Perhaps you own a Poodle or you are considering getting one. One of the first questions you will ask is, how long can your Poodle be expected to live? Their life expectancy will depend on a range of factors that we aim to discuss further in this article.
Average Poodle Lifespan:
- Toy: 14.5-16 years
- Miniature: 14-16 years
- Standard: 11-13 years
Everything will be explained below including some interesting facts that many poodle owners aren’t aware of…
How Long Do Poodles Live?
Importantly, the three sizes of poodles all have different life expectancies and are prone to different health issues. Which variety of Poodle you own makes a big difference when it comes to duration of life.
Anecdotally, the Poodle is renowned for living exceptionally long with many individuals making it comfortably into their mid-teens. Indeed, many of the oldest canine patients I have treated have been small Poodles.
Take a look at our table below to see the Poodle’s expected age at death:
|Type of Poodle||Life Expectancy|
Remember, every dog is an individual. Those who are well-looked after and receive routine vet care will tend to live the longest. Similarly, if your Poodle was bred from robust stock who were health screened, they are more likely to make it to their late teens.
Sadly, we can never guarantee a long life. Any dog can pass away at any time from an accident or illness. This is why we need to cherish every moment spent with our perfect Poodle.
Recommended: Poodle Tails: Styles, Size, Docking & More
Do Smaller Dogs Live Longer (smaller poodles)
Yes, this is almost always found to be the case.
This is an interesting fact as when we look at the animal kingdom, we often find that larger animals such as elephants live longer than small animals like birds and rodents.
Why smaller dogs live longer has been in question for many years and there has been some intriguing research published on this topic.
We know that larger breeds will age faster. Indeed, your Great Dane may start going grey and developing chronic joint disease from as young as 5 or 6. For a Chihuahua or Yorkie, this would be unusual. It is thought that the process of growing big puts strain on the body and means it will ‘wear out’ more quickly.
Another consideration is whether or not the dog “works” for a living. Sheepdogs, guard dogs, and those working with the police and armed forces are more likely to have an accident or become unwell than those toy breeds kept for companionship.
So, there are several factors to take into consideration. Regardless of breed or lifestyle, the trend of smaller dogs living longer is evident throughout the canine population. Thus, we can understand why the Standard Poodle does not tend to live as long as the two smaller poodle variants.
Interesting read: Do Poodles Bark Much? What Owners Want to Know
8 Factors Affecting Poodle Lifespan
While death is an inevitable part of life, there are things we can do to try and maximize our furry friend’s lifespan. How long a dog lives is dictated by an array of complex factors. It is never entirely under our control, but we should do all we can to ensure our dog has a long life as well as a good quality of life.
A pampered pooch who never has to lift a paw will be less prone to injury and joint disease than one who works for a living or is constantly on the go. Most poodles nowadays are kept as pets but many are used as all-purpose hunters. There is no doubt that they will love what they do and are well-suited to this job. However, the exposure to the elements and risk of injuries while hunting can impact lifespan.
You are what you eat’ as the old adage goes. This holds as true for dogs as it does for humans. Feeding your Poodle well can have a big impact on their health. We need to ensure they are getting the right balance of both macro and micro nutrients each day. As Poodles can be prone to pancreatitis, avoiding foods high in fats is very important. Owners should feed the best quality diet they can comfortably afford.
- Preventative health care:
Ensuring your dog has regular dentals, parasite prevention and annual vaccines all forms part of being a responsible pet owner. These tasks may seem like pointless exercises to some, but vets are all too aware of what can happen to a dog who develops a nasty parasite burden or comes down with Parvovirus or Leptospirosis.
It is widely accepted that neutering early on can help prevent life-threatening disease in later life. Neutering a female Poodle before their first or second season dramatically reduces the risk of them developing malignant mammary tumours. Spaying them at any age eliminates the risk of them developing a life-threatening pyometra (uterus infection). For males, the data is less convincing. However, it is generally advised that males are neutered after the age of two, to reduce the risk of them developing prostate disease and testicular cancer. Neutering earlier may predispose to joint disease.
- Genetic health:
Reputable breeders will ensure only the best Poodles are bred from. They should undertake genetic screening tests, removing any disease carriers from the breeding pool. Owners can do their part by demanding puppies are born to parents that are proven to be healthy. While these pups may cost more money, this is a worthwhile investment. By breeding responsibly in this manner, we can try to eliminate genetic diseases such as von Willebrand Disease, Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Degenerative Myelopathy.
Not only does exercise prevent obesity, it also provides much needed physical stimulation that helps keep your Poodle happy and staves off boredom and frustration. Did you know, Poodles are classed as one of the top 10 most energetic breeds? A minimum of 60 minutes exercise should be provided each day. This should consist of walking, hiking, swimming and activities like agility.
- Body Condition Score (BCS):
We should aim for our Poodle to have a BCS of 4 to 5 out of 9. Being the optimal weight throughout their lifetime will minimise the risk of certain cancers, heart disease and arthritis.
While grooming may not be something you consider when thinking about how to prolong your dog’s life, it should not be ignored. Poodles are renowned for being prone to dental disease and daily tooth brushing can prevent this from occurring. Keeping fur trimmed and neat prevents mats and chronic skin disease. Finally, regular ear cleaning minimises the risk of ear infections, which can be chronic and debilitating in the floppy-eared Poodle.
Leading Cause of Death In Poodles
Something many owners aren’t aware of is that cause of death varies depending on which kind of Poodle you have…
When it comes to the Standard Poodle, gastrointestinal diseases top the list. This is likely to include gastric dilatation-volvulus and gastroenteritis. Other top contenders include cancer and trauma. Larger breeds are more prone to bone cancer (osteosarcoma) and to hemangiosarcomas, which tend to be localized to the spleen.
For Mini Poodles, most die from neurological issues. This may include seizures and brain tumors. The next leading cause of death is trauma, such as from a road traffic accident, fall from a height, or dog attack.
Toy Poodles also die most from neurological disease. They are less prone to cancers than the other two types of Poodles but are at a slightly increased risk of death by trauma.
It is important to mention, that a large number of dogs will be euthanized rather than die naturally. This is because most would agree that it is best to end a dog’s suffering if they have no or limited chance at making a recovery.
So, in practice, a senior Poodle will be put to sleep because their quality of life has declined to an unacceptable level. These dogs may have a number of issues affecting them, including dental disease, arthritis, incontinence, canine dementia, and chronic infections.
What’s The Oldest Poodle To Have Lived?
Confirming owner’s claims of their dog being the ‘oldest dog’ to have lived can be difficult at the best of times. Dogs do not have to have birth certificates and many are not microchipped. Add to this that lots of rescue dogs are rehomed and owners are given a ‘best guess’ age that may be far from the truth, and you’ll understand why we commonly have owners claiming their dogs are older than they really are.
So, when hearing about an impressively old dog, consider the possibility that you may not be hearing the whole truth. Indeed, if someone tries to tell you that their dog lived into their late twenties, someone is probably telling porky pies.
Uncle Chi chi was an American Poodle who was believed to have died sometime between the age of 24 and 26. As he was a rescue, his owners never knew his true age.
Thank you for reading! Back to more Poodle articles >