Whether out of sheer curiosity or because you plan to own a Pitbull Terrier soon, you want to know, how long do Pitbull Terriers live? We won’t lie, this is going to be a touchy subject as no one likes to think of their pets dying. However, the dirty job has to be done and we have volunteered to get that done for you.
Without further ado, let’s get to it!
What Is A Pitbull Terrier Dog?
The term, “Pitbull” is an abbreviation of the term Pit bulldog which was more commonly used during the 19th Century.
Pitbull dogs are usually described as small and stocky with smooth coats that tend to vary in color. The variation in color of the Pitbull is due to this breed of dog being a mix between different types of Terriers and Bulldogs.
The body of a Pitbull dog is usually long with a small, whip-like tail ending in a point. It also has small to medium-sized ears located high on its broad and flat head. The most distinguishing facial characteristic, however, of a Pitbull Terrier dog is its wide and powerful jaw.
In today’s contemporary language, the term Pitbull does not just refer to a particular breed of dog, it’s more of a type and inside that type, there are four distinctive breeds including the American Staffordshire terrier, the Staffordshire terrier, the American Pitbull Terrier, and the American bully.
In this article, we will be talking in detail about the American Pitbull Terrier. Please note that all breeds referred to as Pitbull’s have related health problems and lifespans.
If you want more information on the Pitbull breeds, click here to read the article: What Is A Pitbull? Or you could also check out this article: What Breeds of Dogs Make A Pitbull? (click here to read it).
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Key Breed Statistics
- Breed Group – Terrier Dogs.
- Weight – 30 – 85 pounds.
- Height – 1 foot, 5 inches to 1 foot, 7 inches tall (at the shoulder).
- Life Span – 12 to 16 years.
How Long Do Pitbull Terriers Live?
The average Pitbull lifespan is 12 to 16 years. However, there have been cases where a Pitbull lived up to 20 years. Sadly, there have been cases where a Pitbull has died much much earlier.
However, generally speaking, if you rule out factors such as terrible accidents and serious health issues, expect to have at least a dozen happy years with your beloved pet. And if you’re really good to your pet, you can expect even more years with them!
Factors Which Affect How Long A Pitbull Terrier Lives
Apart from unfortunate accidents, there are varying factors that can potentially affect the lifespan of a Pitbull. Some of these factors include the following:
1. Hip Dysplasia
This can affect your pet’s quality of life and mobility.
Causes a lot of the same health-related issues in dogs just like it does in humans.
3. Poor Diet
A poor diet can negatively impact the overall health of your Pitbull.
4. Lack Of Training
If you don’t train your Pitbull properly and early enough, it can lead to your dog being very aggressive. An aggressive Pitbull has a higher propensity to attack other people or dogs and it may need to be put down because of this.
5. Heart Disease
Heart disease is another factor which can decrease quite dramatically the lifespan of your Pitbull.
6. Lack Of Exercise
Not exercising your Pitbull can lead them down the path of destructive behaviors. This ultimately can lead to owners being forced to take their dogs to a shelter where they risk being put down.
If you’re not sure exactly how much exercise your Pitbull needs, talk to your veterinarian. Daily exercises help to keep their heart healthy and increase their immunity to diseases.
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Overfeeding your Pitbull leads to obesity which ultimately affects their overall health and life expectancy. Obesity makes your dog more vulnerable to heart diseases and other life-threatening conditions.
Studies have shown that Labradors who were fed 25% less food lived, on average, 2 years longer than dogs that were fed more food. Although these were Labs and not Pits, everyone knows that overfeeding is never good for anybody, pet or human.
Neutering, also known as a vasectomy, can help in preventing some life-threatening diseases. Neutering your Pitbull has the potential to increase your dog’s life expectancy as much as 3 years or as little as a year.
This simple medical procedure can avert diseases such as uterine cancer, breast cancer, testicular cancer and prostrated related issues.
