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Dog Life Span

ïGenetics, particularly breed and size, play a significant role in dog’s average life span. The average life span of a dog varies from breed to breed but, generally smaller dogs tend to a greater life expectancy than larger dogs.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE DOG LIFE SPAN?

According to PetMD, a recent analysis of veterinary records on the average life span of dogs revealed the following statistics:

Dogs under 20 pounds. 13 years

Dogs between 20-90 pounds. 11 years

Dogs over 90 pounds. 8 years 

Though these are general markers based on breeds and sizes, the dog life expectancy is also dependent on a variety of environmental factors. Dogs are subject to disease, cancer, and aging just as people are, so nutrition and exercise become important in determining the dog’s life expectancy.

As a result, there is no set life expectancy of dogs that can be expected of all breeds. Check out Canine Journal for a dog breed life expectancy list for some common breeds.

WHEN IS A DOG A SENIOR?

If you are wondering how old is a senior dog, a dog is generally considered a puppy until they are about 1-2 years of age because they are still growing. Once fully grown, a dog is considered an adult until they are approximately 7 years of age (and during this time their health, behavior and energy should generally remain stable).

Though they may still be jumping around and as energetic as ever, veterinarians generally consider a dog to fall into the senior category when they cross the age of 7. Because the life expectancy of larger dogs is generally lower than that of smaller dogs, large breed dogs tend to be considered seniors earlier than small breed dogs. 

WHAT ARE SOME COMMON SIGNS OF AGING IN DOGS?

A senior dog is one that has crossed the threshold from adulthood into their geriatric (or golden) years. Though age is an indicator of a dog being a senior, it is not necessarily conclusive. Check out our section on the telltale signs that your dog is becoming a senior

There is something called chronological aging (which is the dog’s actual age) but there is also physical aging (which is the age of the dog’s body or the condition of the dog). A dog can age rapidly based on genetic or environmental conditions; it can also live a longer life based on proper nutrition and care. 

Dog Age Chart, Determine Your Dogs Age

Further Reading

Benefits of Preventive Care for Dogs

Why Excercise for Dogs is Important

Blog Post on Chiropractic Care for Dogs