We all wish that our dogs could be one of the longest living dog breeds. After all, saying goodbye to a dog is one of the hardest parts of life. However, no dog can live forever, and their lifespans are much shorter than ours. While no dog will live as long as we want them to, there are certainly some dog breeds that live longer than others. So, what are the longest living dog breeds?
Most dogs live for an average of 11 years. It might sound like a short amount of time, but it’s more than enough to make them an important part of your family. In general, smaller breeds typically live longer than larger breeds, but every dog is slightly different. The best way to help your dog live longer is to feed them a healthy diet, make sure they exercise often, and give them regular vet checkups.
#1 – Chihuahua
It’s no surprise that one of the smallest dogs is also one of the longest living dog breeds. Chihuahuas are significantly smaller than most small breeds, only weighing about 3 to 6 pounds at most. They have a large lifespan range, living anywhere from 12 to 20 years! The oldest Chihuahua lived to be almost 21 years old, but it’s not uncommon for Chihuahuas to reach 20.
It’s unclear exactly why small breeds live so much longer, but it’s thought that larger dogs just age at a faster rate. Because of this, large breeds can develop age-related health problems sooner in life than small breeds. So, it’s likely that large breeds face more serious health concerns than small breeds generally do. For Chihuahuas, the only main health concerns are heart and eye problems, which usually don’t occur until they reach an age that most larger dogs don’t even get to.
#2 – Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkies are another very small breed, typically weighing between 5 to 12 pounds. In general, they live about 13 to 16 years, but the oldest Yorkie in the world lived to be 28 years old! Despite being so small, they typically have a lot of energy, so it’s rare that they’ll gain too much weight.
The main reason Yorkies don’t live as long as Chihuahuas is because they can have a lot of health problems as they age. Their life is often cut short due to serious medical concerns like cancer, tumors, and digestive issues. Just like with other breeds, the best way to increase a Yorkie’s lifespan is to find ways to keep their body in better shape, such as feeding healthier food or exercising more. You can also ask your vet about vitamins and supplements that you can use to give your Yorkie all the nutrients they need to thrive.
#3 – Shih Tzu
While Shih Tzus are prone to many health concerns like breathing problems and joint problems, they still usually live a long time. A lot of their common health concerns can easily be fixed with surgery or medication. So, a dedicated dog parent should be able to help their Shih Tzu have a long, healthy life. This is especially true if your Shih Tzu gets enough exercise and eats healthy food.
Shih Tzus typically live anywhere from 10 to 18 years, but with proper care it’s possible for them to live even longer. The oldest known Shih Tzu lived to be 28 years old, which makes him one of the oldest dogs to ever live! So, it’s possible that if you get a Shih Tzu, they’ll have a long, happy life ahead of them.
#4 – Toy Poodle
Toy Poodles usually live to be about 13 to 15 years old. While larger Poodles have a similar lifespan, the small Poodles are more likely to be one of the longest living dog breeds. Toy Poodles usually only weight 6 to 9 pounds, but there are also slightly bigger Poodles that grow closer to 15 pounds. Both of these smaller Poodle breeds can have a long life expectancy.
If Poodles are given enough attention, exercise, and mental stimulation, then they have the potential to live even longer. In fact, the world’s oldest Poodle lived to be 27! They typically have very few common health concerns, but they are generally prone to hip and joint problems as they age.
#5 – Dachshund
A Dachshund might be one of the shortest dog breeds, but they have a long life ahead of them. These little dogs usually live between 12 and 16 years. Dachshunds actually have two different sizes. The miniature Dachshund is usually less than 11 pounds while the standard Dachshund is typically 16 pounds or more. The oldest Dachshund to ever live was 25 years old.
Like most other breeds, Dachshunds can suffer from many different diseases as they age. Cancer, obesity, and joint problems are just some of the many health problems that can cut a Dachshund’s life short.
#6 – Maltese
These small white dogs are usually very healthy with minimal medical concerns. In general, they live from 12 to 15 years old. However, the oldest Maltese in the world was 20. To help your Maltese live longer, make sure you spend plenty of quality time with them because they get stressed very easily.
