Just like people, dogs today are living longer lives. All the same things that prolong human lives, including new technology, better medicine, and improved nutrition, are also having a positive impact on the lives of pets. Indoor living, regular vet care and laws about pets, such as laws prohibiting dogs from running around, help people enjoy their dog companions longer. Many dogs can live fifteen years or even more.
Getting a dog is a very serious decision, which is why you want to know how many years your dog is expected to live. If you are getting a puppy from a breeder, ask about the age of the oldest dogs that breeder has. This will give you an idea of how many years you can expect your puppy to live.
Generally speaking, bigger breeds have shorter lifespans and smaller dogs live longer.
Similarly to humans, dogs can become ill or develop health conditions and anomalies before they get to an old age. To improve your chances of getting a healthy dog, research the breeds, talk to a veterinarian and other dog owners. Just like some diseases and conditions, including diabetes, high or low blood pressure and heart issues, run in the families of people, certain breeds and families of dogs can have their own problems, too. The more knowledge you have about dog health, the more chances you have of finding and raising a healthy dog.
Most shelters and dog breeders have their dogs regularly checked by veterinarians, especially before offering dogs for sale or adoption. If you are adopting a dog from a shelter and the dog has a minor health issue such as a skin rash, ask the shelter to take care of the issue before you adopt the dog. If the veterinarian that works with the shelter has overlooked a problem, he or she will most likely take care of it for you.