The Poodle’s lifespan is one of the main reasons they top the list of family pets worldwide.
Through proper care and maintenance, some Poodles manage to live for as long as 18 years! However, other Poodles also cross the rainbow bridge early due to various causes.
If you plan to take home an adorable Poodle as a pet, you should make yourself aware of the different factors that could affect its lifespan and quality of life.
Luckily, this guide comprehensively discusses the lifespan of Poodles, the common causes of their deaths, and some tips on how you should take care of them to ensure that they will live a long and happy life.
Poodle Life Expectancy: How Long Do Poodles Live on Average?
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Poodle dog breed has a life expectancy ranging between 10 and 18 years in general. However, it is worth noting that the Poodle lifespan may vary significantly depending on their size.
Among the three Poodle varieties, the Standard Poodle has the shortest lifespan. A Standard Poodle typically lives between 11 and 13 years, which is not that bad since it has the same life expectancy as other medium-sized dogs.
The Miniature variety lives a bit longer than the Standard Poodle. The Miniature Poodle lifespan ranges between 14 and 16 years. This is expected since smaller breeds tend to live longer than larger dogs.
Lastly, the Toy Poodle, which is the smallest among the three Poodle variants, has the longest Poodle lifespan ranging between 14 and 18 years.
This does not mean, though, that the Miniature Poodles and Toy Poodles will always live longer than Standard Poodles.
In determining a Poodle’s lifespan, other factors should also be considered aside from sizes such as health condition, genetics, lifestyle, and nutrition.
The Oldest Living Poodle: How Old Is the Oldest Poodle in the World?
A Poodle named Lady is the world’s oldest documented Poodle. Lady was born in 1908 and passed away in August of 1937, making her the oldest Poodle that lived for 28 years and 218 days.
From a human’s point of view, 28 years of living might not be that impressive. However, that is not the case for dogs. When converted to human years, Lady was 128 years old when she died!
Aside from Lady, there is also a Toy Poodle that died just in 2012 at the age of 26 because of cancer. The Toy Poodle’s name is Chichi. When converted to human years, Chichi lived for 120 human years.
Factors That Determine the Lifespan of Your Poodle
There are a lot of factors that can affect the length of a Poodle’s life. These factors include size, genetics, spaying/neutering, lifestyle, and diet.
As an owner, you should be mindful of these factors to ensure that your Poodle will live a long and healthy life.
As mentioned in the previous sections, the Poodle lifespan varies depending on the Poodle’s variety. Size significantly affects the life expectancies of Standard Poodles, Miniature Poodles, and Toy Poodles.
As a general rule, small breeds usually have longer lives than large dogs. This could be why the Toy Poodle lifespan is longer than the Standard Poodle and Miniature Poodle.
This theory is backed up by a study conducted in North America which involved 74 dog breeds.
The study’s findings revealed that large dog breeds have shorter lifespans and die earlier than smaller breeds because they age more quickly.
Hence, Miniature and Toy Poodles are your best picks if you want a pooch that can accompany you for a longer time.
Genetics is one of the primary factors that dictate how long a Poodle lives. Heredity determines which traits are passed down from the parents to the pups.
Depending on the genes a Poodle pup inherits, it can grow as a healthy dog or be predisposed to genetic disorders and exhibit health issues right after birth.
Purebred dogs, like the Poodle, have a higher risk of inheriting genetic diseases, according to a study.
Poodles that come from healthy bloodlines are expected to have long life expectancies. This is the reason why breeders carefully choose the dogs that they breed.
Unfortunately, not all Poodles are born with good genetics. Some inherit the health problems of their parent dogs, so they have shorter lives.
Most of the time, pups with genetic disorders are products of unethical and irresponsible breeding.
Hence, you should only get your Poodle from reputable Poodle breeders or rescues. Most professional breeders have their puppies tested for genetic disorders as part of their breeding practices.
Sterilization in dogs, alternatively known as spaying and neutering, is a medical procedure that involves the removal of a dog’s reproductive organ.
