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Why do dogs live so shortly?
Ask true dog fanatics – what do they think these animals have disadvantages? Get the answer – they’re perfect! The only pity is that they are not immortal. In fact, a dog’s life is quite short, especially when compared to many other pets. Some parrots even live for twenty-five – forty years, no offence to bird lovers it is said! But why did Mother Nature do this? Let’s figure it out!
How long do dogs live? You understand: it is impossible to just take and name some averaged figures. It all depends on the combination of many factors – breed, conditions of detention, health. You can go on for a long time! But we will name some numbers.
The average duration of small dogs (indoor and decorative) breeds is 10-15 years, medium-sized dogs – 10-13 years, large dogs – 8-12 years. Quite a bit!
Many dogs claimed the longevity record, but there was not enough documentary evidence. Today the official record is held by Bluey, an Australian herding dog. The dog lived for 29 years and 5 months.
Factors affecting a dog’s lifespan.
The size. It’s no secret that very large dogs live an order of magnitude less than their “small” counterparts. Why? Modern scientists believe that the heart and other organs of large dogs are “worn out”, experiencing serious stress.
Genetics. Or a hereditary predisposition to certain diseases. Basically, it’s the same with us people!
Environment, lifestyle. Regular physical activity, balanced nutrition, preventive examinations with a veterinarian, of course, will only benefit.
Castration / sterilization. Yes, modern science has proven that these operations are actually necessary and useful. Among other things, they affect life expectancy – the risk of developing diseases of the reproductive organs is reduced.
Dental care. We talked about its importance many times! The oral cavity is a real breeding ground for millions of bacteria! They started this question – and the bacteria entered the circulatory system, causing serious complications in the work of the heart, liver and kidneys.
Why don’t dogs live as long as humans? The question is eternal! In general, dogs have the same life cycle as we have: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, aging … But in dogs, everything happens much faster! So, in a puppy at the age of 3 months, all milk teeth are already in place. And our kids?
By the age of six months, many dogs already look quite mature, “mature”. Like teenagers fifteen or sixteen years old. Just imagine what a tremendous amount of work the body does to achieve such impressive results! So literally everything happens in dogs at an accelerated rate, including the process of aging and wilting.
There is one more interesting detail. Domestic dogs tend to live shorter lives than their wild wolf cousins. Why? Ecology? Air, forest and nature? There are no exact data on this score. Scientists believe that it is in inbreeding – or rather, the health problems that usually accompany inbreeding. And the lifestyle of domestic dogs, whatever one may say, is more “unhealthy”. Probably, the answer lies somewhere here.
So why do small dogs live longer? We noted above: all the vital organs of large dogs work with increased loads, so the aging process starts much earlier in them. Remember – “a little dog all his life a puppy”? Some scientists also suggest that the rapid cell growth in large breed dogs automatically makes them vulnerable to cancer. “Small” dogs grow more slowly, all processes in them occur at a moderate speed. Therefore, health is in complete order. We emphasize: we have presented only one of the popular theories.
Breed matters too. It is generally known that dogs of the so-called brachycephalic breeds live less than their counterparts. These are the ones with “flattened” faces – bulldogs, boxers, pugs and others! Dogs of giant breeds are considered to record holders, but on the other hand (or rather, anti-record holders). The Irish wolfhound is good for everyone, but the average life expectancy is about 7 years.
Conclusions. Are you looking for a pet based on the only criterion – “if only he lived longer”? Then choose small dogs, not brachycephalic. Trust the advice of experts, do not neglect physical activity, walk more often. Choose a balanced high-quality food, regularly show your pet to the veterinarian. Don’t forget about dental care. Who knows – maybe it is your pet that will become the record holder in terms of longevity!
We appeal to our readers: do you know about long-lived dogs? How many years did they live? What is their breed? Be sure to share with us!