Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Author Michele WeltonAsk Michele
"How Long Will My Dog Live?"

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014

group of purebred dogs
Do you want to know how long "dogs in general" live.... or do you want to know how long YOUR dog might live?

If your question is, "How long do dogs live?" my answer is, "The life expectancy of the average dog is about 12 years, with a typical lifespan range of 8-16 years."

However....each dog is unique....including yours.

So if you want to know how long YOUR dog will live, of course no one can know the future, but I can give you a pretty good idea....if you tell me a few things about your dog.

Dog Lifespan QuizDog Lifespan Quiz

Please answer every question!

1. First, what size is your dog? If your dog is a puppy, estimate his or her ADULT size.

Less than 10 pounds   10-30 lbs   30-50 lbs  
50-80 lbs   over 80 lbs

2. Is your dog   purebred   or   crossbreed/mixed breed

3. IF YOUR DOG IS PUREBRED, select your dog's breed.

4. What gender is your dog? Please select male or female, AND tell me whether your dog is spayed/neutered or not.


How old was your dog when he was neutered?
He is not neutered
Less than 9 months   9-12 months   12-15 months   over 15 months
He is neutered but I don't know when it was done


How old was your dog when she was spayed?
She is not spayed
Less than 9 months   9-12 months 12-15 months 15-30 months over 30 months
She is spayed but I don't know when it was done

5. What is your dog eating? (You can check more than one box.)

Dry kibble   Canned food  Homemade (cooked)   Raw food

6. Does your dog receive booster shots every year?

Yes (or will be receiving, when old enough)   No

7. Is your dog on heartworm preventative every year?

Yes (or will be, when old enough)   No   Not needed in my area

8. Does your dog have access to areas where there are ticks?

Frequently   Occasionally   No

9. Does your dog chew on rawhide, pig ears, cow hooves, or ingestible chews like cornstarch bones or Greenies?

Sometimes   Never

10. Do you exercise your dog by taking him jogging, or running beside your bike?

Sometimes   No

11. Is your dog ever outside without a leash or fence?

Frequently   Occasionally   No

12. How often do you leave your dog outside (even in your fenced yard) without a person watching him or her?

Frequently   Occasionally   Never

13. How well does your dog obey the "Come" command (even if there are distractions like other people or dogs or squirrels)?

Always – 100% reliable   Most of the time   Maybe half the time   Less than half the time

14. What kinds of treatments does your vet (or vets) offer?

conventional treatments (drugs, medications, surgery)
alternative treatments (medicinal herbs, acupuncture, chiropractic)
Both conventional and alternative
Don't know

15. Where does your dog usually ride in the car?

Loose in the front or back seat   Held on lap or arms   Buckled in with a seatbelt
In a carrier   In a carrier secured by a seatbelt   In the back of a pickup

16. Does your dog eat any chocolate, raisins, or grapes?

Sometimes   No

17. Is your dog overweight?

Now, be honest! Many owners assessing their dog's weight have the same blind spot they have for their own weight. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, but most won't admit it. Similarly, many people don't recognize that their dog is....ahem....fat.

  • Look down on your dog from above, while he's standing. You should see an hourglass shape – wider across the ribs, narrower across the "waist" (called the loin in dogs), and wider again across the hindquarters. With longhaired dogs, you'll have to feel with your hands. What you don't want is a sausage shape that doesn't vary in width.
  • Crouch down to his level and look at him from the side (his profile). His belly and groin should be taut against his body. It shouldn't sag down.

Yes, I must admit that my dog is overweight.
Okay, my dog is a little overweight.
Nope, my dog is not overweight at all.

18. Finally, what is your dog's name?