The most common question from the readers is: “Who comes out on top?”
There are many reasons why a breed may come out on top or even not at all. Some dogs have had so much time to age that they look like they were bred yesterday! Others have been around long enough that their genes have become diluted over time. Still others just happen to be lucky and survive into old age with no signs of aging whatsoever.
There are several factors that go into determining which dog breeds live the longest. These include the type of environment they grew up in, how much exercise they get, what diseases they don’t contract and other things. The following list is compiled based on research done by various experts. All opinions are taken from reputable sources such as books, newspapers and magazines.
1) Size Matters Most:
Size really does matter when it comes to longevity! A dog’s size determines its chances of survival. Dogs that are small and fluffy tend to live longer than those that are big and mean. Smaller dogs tend to have shorter lifespans because they do not need as much food or water to sustain them.
On the other hand, larger dogs usually require more food and water than smaller ones.
2) Breed Variation:
Breed variation makes a difference in longevity too! Dogs that belong to short-haired breeds normally have longer lifespans than ones that are part of a long-haired breed. The reason for this is because dogs with long fur tend to get mats in their coats as they get older. These mats can then work their way into the skin and cause irritation that leads to infection.
Many owners will cut the mats out of their dog’s fur, but this can cause even more problems!
3) Avoiding Diseases:
Dogs that contract certain diseases also have a much shorter lifespan than others. For example, many sighthounds are prone to deafness which can cause them to become very vulnerable and even get themselves into dangerous situations that they can’t get out of. This can lead to an early death. Dogs that live in rural areas near farms have the lowest risk of getting this type of disease.
4) Diet and Nutrition:
If you want your dog to live a long and healthy life then you need to make sure that they eat a proper diet. You should avoid feeding them people food because this can cause all kinds of diseases and even obesity. Obesity is one of the leading causes of death in domestic dogs nowadays. You should also take care when feeding your dog treats.
Many types of human food can be toxic to dogs.
5) Dog Abuse:
If you are abusing your dog then you might want to stop! Studies have shown that dogs that are poorly treated by their owners have a much lower life expectancy than others. This is not the case with all dog breeds though, some of them seem to thrive on abuse! The worst type of abuse for a dog is malnutrition and it can cause problems in their skeletal system.
6) Dog Fighting:
If you are into dog fighting then you need to stop right now, not just for your dog’s sake but for your own as well! Statistics show that people who participate in illegal dog fighting have a much higher chance of going to jail than those that do not! Not only that, but poorly treated dogs are more likely to contract diseases and have genetic problems. One of the worst is a condition known as “Troubles with tax officials”.
7) Where You Keep Them:
Where you keep your dog can have a huge impact on how long it lives. Dogs that are kept inside houses normally live longer than those that are outside. This is especially the case if the owners of these dogs do not take them for walks often. There is also a lower risk of them being stolen or run over by a car.
8) Gender Differences:
Many people believe that female dogs have a longer lifespan than male ones, but this is not entirely true. While female dogs do tend to live longer in general, there are many instances of long-living male dogs and shorter lifespans in female ones. Many things can affect how long your dog lives such as: diet, exercise, genetics and even where they are kept.
Did you know?
Dogs that were bred to assist the blind have a shorter life span because they get diagnosed with blindness themselves! But that doesn’t mean that you can see and be safe, there are many other factors involved.
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And remember to keep your dogs on a leash and always clean up after them!
Sources & references used in this article:
Identification of genomic regions associated with phenotypic variation between dog breeds using selection mapping by A Vaysse, A Ratnakumar, T Derrien, E Axelsson… – PLoS …, 2011 – journals.plos.org
The blue zones: 9 lessons for living longer from the people who’ve lived the longest by T Grandin, C Johnson – 2009 – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Dog star rising: the canine genetic system by D Buettner – 2012 – books.google.com
Fighting the war for talent is hazardous to your organization’s health by NB Sutter, EA Ostrander – Nature Reviews Genetics, 2004 – nature.com
What do you say after you say hello by S Santagati, A Cohen – 2008 – Harmony
Not everyone gets a trophy: How to manage generation Y by J Pfeffer – Organizational Dynamics, 2001 – csus.edu
Positivity: Top-notch research reveals the 3-to-1 ratio that will change your life by E Berne – 2010 – books.google.com
Human-like social skills in dogs? by B Tulgan – 2009 – books.google.com