These medical procedures are known to bring tons of benefits for dogs. Spayed and neutered Poodles are healthier and tend to live longer than their intact counterparts.
A study from the University of Georgia looked over the death records of 40,000 dogs. The results of their research showed that sterilization increased the life expectancy for male dogs by up to 13.8 % and 23.3% for female dogs.
This means that sterilized male and female Poodles live about one and a half years longer than intact dogs, which is roughly a decade in human years.
Neutering and spaying are also linked to healthier conditions as sterilized Poodles have a lower risk of developing reproductive-related diseases and other forms of cancers.
Nonetheless, the drawback of this irreversible procedure is that you can no longer breed your dog once it is sterilized.
Some also speculate that neutered and spayed dogs develop behavioral problems, although there is still no profound evidence to support this claim.
Lifestyle and Exercise
Lifestyle plays a crucial role in a dog’s life. Poodles with active lifestyles are observed to be more healthy and happy.
On average, Poodles should have at least one hour of exercise every day. This could be in the form of playing catch or a walk in the dog park.
Poodles with active lifestyles develop stronger immune systems which protect them against common canine illnesses.
Specifically, an increase in blood circulation as a result of exercising decreases a dog’s risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
Furthermore, exercising also helps Poodles release their pent-up energy and reduce their stress. Dogs that receive an ample amount of activities and stimulation exhibit better behavioral predisposition.
Although this is pretty obvious, it would still be worth emphasizing that Poodles that receive nutritious meals live a long and happy life. A proper diet is crucial for the growth of Poodles or any dog for that matter.
Similar to human beings, a dog’s body requires certain nutrients and minerals to sustain its function and develop a strong immune system against diseases.
You should refrain from feeding your dog unhealthy and cheap kibbles if you don’t want its health to be compromised.
You can also opt to give your dog fruits and veggies as alternatives for commercially-available manufactured dog food.
Nonetheless, you should not only focus on the quality of the diet but also on its quantity. Overfed Poodles normally become obese and develop various diseases related to overweightedness.
Likewise, malnourishment is something that you should also look out for. The immune systems of underweight Poodles become very weak due to the lack of nutrients in the body.
READ NEXT: Male vs. Female Poodle: Which Is Better?
How to Identify the Age of Your Poodle in Human Years
The traditional way of identifying a Poodle’s age is by assuming that a dog’s year is equivalent to seven human years. This technique has been going on for quite a long time, but it is not supported by modern science.
Fortunately, there are updated and more comprehensive guides that you can use to calculate the age of your Poodle in human years.
The first technique was developed by studying the chemical changes in the DNA of a dog as it ages and then comparing it to the aging process of human beings.
The study’s findings showed a correlation between the aging process of puppies and humans. Using the data, the researchers devised a formula that can convert dog years to human age. Here is the formula:
16 ln (Your Poodle’s Age) + 31 = Human Age
Using a calculator, take the natural algorithm (the “In” function) of your dog’s age and multiply it by 16. Afterward, add 31 to the product to get the human age of your dog. Quite easy, right?
However, this technique is not yet widely used by many dog fanciers.
- The first year of a dog is equivalent to 15 human years.
- The second year of a dog equals nine years of human age.
- Subsequently, each succeeding year is equivalent to approximately four to five years for a dog.
Here is the age chart for the Toy or Miniature Poodle:
|Toy/Miniature Poodle’s Age||Equivalent in Human Years|
|>||Add four years for each succeeding dog year|
Meanwhile, here is the age chart for the Standard Poodle:
|Standard Poodle’s Age||Equivalent in Human Years|
|>||Add four years for each succeeding dog year|
Notice that the age for small and medium-sized dogs begins to diverge at the age of six years old. According to AVMA, larger dogs become seniors earlier than smaller dogs because they age faster.
Typically, a Standard Poodle becomes a senior dog once it turns seven years old, while a Toy Poodle and a Miniature Poodle only become old in their eighth year.
