Any dog can have a long, healthy life if it is properly taken care of with a good diet, regular exercise and plenty of love. But there is a still a sad reality to owning a dog: Compared to a human lifespan, their lives are woefully short. Dogs live on average about 12 to 15 years, but all are not created equal. With each breed comes a different genetic makeup, and with that comes different diseases that can affect a dog later in life.
It's also true that larger dog breeds have shorter lifespans than their smaller counterparts. Scientists are still unclear as to why this is. Some believe that they age faster because of the strain their size puts on their bodies, and vets recommend geriatric check-ups on larger dogs at about seven years of age. Smaller dogs, by comparison, have geriatric check-ups starting at 10 or 11 years old.
This is not to discourage you from owning the breed of your choice, and the numbers given here are averages — some dogs may, and do, live longer, despite their life expectancies. Certain kinds, however, are prone to diseases and have specific genetic markers that may shorten their lifespan significantly. Knowing this information and how to potentially treat it may be your dog's best chance at a longer life.