Animal health: New estimates of life expectancy

Jack Russell Terriers and Yorkshire Terriers have the highest life expectancies of dog breeds in the UK, according to new research published in the journal Scientific reports. However, flat-faced breeds such as French Bulldogs and Pugs have some of the lowest life expectancies.

Kendy Tzu-yun Teng, Dan O’Neill and colleagues analyzed 30,563 dog death records from veterinary practices across the UK between 2016 and 2020 using the VetCompass database, categorized into 18 dog breeds recognized by the Kennel Club and also a group of crossbred dogs. . They have created mortality tables that calculate life expectancy throughout the life cycle, starting at birth (0 years).

Jack Russell Terriers had the highest life expectancy at birth (12.72 years), followed by Yorkshire Terriers (12.54 years), Border Collies (12.10 years) and Springer Spaniels (11. 92 years old). In contrast, French Bulldogs had the lowest life expectancy at birth (4.53 years). That’s about three years less than other flat-faced breeds that had low life expectancies at birth, including English Bulldogs (7.39 years) and Pugs (7.65 years). The authors propose that these short life expectancies may be a result of the known high health risks in these flat-faced breeds.

Across all dog breeds, the average life expectancy at age 0 for male dogs was 11.1 years, four months less than the estimate for female dogs. Castrated dogs had a higher life expectancy (11.98 years for females and 11.49 years for males) than those who were not castrated (10.50 years for females and 10.58 years for males). males). The authors discuss the potential benefits of neutering and associated increased life expectancy and whether neutering could possibly reflect more responsible dog ownership and better care.

The authors conclude that their work now allows the life expectancy of dogs at different ages to be tracked in the same way as humans, and may improve predictions for different breeds in the UK. There could also be other practical benefits, such as helping dog shelters provide accurate estimates of a dog’s remaining life expectancy during rehoming.


Item details

Life tables of annual life expectancy and mortality of pet dogs in the UK

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-10341-6

Corresponding authors:

Kendy Tzu-yun Teng
National Taiwan University, Taipei City, Taiwan
Email: [email protected]

Dan O’Neill
The Royal Veterinary College, Hertfordshire, UK
Email: [email protected]

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Boyd S. Abbott