What Do Poodles Usually Die From?
Even though Poodles have a long life expectancy in general, some still pass away at a young age for many reasons.
While it is impossible for you to predict what will cause the death of your pup, you can somehow lower the chances of it dying from certain causes by being mindful of them.
In this section, I will comprehensively discuss the common causes of death in adult and puppy Poodles.
Common Causes of Death in Poodle Puppies
Poodle pups are more vulnerable than adult ones because of their underdeveloped immune systems and weaker body frames. This is why owners should give ample attention to monitoring their Poodle puppies.
Here are some of the common causes of death in Poodle puppies that you should know:
- Physical Trauma: Physical trauma includes any fatal injury that a puppy may suffer from caused by an accident or physical force. A Poodle puppy is fragile and vulnerable. As horrible as this may sound, most Poodle puppies die from fatal injuries that they get when they are hit by a car, bitten by other dogs, accidentally kicked or stepped on, and when they fall from a high place.
- Distemper: This highly contagious disease affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of a dog. Puppies that suffer from this infectious and fatal illness will have yellow discharge from their eyes and show signs such as coughing, loss of appetite, and vomiting.
- Congenital Problem: Congenital problem is also a leading cause of death for Poodle pups. Some Poodle pups are born with defects. These inherited disorders can lead to abnormal developments of organs in the body and malfunctioning of some organ systems. Common congenital disorders include neurological disorders, eye problems, heart diseases, and skeletal muscle defects.
- Parvovirus: Also known as canine parvovirus (CPV), this life-threatening viral disease is highly contagious and widely prevalent in adolescent and puppy Poodles. Common signs of the parvovirus include lethargy, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, hypothermia, and dehydration.
The good thing is that most of the conditions listed above are preventable. You can lessen the risk of your pup acquiring distemper and parvovirus by having it vaccinated with the core canine shots.
Meanwhile, puppies can be tested for congenital disorders early on.
Common Causes of Death in Poodle Adults
The Poodle breed is healthy in general. However, adult Poodles are still vulnerable to certain conditions, especially since their bodies and immune systems become weaker as they grow old.
Here are some of the common causes of death in Poodle adults:
- Cancer: Cancer is the leading cause of death in adult Poodles. These include prostate cancer, melanoma, ovarian cancer, and lymphoma. Although the three Poodle varieties can develop any of these cancers, the Standard Poodle and Miniature Poodle are more susceptible to acquiring them.
- Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus: This condition is also known as bloat. It is characterized by the dilation of the stomach, which increases the pressure inside the organ. If not given proper attention, bloat could lead to more severe health problems.
- Tracheal Collapse: This respiratory health problem occurs when the cartilage of the trachea collapses, which leads to breathing problems. Aside from having difficulties breathing, a Poodle with this condition will show signs such as vomiting, gagging, coughing, and cyanotic episodes. Toy Poodles are more susceptible to this illness.
There is no way to escape the inevitable bidding of goodbyes to our beloved pets. However, there are many ways we can prolong their lives.
A healthy lifestyle, nutritious diet, and regular visits to the vet or animal specialists will surely go a long way in securing a healthy and happy life for your Poodle dog.
3 Easy Tips to Help Your Poodle Live Longer
As mentioned in the previous section, there are many ways you can prolong the life of your Poodle and improve its quality of life.
To make it more convenient for you, I listed some valuable guides below to help your Poodle live longer:
1. Prepare a high-quality diet
Feeding your Poodle nutritious food equates to equipping it against diseases. Just like with humans, the immune system and body functions of our pets rely heavily on the nutrients they get from their meals.
This means that you should only feed your Poodle kibbles packed with nutrients to promote optimal growth. You can also opt to give healthy treats to your dogs like steamed or raw veggies and fruits.
A feeding schedule is also essential in ensuring that your dog receives the ample amount of nutrients they need every day.
You should carefully monitor feeding behaviors as overfeeding and underfeeding could lead to obesity and malnourishment. A picky-eater Poodle might also have underlying health issues.
