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New study reveals every dog breed's exact life expectancy

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As dog owners, we wish for our dogs to live forever… However, their life expectancy depends on several factors such as the breed of the dog, its health, lifestyle, environment and its genetic heritage.

By Emilie Heyl

Published on the

Dogs are living healthier lives thanks to advances in veterinary medicine (care, feeding, diagnostic tools, treatments, etc.) and therefore are living longer. But while old age is a rather subjective concept, life expectancy is a statistical fact that varies mainly according to the size of the dog, its breed and its lifestyle.

The Royal Veterinary College has worked on a new study revealing a dog's exact life expectancy. The difference between breeds is very surprising. Experts have analysed 30 500 dogs who have died between January 2016 and July 2020 - this has helped them identify which breeds have the greatest life expectancy and which ones have the lowest.

The overall expectancy is 11.2 years

Dr. Dan O’Neill, Associate Professor in Companion Animal Epidemiology at the RVC and co-author of the paper said: “The short life expectancies for flat-faced breeds such as French bulldogs shown by the VetCompass Life tables supports the UK Brachycephalic Working Group’s call for all owners to ‘Stop and think before buying a flat-faced dog”. Indeed, the study revealed that French bulldogs have an average of just 4.5 years. English bulldogs 7.4 years, Pugs 7.7 years and American bulldogs 7.8 years. These breeds have the lowest life expectancy.

On the other hand, the study has found that the longest life expectancy was 12.7 years, and… drum rolls… It's the Jack Russell Terrier who has the longest lifespan.

Dr Dan O’Neill, continues: “Dogs have helped many humans to get through the loneliness and isolation of the Covid pandemic." He adds: "These new VetCompass Life tables enable owners to now estimate how long more that they can benefit from these dogs.”

What about the other breeds’ life expectancy? 

The study continues by revealing the life expectancy of other dog breeds. Here is the result:

Fortunately, and it is important to note, the life expectancy of our furry friends has increased by more than 20% over the last 10 years. This is due to a growing awareness among owners who pay more attention to their dog's diet and lifestyle and who do not hesitate to take them to the vet if necessary.

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