Give Them Plenty Of Exercise
Exercise is a great way to give your dog a long healthy life while at the same time keeping their mind active and on point.
Your German Shepherd should get at least two hours of exercise daily to maintain optimum health and longevity. This is according to the American Kennel Club. German Shepherds are very active dogs with plenty of energy that needs to be expelled.
Walking your dog every day will help to increase the life expectancy of your dog as well as yourself. According to the American Heart Association, health benefits rise the more people walk. This is a great way to benefit you and your German Shepherd.
Ways To Tell A Dogs Age
You can easily monitor a young puppys age as they grow. However, it can be tricky for a shelter dog with limited to no information about their history. Nevertheless, you can guess a dogs age by looking at three things.
1.Teeth: Puppies develop baby teeth between three to six weeks of age. Their adult teeth begin to appear once they reach five months and seven months . Senior and geriatric dogs have yellowish, worn-out teeth with flat tips.
2. Food consumption: A dogs food consumption reduces as it enters its senior years. A lot of dogs begin to lose their appetite once they reach their senior years.
3.Mobility: Apart from health conditions, a dog that consumes less food has less energy to run around. As this continues, they slowly lose their appetite since they require less energy. This degenerates into a cycle of eating less and moving less until they enter their last years.
In conclusion, while the simple theory that correlates dog years to human years exists, it is not entirely accurate as several factors influence aging in dogs.
Nonetheless, maintaining your dogs health will increase the odds of them being around to a ripe old age.
Detangle And Deshed Your Gsds Hair Regularly
German Shepherd Dogs shed a lot. Long haired variations are further exposed to the risk of coat matting. Regular brushing helps with deshedding and detangling for a healthy and beautiful coat.
You could brush their coats 2 to 3 times a week. Just make sure you are using a high quality brush. TheFurminator Undercoat Tool is the best in this case with its strong, metallic bristles being exactly what is needed to handle the GSDs thick coat.
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Take Care Of Their Teeth
You may not realize it, but poor dental health can impact a dogs overall health. If you dont care for your German Shepherds teeth, bacteria from under their gumline can enter your dogs bloodstream and affect their organs, including their heart.
Brushing your German Shepherds teeth every day with a toothpaste made for dogs is best, but if they wont allow you to do that, regular access to chew toys or bones can help remove plaque and tartar from their teeth.
You should also get a professional dental cleaning from your vet any time they recommend it, and it must be the kind where your dog is anesthetized. Anesthesia-free dental cleanings are becoming increasingly popular, but they dont clean under the gumline, where bacteria lurk.
How To Prevent Periodontal Disease
Make sure you take your German Shepherd for routine dental cleanings once a year with your veterinarian. This will help to prevent the build up of tarter and plaque.
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German Shepherd Lifespan Facts You Should Know
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By: Author Danielle
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German Shepherds are amazing working dogs that have been bred and utilized since the late 19th century.
These versatile and agile companions require a lot of devotion and care when it comes to exercise and health needs.
As owners, our goal is to be able to live as long as possible with our dogs and make their comparatively short life most enjoyable.
To help you achieve that, we have compiled everything you need to know about breed-related health issues and what you can do to increase your German Shepherds lifespan.
What Is The Life Expectancy Of A German Shepherd Dog
On average, healthy German Shepherd Dogs live approximately 9 13 years. Some make it longer and many others pass before they are 9.
My last German Shepherd, Fina, lived to 8.5 years of age when one day a tumor cut her life short. She was in otherwise excellent physical condition. Tragically, nothing could be done to help her. The veterinarian and vet tech cried with me when she passed they knew she was a family member. I dont think they do that with every dog as they see dogs daily in all stages of life, but many tears were shed when Fina died.
Fina squirming around on her back.
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What Traits Influence A Breeds Longevity
So what is it about long-living breeds that allow for their outstanding health? According to science, several factors are likely to contribute.
It is true that smaller dogs usually live longer than large dogs. You can count on most small breeds of dog to live into their teens, with many living into mid-to-late teens. This is usually attributed to heart health, as large breeds hearts must work harder to circulate blood.
However, medium-small dogs such as Collies seem to have the longest maximum lifespan. The two oldest living dogs, according to Guinness World Records, were 24 and 29. Both were Australian cattle dogs.
Additionally, two out of three of the dogs with the highest median lifespan are Collies. These types of breeds have one major thing in common that likely contributes to their longevity: hardy breeding practices.
