Just as we want our best lives to be, we want our dog’s life to be happy, healthy, and long-lasting too. And while owners may think that it is an ancient women’s story that smaller breeds of dogs have longer lifespans than larger breeds, this is actually a true statement. Diana Hightower, President of Chihuahua Rescue and Transport, spoke to us about dogs and their different life expectancies. “While the age range is not breed specific, smaller dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs,” she explains. “A larger dog has a lifespan of eight to ten years, while smaller breeds (like Chihuahua) can generally live to be 15 to 20 years old.”

How long your puppy lives naturally also depends on the quality of care it takes and the way you live together. Whether you love a Miniature Poodle or a Great Dane, Hightower shows that you can make changes to extend your dog’s lifespan. “Steps owners can take to prolong the lives and happiness of their dogs are to provide their pets with an overall safe environment,” says Hightower. “This includes maintaining a healthy weight, daily exercise, relaxation, and regular veterinary exams. Quality veterinary care, including annual checkups, vaccinations, dentures, monthly heartworm and flea prevention, is critical.”

What if this is a first time dog owner and you are looking for a specific breed that is known to have a long lifespan? In fact, these dog breeds exist. Here we dive into the dogs with the longest life expectancy.