Joint Supplements for Dogs

 

The following ingredients have been tested in humans and used to relieve joint stiffness and pain in people for years – and now they’ve been found to have similar effects in dogs. Find out what ingredients can help your dog’s joints

1. Glucosamine

Glucosamine is found naturally in the body, especially in fluid around the joints. Glucosamine supplements contain anti-inflammatory properties, which is instrumental in reducing joint pain.

It’s important to have a source of glucosamine in your pup’s diet. Even more amazing – in laboratory studies, Glucosamine appeared to help assist in cartilage regeneration, rebuilding cartilage where needed!

2. Chondroitin

Chondroitin is another mineral found naturally in your dog’s joints. Chondroitin’s moisture-retaining properties are so incredible that it is also used in wound dressing to help promote healing.

Studies done in human patients with joint injuries have shown that those who took Chondroitin reported less pain and a shorter period of recovery from morning stiffness than those who took a placebo. This is usually paired with Glucosamine to give joints relief.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric can be found on your local grocer’s shelf, but it’s been used in Eastern Indian medicine for thousands of years.

It has been a go-to for all kinds of ailments because of its natural anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric naturally reduces inflammation in joints, which eases pain, swelling and stiffness.

4. MSM

MSM, short for methylsulfonylmethane, may not sound natural but don’t let the name fool you. MSM is a non-toxic organic sulfur compound found naturally in the body and often used to treat osteoarthritis. In lab tests, it appeared to improve recovery and provide pain relief from arthritis by reducing inflammation and swelling in the joints.

As our dogs get older, they need extra love and care – and we’re happy to give them as much as they need! For those of us with dogs whose joints aren’t what they used be, we want to show them the same care we’d give ourselves.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

Why Does My Dog Bark So Much

 

There are hundreds of thousands of words in the English language, but imagine for a second that the only thing you could say (or hear) is “banana.”

Whether you’re happy or sad, need food or a hug, or want to express a desire to go for a walk or take a bath, the only thing that anyone hears is “banana.”

(Imagine that this entire article about why your dog won’t stop barking reads “banana banana banana.”)

That’s what it’s like for dogs trying to communicate with their owners, and that’s why it’s important for owners to always pay attention to context and tone when their dogs bark and bark and bark.

“Barking is driven by a whole bunch of things,” says Dr. Kristina Spaulding, a certified applied animal behaviorist from upstate New York, “and while some dogs don’t bark much, they’ll sometimes find other ways to show their emotions or signal that they want something—like pawing at you, jumping, mouthing, stealing things, or finding other ways to get into trouble.”

Continue reading for five commons reasons why your dog won’t stop barking, the meaning behind different types of barks, and how best to react.

They Want Something

Demand barking, Spaulding says, occurs when a dog wants attention of some kind. Maybe that’s a walk or just to be pet. It could also signify that your dog wants food.

Unlike other types of barking, demand barking has a specific and identifiable cadence to it, Spaulding says.

“Demand barking tends to be shorter—a single bark or a few in quick succession. There are more pauses in between, and the dog is usually looking at you or the thing they want. It’s much more controlled,” she says.

The million dollar question with this type of barking is whether you should respond to it.

“I tend to ignore it or actively get up and walk away if a dog demand barks at me,” Spaulding says. That’s because caving and giving dogs what they want can reinforce the behavior and encourage them to demand bark more in the future.

If you decide you want to give in, however, Spaulding says it’s best to do that after the first or second bark, if you can, because waiting teaches dogs they have to bark a lot to get what they want, and they may become very pushy in the future.

They’re Alarmed

Most dog owners have likely experienced this when the doorbell rings and their dog just freaks out.

“Alarm barking is associated with something catching the dog’s attention,” says Sandra Sawchuk, a primary care clinical instructor at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.

If you want this type of barking to stop, Sawchuk says the most important thing is to not yell at the dog. That just tends to rile him up even more.

Instead, divert the dog’s attention as quickly as possible by taking him outside or giving him a favorite toy—something he can chew on will work especially well to get him to stop barking.

Sawchuk also recommends considering training your dog to go to a spot away from the door whenever the bell rings. This might be something you can do yourself, or you may have to hire a certified professional in your area to assist you.