2. Keep your Poodle active
Providing regular exercise to your Poodle could help keep it healthy and live a longer life.
Aside from boosting your dog’s immunity against diseases, exercising also optimizes your pet’s bodily functions by increasing blood supply and promoting muscle growth.
Playtimes and activities also stimulate the mind, reduce stress levels, and release your dog’s pent-up energy.
However, you should not overwork your Poodle as it is also detrimental to its health. Always ensure that your pet is well-hydrated before doing an activity like walking, hiking, or playing fetch.
Watch this comprehensive video tutorial about the Poodle breed’s exercise requirements:
3. Visit the vet regularly
Keep a close eye on your dog’s health condition by having regular vet visits. By doing so, you are assured that your pet is in its optimum health, and you also get to spot early signs of possible complications.
You should take your Poodle to a vet at least once every three months for a routine checkup that may include health testing for congenital disorders and common canine illnesses such as distemper, parvovirus, and influenza.
Senior Poodle Dog Care
A Standard Poodle is usually considered to be a senior once it turns seven years old. Meanwhile, the Toy Poodle and the Miniature Poodle reach senior age at their eighth-year mark.
Senior Poodles experience a lot of changes physically and behaviorally. These physical and behavioral shifts could negatively affect their lives tremendously.
Some signs of aging in senior dogs include reduced energy levels and changes in activities. Although this happens gradually, you will soon notice that your senior dog has reduced activeness, endurance, and slow movements.
The bones, muscles, and immune systems of an old Poodle will also get weaker as it ages. This being said, owners should be aware that senior Poodles require a special kind of care.
Here are a few ways to take care of a senior Poodle:
- Visit the vet more frequently for health examinations.
- Keep your Poodle active but avoid overworking it.
- Give your Poodles supplements and vitamins.
- Make sure that your Poodle is well-hydrated.
- Prepare a nutritious dietary plan for your Poodle.
- Ensure that your Poodle has a healthy weight.
- Keep your Poodle entertained.
- Do not leave your Poodle alone outside.
Taking care of a senior dog is similar to caring for a Poodle puppy. They require attention, love, and lots of patience. Nevertheless, the loyalty of your pup will never change, even if they get old and weak.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a Poodle Live for 20 Years?
Poodles can live for more than 20 years with proper care and maintenance! In fact, the oldest documented Poodle, Lady, lived for more than 28 years. Aside from Lady, a Toy Poodle in New York named Chichi also lived for 26 years.
What Age Is Considered Old for a Poodle?
In general, a Poodle is usually considered to reach old age after its seventh birthday. However, the standard Poodle becomes a senior dog earlier than the Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle.
A Standard Poodle is declared as old in its seventh year. Meanwhile, the Toy Poodle and Miniature Poodle become seniors when they turn eight years old.
What Age Do Most Poodles Die?
Most Poodles, regardless of the variant, die at the age of 14 years old, which is the median age of the breed’s life expectancy.
However, some Poodles die earlier than the average life expectancy because of serious illnesses and fatal injuries.
How Do I Know If My Poodle Is Dying?
The best way to find out if your Poodle is dying is by taking it to a veterinarian for a checkup.
You should immediately take your senior dog to the vet if it shows signs of joint problems, loss of coordination, disinterest, lethargy, loss of appetite, difficulty in breathing, loss of consciousness, vomiting, and muscle twitching.
Aside from being a famous American household pet, the Poodle’s lifespan also adds to its appeal. This means that if you are looking for a long-time companion, the Poodle breed is the perfect pet for you!
Among the three Poodle variants, the Toy Poodle has the longest life expectancy, followed by the Miniature Poodle. Although last on the list, the Standard Poodle lifespan is still relatively long.
Nevertheless, you should know that taking care of a senior dog requires special attention and care.
A long life expectancy also means a huge financial responsibility because you need to provide for your dog’s needs throughout its lifetime. If this is not a problem for you, though, then nothing should stop you from owning one.