These breeds of mid-sized, lightweight herders and workers were bred to be smart, healthy and athletic. Their lineages were not bred for cuteness or other physical characteristics that are perceived as desirable but often result in health complications, such as snub noses and sloped backs.
Smaller mid-sized dogs also have less broad chest cavities which limits the risk of exercise-induced collapse and the collection of air between the outside of the lungs and chest wall known as pneumothorax.
So, the major contributing factors to a breeds longevity seem to be size, for circulation and heart-health, and breeding practices that avoid genetic disease.
How To Know When Your Gsd May Be Near The End Of Life
Once your German Shepherd enters their senior years, you may begin to wonder how you will know that their end time is near. While some dogs will pass on their own, there is a chance that we will have to make that difficult decision for our beloved companions.
If you are struggling with how to know when your German Shepherd is near the end, here are some things to look out for:
The most important part of having a senior German Shepherd is your attempt to keeping them comfortable in the last stage of their life. Make sure to stick to their normal routine as much as possible, allow them to decide what theyd like to participate in, let them rest, and talk to your vet about medical options to keep them comfortable.
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How Long Do German Shepherds Live With Health Problems
In this case, the type of health condition you are suffering from is always important. Not all diseases attack in the same way or reduce life span with the same intensity. A dog with a chronic disease can have a long enough life expectancy if he is properly cared for.
The key is always in food and care. Of course, if detected early, some diseases can be treatable, while if the case is very advanced, there is probably not much that can be done. In the end, everything is variable and depends on multiple factors. However, it is unlikely that a five or six-year-old dog with a chronic health condition such as hip dysplasia, a very common inherited disease in German Shepherds, can complete their expected years.
The Oldest German Shepherd
There are many factors that can affect this number. In fact, the oldest German shepherd recorded was able to celebrate its eighteenth birthday.
There are many owners that claim their German shepherds to have lived longer than 20 years, so the real oldest German shepherd might be older.
Regardless, you now know that theres really no 100% answer to the question how long do German shepherds live?
However, it also means that some may have lived shorter, despite living a normal life. But why exactly is it possible?
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How Long Do German Shepherds Live
Our pets are members of our families, and we want them to live as long as we do. Unfortunately, that isnt the case. The average German Shepherds lifespan is about 9-13 years, with the oldest known German Shepherd living to be 18 years. Small dogs and cats may live longer, but large dogs like the German Shepherd simply dont live as long. While your German Shepherd sadly wont live forever, you can take steps to prolong your dogs life by familiarizing yourself with common health problems German Shepherd are likely to develop and getting your dog screened regularly.
Important Health Screenings That Can Prolong Your Gsds Life
It is important to remember to take your dog to the vet on an annual basis for a checkup. Your vet can perform certain health screenings and routine blood tests to catch any early signs of disease and recommend the best preventative care to keep your dog healthy and happy. Dogs as young as 4 months old can be screened for hip dysplasia. Catching diseases early can help improve your dogs quality of life by opening the door for treatment and pain management plans before the disease progresses and becomes severe.
Importance Of Diet In Aging
Some important nutrients and ingredients in senior dog diets include:
- Good sources of protein to meet higher protein requirements
- Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to help maintain joint and bone health
- Omega-3 fatty acids for joint and bone health as well as maintaining immune system health
- Calcium and phosphorus for maintenance of bone structure
- Beet pulp and flaxseed for gastrointestinal health
- Fructooligosaccharides and mannanoligosaccharides work to improve the health of the gastrointestinal tract by increasing the number of âgoodâ bacteria and decreasing the amount of âbadâ bacteria
- Appropriate levels of vitamin E and addition of L-carnitine to support brain and cognitive health
- Dietary antioxidants such as vitamin E and beta-carotene
Elbow & Hip Dysplasia
Elbow and hip dysplasia are conditions wherein the hip or elbows ball and socket do not fit properly. This affects the dogs gait and causes severe pain. In some cases, it could lead to lameness.
These conditions are often associated with German Shepherds, although they are actually common to large and giant breeds. In fact, responsible selective breeding has already lowered the incidence of these conditions among todays GSDs.
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Why It’s Important To Visit Your Vet
When you next take your German Shepherd to the vet, it would be worth your time to ask about your dogs life expectancy, even if they are still fairly young. Your vet will be able to look at your dogs current health. They will be able to tell you what issues they might have had in the past or warn you of any that are in the early stages and tell you how long they expect your dog to live. Your vet should also be able to tell you exactly what you should be doing in order to help your dog live as long as possible.