They’re Anxious

The emotion behind this is similar to alarm barking, but the context can be very different.

Sawchuk says anxious barking may occur when you’re leaving the house for the day. You might also see it on walks when a stranger or another dog is approaching.

To that end, Spaulding says this type of barking often gets confused for aggression.

“Typically, if a dog is barking in an aggressive context, it’s actually fear based,” she says. “People are often confused by that because if dogs lunge and bark at the same time, that must mean they’re aggressive, but often, it seems to just be a display to keep them away from something they find scary.”

They’re Excited

During walks, a dog may let out an excited bark if they see another pup along the way, Spaulding says. “You’ll also see excitable barking when dogs are doing something they enjoy, like chasing a small animal or for agility dogs when they run a course.”

The fine line between fearful and excited can be especially difficult when you’re dealing with on-leash reactivity, and Spaulding says leash-reactive dogs should probably be evaluated by a certified professional.

In most other situations of excitable barking, however, the context is usually pretty clear.

“If they’re backing away from something, they’re probably afraid,” Spaulding says. “If they’re jumping up on you when you come home from work, they’re probably excited.”

They Simply Want Attention

Context means so much when you’re trying to discern why your dog is barking, but Spaulding says it can sometimes be entirely unclear to you what your dog wants, assuming he wants anything at all.

“Often, a dog’s bark means he’s bored or frustrated, and he wants us to fix it,” she says. “In situations where you’re not sure what the cause of the barking is, it’s fair to assume your dog would like to interact with you.”

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

Signs Of Heart Disease In Dogs

 

As a species, dogs are less plagued by heart disease than humans, whose lifestyle choices can contribute to the development of heart problems. But some dogs do develop congestive heart failure. Here are the most common symptoms of heart disease in dogs to look out for.

1. Shortness Of Breath

This is perhaps the most prominent sign of heart disease in dogs. As the heart loses its strength—and its ability to pump fresh blood to other parts of the body—the lungs kick into higher gear, seeking more fresh oxygen to enrich the bloodstream.

If you notice your dog panting at unusual times—when he should not be overheated, when he has not exerted himself, or when he’s sleeping or resting—this can be cause for concern.

2. Loss Of Appetite

Like other symptoms, this one could be the result of various health changes, but if you notice your dog has lost interest in food, and she exhibits other symptoms on this list, heart disease could be the culprit.

If the problem persists, definitely check with your veterinarian.

3. Weight Loss Or Weight Gain

Depending on the nature of the heart problem, weight loss or gain can result from heart disease. Noticeable, sudden weight loss can be the result of the diminished appetite mentioned previously.

With weight gain, you’re looking for bloating or a distended, swollen belly, rather than usual chubbiness. This is caused by the buildup of fluid in the abdomen when blood flow has been blocked as a result of poor circulation.

4. Fatigue

Similar to the effects experienced in the lungs, an inefficient or struggling heart will have trouble delivering oxygen and other nutrients to the rest of the body, creating an overall effect of exhaustion and fatigue.

If you notice your dog is more difficult to motivate and she struggles to find the energy for things she used to love, a heart problem could be to blame. Of course, older dogs are generally less energetic, so this can be tough to gauge. But if you notice your dog has a hard time making it through just a fraction of his daily walk, or if you see this symptom with some of the others listed, definitely keep a watchful eye.

5. Changes In Behavior

Dogs suffering from heart disease may behave differently in several ways. They may isolate themselves, appear depressed, or seem uninterested in things that previously excited them.

Or they may exhibit a general sense of discomfort or restlessness.

6. Fainting Spells

If your dog collapses or faints suddenly, seek veterinary help immediately.

This can tends point to several serious health issues, heart disease among them. But it demands quick attention and response.

7. Coughing

Coughing can signal a variety of diseases, but a minor cough should disappear after about three days.

If you notice your dog coughing, particularly after exercise, or if you notice a cough that worsens at night, heart disease may be the culprit.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

Common Eye Problems in Dogs

 A dog’s eyes perform a nearly miraculous function – converting reflected light into nerve impulses that the brain uses to form images of the world. To do this well, all the various parts of the eye must be healthy. Unfortunately, a number of diseases can disrupt the way a dog’s eyes function. Let’s take a look at some of the most common eye problems dogs experience and how pet parents can manage them.

