For dog owners, having an idea of the life expectancy of their companion can allow them to take various measures at different key stages of its life (a different diet, less sustained physical activity, etc.) in order to maintain it. in good health. Members of the Royal Veterinary College have therefore applied themselves to defining the life expectancy of dogs in the United Kingdom based on a sample of more than 30,000 canids according to breed, sex and sterilization. The objective of such a study is to allow the owners of “develop realistic expectations for the typical remaining lifespan of their dogs through knowledge of life expectancy“. Which then guides them, in the company of veterinarians, on the most appropriate medical decisions to be made.
18 breeds and 30,563 dogs studied
For this study, the researchers decided to approach the problem of life expectancy differently from other studies of the same kind, in the form of a mortality table. “Instead of offering a single value for the mean age at death, a life table is a tabulated expression of life expectancy and probability of death at different age groups in a given population.“, in the words of the authors of this study. This format is for example used by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee). It is then possible to follow, for each age, the probability of death in the year and to infer the overall health of the group. This study provides the first table of its kind for British dogs. It uses the anonymised VetCompass database and translates the life expectancy of 18 breeds and crosses from after 30,563 canines of which 47.7% were females and 57.4% were sterilized.
The Jack Russell in the lead
According to the results obtained, the life expectancy at birth for British pet dogs was 11.23 years, and this figure decreased with age. Indeed, the probability of death at each interval of year increased almost systematically (except at the very beginning of life). The females keep up to 12 years a life expectancy higher than that of the males. Then, it became identical for both sexes. The study reveals that sterilized dogs had an overall better life expectancy.