Graceful and noble, the Great Dane is a pride possession for every pet lover. However, these gentle giants have a shorter lifespan – rarely living beyond 10 years. With adequate care and attention, owners can help increase the life expectancy of Great Danes and ensure a longer life for them.
Is Size A Factor in Reduced Life Expectancy of Great Danes?
The average longevity of Great Danes ranges between 8 and 10 years. It is common to see these giant dogs dying around 7-8 years. However, there are instances when a Great Dane has lived up to 15 years.
Many argue that these dogs grow very fast to attain their massive size and hence age quickly than other breeds. But there is no proven link between their size and life expectancy. Elephants and whales – two largest species on earth – outlive most animals.
How To Increase Life Expectancy of Great Danes
Perhaps, health problems, nutrition, and lack of exercise play a more prominent role than growth factors in influencing the longevity of these giant pets. Here are a few tips to help increase the lifespan of Great Danes.
Buy From None Other Than A Reputed Breeder
While buying a Great Dane puppy, make sure the seller is a reputed, registered breeder. He is the only person who can guarantee that you have a healthy puppy free from genetic disorders. Such breeders do not breed dogs with health and behavioral problems that may cause long-term issues in their offsprings. As he takes good care of his dogs, you are almost certain that your Great Dane will not face any life-threatening health issue in the future. He can also guide you through the process of taking adequate care of a Great Dane puppy so that you can avoid potential problems that may impact his lifespan.
Good Diet, Nutrition Enhance Life Expectancy of Great Danes
It is essential to inculcate healthy eating habits to prolong the life of a dog. Feeding an appropriate diet and keeping him active can help boost the chance of your dog living longer.
- Plan a dietary regimen considering his age, activity level, and nutritional needs.
- Prevent your pet from eating table scraps.
- Find out how much nutrition your dog needs and prepare his diet plan accordingly.
- Make sure his diet has age-specific nutritional requirements.
- Add supplements to his diet depending on the dog-specific needs.
- Feed your Great Dane smaller multiple meals a day to avoid bloating.
- Provide a special diet for a young dog to regulate growth and avoid musculoskeletal diseases.
- Put your dog on a dietary regimen if he is suffering from obesity.
- Avoid giving him a chocolate, foods with added sugar, and a high-fat diet.
Avoid Weight Gain To Boost Life Expectancy of Great Danes
Great Danes are lazy by nature and they do not hesitate to sleep for hours at a stretch. At the same time, they are voracious eaters. Unless you strike a balance between their activity level and the food intake, your pet is likely to turn obese. Once obesity sets in, he becomes prone to heart and joint problems. It impacts the quality of life as well as longevity.
So, check your pet’s weight regularly and make sure his BMI index remains good. Calorie intake must be in proportionate to the level of activity. If your Great Dane is obese, put a check on his intake of kibble and add more time to the exercise routine. Examine him for his thyroid levels. A dietary regimen is a good option to help him lose a few kilos.
Prevent Health Problems To Increase Life Expectancy of Great Danes
With proper attention to breed-specific health disorders and diseases, you can add years to the life of your Great Dane. These dogs are susceptible to cardiomyopathy or heart muscle disorder that may lead to swelling, breathing issues, and heart failure. Their gigantic size puts them at a risk of joint and bone disorders, and unless you pay attention to these issues, your Great Dane may develop hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis at a young age, reducing his lifespan.
Thyroid disorder is also common in Great Danes, and if you are unable to detect it early, it may impact his quality of life and shorten his lifespan. With their large and wide chests, gastric torsion or bloating is another threat that can cause sudden death of a dog.
Health checkups and awareness of breed-specific disorders can help you detect health issues early so you can resort to appropriate treatment in a timely manner. This keeps away future risks and boosts life expectancy of Great Danes. Never skip medical checkups. Minimize the chances of bloating. Treat a disease as soon as you notice the symptoms. Pay attention to preventive measures.
Preventive Care Essential To Prolong Life Expectancy of Great Danes
- Vaccinate your dog as per the schedule prepared by your vet.
- Take adequate dental care to avoid build-up of oral bacteria, which may result in infections, heart valve problem, and kidney disorder.
- Ensure regular tick, heartworm, and flea prevention measures, as these tiny bugs can lead to life-threatening diseases.
- Avoid exposure of your dog to pollution, smoke, environmental threats, and dogs suffering from infectious diseases to keep his life free from health problem and prolong it.
- Become a responsible pet parent. Never let your dog wander outside without supervision. It may put him at a risk of physical injuries and infections. Keep him in a leash and under supervision.
- Spay/ neuter your dog to minimize the risk of infections and cancers.
- Make sure your dog is away from anxiety, stress, and other psychological issues.
- Keep a tab on your Great Dane’s activity levels, appetite, or mood, as these indicate stress, trauma, and illness – all life reducing factors – in dogs.
Daily Exercise Enhances Life Expectancy of Great Danes
If you want to increase the lifespan of your pet, make exercise an indispensable part of his daily routine. Take him on a 15-minute walk twice a day. Physical fitness holds the key to a long life. As long as your dog is fit and active, his body can ward off health problems and avoid obesity. Daily exercise also keeps your dog physically and mentally stimulated, and this inhibits stress, anxiety, and other emotional problems in him. Keep him active while avoiding excessive burnout.
However, you must avoid any strenuous exercises, long walks, or hikes with your Great Dane until he becomes a 24-month old. His hip, elbow, joint, and bones may not be mature enough before that and be unable to bear the stress of demanding workouts. Also, do not exercise him 45 minutes before or after his meal time, as this may put him at the risk of bloating.
Never push your dog too hard. Protect him from trauma, heat, and injuries. A happy, healthy, active, and playful Great Dane is certain to live longer.