1. Cherry Eye

Dogs have three eyelids – two that are readily visible and an extra one, called the third eyelid, that normally hides from view below the inner corner of the eye. The third eyelid is home to a tear producing gland.

Normally, this gland is also invisible, but some dogs have a congenital weakness of the ligaments that hold it in place. When these ligaments fail, the gland pops out of its normal location and looks a bit like a “cherry” stuck at the inner corner of the eye. Because this condition often has a genetic basis, both eyes are usually affected over time.

2. Corneal Wounds

The surface of the eye is covered with a clear, skin-like tissue called the cornea. Just like the skin, the cornea can be injured, and lacerations (cuts), punctures and ulcers are all quite common in dogs. Trauma is often to blame, like when a dog runs through tall grass and gets poked in the eye. In other cases, problems with the eyes themselves (like poor tear production or abnormal anatomy) can put dogs at risk for corneal damage. A dog with a corneal wound will often rub at the affected eye and squint because of pain. The eye may also be red and have excessive drainage.

Treatment for corneal wounds involves preventing or treating infections with antibiotic eye drops or ointments, managing pain and giving the cornea time to heal. In severe cases, surgery or other treatments may be needed to protect or repair the cornea and promote healing.

3. Dry Eye

When dogs develop a disease called keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) or dry eye, their tear glands produce fewer tears than normal. Tears perform important functions like removing potentially damaging material from the surface of the eye and nourishing corneal tissues. Unsurprisingly, a lack of tears can cause big problems including corneal ulcers, chronic drainage of mucus from the eyes and pain.

Mild cases of KCS can sometimes be managed with frequent application of an artificial tear solution, but medications that stimulate tear production (e.g., cyclosporine) are usually necessary. Surgery that redirects a duct carrying saliva so that it moistens the eye is an option in severe cases.

4. Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

The conjunctiva are the mucus membranes that cover the inside of a dog’s eyelids, both sides of the third eyelid and some parts of the eyeball. “Conjunctivitis” or “pink eye” are interchangeable terms that simply mean “inflammation of the conjunctiva.” The symptoms of conjunctivitis include reddened and swollen conjunctiva, eye drainage and discomfort.

Conjunctivitis should be thought of as a symptom of disease, not a disease itself. Many conditions cause conjunctivitis in dogs, including physical irritation (like dust and inward growing eyelashes), infections (bacterial and viral are most common) and allergic reactions. Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Sterile saline eye washes are available over the counter and can be used to flush irritants from the eye. Bacterial eye infections usually resolve quickly when treated with an appropriate prescription antibiotic eye drop or ointment.

5. Glaucoma

Within the eye, the production and drainage of fluid is precisely balanced to maintain a constant pressure. Glaucoma occurs when this balance is disrupted and pressure within the eye increases. Symptoms include pain, eye redness, increased tear production, a visible third eyelid, corneal cloudiness, dilated pupils and in advanced cases, an obviously enlarged eye.

Call your veterinarian immediately if you are worried that your dog might have glaucoma because delaying treatment can result in blindness. Treatment may involve a combination of topical and oral medications that decrease inflammation, absorb fluid from the eye, lower fluid production within the eye and promote drainage of fluid from the eye. Surgery may also an option in some cases.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

Can Dogs Catch Human Ilnesses

1. Mumps

Mumps is a highly contagious viral disease in people. Initial physical symptoms of the disease include lethargy, muscle pain, headache, and fever, and are usually followed by a painful swelling of the parotid salivary glands, located on the sides of the face.

While often associated with children, mumps can strike at any age. Though rare, dogs can become sick after exposure to the mumps virus from an infected person. Symptoms can include fever, lack of appetite, and a swelling of the salivary glands below the ears. After palpating your dog’s salivary glands, your vet will most likely order tests to rule out other, more common conditions that also cause the salivary glands to swell.

2. Ringworm

Ringworm, or dermatophytosis, is an infection of the skin that affects humans as well as animals. Despite its name, ringworm is not caused by any type of parasite or worm but by a fungus. The primary symptom of ringworm in people is an itchy, round rash.

In dogs, ringworm typically causes roughly round patches of hair loss that may or may not be itchy. Ringworm can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected individual (human or animal) as well as through contaminated objects (brushes, towels, etc.).

