Dog Tips

How Long Do Dogs Live?

If it were to us, humans, we would make our furry companions live forever. Unfortunately, they can only stick around to chew our shoes for some years. A dog’s lifespan is highly dependent on the breed. However, the size, lifestyle, diet, medical attention, and love, all contribute to it. Before diving deeper into this subject, let’s take a look back at history.

Egyptian pharaohs were buried with their dogs, not just as eternal playmates, but perhaps also because they thought their hounds would come back as puppies. (3) Later in the Middle Ages, these canines most likely kept knights company and begged for scraps under the table. The dogs back then may not have had the longest lives due to these reasons. But fast forward to the 21st century, our canines now live longer and healthier. Thanks to the advancements in vet care and nutrition (probably even to Instagram where some dogs have their own accounts and some of them are even dedicated to Yoga!) 

While the average lifespan of dogs today is about 10-13 years, it varies in dogs of different sizes. Smaller breeds have a longer lifespan, typically in the range of 13-15 years and some even exceeding 18 years. Increase the size and the lifespan drops to 10-13 years for middle-sized dogs. Keep adding inches to their height and width and the lifespan further drops to an average of 8-10 years. Note that all of these are in human years. If we were to calculate these in dog years, the averages would be much higher. (1)

Speaking of higher lifespans, the oldest dog to have ever lived was Bobi, purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo Portuguese dog, who lived for an astonishing 31 years! (The Guinness World Record, however, is on hold currently as there are doubts on the real age. But if it turns out to be true, the age in dog years would be a whopping 170 years!) (2)

Now let’s get on to some breed-specific questions that many of you’ll must have.

How Long do Pitbulls Live? 

American Pitbull Terriers

Pitbulls are one of the most popular dog breeds in the US. They make up nearly 6% of all dog breeds in the country as there are over 4.5 million of them. They are a medium-sized breed that follows the average lifespan of such breeds – 10-14 years. 

While they are a healthy breed overall, there are some health concerns with them. These include – (4)

  • Aortic stenosis

  • Valve malformations

  • Irregularities in heart rhythm

These also form the biggest reasons for their deaths. 

How Long Does a Basset Hound Live?

Basset Hound

They may look like small dogs because of their average height usually being under 15 inches, but they are counted among medium breeds due to their size. These friendly and easygoing dogs live an average lifespan of 12-13 years. 

Their long backs and short legs can be a concern though. Basset Hounds are more prone to obesity because of it. Regular walks and proper nutrition can ensure a healthy life. (5)

How Long Can a Beagle Live? 

A beagle runs joyfully over a grassy field.

While the average lifespan of a Beagle is around 12-15 years, the oldest one to ever live was 27 years! They come from a family of small dog breeds. With proper care, nutrition and a bit of genetic luck, they can easily live longer than the average lifespan. 

Having said that, they are more prone to certain medical illnesses compared to other breeds. These include – (6)

  • Ear infections

  • Obesity

  • Limber tail syndrome

  • Environmental and food allergies

How Long Can a Chihuahua Live? 


The average lifespan of the smallest dog breed in the world, Chihuahua, is about 14-16 years. However, some of them have been known to live up to 20 years of age as well. This can be attributed to their tiny size. 

They must be among the longest-living dog breeds, but they are prone to certain medical illnesses during their lifetime. These include – (7)

  • Luxating Patella

  • Dental problems

  • Hypoglycemia

  • Heart Murmurs

  • Cataracts, etc.

 Lack of care when suffering through these can cause their lifespan to reduce significantly. 

More About Spot Pet Insurance

While breed plays its role in determining the average lifespan of a dog, medical care plays a bigger role. As you read above, even the smallest ones that live for longer can be prone to multiple illnesses during their lifetime. A lack of medical attention can cause your four-legged buddy to not be with you for as long as you would have expected. 

With pet health insurance, you can save up to 90% of the costs associated with treatment. With it, you can ensure that financial burden of treatment never becomes a reason for your pup not getting the best care out there. 

Spot accident and illness plans can be used with any licensed vet in Canada or the U.S. Whether you are home, or traveling to the U.S., veterinary services your pet receives for the diagnosis, treatment, or management of covered conditions can be eligible for reimbursement. Spot’s accident and illness plans can help cover a variety of conditions including broken bones, lacerations, aggression, kidney disease, diabetes, and more. With the addition of Wellness Riders for an extra cost, you can also receive reimbursements for wellness exams, certain vaccinations, dental cleanings, and more. 

Learn more about dog insurance or get a free quote!


1. Wikipedia contributors. (2024, June 5). Aging in dogs. Wikipedia.

2. Loh, M. (2024, January 17). So, that 31-year-old dog in Portugal might not be the oldest dog in the world after all | Business Insider India. Business Insider.

3. Mark, J. J., & Museum, B. (2024). Dogs in Ancient Egypt. World History Encyclopedia.

4. Trott, S. (2024, June 19). How long do Pitbulls live? SpiritDog Training.

5. Colgate. (2023, October 19). Basset Hound Dog Breed - Facts and Personality Traits | Hill's Pet. Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

6. Paul, T., DVM. (2024, June 19). Beagle.
7. Chihuahua Lifespan: How long do chihuahuas live? (n.d.). CodaPet.

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