Why Do Dogs Live So Short: [Understanding the Biological aspect]

Updated in January, 2023 | By John Robert
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why do dogs live so short

Dogs are beloved members of many families around the world, but one unfortunate aspect of having a canine companion is their relatively short life span compared to humans. While a healthy human can expect to live for 70 or 80 years, the average lifespan of a domestic dog is around 10 to 13 years. But why is this the case? In this article, we’ll explore the underlying causes of a dog’s shortened lifespan and what can be done to extend it.

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Genetic Factors

The most significant factor influencing a dog’s lifespan is genetics. Different breeds of dogs have been selectively bred for specific traits over centuries, and this breeding has led to variations in lifespan among different breeds. For example, giant breeds like the Great Dane and Irish Wolfhound have an average lifespan of 6 to 8 years, while smaller breeds like the Chihuahua and Pomeranian can live up to 15 years or longer.

It’s also worth noting that purebred dogs are more prone to certain genetic disorders, many of which can shorten a dog’s lifespan. Breeding for specific physical characteristics, like a short snout or a certain coat color, can increase the likelihood of a dog developing certain health conditions.

Lifestyle Factors

While genetics play a major role in determining a dog’s lifespan, lifestyle factors can also have an impact. A dog that is well-fed, exercised regularly, and receives proper veterinary care can be expected to live longer than a dog that doesn’t receive these benefits.

Obesity is a major issue for dogs, just like it is for humans. Overweight dogs are more likely to suffer from a host of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and joint problems. Feeding a high-quality diet and providing appropriate amounts of exercise can help keep dogs at a healthy weight.

Another important aspect of a dog’s lifestyle is its living conditions. Dogs that live indoors with their owners tend to live longer than those that live outside, as they are more likely to receive proper care and protection from the elements.

Preventive Care

One of the best ways to extend a dog’s lifespan is through preventive care. This includes regular visits to the vet, vaccinations, and parasite control.

A annual checkup can help detect and prevent illnesses before they become serious. It’s also important for dogs to receive regular vaccinations to protect them from serious diseases like parvovirus and rabies.

In addition, routine testing and treatment for parasites like fleas and ticks can help prevent serious health problems.

Conclusion

Dogs have a shorter lifespan than humans due to a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. By understanding these underlying causes and taking appropriate steps, such as providing a healthy diet and lifestyle, regular vet checkups and vaccinations, and practicing preventive care, you can help ensure that your furry companion lives a happy and healthy life for as long as possible.

FAQ

Q1: Why do dogs live so short?

A1: Dogs typically have shorter lifespans than humans due to a number of factors, including their faster metabolism, exposure to environmental toxins, and a higher rate of accidents and injuries. Additionally, certain breeds of dogs are predisposed to certain health conditions that can shorten their lifespan.

Q2: Why don’t dogs live longer?

A2: As mentioned in the previous answer, dogs have shorter lifespans than humans due to various factors such as faster metabolism, exposure to environmental toxins, and a higher rate of accidents and injuries. Additionally, certain breeds of dogs have a genetic predisposition towards certain health conditions that can shorten their lifespan.

Q3: Why do dogs have short lives?

A3: Similar to above, Dogs have shorter lifespans than humans due to a number of factors including their faster metabolism, exposure to environmental toxins, and a higher rate of accidents and injuries. Additionally, certain breeds of dogs are predisposed to certain health conditions that can shorten their lifespan.

Q4: Why do dogs have such short lives?

A4: Again, dogs have shorter lifespans than humans due to a number of factors including their faster metabolism, exposure to environmental toxins, and a higher rate of accidents and injuries. Additionally, certain breeds of dogs are predisposed to certain health conditions that can shorten their lifespan.

Q5: Why does lifespan of dogs differ among breeds?

A5: The lifespan of different breeds of dogs can vary due to genetic factors. Some breeds are predisposed to certain health conditions that can shorten their lifespan, while other breeds have a genetic makeup that makes them more resilient to these conditions. Additionally, the size, weight, and overall physical characteristics of the breed can also play a role in determining the lifespan of a dog.

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John Robert

John Robert is a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT). Owner of the most gorgeous dog on the planet, developed an interest in dog nutrition after finding the best food for his pet's allergies. The most impactful motive of his life is educating dog owners about dog nutrition and improving the lives of pets.

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