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Poll
Question: What's the longest a dog of yours ever lived?
9-11 - 0 (0%)
12-15 - 5 (41.7%)
16-19 - 7 (58.3%)
20-25 - 0 (0%)
26+ - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 10

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Author Topic: How Old do Dogs Really Get?  (Read 5313 times)
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Eartha
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« on: September 30, 2007, 05:50:29 AM »

Hi folks,

I read alot of conflicting information on how long dogs can live.  Many write-ups seem to give 10 -12 years as the standard for medium and large dogs and 14 or so for smaller breeds. But, some of the holistic write-ups talk about 25 to 30 being the average life expectancy of a dog.  The oldest dog recorded (a few years ago at least) was 29 years old (Guardian Unlimited).  So, 30 as an average seems a bit far-fetched, but how long do they really live with extra TLC?

My cocker spaniel only made it to 14 before I had to put her down (complications from Lyme and Cushing's).  But, I considered this very young and hope my current puppies will live much longer.  I would guess that the users of this site are a little more informed than average and it might be reflected in their pets' longevity. Has anyone had a dog make it to 20?  If so, how did you do it?!

Eartha
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 06:13:10 AM by Eartha » Logged
purringfur
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2007, 05:58:49 AM »

I'd like to know also.

I've known of three Golden Retrievers that lived over 15 years, which I thought was a long time for Goldens. 
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 06:18:12 AM by purringfur » Logged

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Eartha
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2007, 06:12:14 AM »

Fifteen and change is certainly over the average life expectancy for Goldens.  How encouraging. Smiley
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JanC
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2007, 12:34:37 PM »

Bet me if we got our beloved dogs off commercial pet food & away from the garbage & all the chemicals, we would see them live longer & be much healthier.  Over the years, many of us have unknowingly fed them this food believing we were doing the right thing for them, never thinking that we may be shortening their life.  I often wondered why it was that dogs now have human diseases that I don't ever remember hearing about when I was younger.....when people fed table scraps & nobody ever heard of dog food.  They were a lot healthier then.

JMO, of course, but I think we all had to learn (the hard way) exactly what these companies have been putting into pf.  Not sure about anyone else but I had not a clue.  I'm not a naive person but I sure was in this respect....I really believed the pf companies put good, wholesome ingredients into the food.  I hate to even admit that because it makes me sound like the dummy of the year. Tongue

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Mandycat
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2007, 09:43:36 PM »

     When I was growing up, our family had a dachshund and he lived to age 16.  He was very spoiled, was fed commericial wet food and some special treats like chicken gizzards and liver, and had regular vet check-ups.  At the time of his death, his physical condition had deteriorated so that he was incontinent, moved very slowly and probably painfully, and the hairs on his face were very gray.  I think he probably lived as long as was possible despite excellent care.  Since being married for the last 42 years, I have always had only cats, but other relatives have had dogs and none has lived past 14-16 years and all have definitely shown their age and had chronic physical problems when they died.  None of these relatives had dogs that died at what would be considered a young age and the care their pets received was excellent which, I think, allowed them to live as long as one would expect.  I think that it is unrealistic to expect that dogs will ever live to 25 or 30 years old.   
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onlooker
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2007, 04:54:45 AM »

My family had dogs before I was born & I have continued to have dogs since that time.   My parents did not always feed commercial diets but only one dog lived to more than l7 years & it was a small dog.   I have had med. to large dogs & according to what I have read 10-12 years is the expected lifespan for them.   One of my dogs will soon reach l5 years & he has been fed commercial dog foods with fresh additions all of his life.    Because of his age, I watch over him as far as other large dogs are concerned.  I feel that each day that he is alive is a gift as he has outlived his projected lifespan according to the statistics.   
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Eartha
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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2007, 06:52:31 AM »

Thanks, everyone for  sharing your experiences!

JanC, I didn't really know what was in pet food either. I'm still not entirely sure.   Huh It's scary what can 'pass' as food. Ick.

I don't know if dogs used to be healthier.  My grandparents grew up on European farms and they always had cats and dogs around and of course they weren't fed commercial pet food.  They were given some table scraps and expected to hunt vermin - mice, rabbits, rats, squirrel, etc. - to keep their bellies' full. The dogs lived to be about 10 under those conditions in the Depression.  Nobody had medical care for cats or dogs, so there were not chronic conditions.  But, I don't know which is healthier - a dog that dies at 9 or 10 without chronic condition or one that makes it to 15 or 16 with the last few years being arthritic ones.  My grandfather is 99 with only minor chronic ailments like arthritis (no diabetes, heart attacks, lung or kidney problems, etc.).  He's not on any medication and not ready to pack it in yet. I would guess that it's the same with dogs, but I can only guess.

