What is the average life expectancy for common pets?

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I’m sure this is a very common query, although I was originally going to do a blog post over the average life expectancy for dogs, but then thought it might be better to broaden the topic to cover more types of pets.

The reason why I’ve been searching online for such information, is because I have a dog that has lived for about 14 years and is now having some major problems, possibly a partial intestinal blockage, tumor, heart condition, etc., and she may have to be put down.  I just can’t see my poor self spending $800 to 1,000 dollars or more, for a dog that might not live through surgery or, even if she gets this fixed, she may only live a few more months or another year or so, at best.  Of course, if I had money flowing out of my bunghole, I’d be more than happy to throw several hundreds of dollars out there or even a couple thousand, to prolong her life.  Nowadays, the Vet charges you at rates similar to a human doctor, which is just plain ridiculous, in my opinion…  Anyway, to end that particular subject, she was a great, loyal dog and lived a good life with lots of good food and the freedom to hunt and roam out in the wilderness.  If you’re interested, you can see a picture of her, on the “Mystery of Fire – who in the hell discovered it?” post.

Now, before we get to the average life expectancy of common pets, lets first address that these are just averages from collective info I found online.  Many factors are involved that could lower and raise the common life span of your pet.  For example, outdoor cats, on average, often do good to live more than 5 years old, while indoor cats can live for 10, 12, 15 years or longer.

The type of diet you feed your pets along with the lifestyle you permit, also factors in.  For example, a happy, energetic dog will typically live longer than a neglected, depressed, lazy dog.  …Other factors such as prompt medical treatment when they are ill or if your pets are in need of a veterinarian to diagnose unknown causes for their ailments, etc., all help prolong life, for the most part.  Getting your female pets spayed, such as a dog or cat, will generally add a couple years or more to their average life expectancy, as well.  Just like humans, being overweight is not a good thing, either, but this doesn’t take rocket science or a great deal of trouble, to not let your pets become obese.

Well, since this post was originally going to be about dogs, I went and found a list that was supposedly sourced from the AKC, in 2008…

Common dogs and their typical life expectancy:

Labrador Retriever (12.5 years), Yorkshire Terrier (14 years), German Shepherd Dog (11 years), Golden Retriever (12 years), Beagle (13 years), Boxer (10.5 years), Dachshund (15.5 years), Bulldog (7 years), Poodle (12 years Standard and 15 years Miniature), Shih Tzu (13 years), Chihuahua (13.5 years), Rottweiler (10 years), Pug (13.5 years), German Shorthaired Pointer (13 years), Boston Terrier (13 years), Doberman Pinscher (10 years), Shetland Sheepdog (13.5 years), Cocker Spaniel (12 years), Great Dane (8.5 years), and the Siberian Husky (12 years). Just by looking at that list, you can tell that most dogs don’t live past 13 years.  I have heard before, that mixed breeds often live longer, and of course smaller dogs generally have a longer life span, but there is always exceptions…   

Other Pets and their average life expectancy:

Cats often live 12 to 18 years, but like I mentioned earlier, they generally live a lot longer as indoor pets as opposed to outdoor, as those nosey, curious suckers get into a lot of shit when outside, and are more prone to viruses and diseases, poisons, accidents, etc.  They may have 9 lives as they say, but they often use them up rather quickly, when out in the wild.

Birds have a wide range, when it comes to their life span.  10 to 30 years is a good estimate, but there are some types of birds, like a cockatoo, that can live 70 years or more.  I never understood why people would want to put an animal in a cage that has wings and was meant to fly!  Whatever floats your boat, I suppose…

Fish are another type of pet that has a wide range of life expectancy.  5 to 10 years is a reasonable estimate for most aquarium fish, but this mainly depends on the type of fish and the water conditions you provide and how you care for them.  Some fish live much, much longer, and some live for only a very short time.  I will say, you can’t always go by the book, that’s for sure. If you’re interested in this hobby, I once did a post called “Freshwater Aquariums – A scenic, decorative hobby…

Rats & Mice?  Pets?  Uh, well, some people actually have rats or a cute mouse for a pet, but I could have sworn they sell traps that kill these rodents, as most people don’t take too kindly to indoor mice and rats; ha-ha!  Anyway, if this is your thing, theses “pets” generally have a short life span.  A rough estimate is a rat, 2 to 3 years and a mouse, 3 to 5 years.

Well, this post is getting rather long, so I’ll speed up the pace:

Frogs?  4 to 15 years. Hamsters? Only 2 to 3 years on average, but it has been reported that some can live much longer.  Gerbils? 2 to 5 years, on average.  Rabbit?  5 to 15 years of age.  Hey, some people raise these things for food.  You know, I haven’t ate a rabbit in years; hmm, anyway…  Ferret?  7 to 10 years.  Box Turtles? 40 to 50 years when captive, but some have been known to live around a hundred years!  Pet Iguanas?  Roughly 15 to 20 years, but that is with proper care, of course… 

Life expectancy of common pet snakes:

Corn snake (15-20 years+), Kingsnake or King Snake (15-25 years+),  Boa Constrictor (25-30 years+),  Burmese Python (25 years+), and there are many others.  It seems that most pet snakes can live around 20 years or longer, so there is no need to post each individual one.  I will say, if you’re a snake owner, be responsible, please!

What about that creepy Tarantula?  Males live a lot shorter life, up to 7 years or slightly more, depending on the species, and the females can live up to 25 years or longer.  I’ve even heard of certain female tarantulas living for 35 years or more… Uh, hairy spiders for pets? Not for me…

Well, I think I covered a lot of the pets people commonly have.  Sure, there is more, but this post had to end some time… 😀

—End of Post “What is the average life expectancy for common pets?”

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