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How Long Do Dogs Live - Does Their Food Affect Their Life Span?

By: Josh Duccy Duccy + Save to a List

We have all heard about 'dog years' which are supposed to be seven human years. That means that the average dog lifespan is seven times shorter than ours. In fact, the lifespan of your best friend depends on many factors; good dog food is one of them.

It is a sad truth that we know from the moment our little adorable puppy enters our home that the day will come when he will no longer be with us. This can be so traumatizing that people who lose their dog are reluctant to get another one to avoid going through the same pain.

We often think that if we offer our dog lots of love, good dog food, and an occasional visit to the vet that we will ensure our dog a long, happy life. But some breeds live shorter and its affected mostly by their genetics and their size. Even the best dog food cannot help this. Some large breeds seldom live longer than seven years, and even during those years, they are plagued by health problems such as hip displacements, heart murmurs, and other diseases. So, if you love large dogs, get used to the fact that your time together will not be long.

Good dog food can play a huge role in the dog's longevity by ensuring strong natural resistance to infections and other health problems. Overdoing it with food can have the opposite effect. The best dog food will harm your dog if he eats too much of it. Dog obesity is as big a problem with our pampered house dogs as it is with humans.

Active dogs tend to live longer, just like active humans do. Dogs that get regular exercise keep their muscles and bones well-toned. They also need lots of socializing and interaction with other dogs and humans, contributing to a well-balanced life. A well-balanced life often means a longer life.

A good dry dog food is not enough to keep our dogs healthy though. Regular checkups with the vet will ensure that there is no problem that goes unchecked and untreated. Giving your dog all existing vaccines means that you will cut down on at least some dangers to your dog's health.

Getting your best friend at the local shelter often means that you got yourself a survivor. Mixed breeds often live longer than purebred dogs which, unfortunately, often suffer from over-breeding which can cause genetic defects. Your happy, grateful mutt does not have that problem and can make your life happy for many years to come. Sometimes up to 16 if both of you are lucky.

In most cases, even with the best care and best dog food, you cannot expect your dog to live longer than 10 to 15 years. Anything more than that is luck. That is just the way of nature, and we should make the best of the years together.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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