Why Our Dogs are Living Longer and What This Means for Pet Parents

Why Our Dogs are Living Longer and What This Means for Pet Parents

Why Our Dogs are Living Longer and What This Means for Pet Parents

Anyone who’s had a dog knows the incredible bond that can form between human and animal. That’s what makes it so hard when we have to say goodbye to our furry family members. Fortunately, dogs are living longer which means we get more time for walks, snuggles and playtime. But like us, our pets’ needs and abilities change as they age. Caring for an aging dog takes patience and understanding.

The benefits of an increased lifespan for dogs are obvious: we get more time with our beloved pooches, and dogs who live longer are generally healthier and more active. But there are also many challenges that come with aging, like incontinence, loss of mobility and an increased risk for disease. It can be a stressful time for both dog and parent.

At Dog Quality, we want to help you support your four-legged friend through the aging process. Our products for older dogs are specifically designed to ease their journey into later life. As your pup reaches his or her senior years, here’s what you can do to keep them happy and comfortable.

senior dog sitting in flowers

Why Dogs are Living Longer

Recent studies have shown that our pets are living longer than ever: the average life expectancy of dogs increased from 10.5 years to 11.8 years between 2002 and 2016. This is partly due to a shift in perspective in how people think of their furry friends. In the past, animals were considered pets — now, 95% of people consider them to be family.

The deeply personal connection we forge with our dogs has led to improved care across the board, and that extra care has improved their overall health and extended their lives. It also means we are willing to go the extra mile to find solutions for our aging family members, with things like animal health insurance and treatment plans for health issues. The more we treat our dogs the same as we treat any other family member, the longer and better their lives will be.

How to Increase Your Dog’s Lifespan

The average life expectancy of dogs depends on a variety of factors, like size, breed, lifestyle and quality of care. For example, smaller dogs, like chihuahuas, typically live longer than larger breeds like Great Danes. Unsurprisingly, dogs who enjoy a healthier diet and more exercise tend to outlive those who don’t. Here are a few preventative measures you can take to make sure you get as many happy years with your dog as possible.


Just like humans, your dog’s diet has a significant impact on his longevity. Read the labels on your dog’s food and look out for harmful ingredients like meat byproducts, high sugar content and unnecessary additives. You may also want to consider how much you’re feeding your dog: research shows that dogs who eat less (approximately 25% smaller portions) live nearly two years longer.


An active lifestyle is the key to better health, both for you and your pup. Whether it’s a daily walk, jog or trip to the dog park where Rover can run free, regular exercise will reduce stress, boost energy levels and help your dog maintain a healthy weight. Not to mention the socialization that happens at the dog park. Giving your dog playtime with other pooches is beneficial for her physical and mental health.

Dental Hygiene

We get it, brushing your dog’s teeth can be like ...well, pulling teeth. But regular brushing can increase your dog’s lifespan by preventing plaque, gingivitis and bacterial infections. The good news is you don’t have to brush your dog’s teeth every day. Start with three days a week and work your way up. There are also plenty of dog dental treats that help clean their teeth without the hassle.

How to Improve Your Senior Dog’s Quality of Life

While you probably already know that caring for an aging dog requires extra care, you might be wondering when exactly your dog will be considered a senior. This mostly depends on breed: a chihuahua becomes a senior dog around 11 years, while a Great Dane will reach the same status in half the time.

Once your dog matures to his golden years, it’s important to keep a close eye on shifts in his behavior and physical abilities to assess how best to give him care. Regular exercise may not be as realistic due to mobility issues but it’s still important to get him moving when possible. While your dog’s diet may change as he ages, you’ll need to monitor how much he’s eating to make sure he’s getting enough. Here are a few common challenges for aging dogs and the best senior dog care products to help you cope.


Your beloved pup may slow down in her later years due to degenerative diseases like arthritis. She may not be able to go for long walks or enjoy a romp at the beach, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave her at home. Use a dog ramp to help your senior get out of bed and take her for a stroll with a dog stroller. These are the perfect solution for older or disabled dogs.

Dental Disease

As mentioned before, neglecting your dog’s dental hygiene can have a direct impact on his lifespan. Without proper doggie dental care, your senior dog may suffer painful diseases or even lose some teeth. Take preventative measures by brushing your dog’s teeth and giving him dog dental treats from day one. This way he’ll avoid discomfort later in life.

Weight Changes

A senior dog’s weight can fluctuate quite a bit due to a number of issues. If she has dental problems, eating may be painful. If he has a more serious disease, like cancer, he may not have an appetite. On the opposite end of the spectrum, your older dog likely doesn’t have the same energy she did as a puppy. For all of these reasons, both weight gain and weight loss is a common side effect for aging dogs. To make sure your dog is getting the nutrients he needs, choose healthy dog food (free from all those harmful fillers) that’s meant for your dog’s breed and age. Your veterinarian will also be able to help you customize a diet for your dog’s specific needs.


Incontinence is one of the hardest parts of caring for an aging dog. It can be tough to watch but fortunately, it’s relatively easy to manage with doggie diapers and dog diaper pads. Our super absorbent, washable dog diapers and pads are a simple solution to protect your carpets and furniture from accidents. The best part: they’ll allow your senior dog to age with dignity and comfort.

Dog Quality knows it’s never easy to watch your dog suffer. We hope these tips will help you keep your pups happy, healthy and comfortable well into their senior years. If you have any questions on caring for your senior dog, we’re just a phone call away.