While the Maltese is usually a healthy breed, they can easily be affected by health problems such as dental disease and weak joints. As your Maltese ages, make sure you don’t let them wear their joints out too much and make sure you brush their teeth often to keep them healthy.
#7 – Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell Terriers are full of energy, so it’s easy for them to stay happy and healthy. They usually live about 13 to 16 years, but with enough exercise, healthy meals, and mental stimulation, they can live even longer. The oldest Jack Russell Terrier reached 25 years old! They usually weight between 13 and 17 pounds, and since they love to run around, they rarely suffer from obesity.
Jack Russell Terriers are usually healthy dogs, which is why they are one of the longest living dog breeds. However, they can often inherit deafness and eye problems. These health concerns might not shorten their lifespan, but it’s something for dog parents to be aware of.
#8 – Boston Terrier
Like Jack Russell Terriers, Boston Terriers are also full of energy. They can weigh anywhere from 10 to 25 pounds, and regardless of their size, they’ll usually live about 13 to 15 years. Playtime is their favorite part of the day, so to make sure they live a long and healthy life, set aside lots of time to play with them.
Boston Terriers also have big eyes and a short snout, similar to a Shih Tzu. Because of this, eye problems and breathing problems can cause major health concerns for them. Make sure they don’t stay out in the sun too long, and be cautious of debris getting in their eyes. Some dog parents even recommend a visor to protect Boston Terrier eyes from the sun and dust.
#9 – Pomeranian
These adorable little fluff balls are another one of the smallest breeds, at only 3 to 7 pounds. They are very affectionate, but they also love their voice being heard. They need plenty of attention or else they could easily get stressed. The most common health problems these dogs face are problems with their hips and joints.
Pomeranians live about 12 to 16 years on average. However, the oldest Pomeranian ever recorded lived to be 21 years old! In general, these dogs are very healthy as long as you give them plenty of love and take them in for regular vet checkups.
#10 – Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog, also commonly known as the Blue Heeler, is one of the only large breeds on the longest living dog breeds list. This breed typically weighs about 30 to 50 pounds, yet their lifespan is very similar to a smaller breed. They usually live to be between 13 and 16 years old. In fact, an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey currently holds the record for oldest dog. Bluey lived 29 years and 5 months!
They are an extremely smart and active breed, so to keep them healthy, you need to give them plenty of time to exercise and play. They love to have some type of role in your home whether it’s agility courses or herding sheep. Because they like to work themselves so hard, they are at risk for joint and hip problems. Start giving them hip and joint supplements at an early age to help with this.
#11 – Shiba Inu
The Shiba Inu is a medium-sized breed that also has a lifespan like a small dog. They’re generally very healthy, but they’re also fairly quiet and independent. While they might not have many common life-threatening concerns, they are prone to allergies. To help keep them as healthy as possible, you should serve them limited ingredient dog food to minimize the risk of allergic reactions.
Shiba Inus usually live about 12 to 15 years. They usually weigh about 17 to 23 pounds, so even though they’re bigger than most of the small breeds, they’re still much smaller than breeds like the Australian Cattle Dog. The oldest Shiba Inu was 27 years old.
#12 – Beagle
Beagles are another medium-sized breed that lives a long time. They weight approximately 20 to 24 pounds, but male Beagles are typically larger. Like the Shiba Inu, they live about 12 to 15 years. The world’s oldest Beagle also lived to be 27.
Beagles are extremely loving and playful, but one of their favorite things to do is eat. As cute as they are, make sure you don’t feed them too much because obesity could shorten their lifespan. They can also get allergies like the Shiba Inu, so be careful about what food you serve them.
It’s heartbreaking that all dogs can’t live forever. Even if your dog’s breed isn’t on the list of longest living dog breeds, it’s still possible that they’ll live a long, healthy life. Just remember to always give your pup plenty of exercise and love, and make sure to keep them on a healthy diet. A lot of your dog’s health is based on how you care for them, so do everything you can to be the best dog parent possible.