How Long Can A German Shepherd Live
Purebred German Shepherds typically live for 9-13 years. If your dog has been spayed or neutered they tend to live 10 17% longer .
German Shepherd mixes can live longer than 9-13 years depending on the mix. Mix breeds with smaller dogs could increase how long your dog lives. According the American Kennel Club a study by TheAmerican Naturalist found that small dogs live longer and for every 4.4 extra pounds your dog weights it decreases their lifespan by one month .
So, how do you know how long your GSD mix will live on average? Start by weighting them and comparing them to this chart. Since there are hundreds of possible mixed breeds with German Shepherds, this chart will allow you to estimate your dogs lifespan no matter the breed. The chart uses 4.4 pound rule from The American Naturalist .
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Diet Vet Checks And Grooming Are A Must
You must be mindful of your dogs dietary needs, grooming requirements, and regular veterinary check-ups. Its also important that your dog completes its vaccinations from birth until its adolescence this would include booster shots and annual rabies doses. Furthermore, be wary not to feed your dog with human food that can cause digestion problems such as chocolates and the like. Note that giving your dog treats from the kitchen may not be healthy for it, even though it may seem to like it.
Get Your Gsd On A Healthy Balanced Diet
Diet makes all the difference when it comes to raising a healthy dog. It is important not just to focus on the quality of ingredients but also to find meals that have the perfect balance of nutrients.
For a dog like the German Shepherd, a high protein diet is necessary to maintain their muscular physique. They also need carbs for the energy and micronutrients for all-rounded wellness.
For all this and more, we recommend you tryPet Plate. What sets them apart the most is the fact that they customize every dogs meals based on variables like breed, age, gender, and existing health issues.
Signs That Your German Shepherds Life Is Ending
It can be difficult for any dog owner to dwell on the thought of losing a beloved friend, but eventually, that day will come, and you need to be prepared. If youve spent plenty of time with your dog, youll easily notice drastic changes with its behavior, yet some signs can be uncertain. So without further ado, we will be discussing 5 of the most prominent signs that your GSDs life is ending. Lets begin.
Did You Know These Pawsome German Shepherd Facts
German Shepherds are highly intelligent dogs that were originally bred as herding dogs. The first ever German Shepherd was bred by Captain Max von Stephanitz in 1889. Before that, German Shepherds were similar-looking dogs involved in herding. Stamina and intelligence are considered the strength of this breed of dogs. German shepherd dog breeds are easy to train. These large sized dogs are a popular dog breed often kept as working dogs, in the police and military, as a guide dog, herding dogs. Due to their high smelling ability, the German Shepherd dog breed was chosen during World War II for search and rescue, sending messages, and as guard dogs.
A German Shepherd puppy and an adult German Shepherd dog need high quality food and a controlled diet to avoid abnormal growth. A German Shepherds health and wellness are a prime concern. Without proper care, exercise, health checkups, these dogs may often be affected by common health conditions like hip dysplasia, epilepsy, pancreatic insufficiency, elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy. German Shepherds often have a black tan, red black, blue, white, gray coats. Once, Max von Stephanitz said, No good dog can be a bad color.
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Factors Affecting Life Expectancy
Apart from breed, several factors influence life expectancy:
- Another study showed that spayed females live longer than intact females but, unlike the previous study, there were no differences between neutered and intact males. But both groups lived 0.4 years more than intact females.
For more information, see Health effects of neutering.
A major study of dog longevity, which considered both natural and other factors affecting life expectancy, concluded that:
- âThe mean age at death was 11 years and 1 month, but in dogs dying of natural causes it was 12 years and 8 months. Only 8 percent of dogs lived beyond 15, and 64 percent of dogs died of disease or were euthanized as a result of disease. Nearly 16 percent of deaths were attributed to cancer, twice as many as to heart disease. In neutered males the importance of cancer as a cause of death was similar to heart disease. The results also include breed differences in lifespan, susceptibility to cancer, road accidents and behavioral problems as a cause of euthanasia.â
How Old Is A 13 Year Old German Shepherd In Human Years
In general, a dog year is about 7 years for a human. This means that a 13 year old German shepherd in human years would be about 87 years old. A dogs biological age can vary because there are different factors that affect it including size and breed. For example, the average life expectancy for a small sized dog is 12-14 years, while large sized dogs will live an average of 10-14 years. Remember, this does not mean their human age will be 12-14 or 10-14 depending on what category they fall into! In addition to size and type of breed, other factors such as genetics could have an impact on how long your pup lives which means there really isnt one definitive answer.