Sadly, dogs have a much shorter lifespan than we do. Most people are aware that, in general, smaller dogs tend to live longer than larger breeds of dogs. This statistic is based upon the weight, not the height of the dog, with dogs weighing less than 30 pounds being the longest-lived. Studies have found that female dogs tend to live slightly longer than male dogs. Interestingly, studies have also found that dogs with long, wolf-like faces tend to live longer than dogs with flatter faces.
Many people believe that mixed breed dogs live longer than purebreds due to “hybrid vigor,” that is, the idea that genetic diversity may improve the health and lifespan of mixed breed dogs. Purebred dogs may be more likely to have inherited genetic disorders common to specific breeds which could lead to a shorter lifespan. There are many conditions in dogs that are recessive; the dog must inherit the defective gene from both parents to inherit the disease or condition. The genetic diversity of a mixed-breed dog makes it much less likely that both parents passed along the same defective gene.
There are many different variables that can affect how long your pet lives. Regardless of the size or breed of dog you choose, there are many things you can do as a thoughtful pet guardian to ensure a longer life for your dog. Be sure your pet maintains a healthy weight and is provided with a high-quality pet food, regular exercise and veterinary care, and lots of love and attention.