3. Salmonella

While Salmonella is often associated with food poisoning, it can also be passed to humans through contact with infected animals, and vice versa. In both humans and dogs, Salmonella can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, headaches, and abdominal cramps.

Young children and the elderly are more at risk for complications from Salmonella infection. Dogs are more resistant to Salmonella than are people, so the chances of you making your dog sick are slim. That said, taking common sense precautions only makes sense.

4. Giardia

Giardia infection, or giardiasis, is one of the most common waterborne infections in the U.S. Giardia is a protozoa that appears in dogs, and can be seen in cats and even in exotic animals. It is spread through contact with feces and contaminated water. Symptoms include diarrhea and weight loss.

A person can get Giardia from a dog’s feces, and this disease can be passed from human to dogs, though a dog is far more likely to get it from another animal, especially in a pet store or puppy mill setting where many animals are kept in close quarters. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most common mode of Giardia transmission is water, which can include drinking water, well water, lake and stream water, and swimming pool and spa water.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

Signs of Pain in Dogs

 

Dogs display their pain in certain actions and behaviors that may seem subtle to us. Not everyone is a canine behavioral expert, but these five symptoms below will help you determine whether or not your loved one is in pain.

1. Excessive Grooming

It’s normal for dogs to lick and groom themselves, but it’s not normal for this to become an obsessive behavior. If you notice your pet tending to a localized area he’s never noticed before, or has just recently started spending a lot more time there, it could be a sign that he’s hurting.

Pets will often groom places that are sources of pain in hopes to clean and care for the wound, even if there is no open wound present. Be sure to keep an eye on the area and inspect it gently.

2. Heavy Panting

Panting is normal behavior that shouldn’t surprise any dog owner. Even when the panting is heavily, certain circumstances allow for it such as extra hot days and strenuous exercise.

But if you notice heavy panting out of nowhere, it could be stress-induced. This stress could be caused by pain your pet is experiencing. For whatever reason it may be, unexplained heavy panting should result in a trip to your veterinarian.

3. Lack Of Appetite

Lack of appetite is often the result of some sort of discomfort. You don’t feel like eating when you’re not well, do you? Our dogs don’t either.

They simply just don’t feel like eating, especially when it’s painful to walk all the way over to the food bowl. If you notice any sort of inappetence in your pet, it’s important to seek veterinary attention right away, as this could be a symptom of many dangerous ailments.

4. Shyness & Aggression

You may notice that your dog is starting to become more and more antisocial. He may stop running to the door to greet everyone and avoids petting. Or you may notice that your little one doesn’t want you picking her up anymore, or cries when you do.

If this happens suddenly, it’s reasonable to suspect pain as a probable cause. In some cases, you’ll find your normally overly friendly companion has become aggressive. If you notice your pup is hiding away and avoiding attention, be sure to check them for pain. It’s best to have a veterinarian do this.

5. General Behavior Changes

 

Besides shyness and aggression, you might notice that your pup doesn’t want to walk up stairs anymore, avoids jumping and climbing, or doesn’t want to chase after his beloved tennis ball. There are the obvious signs such as limping, but it’s important to also watch out for stiffness or arched backs.

Dogs in pain often lay only flat on their sides, rather than curled up in their beds. They might be slower moving, sleeping a lot more and seemingly disinterested in things they used to love. Another sign is unexplained accidents in the house. It’s often very painful to get up from lying down (which you also might notice), and sometimes pets just aren’t able to make it outside fast enough.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

Cancer Fighting Foods For Dogs

 There are many foods that have been shown to prevent cancer in dogs or fight the effects of cancer. It’s always a good idea to consult your vet before making any dietary changes for your pup. Here are a few foods that you should discuss with your vet that have cancer-fighting and cancer-preventing qualities.

1. Fish Oil

Fish oil is a great source of omega-3 which is a fatty acid that shrinks tumors and reduces inflammation.

Fish oil has a host of other benefits for your dog, and many owners add it to their pups’ food to help keep coats shiny and fight skin dryness. Fish oil can slow the growth of cancer and is often recommended for dogs who have it.

2. Animal Fat And Protein

Tumors take a lot of protein from other areas of the body, leaving less protein available for muscle growth, disease immunity, and wound healing. To make sure your dog’s body has enough protein, they’ll need a high-protein diet.