Mandycat:  I agree that 30 is not realistic, but I did expect my dog to live 17 or 18 years.  And, maybe I'm being silly, but I think she might have if she hadn't had a litter before she was a year old or such a bad vet early on who wouldn't check for Lyme even when  asked a half dozen occasions.  It did some serious work on her nerves and kidneys.

I'm sorry that your dachshund and extended families' pets have such a hard time in his advanced age. Chronic conditions are a big concern as pets (or humans) get older.   

Onlooker:  Yes, it is a gift to have a dog with you for longer than expected, especially if they're in reasonably good health.  Your pooch is very lucky to have an owner who knows this.  I'd also like to do what I can to make sure that my pets stay healthy and with me for as long as possible.   
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JJ
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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2007, 07:44:32 PM »

Eartha on here there is a vet who has added comments from his web site. Loads of information for humans as well as our furry children. It is dogtorj.net or .com I believe he states that if you feed you dog all healthy, no commercial pet food at all and only one set of vaccinations for the life of your pet the dogs and cats will live to 20 - 30 years of age.
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Your blessings be more,
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door
Eartha
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2007, 03:27:42 PM »

Thanks, JJ. The DogtorJ site is one of those I was referring to in the 20+ years being the average life expectancy of a well-maintained dog.  I did only skim through the site, but I don't recall any specific cases of 20+ year old dogs in his care or anyone else's mentioned. In theory it sounds wonderful to be able to keep a nice companion for so long, but in real life I'm not seeing people produce evidence of dogs living this long. 
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lesliek
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Trooper,Remy & Fragile


« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2007, 03:55:16 PM »

That could be because we have all been using commercial pf,getting yearly vaccinations & putting chemicals on them monthly. It would be interesting to do the same poll in 10 yrs & see if there is an increase in healthy age reached.
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JJ
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2007, 09:57:22 PM »

That could be because we have all been using commercial pf,getting yearly vaccinations & putting chemicals on them monthly. It would be interesting to do the same poll in 10 yrs & see if there is an increase in healthy age reached.
Thanks for pointing this out lesliek. I believe this is what they had in mind when the statement was made that dogs and cats can  live 20 - 30 yrs. Our motto on here should become: Better Living Without Chemistry
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Your blessings be more,
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door
3FabulousFelines
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2007, 06:09:53 AM »

My aunt has a little corgi mix that's pushing 19. He's probably the oldest dog I've ever met.

As far as the Dogtor J thing, if somebody's going to make a claim like that (increasing the lifespan of dogs and cats to 20-30 years), I'm going to need some sort of proof before I can take them seriously. It's a nice thought, but until he provides some evidence to back himself up, it's hard for me to view it as anything more than a nice thought.
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Eartha
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2007, 10:40:33 AM »

I don't know.  I thought there were a few people feeding primarily homemade before the recall on here.  Maybe I'm remembering some entries from another site.  My dog ate about 50/50 to begin with and was down to about 25% kibble in her last few years.
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JanC
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2007, 11:10:09 AM »

Sort of off topic but I still want to throw this in......talk about better living without chemistry......thanks, JJ!

I recently bought some all-natural flea drops.....don't have a clue how they'll work but I'll let you know.  I HATE using Advantix or Frontline Plus but in So. CA we have a major flea problem & I can't let my dog go w/o drops.  Once they're in the house, they bite me so I have to use the drops all year long.  I decided to try these all-natural but don't have a clue if they'll work as well.  At least it's not as warm in the winter so I'm hoping at least every winter I can give her a "chemical break"...... Grin

When I first got her, the people who had her before left her out in the back & I don't even know how often she was let inside.  She was scratching constantly & nothing I did, including a good bath, helped......so I took her to the vet.  She was absolutely covered w/fleas & ticks.......they picked 19 ticks off her & vet said she was loaded with fleas.  I have to tell you, much as I hate chemicals, Frontline Plus did an exceptional job.....I was finding dead ticks (in her bed) now & then for months afterwards & only now & again would I ever see a flea on her. 

Here's hoping....... Wink
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JJ
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« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2007, 08:41:51 PM »

Eartha on the dogtorj site I believe he (the vet) was just giving facts from all the research he has done on a healthy way for a companion animal to eat and that would extend their life beyond what is the norm. Unless one is willing to give it a try with their own fur children you'll never know if this is a true for all animals. I'm doing it with my current dog and hope to extend her life to beyond 14 or 15 yrs. She'll be 3 in Jan. 08 so time will tell if the healthy, home cooked, some organic diet will do for her. Probably the real trick to extending the life is the healthy diet helps to keep the immune system in top condition and able to fend off any harmful intrusion to it.
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May your troubles be less,
Your blessings be more,
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door
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