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D2008-15

Dear Daisy Dog

What breed of dog lives longest? Do mixed-breed dogs live longer than pure-bred dogs?

Daisy Responds

In general, the smaller the breed, the longer the dog will live – and mixes usually live longer than purebreds.

Veterinarians in Denmark studied the longevity of almost 3000 dogs, comprising 20 breeds plus many mixed-breed dogs. Overall, the dogs lived a median of 10 years.

The mixed-breed dogs lived longest, with a median life span of 11 years.

The only purebreds to outlive them were Shetland sheepdogs, poodles and dachshunds, who lived a median of 12 years.

Sight hounds, like my Irish wolfhound brother Ollie, and Bernese mountain dogs, had the shortest life spans, living a median of 7 years.

Within any given breed, slim dogs live longest.

Veterinary nutritionists monitored two groups of Labrador retrievers throughout their lives. One group of Labs was fed to maintain normal weight, while the other was fed less, to keep them on the slim side of the normal range.

The slim Labs lived nearly two years longer than their heavier relatives. Moreover, the slim dogs were healthier and suffered less arthritis.

I can’t do anything about my breed, but I eat conservatively to maintain my slim physique, hoping that will help me enjoy a long, healthy life.

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