Australian Shepherds are adorable and no-nonsense pets. If you plan to adopt one, you ought to know how long your furry friend will be by your side. Typically, an Australian Shepherd – regardless of whether it’s a male dog or female – has has a lifespan of around 13-15 years.
This roughly matches the average lifespan of other dog breeds of the same size; or all dog breeds in general.
However, lifespan can vary from dog to dog. In some cases, purebreds are more prone to health issues as compared to mixed breed. Longevity may depend on the environment the dog lives in and the care and treatment it receives.
While we have no power over controlling the elements of longevity, we can do something about it. This includes providing the best for our dogs, such as proper feeding, routine vet visits, exercise, dental care, and much more.
In this article, we’ll discuss ways to help your Aussies live longer. We will also cover the health issues faced by Australian Shepherds and their physical needs.
What Is The Average Lifespan Of Australian Shepherds?
The median life expectancy of Australian Shepherds is nine years. As per a UK survey that includes breed health data of 10 years, Aussies can live up to 15 years. In general, they have a life expectancy of 13-15 years.
The longest living Australian Shepherd has lived around for 29 years, 5 months, according to the Guinness World Records.
How To Help Australian Shepherd Live Longer And Healthier?
Here’s how you can increase the life expectancy of your Aussie:
Feed Your Friend Right
Feeding your Australian Shepherd the right and healthy diet is the first step in increasing their lifespan.
Diets for Australian puppies require a higher calorie diet, preferably from quality animal sources. Keep in mind that when you feed them new food, your puppy may have or develop grain allergies and need grain-free food.
For your adult Aussie, you should pick up food brands that are 100% additives/fillers free. Moreover, you will need foods that provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You should also look for high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin D, phosphorus, and calcium.
If you have a senior Aussie, make sure it gets a high-quality protein diet.
It’s better to consult your vet and feed the dog right.
Make Sure The Dog Gets Enough Exercise
Australian Shepherds are intelligent, hard-working, and athletic dogs. They need a great deal of exercise daily to maintain physical and mental well-being.
If you have an Aussie puppy, do not wear them out by making them run and play all day long. They only need to have physical activity for shorter durations. If your Australian Shepherd has some health problems, you can discuss how many hours they need to exercise with your vet.
Early socialization and obedience training are two must-haves for the Australian Shepherd. One of the most common reasons Australian Shepherds find themselves in rescue situations is that owners cannot constructively channel the unlimited energy of the breed through training.
Training is also important to save them from accidents. Your dog needs to understand common commands such as “come,” etc., to prevent traumatic death.
Schedule Regular Vet Visits
You also want to make sure you don’t miss a visit to the vet. Even if your dog appears to be perfectly healthy, remember that it can’t tell you if something is wrong or wrong. Your vet can get a better idea of what is going on with your dog.
A vet can identify any health problems and alert you beforehand so that you can adapt some preventive measures.
With your veterinarian, you can ensure your dog is up to date on heartworm prevention and vaccination. You can make sure you are giving your dog the right kind of food and looking for anything that might harm your dog in the future.
Provide Dental Care
An Australian Shepherd’s teeth should be brushed regularly. When a dog’s teeth are not cared for properly, your dog can develop plaque, gingivitis, and periodontal disease, which is the worst type of gum problem your dog can have.
An Aussie’s ears should also be checked regularly to remove the build-up of wax and foreign matter.
What Are Some Common Health Problems Faced By Aussies?
Australian Shepherds are predisposed to some health problems that might affect their lifespan. These include:
- Congenital deafness: The dog is born deaf, and you might train them well
- Congenital ocular defects: Eye defects are not fatal but should be taken care of to prevent deaths by accident
- Congenital heart disease: Heart diseases are often terrible. You can consult your vet regularly and ensure the dog is fed right and taken care of well
- Epilepsy: Australian Shepherd males are more prone to epilepsy and seizures. If your dog is having a seizure, the first thing you need to do is figure out why it is. Any dog suffering from a severe seizure should be taken to a veterinarian for evaluation and testing
- Hip dysplasia: Weakness and pain in the hind legs are the usual clinical signs. The dog appears to be staggered and is reluctant to get up from a sitting or lying position. This might hinder them from doing enough physical activity
- Hyperuricosuria: It refers to too much acid in the urine, which causes bladder stones and urinary tract infections. The disease cannot be cured but can be managed with medication, regular veterinary monitoring, and the right diet
- Hypothyroidism: Thyroid disease is the most common autoimmune disease reported in Australian Shepherds and one of the most reported illnesses of any type. Fortunately, the disease is treatable and the drugs needed are inexpensive.
- Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis: This disease stores toxins the body would normally eliminate when waste products build up in certain tissues. Diagnosis of this disease is known to be difficult
Ensuring your dog is getting the right kind of nutrition and exercise is essential for a dog’s life expectancy. Just like you should follow up on annual doctor visits with your doctor, your dog should have annual check-ups with the vet to confirm that everything is fine.
Australian Shepherds are a wonderful breed that deserves the best care and environment. Take care of them so that they can live longer and happier.