Any dog lover knows that one day, goodbye has to come. So what is the longest living dog breed?
Choosing a best friend shouldn’t be based on how long they’ll be in your life, but for some people, it does factor into the decision. After all, nobody likes saying goodbye to their dear companions.
So, if you’re curious as to what dogs live the longest, here’s a short list. Every breed on this list has an average life span of at least twelve or more years.
- Australian Shepherd
- Shih Tzu
- Lhasa Apso
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Toy Poodle
- Miniature Schnauzer
Here’s a quick video on the top ten longest living dog breeds:
So, What Dogs Live the Longest?
Have you noticed anything about the above list? Almost every dog featured is either a small breed or comes from a relatively new breed, or a breed where special care has been taken with the mixing of bloodlines. And there’s good reason for this.
Smaller dogs generally need less exercise and are significantly less prone to diseases their bigger cousins, such as the Saint Bernard, suffer from.
A Chihuahua’s body suffers less strain from simply being alive, while bigger dogs have to lug around their weight and get enough exercise to keep excessive pounds at bay.
An overweight Chihuahua experiences less strain than an overweight Retriever, but conscientious owners should do their best to not let it get that far.
Dogs that are a mix between breeds are often heartier and less prone to afflictions that might be common in their ancestors. By carefully keeping track of which dogs bred with others, and not allowing inbreeding, several dog breeds have successfully dodged genetic diseases.
If your best friend comes from a long line of healthy, long-living dogs, there’s a high chance they too will get to enjoy their golden years. Because of the known health issues with pedigree dogs, it is highly advised to inform yourself with the breeder; if their dogs are healthy, they will show you the necessary papers without problem.
For this same reason, the so-called ‘mongrel’ dogs are considered to be healthier.
Like their feline counterparts, mongrel dogs very seldom run the risk of being the product of inbreeding.
Because these dogs have an incredibly varied family tree, it’s rare for recessive diseases to make an appearance.
Their low health-risk and general sturdiness make mongrel dogs excellent companions for owners who don’t care much for ancestor trees, but who still want a faithful companion.
Ensuring Your Dog Enjoys a Long Life
You’ve got your best friend sitting next to you, and you want to ensure they live a long and healthy life by your side. But, how exactly do you do that?
No matter the breed or personality of the dog, they all need to be walked and get their paws moving.
Regular exercise promotes a good heart rhythm, better lung capacity, less chances for obesity… pretty much all the advantages it has for us humans as well.
So if taking a walk, going for a jog, or taking a swim is good for both of you, there really isn’t much standing in your way.
While humans and dogs both have the same need for exercising, we do not have the same demands when it comes to our food.
Feeding your beloved pet table scraps might seem like a sweet idea, but you’re doing them more harm than good. Research which foods are suitable for your dog and what might harm them; chocolate, for example, is poisonous while many humans can’t get enough of it.
The same goes for any dog food you purchase. When in doubt, consult your vet.
Dogs love games, and lucky for them, humans love games too. Some breeds tend to be regular little Einsteins and benefit from organized games, while other dogs are just happy to be distracted by an old-fashioned bout of fetch.
By keeping your dog mentally stimulated, they’ll be happier, and therefore, healthier.
A Keen Eye
If you have a pedigree dog, or a mongrel dog that just happens to be the rare case that does get sick, it pays to know which symptoms to look out for.
The occasional sneeze doesn’t have to mean anything, but if your dog shows symptoms or behaves strangely, a visit to the vet will do far more good than harm.
Your furry friend might not be able to tell you what’s wrong, but keeping an eye out for trouble yields results.
So when someone asks you what kind of dog lives the longest, feel free to tell them that happy dogs, living life to the fullest with their owners, are the longest living dogs of all.
The Oldest Dog
If you’re wondering what dog set the record for most years spent in happiness, the answer would be: Bluey, the Australian Cattle Dog. Bluey lived on a farm, got plenty of exercise, and probably felt great about it too.
At 29 and a half years, Bluey died in 1939 as the oldest dog on record.
The Australian Cattle Dog is not usually known for any spectacular longevity, proving that nothing can ever be completely certain and that a healthy lifestyle is a benefit for everyone.
Wondering what dog lives the longest? Now you know!