9. Healthy Teeth
To ensure your Pitbull has a long lifespan, one of the factors you can control is by making sure they have healthy teeth. Poor dental health has the potential to release harmful bacteria into your Pitbull’s bloodstream.
Avoid this by making sure your dog has a consistent and proper dental care routine. Brush your dog’s teeth frequently using dog toothpaste and toothbrush. Do not use human toothpaste!
10. Regular Check-Ups With A Vet
Prevention is better than cure so make sure you take your Pitbull Terrier to the vet at least once at 6-month intervals. This is to ensure they have a thorough check-up.
Regular check-ups also help in detecting potential illnesses early which is the difference between life and death.
Just like humans, dogs are also affected negatively by stressful environments and atmospheres. When a dog is stressed, he/she secrets stress hormones.
To prevent this, keep your Pitbull Terrier away from factors which create stress and unnecessary panic. This will help to boost the immune system of your dog.
12. Choice Of Supplements And Dietary Products
We know you want the very best for your dog. However, you need to be careful when buying dog food and supplements for your pet.
Only buy dog food and supplements which are produced by reputable pet care companies. In essence, only buy FDA approved dog food and supplements.
Dietary Supplements To Help Your Pitbull Terrier’s Health and Immunity
While preventative measures and habits can greatly increase the life expectancy of your dog, it is also important to incorporate some particular food supplements into your dog’s diet. This is to ensure your dog’s overall health and immunity is strengthened significantly more.
It is important to provide a balance between feeding your dog a well-balanced high-quality meal and also include supplements and natural food. Here are some important and beneficial dog food supplements to include in your Pitbull’s diet.
1. Fish Oil
Fish oil, in its natural and supplementary forms, is well known for helping to improve cardiac health and in boosting immunity. Fish oil also assists in fighting inflammation. Plus, it has the added benefit of adding a healthy shine to your dog’s coat.
2. Unsweetened Yoghurt
Yogurt is one of the best calcium sources that you can buy. It contains curd which is a fantastic probiotic source. Probiotics help in keeping your dog’s gastrointestinal system in tip-top shape.
Even though there’s a wide variety of flavors and brands to choose from when buying yogurt, keep it simple and choose the unsweetened and unflavored variety.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has a wide range of health benefits such as helping to prevent skin-related problems and acting as a digestive aid. Coconut oil also decreases the chances of diabetes occurring.
Virgin coconut oil supplements can also be applied to any dry spots and rashes on your dog’s skin.
3. Glucosamine And Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin also have wonderful cartilage rebuilding properties and help to improve joint health and act as preventative joint care supplements.
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Common Signs Your Dog Is Aging
If you’re wondering if your Pitbull Terrier is showing signs of aging, below we’ve included some common signs a dog is getting old.
Chronological age is not the only determining factor of aging when it comes to dogs. Dogs are different and age tells differently. To put things in perspective, a 9-year-old Chihuahua will be very active in comparison to a Great Dane also 9 years of age.
Correctly identifying if your dog is aging is critical because it helps their owners to make changes to their dog’s diet. Owners will also know when to add supplements, regulate the duration of exercise, and increase the frequency of their visits to the vet.
If you need to transition your dog from regular dog care to more specialized care for elderly dogs, here are the most common signs of aging in a dog:
1. Frequent Urination
Frequent urination usually affects older dogs and it is often a sign of kidney-related health issues.
2. Vision Problems Or Cloudy Eyes
A general deterioration of your bull terrier’s vision and a cloudy haze over his eyes is an indication of old age.
If your Pitbull Terrier has a sudden change in behavior, this is another sign. Changes include having a short temper, dementia, and acting confused.
4. Weight Gain Or Weight Loss
As a result of his changing metabolic rate, dietary insufficiency or thyroid-related issues, an older dog is more susceptible to being underweight or overweight.
5. Fatty Lumps
Aging dogs tend to develop fatty lumps on their skin known as lipomas.
PS: If you want to find out how old your Pitbull is, you can click here to read How Old Is My Pitbull?