22-Year-Old Toy Fox Terrier Becomes World’s Oldest Living Dog

The average dog can expect to live about 10 to 13 years. However, that isn’t the most useful set of numbers because one dog breed can be so different from another dog breed. Still, the dog named Pebbles is an extreme outlier, seeing as how she is now the single oldest dog known to exist in the entire world at the age of 22 years old. For those who are curious, Pebbles is a Toy Fox Terrier that was born on March 28 of 2000. Apparently, her owners were thinking about adopting a bigger dog at the time. However, they were won over by her personality, with the result that they have been together ever since. Pebbles has experienced a lot over the course of her lifetime. For example, she has had 24 puppies from three litters. Similarly, she has outlived her mate Rocky, another Toy Fox Terrier who died in 2017. Despite this, Pebbles is still in good health. Something that says much about her exceptional status. Toy Fox Terriers are believed to be one of the numerous dog breeds descended from the Smooth Fox Terrier. In their case, they are thought to have been brought into existence without crossbreeding from other dog breeds that are on the smaller side of things. Instead, interested individuals bred smaller Smooth Fox Terriers with one another, thus resulting in the Toy Fox Terriers that can be found in modern times. These dogs are said to be smart, loyal, and affectionate. Furthermore, Toy Fox Terriers have a reputation for being healthy, which is why their expected lifespan is higher than normal at 15 years old. Still, that should make it clearer just how much of an extreme outlier Pebbles happens to be.

Why Do Some Dogs Live Longer Than Others?

There are numerous factors that can influence a dog’s lifespan:


Generally speaking, bigger dogs are shorter-lived than their smaller counterparts and vice versa. We aren’t 100 percent sure why this is the case, particularly since we are far from having a 100 percent understanding of the aging process. However, there are indications that bigger dogs age faster than their smaller counterparts, meaning that they become aged faster than their smaller counterparts as well. On top of this, it is possible that the size of bigger dogs means that more stress is placed upon their physiological processes. As such, that further contributes to their shorter lifespans.


What we eat has a huge effect on our bodies. This is as true for dogs as it is for humans. As a result, if people want to enable their dog to live as long as possible, they need to make sure that their dog is eating right. After all, food is fuel, meaning that eating the right diet will provide a dog with all of the nutrients that their body needs to run as smoothly as possible. Besides that, a diet can also affect a dog’s ability to maintain the right weight.


Speaking of which, maintaining the right weight is very important for a dog’s lifespan. As mentioned earlier, it is thought that more weight can increase the stress that is placed upon a dog’s physiological processes, which isn’t good for it to say the least. Moreover, being overweight increases the chances for a dog to get a wide range of serious medical problems. One example would be diabetes. Another example would be cardiovascular disease. These medical problems can have a very detrimental effect on a dog’s quality of life. Moreover, they can shorten a dog’s life as well for the simple reason that living beings don’t always survive their medical problems.

Preventative Healthcare

Preventative healthcare is very important for enabling a dog to live as long as possible. It can consume a fair amount of time and money. Still, preventative healthcare enables potential medical problems to be picked up sooner rather than later. This matters because earlier intervention tends to make for better outcomes, meaning that this can mean the difference between life and death. Moreover, preventative healthcare can prevent some serious medical problems altogether. To name an example, one of the reasons that rabies is so terrifying is that there is no effective treatment for it. Fortunately, there is a rabies vaccine, which happens to be extremely effective. There are other serious medical problems that are like thus. Thanks to that, interested individuals should make sure that their dog is up-to-date on their vaccines as well as other forms of preventative healthcare.

Other Precautionary Measures

There are other precautionary measures that can influence the lifespan of a dog. To name an example, there are a lot of foods and beverages that humans can consume but dogs cannot. As a result, it isn’t uncommon for a household to have things that are poisonous for dogs. A moment’s carelessness can have very unpleasant consequences, particularly since some of these things can be poisonous even in very small amounts. For instance, onions and every other member of the allium family cause the breakdown of red blood cells in dogs. This is true even when they are in their powdered form, which is a huge problem when they see so much use for flavoring. Similarly, chocolate is very dangerous for dogs. Its theobromine content is the most dangerous factor. However, while its caffeine factor is a lesser factor, it is nonetheless a factor. In any case, the important point is that regular preventative healthcare isn’t the only precautionary measure that people can use to protect their dog.

Dog Breed

By this point, it should be clear that a dog’s chances of getting various medical problems have very real consequences for its lifespan. Due to this, the dog breed can matter a lot. Some dog breeds are in good health for the most part, not least because of careful breeding on the part of the dog breeders involved. In contrast, other dog breeds have a notorious reputation for inherited conditions of one kind or another, which can be particularly bad when careless breeding is involved. Of course, not every dog will fit the description of what is generally true for the members of their dog breed. Still, this is definitely something that interested individuals will need to keep a watchful eye on.

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