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New study shows average life expectancy for dogs

How long can I expect my dog to live? While this depends on a number of factors and we can’t know the answer for sure, a new study reveals the average life expectancy for different breeds.

Conducted in collaboration with researchers from the National Taiwan University in Taiwan, the research used data from the Royal Veterinary College’s (RVC) VetCompass programme to develop “life tables” for the UK companion dog population. The data included 30,563 dogs that died between 1 January 2016 and 31 July 2020, from 18 different breeds and crossbreeds.

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Overall, the average life expectancy at birth for UK companion dogs was 11.2 years.

Jack Russell Terriers had the longest life expectancy at 12.7 years, followed by Border Collies (12.1 years) and Springer Spaniels (11.92 years). In comparison, four flat-faced (brachycephalic) breeds were found to have the shortest life expectancy with French Bulldogs only expected to live 4.5 years from birth, followed by English Bulldogs at 7.4 years, Pugs at 7.7 years and American Bulldogs 7.8 years.

As well as breed, a dog’s sex also affects how long they are likely to live. The average life expectancy at birth for male dogs is 11.1 years, which is 4 months shorter than for female dogs. In both male and female dogs, neutered dogs were found to have a longer life expectancy in comparison to their non-neutered counterparts (11.98 vs. 10.50 for females, and 11.49 vs. 10.58 for males).

“The dog life tables offer new insights and ways of looking at the life expectancy in pet dogs,” said Dr Kendy Tzu-yun Teng, project assistant professor at the National Taiwan University and lead author of the study paper. “They are also strong evidence of compromised health and welfare in short, flat-faced breeds, such as French Bulldog and Bulldog.”

The findings have been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

At Petwise we provide senior dog insurance for dogs aged seven years and older, with no upper joining age limit and no co-payment excess regardless of the age of your dog.