"The future ain't what it used to be."

How Long Might Your Dog Live? New Study Calculates Life Expectancy For Different Breeds


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The UK has long been considered to have some of the strongest animal welfare laws in the world. Beginning with Martin’s act on the cruel treatment of cattle, through to the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and then Finn’s law to protect service animals, UK animal welfare laws have sought to reduce harm and cruelty to animals. But what happens when companion animals suffer or live shorter lives simply because of their genetic make-up?

On average, dogs live for 10-13 years, which is considered roughly equivalent to between 60-74 human years.


Small, long-nosed dogs have the highest life expectancies in the UK, while male dogs from medium-sized, flat-faced breeds such as English bulldogs have the lowest, according to a new study published in Scientific Reports. The research team’s results were based on data from more that 580,000 individual dogs from over 150 different breeds and could help identify those dogs most at risk of an early death.

The study is an important one, not least because of its size and scope, but also because very little research of this type had been done previously. We have life expectancy tables and research for humans that show how long we might be expected to live according to a range of factors. But there has been very little research into dog life expectancy that considered how different factors affect lifespan.

The research team created a database of 584,734 dogs using data from 18 different UK sources. These included breed registries, vets, pet insurance companies, animal welfare charities and academic institutions.

Dogs included were from one of 155 pure breeds or classified as a crossbreed, and 284,734 of the dogs had died before being added to the database. Breed, sex, date of birth, and date of death (if applicable) were included for all dogs.

Pure-bred dogs were assigned to size (small, medium or large) and head shape (short-nosed, medium-nosed and long-nosed) categories based on the Kennel Club’s literature. The researchers then calculated median life expectancy for all breeds individually and then for the crossbreed group. Finally, they calculated life expectancy for each combination of sex, size and head shape.

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It's sad that in current history and the world as we know it, dogs don't live that long. But while we're on the subject of dogs' lifespans, individuals might find this article interesting. It's a rough idea of how cats and dogs can live longer lives by being made to age at a very similar rate to humans. And that goes back to when these adorable animals were first born in their current form.