Pit bulls are one of the most outgoing dogs, but if you adopt one you might wonder things like their health factors and longevity. No one wants to lose a dog early to something they could prevent.
How long do pit bulls live? The American Pit Bull terrier lives 8-15 years and the American Staffordshire terriers lives 12-16 years and mixes can live 10-12 years. Feeding your pit bull high quality food, giving them lots of exercises and training them will keep them alive much longer up to 20 years.
If you are curious how you can help your pit bull live a longer and happier life, then continue to read on to how you can extend your pitties life. There are many factors that will reduce or improve your pit bull’s life and many of them you have control over.
An average pit bull’s life span
Pit bulls are average dogs when you look at their overall health and how long they live. They are fairly easy to care for, but they do come with some health problems that you should monitor if you see that your pit bull has problems.
That said, if you are following this guide and doing some of the things that we recommend, then you will find your pit bull with a longer lifespan than a smaller one.
An average life span of the all the pit bull breed combined is about 11-12 years depending on the factors below.
Things that can reduce your pit bull’s life span
While pit bulls come with a fairly standard set of health issues that you can expect, you still need to manage these issues if they show up in your dog. When in doubt always seek your local vet’s recommendations for your pup.
Here are the most common factors that can lowers your dog’s life in no certain order:
Pit Bulls are probably one of the most allergic dogs I’ve ever come across. Fiona has several skin problems, which I talk about in some of our articles and even how I fixed most of them.
But did you know Pit Bulls can get things like skin cancer, which is common in the breed. They love to soak up sun, which almost all dogs do but pit bulls really love to sunbathe.
Between being outside in the grass and sitting in the sun all day you can expect that a dog that is a part inside part out will probably have some sensitivity to allergies. While these skin problems are usually not life-threatening cancer can be.
Make sure your dog has proper check-ups with your local vet to ensure that they are healthy and if you expect skin cancer, see a vet immediately to reduce the chance of losing your pup.
Pit bulls are one dog that can have thyroid diseases if they gain too much weight. Because of their appetite, which is ravenous and their bulky build, they are heavier dogs than most.
Some would call these dogs solid, as their rather small appearance gives off an illusion that they are much smaller than they really are. However, if your dog is gaining a lot of weight and you notice changes in their behavior or mood, this could be thyroid disease.
A vet will need to do blood work to find out if that is the correct diagnosis and they will be on medicine for the rest of their life.
Hip dysplasia is common in Staffordshire terrier breeds and common in most dogs. It is arthritis of the hips which cause the dog constant pain.
Depending on your dog’s weight and size, it can be something that can be avoided by keeping them a healthy weight and sometimes using things like supplements that help their joints.
By not monitoring these they cannot climb stairs, run and face hind leg problems. This will make them more prone to disease, as they cannot exercise and become immobile.
Dog braces can also help this condition, but I would seek a vet if you start to notice your dog having issues running or climbing.
Things can improve your pit bull’s life span
So we talked about the things that can reduce a pit bull’s life span but now we need to talk about things that can improve their life span which most people are probably more interested in.
It’s important that you keep the diseases up above in mind when you are thinking about improving their life, as even a healthy dog can run into some of these problems.
If you want to increase your dog’s life here are three things that really stand out above the rest.
High-quality food and diet
Pit bulls are a high energy dog that requires lots of exercise and training, which means they typically burn a lot of calories. The food that they eat can matter a lot more than what you might expect.
When we first got Fiona, she had a sensitive stomach to the type of food the shelter used. When we switched her, she was much happier and enjoyed the food a lot more.
A dog that doesn’t eat their food without some additive or “topper” may tell you this food sucks. Try finding something they are happy to eat without a lot of fillers or by products which have little value to your pit bulls life.
Also avoid giving a dog lots of table scraps. We recommend that only about 10% of a dog’s diet come from human foods, so I would recommend that you try to make this as small as possible.
High-quality food and diet will increase a dog’s life span by keeping them at a healthy weight.
Exercise can be one thing that most new pit bulls owners completely forget about when they start with their new pit bull. These dogs, even as puppies will require some constant walks, play and running to burn off the high level of energy they come with.
Exercise comes with two significant benefits that people often forget in their busy lives. The first thing is that it helps control your dog’s weight. Second thing is that a dog that is constantly moving is a healthy dog, very similar to humans.
This is also a great way to reduce the amount of pent up aggression that a dog can have from being bored. So overall exercise of all types is great for pit bulls.
Pit bulls are dogs that really bond with their owners and families, which makes training much easier. It helps that they are very intelligent dogs, but people forget they need some guidance to help them curb their energy.
If you train them properly, they can do:
- Respect your command
- Respect other animals
- Play with things they should
- Use their energy for more positive things
Poorly trained pit bulls will do what they want to do. Which leads to shorter lifespans because of unforeseen circumstances such as attacking other animals or people and getting into dangerous situations.
While you wouldn’t think that training would be one thing there are many things that I can think of which will force you to have your dog put down and it all boils down to training.
Get regular vet check ups
Having your pet go to the vet and get a checkup is more than something that costs you money. This gives you a peace of mind by allowing you to better understand your dog’s health.
People also forget that if you can get ahead of a disease or problem that they can often be non-fatal rather than ignoring the issue and having it blow up later. Finding a vet that can work with your dog can be a lifesaver.
Brush your dog’s teeth
Just like people, pit bulls have a tendency to build up bacteria in their mouth, which can lead to many problems later. There are many ways you can handle a dog’s teeth and not all of them include you sitting down with a toothbrush and holding them down.
Your vet can also handle this task, which if you don’t allow it to build up can be a simple process rather than a complex one.
I hope this article helps you better understand your pit bulls’ health and how long they can live. By just doing some of these things you will make sure that your dog has a long and healthy life.
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