Some dogs with cancer also have a reduced appetite, which means that their body will start using up stores of fat. A more fatty diet is needed to replace those stores. Animal fats and proteins should make up the majority of the diet for a dog with cancer.

3. Blueberries

Blueberries are full of antioxidants, and they contain ellagic acid, which blocks metabolic pathways that can lead to cancer.

The antioxidants in blueberries prevent cell damage, and the anthocyanins or dark pigments that give the fruit its color have anti-inflammatory properties, as well. In laboratory tests, blueberries have been shown to kill and prevent many types of cancer.

4. Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in glucosinates, which are broken down into biologically active compounds that have anticancer properties.

These compounds protect cells from DNA damage, make carcinogens inactive, induce cell death in tumors, prevent tumor blood vessels from forming, and provide anti-inflammatory effects.

5. Pumpkin

 

 

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

How to Clean My Dog’s Teeth

 

Brushing your dog’s teeth every day with a dog-safe toothpaste is the best way to keep their teeth clean, but some dogs hate it and will run from the sight of a toothbrush. Luckily, there are other options that your dog might actually enjoy. Here are 5 ways to clean your dog’s teeth that they won’t hate.

1. Natural Dental Sprays

If your dog will hold still long enough for you to pick up their lips on either side of their mouth, a natural canine dental spray may be a good option.

Many dental sprays will help reduce and prevent dental plaque and tartar build-up as well as control the bacteria that causes bad breath, as long as you can manage to spray the product directly onto your dog’s most-affected teeth. As a bonus, sprays often give your dog minty-fresh breath.

2. Healthy/Natural Diet

Dog food companies would like to convince you that dry kibble is better for your dog’s teeth than wet food. Relying on kibble to keep your dog’s teeth clean would be as effective as expecting crackers to keep your teeth clean.

Fresher diets with healthier ingredients tend to help improve your dog’s overall health and well-being, and that includes their dental health.

3. Dental Chew Toys

There are lots of toys on the market designed to encourage your dog to chew. Dental chew toys with lots of variety in texture can help scrape the plaque off your dog’s teeth as they relax and enjoy their primal instinct to chew.

Your dog should always be supervised when playing with chew toys to make sure they don’t swallow any large pieces.

4. Raw Bones

While cooked bones can splinter and cause all sorts of problems for your dog, raw bones are a fantastic way to help keep your dog’s teeth clean while satisfying their urge to chew.

Keep in mind that you’ll want to choose size-appropriate bones. A chicken wing could choke a Great Dane and a cow femur would be a tall order for a Yorkie.

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been referred to as “nature’s toothpaste”. The antimicrobial properties of this popular oil not only promote dental health, but dogs go absolutely bonkers for the flavor.

Grab a healthy dog friendly vegetable like a carrot, poke holes in it with a knife, and drip liquid coconut oil into the holes. Then throw the carrot stick in the freezer for a few minutes and then serve to your pup. Make no mistake, this is going to make a colossal mess, but your dog is going to have a great time gnawing on the carrot, all while cleaning their teeth in a safe and effective way.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

Why Do Small Dogs Live Longer Than Large Dogs?

Do small dogs live longer than large dogs? We want our dogs to be with us for a long and happy life; that’s all part of being a good owner. It makes sense, then, that animal lovers would have questions about their dog’s life span, especially as it relates to their particular breed. There is a lot of misinformation out there, as well as some that could be confusing for owners. When we took a look back at some of the questions our readers and clients have asked on this subject, these were the most common:

  • Do small dogs live longer than large dogs?
  • Why do smaller dogs live longer?
  • Is it true small dogs live longer than big dogs?
  • How long to small dogs live?
  • Do all small dogs outlive big dogs?

Here are the answers to these questions about your dog’s size and what it means for their lifespan.

Do Small Dogs Live Longer Than Large Dogs?

Simply put, the answer is yes. It is widely known and accepted that small dogs live longer than large dogs. For example, a Great Dane is considered ”senior” at 7 years of age, while a small poodle or Chihuahua is barely considered middle aged at the same age.

Why Do Large Dogs Have Shorter Life Expectancies?

