Did you know that the life expectancy of the German Shepherd is approximately 13 years? However, there are individuals that have reached 15 years of age. Responsible parenting is the key so that the best furry friend in the family can live many more years. In this post, find out the answer to “how old do German Shepherds live?” and the aspects that influence their life span.
How Old do German Shepherds Live?
On average, the German Shepherd live between 9 and 13 years. However, there have been cases where it has spread for more than 15 years. This condition can occur when the animal is given the necessary care, for example, visits to the vet, good nutrition, among other aspects.
In addition, it must come from a responsible breeding where the parents do not have hereditary diseases. Also, when exercise and treatment are provided to prevent common diseases of old age from being so severe that they cause early death.
Cancer and Other Diseases in Elderly German Shepherds
Unfortunately, the German Shepherd is one of the breeds that are particularly predisposed to developing cancer later in life.
Females have a higher risk of cancer than males. This is partly due to the fact that very adult female German Shepherds often suffer from tumors of the mammary glands.
Other common cancers, which can significantly reduce the life expectancy of our German Shepherd, are lymph gland and skin cancer. These occur equally in males and females.
In addition, many German Shepherds suffer from joint diseases such as osteoarthritis or the dreaded hip dysplasia.
Other diseases such as cataracts or eye inflammation due to decreased tear irrigation, skin diseases or various organic disorders also occur with some frequency.
Another problem that can occur is urinary incontinence.
What Influences the Life Expectancy of the German Shepherd?
As the German Shepherd ages, they show signs of old age. For example, they may sleep longer than usual, feel tired, and significantly reduce performance. Vision and hearing may be impaired. To reduce these symptoms it is necessary to give the dog:
Regular vet visits
Take advantage of the time to get vaccines to do checkups and routine checkups. In this way, common diseases such as cancer, arthritis or hip dysplasia are ruled out. One recommendation is to evaluate sterilization in female German Shepherds, in order to avoid cancer in the mammary or lymphatic glands.
One aspect that influences the life expectancy of the German Shepherd is healthy eating. These animals have a tendency to obesity; they like to eat and be gluttonous. Therefore, low-calorie and quality food should be provided. In cases where you need positive reinforcement for certain activities, limit the supply of kibble or caloric snacks.
Proper cleaning of the animal can keep away bacteria that can cause disease and worsen the physical condition of the dog. For this reason, it is necessary that from a young age, they get used to cleaning their teeth, removing tartar and cutting their nails to avoid diseases. In addition, mental stimulation can help them to be entertained and not suffer from the symptoms of certain pathologies.
The development and activities of the animal
As the German Shepherd grows, you should reduce the amount of exercises that they perform. During adulthood, the animal should not demand more of itself in order to avoid joint diseases. When taking walks, these can be shorter to avoid fatigue. Needless to say, opt to use a dog harness instead of a neck collar.
In conclusion, the life expectancy of a German shepherd is 13 years and can be extended to 15 with the necessary care. There are factors that can reduce the symptoms of aging and improve the quality of life at this stage.