What Is the Average Life Expectancy of Dogs?

Dogs do not live as long as humans, which is a source of sadness for all dog owners.

When you get a puppy, it feels like you’ll have her for a long time, but it always seems like she’ll be gone in the blink of an eye.

What is the average lifespan of a dog?

Larger dogs have shorter lifespans than smaller dogs.

The average lifespan of a dog breed is usually shorter the larger the breed. This is the polar opposite of what many other species do.

Whales, for example, are enormous and can live for up to 100 years. Scientists are still trying to figure out why dogs don’t follow the same pattern as humans.


The following are the average lifespans for dogs of various sizes:

  • Small breeds have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
    10-13 years for medium breeds
    10-12 years for large breeds
    8-10 years for giant breeds

Within these general groups, some breeds may have average lifespans that are longer or shorter than the other averages.


Of course, these are just averages, and depending on individual health, dogs may live much longer or much shorter than these times.

What Can I Do to Make My Dog Live Longer?


Here are some general tips for keeping your dog as healthy as possible so you can spend as much time together as possible:
  • If you are considering a purebred dog as a puppy, be sure to carefully consider the breeder. Investigate which disease processes are more common in that breed, and inquire about the breeder’s methods for reducing the risk of those illnesses in their line.
  • Prepare for your new dog’s care ahead of time so you know what needs to be done when and can afford it.
  • Establish a relationship with a veterinarian and follow his or her preventive care and testing recommendations. Preventable medical problems, such as heartworm disease, are an important part of ensuring that your dog lives a long and happy life.
  • Consider purchasing pet insurance. Get pet insurance as soon as you get a new dog. It will then cover the greatest number of issues possible. Some things will be considered pre-existing if you wait. A portion of your dog’s routine health care may be covered by pet insurance.
  • As much as possible, keep your dog safe from mishaps. Household toxins, human foods that are toxic to dogs, chewing electrical cords, and escaping are all concerns that should be addressed as much as possible.

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