who lives 15 years on average and sometimes more. Researchers believe it's because larger dogs age much faster than smaller dogs.


Besides the size, genetics also play a big role in their ageing. Like humans, certain dogs are prone to certain diseases at some age which is pre-determined by their genes.

Statistical results show that golden retrievers, rottweilers, German shepherds, and boxers are at higher risks of developing cancer than other breeds.


Inbreeding in pure-breed dogs can cause many health issues, which is not a concern for mixed breeds or mutts. If you are getting a pure-breed dog, take a note on how long its ancestors have lived and what they usually die off. You will have an idea of your dog's life expectancy.

inbreeding dogs

Research shows that female dogs can live 2 - 3 years more than their male equivalents. Basically, stats for long-living dogs include smaller dogs, female dogs, and mixed-breeds more than the rest.

Spaying and neutering

Spaying and neutering also have an impact on your dog's long lifespan. Spaying and neutering reduce the chances of cancer and other complications associated with reproductive organs.

1. Follow a healthy diet plan

We understand that it becomes very hard for you when the little pet looks at you with those sad, pitiful eyes, drooling and begging for an extra treat. But overfeeding your dog or feeding the wrong type of dog food can make him obese. Obesity is a serious concern for dogs as it leads to many health problems, including diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, and even cancer.

Also, dogs who don't have a nutritious diet while they are young grow up with a weak immune response and are more prone to health problems. So, you need to feed your dog based on his species, age, and activity. Highly active dogs, elderly dogs, puppies, and dogs with certain medical conditions will have different nutritional needs. Some pets also have allergic reactions to some foods. So, seek the help of a vet for a healthy diet plan to keep your dog in his best shape and health. Maybe an automatic pet feeder is a nice choice.

What We Loved
Mealtime can be set according to the needs of pets
4L Large Capacity, suitable for small and medium pets & multi-pet families
2 desiccant bags and a secure twist-lock cover can keep food fresh
30 seconds of personalized audio can be recorded to call the pet to eat

2. Involve your dogs in some exercise

Just like humans. Regular exercising makes a dog happier and healthier. Exercise is proven to increase endorphin levels, lowers stress, and helps to keep a positive mind and emotions in dogs. Regular exercise keeps a dog in good shape, aids in good cardiovascular health, and keeps the muscles strong and flexible joints. For example, you can play some interactive games with your dog or give him a funny chasing toy.

Remember, not every exercise is suitable for every other dog. While some dogs require strenuous exercise to be in good shape and mental state, some need to perform lighter exercises like dogs with hip dysplasia. Arthritis-prone dogs should involve in exercises that don't put much pressure on the joints like swimming.

Dogs recovering from some injury, pregnant dogs, older dogs, and dogs with special conditions should do safe exercises. In this case, it's better to consult a vet for safe exercise tips.

3. Keep their minds in a good shape

Dogs are intelligent creatures. It means they need to exercise their brains as well. A bored dog often becomes destructive, depressed, or even sick. So, you must give them some activities to keep their brains working and help them live longer.

You can give them food puzzles. Toys that have hidden foods inside them encourage a dog to use his brain and keep him from getting bored. Try to teach your dogs new tricks, play games that help socialize, give them puzzles and teach new skills.

You can enroll your aging dog in an obedience class. Always be patient. Small treats and lots of praise help dogs to stay young at heart. Just keep a count on the extra calories that the treats have.

dog exercise

4. Brush those teeth

Maintaining good dental hygiene is crucial for dogs. Sadly, it's often overlooked. You need to brush your dog's teeth regularly or at least thrice a week as poor dental health can result in many health complications and shorten the time of long lifespan dogs.

Don't worry. It's easy to maintain good dental health for your dog. Just brush his teeth regularly and visit the vet annually for a full dental checkup. You can provide him with safe chew toys and treats to reduce the chances of getting an infection.

What We Loved
Helps the dog clean teeth, exercise teeth, and massage the gums.
Made of reliable rubber materials, safe and durable
Suitable for aggressive chewers
Helps reduce discomfort during teething
Helps to satisfy the dog's instinctive needs with a squeaking sound

5. Routine veterinary visits

Every dog owner must visit the vet once a year for a general wellness checkup and twice a year as he gets old. Wellness checkups help to retain optimal health. It keeps a record of your dog's health history and helps the vet detect a concern at an early stage, allowing him to start the treatment as soon as possible, giving your dog the best shot to live his full life.

routine dog vet visits

6. Give lots of love and affection

One of the best things you can do for your bow-wow that costs nothing is your love and care. There's nothing in this world that makes him happier than the time you spend with him. He wants all of your love; he loves to be pet, rubs on his favorite spots, and enjoys the time when you praise him telling him how much of a good boy he is. When away from his owner, a dog becomes depressed, sick and his health declined. So, give your dog your undivided attention and show him your love to help him live the longest life possible.

embrace the dog
What shortens a dog's lifespan?
Obesity is one of the obvious reasons that can shorten a dog's life. Like humans, obesity brings other health problems in dogs, such as diabetes, heart issues, liver and kidney dysfunction, and even cancer. Apart from this, forgetting dental care, absence of annual checkups, lack of exercise and training, feeding table scraps all are responsible for shortening a dog's lifespan.
Why do small dogs live longer?
Small dogs significantly grow slower than larger dogs. Smaller dogs age much slowly as compared to their bigger counterparts. However, there's not enough evidence of what exactly causes small dogs to live longer, and larger dogs die much sooner.
Which dog lives the longest?
Chihuahuas have the longest lifespan among all dog breeds. Their average lifespan is 15 years, but a few of them have been living for around 18 years.
Can a dog live for 20 years?
No dog breed has a lifespan of 20 years. However, there have been a few cases of dogs living 20 or more years. But that's the rarest of the rare cases. The oldest dog to have ever lived was an Australian Cattle dog named Bluey. The extraordinary dog had lived for 29 years and 5 months.

The sad story of every dog owner is that they outlive their beloved pets. Fatefully, there's no way you can make your dog live a long life that's far beyond the natural lifespan of their breed. But you can surely give them some extra years by taking proper care, going for routine veterinary visits, and keeping their body and mind active.

Your time together is limited. So, take care of the things mentioned above and relish every moment.

Sheryl is an editor from iPetor, owns extensive pet care experience. As a professional writer, she can provide useful pet care tips for all "parents".
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