This is a fascinating question, especially if you have ever owned a small mammal such as a rat that only lives to about 2 years of age. You would think that a smaller size would lead to a longer life, but this just isn’t true with small mammals. Take a look at elephants, for example; they can live as long as humans and they are huge!

Nature doesn’t always follow specific rules. In April 2013, Dr. Cornelia Kraus from the University of Göttingen in Germany published some groundbreaking research on this subject to help determine the connection between size and life expectancy in dogs. Dr. Kraus analyzed data on the age of death in over 56,000 dogs from 74 different breeds. She found that small dogs do indeed live longer, and the researchers were actually able to quantify that number. Their findings indicated that for every 4.4 pounds (2 kg) of body weight, a dog’s lifespan decreased by 1 month.

Dr. Kraus suggests that bigger breeds die more frequently from cancer than smaller dogs do. This may be due to the tendency of large breed dogs to grow faster, which may be associated with the abnormally fast cell growth seen with cancers and accelerate overall aging. Another risk factor may be that larger breed dogs could have more dangerous lifestyles than smaller breed dogs who are more “pampered”, thus increasing their risk factors.

Why Do Smaller Dogs Live Longer?

The flip side of that question is that if big dogs live shorter lives, is there anything that makes small dogs more likely to live longer? Honestly, no one knows for sure. Here are some of the popular theories on the subject, though:

1. As mentioned above, it is believed that smaller dogs live longer because they grow more slowly than large breed dogs. Smaller dogs don’t have the fast division of cells that big dogs have and can be associated with cancer and accelerate aging.

2. Another theory has to do with concentrations of growth hormone. Studies suggest that small dogs have lower concentrations of the growth hormone IGF-1, or insulin-like growth factor 1, in their blood than big dogs. Lower concentrations of IGF-1 shows reduced risk of age-related diseases and longer lifespans. In humans, high levels of IGF-1 have been associated with increased risk of death from heart disease and cancer.

When Is a Dog Considered a Senior?

The determination of when your dog enters their “golden years” can have big impacts on their health. For example, there are a number of tests that vets encourage which only become necessary past a certain age or stage of development. When a dog becomes “senior,” however, depends on the size of the dog. Because large breed dogs have a shorter life span, they are frequently considered seniors sooner than small breed dogs. When is a Dog Considered Senior? gives you the life span of the most common breeds.

As for a general guideline, it helps to know that dogs are generally considered senior during the last 25% of their life. The following estimates for senior status take a dog’s weight into account:

  • For dogs over 80 pounds: approximately 4 to 6 years of age
  • For dogs 51 to 80 pounds: approximately 6 to 8 years of age
  • For dogs 16 to 50 pounds: approximately 7 to 9 years of age
  • For dogs 15 pounds or less: approximately 9 to 11 years of age

How Long Do Small Dogs Live?

Small dogs (those less than 15 pounds) typically have a life span of 11.25 to 15 years. However, some small breed dogs can easily live to be 18 years old.

Do All Small Dogs Outlive Big Dogs?

Of course, no one can really predict how long an individual dog will live. There’s always the possibility of unpredictable illness or accident, genetic predisposition to disease that may lurk in your dog’s genes, or just sheer bad luck. Generally speaking, however, the larger the breed, the faster they age and the shorter their lifespan is.

How long do some popular dog breed or “big” dogs live?

Here are some general guidelines the lifespan of some popular dog breeds.

  • 7-10 years: Great Dane, Newfoundland, Cavalier King Charles spaniel
  • 9-11 years: St. Bernard, bloodhound, chow chow, boxer
  • 10-13 years: Airedale terrier, Dalmatian, golden retriever, German shepherd

How long do small and medium breed dogs live?

Here are some general guidelines for small and medium breed dogs:

  • 12-15 years: Beagle, bichon frise, collie, Doberman, papillon, Pomeranian
  • 14-16 years: Boston terrier, cairn terrier, cocker spaniel, Welsh corgi, Irish setter, Parson Russell terrier, Maltese terrier, schnauzer, shih tzu, West Highland White terrier, Yorkshire terrier
  • 15-18 years: Dachshund, poodle (miniature and toy), Chihuahua

For more details on life expectancy based on the type of dog, go to Life Span of Common Dog Breeds.

We hope this gives you more information on why small dogs live longer than large dogs.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372