The German Shepherd is a devoted and clever companion. This means they make great family pets, which sadly don’t live as long as other breeds of dogs like Labs or retrievers. It’s nerve-wracking to think that the GSD rarely lives past ten years old. However, with proper care, these animals can be healthy and well into their early 20s. An average lifespan will vary between 9-11 years old, but it can be as low as eight or higher depending on the genetic line of ancestry. Something you might never know is dealing with puppy mill-bred pets who often suffer from obesity issues early or don’t get enough exercise. A German Shepherd is an excellent dog with tons of qualities. However, several factors may affect how much time your pet has left in its life. German breeders typically go to great lengths to increase their lifespan to ensure that these traits continue through generations by only mating dogs with healthier lines from healthy parents over long periods.
Factors affecting German Shepherd life expectancy
The German Shepherd is a dog with the ambition and desire to be both active and family-oriented. It was meant for hard-living to easily survive in harsh conditions while adapting well enough when not on duty or working alongside its human counterparts. Breeders saw an opportunity by tweaking certain aspects of this breed’s design. They created new versions like police dogs, search & rescue teams, etc., but all still keep the “GSD.” Several factors often affect the breed’s life expectancy, causing them to die prematurely, including:
- Poor Hygiene
- Diseases not treated on time and appropriately
- Stress levels
- Lack of vaccinations
Tips to increase their life expectancy
German Shepherds are famously known for their long life spans. Many people wonder how you can help your pup live even longer. However, the answer may be as simple as catching any illnesses early on and getting them treated effectively with medication or a visit to the vet.
Keeping them lean
The best way to keep your German Shepherd healthy is by keeping them lean. If you feed the recommended amount every day and don’t overfeed them, their life expectancy will be 18-24 months longer than overweight.
It is essential to feed your German Shepherd the right food, so they stay healthy and happy. The best way for a lean diet is by providing them with high-quality, low-carb dog foods that have an 18%-22% protein range, depending on their size and age.
Make sure you take your large dog for checkups at least once a year to increase their life expectancy. German Shepherds are more prone to hip and joint problems, so make it two years if they’re young pups.
It is easy to brush your German Shepherd’s teeth with regular toothpaste. But, did you know it can also help prevent periodontal disease and increase their life expectancy by a maximum of 3-5 years? Up to 90% percent of dogs over the age of three have an infection or another. The most common infectious condition affecting adults can cause inflammation around our pets’ dental support structures to eat correctly and avoid painful symptoms.
As the oldest and most popular dog breed in America, German Shepherds require a lot of exercises to keep them healthy. They also need mental stimulation with interactive games or puzzles every day. Otherwise, they can develop degenerative myelopathy (nerve condition). Exercise is one way you could help your furry friend live longer while still providing plenty of entertainment for its mind. The American Kennel Club recommends at least two hours per day if possible, but even short walks will do. Make sure it gets enough fresh air, too, so avoid hot temperatures when exercising outside on summer days.
Neutering or Spaying at the recommended Ages
Male dogs that were neutered had a 13.8% increase in their life expectancy, while the female dogs had 26.3%. The University of Georgia study found significant findings: Male Dogs – Neutering or Spaying Can Increase Your Pets’ Life Expectancy by Considerably More Than You Think; Female Dogs–It’s Even Better.
Health Concerns for German Shepherds
Just like many other breeds out there today, these canines also have health concerns that need careful consideration before bringing home one of these excellent hounds. These canines have health issues as well, which must be appropriately evaluated and accounted for, such as:
- Dysplasia of the elbow
- Dysplasia of the hips
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Cardiac health
- Autoimmune thyroiditis
- Eye problem
Longest living German shepherd Dogs
GSDs have been observed to live far into their teens and beyond—the oldest being between 18 and 20 years old. There are no official records to prove the claims at this point. Still, owners say that they usually stay healthy for about ten more years. Unless you’ve got a pet GSD, it’s hard to imagine what life is like for these dogs. They live such long lives, and their special breed does not even make the list of the oldest dog breeds in the world. From what we know about them so far: males only last an average of 9 years while females can expect 11; females seem healthier at every stage of adulthood, with median ages ranging from 10 to 12, whereas male GSD’s health falls off after 8 or 9
What are the most common causes of death in German Shepherds?
The German Shepherd Dog is a very healthy breed. However, they suffer from hereditary problems such as epilepsy and elbow dysplasia, which can be problematic if not treated early in life. If left untreated, they cause them difficulty walking correctly or live an active lifestyle with much pain because of joints that don’t feel right anymore. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) is a condition that causes the digestive system to fail. Because of their enormous size and gentle appetite, German Shepherds are susceptible to EPI caused by maldigestion, which can be prevented with gradual feeding as recommended by vet nurses. Your pup will also need screenings on checkups at home, including the cardiac evaluation and autoimmune thyroiditis diagnosis. So pet owners know what they’re up against before these problems develop into more severe complications such as hypothyroidism or Addison disease. Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency also affects many breeds, but the Veterinary professionals recommend starting small Feed only low fat dry food until you determine your canines’ feeding requirements.