How Long Do Dogs Really Live?

Dr. Ragen T.S. McGowan, PhD
By Dr. Ragen T.S. McGowan, PhD
Updated: 5/20/20242-4 minutes
child hugs yellow dog in grassy field

We all love our furry friends but can’t help but wonder how much time we actually have with them.

We’ve put together an article to answer the question ‘how long do dogs live?’ and help you cherish your pooch for years to come. Find out all you need to know below!

How Long Do Dogs Live?

On average, dogs live for 10-13 years which is roughly equivalent to 60-74 human years, although there is no hard and fast way of working this out. When thinking about ‘how long do dogs live?’, it’s important to note that elements like lifestyle, food and breed can affect a dog’s life span. Some dogs have even lived into their 20s!

If you’re wondering how long specific breeds live, we have information on that below:

How Long Do Chihuahuas Live?

Chihuahuas reportedly live for, on average, 7.91 years. However, average life spans are only partly useful, and the Chihuahua is a good example of this. One study showed that quite a lot of Chihuahuas will pass away at a younger age.

This pulls down the average life expectancy. However, it also means Chihuahuas that have reached six years old will likely live a lot longer than eight.

How Long Do Pugs Live?

Pugs are said to have an average lifespan of 7.65 years. They are brachycephalic, which means that their skull is shorter, and their face is flattened. You’ve probably heard that like many brachycephalic breeds, pugs are, unfortunately, predisposed to many health conditions, which means that their lifespan is shorter than some other breeds.

How long do Shih Tzus live?

Shih Tzus are known for their longevity and live, on average, for 11.05 years. Despite their longer life expectancy, they are more likely to have eye diseases, like dry eye and cataracts.

They can also develop conditions like arthritis and hypothyroidism, which affects organ function and metabolism. This is something to look out for in your Shih Tzu and call a vet if necessary.

How Long Do German Shepherds Live?

German Shepherds are said to live for an average of 10.16 years. Female German Shepherds reportedly live 1.4 years longer, on average, than males! Unfortunately, large dogs like German Shepherds, are prone to developing dog arthritis which results in decreased mobility. With big dogs, a higher weight means more stress on joints, so be sure to keep your pet at a healthy weight. Keep this in mind with German Shepherds and remember to consult a vet with any concerns.

More Average Lifespans of Dog Breeds

How to Increase Your Dog’s Life Expectancy

We’ve answered, ‘how long do dogs live?’ but now you’re probably wondering ‘how can I increase my dog’s life expectancy?’ As we mentioned previously, keeping your dog healthy is key to having a robust, and potentially longer, life. This means:

For more expert tips on dogs, explore our other understanding dogs articles.

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