Life Expectancy of Boxer Dogs
Animal file: Boxer
If you have a Boxer dog or are thinking of adopting one, it's normal to be curious about their life expectancy. Although there are never guarantees, you will want to know what to expect for practical and emotional reasons. In this AnimalWised article, we'll provide details of the life expectancy of a Boxer dog and share some tips to help improve their quality of life while it's with you. In this way, you can better ensure they will live as long and as happy a life as possible.
Keep reading to find out about the life expectancy of Boxer dogs and what you need to know for your pet to live longer than usual.
How long do Boxer dogs live for?
In general, larger breeds live less than smaller breeds. While a Boxer is not considered a giant dog, they are considered to be a medium-large breed. Males measure up to 25" at the withers while female dogs measure up to 24". In terms of weight, Boxers can weigh up to 75 lb, although there are cases of larger dogs recorded. Due to their size, it likely their life expectancy will not be as long as others.
Boxer dogs usually live for 10 to 12 years, although we've found surprising cases of Boxers who have lived upwards of 15 years of age. The life expectancy of a Boxer dog may vary according to how well you look after them. Other factors include their state of health, their behavior and various environmental factors.
Learn more about big dogs with our list of giant dog breeds.
What factors influence a Boxer dog's life expectancy?
There are no special tricks or home remedies that can magically make your Boxer live beyond their life expectancy. Unfortunately, there are many issues which are out of our control. However, there are things we can do to maintain their health and better ensure longevity. Some of these are basic elements of their care, others require a little more consideration:
- Vaccination: there are certain pathological diseases which can infect dogs from a young age. Puppies are especially vulnerable due to a still-developing immune system. For this reason, establishing a vaccination schedule as soon as possible will be important. Vaccinations will differ according to region, so you will need to speak to your veterinarian about what works best for your dog.
- Deworming: similarly, there are certain parasites which can infest dogs. Fleas and ticks are some of the most common external parasites, but there are also internal parasites which can infest the dog from eating something they shouldn't or from larvae entering via another route. Regular deworming schedules will also be determined by your veterinarian on a case-by-case basis. Find out in our related article how often you should deworm your dog.
- Diet: every dog will need a balanced and nutritious diet. While we are fine to give them treats every once in a while, they should be used sparingly. Boxer dogs can be particularly greedy and have large appetites, so we need to be careful to avoid obesity. Provide good quality food in the correct portion sizes. If your dog has any issues regarding their health, they may need a specialized diet which should be determined by the vet.
- Exercise: all dogs need exercise, but not all need the same amount. Although a brachycephalic dogs, Boxers are also quite athletic. They tend to have a lot of energy and need proper stimuli to ensure physical conditioning. For this reason, we need to provide around 2 hours of exercise every day. This includes walks and other exercise such as training and running. They are not a breed suitable for sedentary families.
- Checkups: when the dog gets older, their exercise requirements will lessen. They will also be more susceptible to certain diseases and health problems. All dogs should be taken to the veterinarian once a year for a checkup. After 6 or 7 years of age, Boxer dogs should be taken twice a year as it is the best way to diagnose health issues early and best ensure a positive prognosis.
These are the basic elements of a Boxer dog's care needs. However, they will also need to be amended for the specific needs of the individual dog. This means their diet, exercise requirements, veterinary visit frequency and other factors may change. However, for more general information, take a look at our article on how to take care of a Boxer dog.
Common diseases of Boxer dogs
To finish our discussion on the life expectancy of Boxer dogs, it's important to be aware of the diseases to which this dog breed may be more prone. It will be fundamental to understanding what you should expect in the future. This is especially the case with senior Boxer dogs. As the dog get older, they will suffer the effects of aging and their care will need to be adjusted.
As mentioned above, Boxers are a brachycephalic dog breed. This refers to their morphology. Genetic inheritance due to selective breeding has led the Boxer dog to have a flattened snout, elongated soft palate and other issues related to brachycephalic. Although not as pronounced as other brachycephalic dogs, such as the Pug, this can result in various respiratory, cardiac and other health problems.
The Boxer dog is also prone to certain issues with their bone structure. They are a breed which is particularly prone to hip dysplasia, so we need to monitor their gate and look for any trouble when walking.
Finally, Boxer dogs are also prone to certain heart diseases. This is related to their genetic inheritance also. In fact, Boxers have a type of heart disease specific to them known as Boxer cardiomyopathy (BCM). This is a condition which results in an irregular heartbeat leading to weakness and it can even be fatal. It is another important reason why veterinary checkups are so common.
Other health issues which relatively common in Boxer dogs include:
Even if your dog doesn't currently show signs of any of the above, you should pay close attention to their health, especially when they get older. It's important to know how to care for a senior dog, because the earlier a disease is diagnosed the easier it is to treat. Ask your vet for advice.
You should also reduce the amount of exercise they receive (especially if they suffer from a heart condition) and start doing specific exercises for older dogs.
Furthermore, if you know your dog's genetic lineage, you can ask previous owners if their dog suffered from any problems. Being aware of the parents' state of health will tell you which particular problems your dog is likely to suffer from, since genes are an important factor.
If you want to read similar articles to Life Expectancy of Boxer Dogs, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.