Canine Years: Research Shows Which Breeds Live the Longest | Health info
By Steven Reinberg Health Day Reporter
THURSDAY, April 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — If longevity were a priority when choosing a puppy, Jack Russell terriers and Yorkshire terriers would be the best choices.
According to a new study by Dr. Dan O’Neill, associate professor of companion animal epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College in Hertfordshire, England, these little dynamos have the longest lifespan of many common dog breeds.
Jack Russells and Yorkies have a life expectancy of nearly 13 years, O’Neill and his colleagues found after reviewing thousands of UK dog records.
On the other hand, flat-faced breeds such as French Bulldogs (Frenchies) and Pugs tend to leave this world earlier than average, according to the study.
Although they’re all the rage now, Frenchies only live about 5 years, which is less than other flat-faced breeds, including English Bulldogs (7 years) and Pugs (8 years), according to the study. The results were published online April 28 in the journal Scientific reports.
The healthiest and longest-lived dogs are dogs that “look like dogs” — neither too big nor too small with a muzzle and tail, according to O’Neill.
“We look at different configurations of dogs, primarily by breed, and we find that lifespan tells us a story about the overall health of these dogs,” he said.
O’Neill and the team analyzed more than 30,500 dog death records across the UK between 2016 and 2020. They categorized the dogs into 18 Kennel Club recognized breeds and also some crossbreed types. Using this data, they created tables that calculated life expectancy from birth.
Besides Jack Russells and Yorkies, other long-lived breeds include Border Collies and Springer Spaniels, with an average lifespan of 12 years.
Across all breeds, the average life expectancy for male dogs was 11.1 years, about four months less than the estimate for females. Castrated dogs had a life expectancy of nearly 12 years for females and 11.5 years for males. The life expectancy of unneutered dogs was around 10.5 years for both males and females.
O’Neill recommends thinking about choosing a dog: be aware of the health and lifespan of the animal and the life the animal would like to live.
“When you go to buy a dog, think of the world from the dog’s point of view. Why buy a dog that will only live seven years and will probably be plagued by disease?” he said.
O’Neill noted that human interference is the cause of some unhealthy and short-lived breeds.
When people started to keep dogs for recreation and not for work, and the era of dog shows came, people started to invent breeds that did not exist in nature, which prevented dogs to evolve naturally, O’Neill said.
“Those with very short lifespans tend to be those with extreme configurations,” he pointed out.
These extremes include dogs that are larger or smaller than normal, dogs with flat faces, dogs without a tail, and dogs with excessively wrinkled coats, O’Neill said.
Many of these modified breeds have respiratory problems, crowded teeth, and eye abnormalities. Some cannot deliver normally, O’Neill noted.
Breeders have become more aware of health issues that shorten the lives of certain breeds and are breeding dogs to eliminate those traits, said Dr. Jose Arce, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
When selecting a dog, Arce suggests making sure it fits your lifestyle.
“How many hours will you be in the house, how long you’ll be away, the size of where you live, as some breeds need regular exercise and socialization. Other breeds may adapt to apartment living and don’t need as much social life,” Arce said.
Plus, taking good care of your dog can extend his life and yours, he said.
“We want our pets to live as long as possible,” Arce said. “We know how positive and important the human-animal bond is, and how dogs living with people help people live longer and healthier lives, so the longer the animal lives, the healthier the owner. health and the longer one will live.”
Dr. Jerry Klein, chief veterinarian at the American Kennel Club, said the application of life tables is still in its infancy.
However, “the life tables generated in the present study not only promote a better understanding of the life trajectory of dogs, but may also offer several applications to the veterinary profession and research to study and improve health and well-being. to be dogs,” Klein said.
Here are some of Arce and Klein’s recommendations for dog owners:
- Make sure your puppy receives regular preventative veterinary care, including vaccinations.
- Neuter or neuter your pet.
- Exercise your dog regularly.
- Do not overfeed.
- Modify your dog’s diet according to his age.
- Maintain proper grooming of coat and skin, ears, nails and teeth.
SOURCES: Dan O’Neill, MVB, PhD, associate professor, companion animal epidemiology, Royal Veterinary College, Hertfordshire, UK; Jose Arce, DVM, president, American Veterinary Medical Association; Jerry Klein, DVM, chief veterinarian, American Kennel Club; Scientific Reports, April 28, 2022, online
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