While we really would like our pets to live forever unfortunately that is not the way of life. The life expectancy of your pet will depend on the type of pet you have. Our Suffolk County vets discuss how long to expect each type of pet to live.
How Long Will My Pet Live?
Our vets see countless patients every day for pet checkups in Suffolk County, and one of the most common questions that our team is asked is about the life expectancy of their pet. There are many things to consider when it comes to determining how long your pet will live. The number one factor is their species, cats and dogs obviously have different life spans, but for dogs, the lifespan can differ between each breed.
There are many things that can determine a dog's lifespan such as their size, the care they receive, whether they are spayed or neutered, and their genetic dispositions.
Generally one of the main factors for the lifespan of a dog is the size of the breed. The larger the dog is the shorter their life span will usually be.
Large dogs such as Irish wolfhounds, one of the largest dog breeds in the world, have an expected lifespan of 7 years, other smaller breeds like Jack Russel terriers, have a life expectancy of 13 to 16 years.
Purebred dogs and inbred dogs will typically live shorter lives, especially with Inbred dogs having a risk of carrying genes for illnesses that are common to that specific breed.
“Mutts” who have at least two breeds and commonly more tend to have the least health problems and live longer than their purebred counterparts.
As an owner, you have the responsibility to take proper care of your pet, and those who receive diligent preventive care with annual wellness checkups and vaccinations in our Suffolk County animal clinic tend to live longer than those who do not.
Spayed or Neutered
Having your pet spayed or neutered can actually help lengthen their life because they can not only prevent unwanted puppies from entering shelters, they may help prevent some serious forms of cancer that affect the ovaries, breast, and testicles.
Cat's age ranges can vary for a number of reasons including their lifestyle, and the care that their owners provide to them through vaccination and cat checkups.
Indoor cats tend to live longer than those who go outdoors unsupervised. The average indoor cat can live to be about 14 years old, some do live longer, but outdoor cats tend to only live to 7 years old. Cats who live indoors have a lower chance of being killed by wildlife, or run over by cars than those who venture outdoors which is the typical reason for this variation in lifespan.
Cats who are given proper preventive veterinary care with routine pet checkups and parasite prevention and vaccinations have a better chance of living longer. With proper preventive care, your pet will avoid a number of serious diseases, their vet will regularly examine them and therefore be able to spot any emerging health conditions before they can develop into major problems.
Exotic pets can be incredible to have as a pet, however, their lifespans can vary greatly, so it is important to do research on the type of pet you are interested in prior to owning one.
Hamsters - 2-3 years
Guinea pig - 4-5 years
Mice and Rats - 2-3 years
Hedgehogs - 3-5 years
Rabbits - 5-10 years
Bearded Dragons - 10 - 15 years
Turtles - 30 - 50 years (some species can live over 100 years)
Axolotl - 10 years
Snakes - 10 - 30 years depending on the type
Geckos - 10 - 20 years
While these are average life expectancies you must always keep in mind that this will be affected by a number of things. If you go above and beyond with the care of your pet and provide your pet with complete routine pet checkups then they may live past their expected life span, or they may fall ill for no apparent reason which could drastically reduce their life. It's important to take every moment you have with your pet and cherish it.