Why Do Big Dogs Die Young?
Big dogs like the Great Dane have an average lifespan of only 7 years. On the other hand, small breeds like the poodle, have a much longer lifespan that could last for 14 years and even more! Because of this, experts have concluded that the bigger the dog, the shorter its lifespan, and the smaller the dog, the longer its lifespan, which is somewhat strange.
But this does not apply to all animals on the planet. Take for instance the elephants, which have an enormous body size, yet they live quite long. In fact, they could stick around for up to 70 years! Blue whales, which are also huge, could live for up to 90 years old.
According to a study, the reason why large breeds of dogs die sooner is that they age a lot faster. This was the result of a study conducted by the American Naturalist based on the record obtained from the Veterinary Medical Database that consisted of 74 dog breeds. The study was done on 50,000 dogs, where they observed when and why these dogs die.
The researchers found out that large dogs tend to age much faster compared to smaller dogs. Hence, the reason why larger dogs have a shorter lifespan is that they age quickly.
Dog experts recommend for smaller dogs to undergo geriatric checkups when they reach 11 years old. Medium sized dogs should start the checkup at 9, while large dogs must start getting geriatric checkups at 7. The reason why large breed dogs age faster could be because they tend to age earlier, which also explains why they develop age-related problems earlier in life.
The study reveals that since large dogs tend to age at a faster pace, their adult years also go in a fast motion. These findings are very valuable in understanding the reason why large breed dogs tend to die much younger.
More and more researchers are conducting studies to uncover more reasons why large breed dogs have a shorter lifespan compared to the smaller breeds. They aim to address questions that the current study hasn’t been able to address. One clue that resulted from previous studies was that small dogs might have a lower concentration of the IGF-I, a growth hormone, which is needed for growth and development.
Those who have a higher level of the IGF-I, which include humans, are associated with a high risk of death that results from age-related conditions, including heart diseases and cancer. On the other hand, manipulating the IGF-1 levels in some animal species could reduce their risk of developing age-related diseases and extend their lifespan.
Thus, the reason why large dogs tend to die much younger may be because they have more of the growth hormones, which make them age faster. Also, their large body size could be a side effect of the higher presence of these growth hormones in their body.
It’s sad to know that your large furry friend could die sooner. Therefore, you should make the most of your time with your pet and make it feel comfortable at all times.
So, when buying a crate for your pooch, choose a large dog crate that can accommodate its huge body size. That way, your dog will feel comfortable, safe, and stress-free. If you put your large dog in a small crate, there’s a tendency that your dog will suffer from depression and that could further shorten its lifespan.