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How Long Do Pit Bulls Live? A Guide To The Pit Bull Lifespan

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Despite the stigma surrounding them, Pit Bulls can be amazing family pets. If you’re thinking about adding one to your family, you’re probably wondering: How long do Pit Bulls live?

Sadly, no dog breed lives as long as we wish they would, but it’s nice to know about how many years you can expect to get with your furry family member. It’s also nice to know what sorts of things you can do to extend their lifespan, so we’ve included that information, too.

What is a Pit Bull?

While there is an American Pit Bull Terrier, people often use the term “Pit Bull” to refer loosely to several different dog breeds, including the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and American Bulldog.

We will be talking specifically about the American Pit Bull Terrier in this article, but all breeds referred to as Pit Bulls have similar lifespans and health problems.

pit bull life expectancy

How Long Do Pit Bulls Live?

The average Pit Bull lifespan is 12 to 14 years. Your dog may live as long as 20 years or die tragically early, but without any serious health issues or terrible accidents, you can expect to have at least a dozen years with your Pit Bull.

How long do Pit Bull mixes live?

Pit bulls are a range of dog breeds that originated from bulldog-terrier cross breeds rather than a single dog bred. The four primary pit bull breeds are American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Bully. 

Pit bulls often live between 8 and 16 years. Depending on the particular breed of pit bull, they have varying life expectancies. The two pit bull breeds with the longest lifespans are American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

A pit bull named Max, which was from Louisiana, lived the longest of any pit bull breed that has ever been recorded. Max lived a long, robust life and passed away at the age of 26. Max was a terrier mix, yet he was still considered a pit bull. Pit bulls are more resilient than previously believed, as seen by the research that says they can live into their twenties and beyond.

The longevity of each breed of pit bull is listed below. The American Staffordshire terrier has the greatest lifespan, with an average life expectancy of 12 to 16 years. However, when given the proper care, all pit bull breeds can live well into their teen years:

Pit bulls are a range of dog breeds that originated from bulldog-terrier cross breeds rather than a single dog bred. The four primary pit bull breeds are American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Bully. 

Pit bulls often live between 8 and 16 years. Depending on the particular breed of pit bull, they have varying life expectancies. The two pit bull breeds with the longest lifespans are American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

A pit bull named Max, which was from Louisiana, lived the longest of any pit bull breed that has ever been recorded. Max lived a long, robust life and passed away at the age of 26. Max was a terrier mix, yet he was still considered a pit bull. Pit bulls are more resilient than previously believed, as seen by the research that says they can live into their twenties and beyond.

The longevity of each breed of pit bull is listed below. The American Staffordshire terrier has the greatest lifespan, with an average life expectancy of 12 to 16 years. However, when given the proper care, all pit bull breeds can live well into their teen years:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier: Life expectancy – 8 to 15 years
  • American Staffordshire Terrier: Life expectancy – 12 to 16 years
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier: Life expectancy – 12 to 14 years
  • American Bully: Life expectancy – 8 to 15 years

Common Health Issues of pit Bull

Pit bulls are one of the popular canine breeds that people around the world misunderstand the most because of their appearance and the myths about how vicious they can be. But in reality, these dogs are extremely loyal and affectionate towards their owners. 

Just like any other dog breed, pit bulls also have a high risk of developing several illnesses. Therefore, as a dog parent, you must properly care for these medium-sized canines. Let us now have a quick look at some of the major health issues that a pit bull can suffer from.

  • Skin Disorders: Unfortunately, Pit bulls are predisposed to a number of skin conditions naturally, including itchiness from allergies, tumors, and even skin cancer. To avoid skin allergies, you should frequently groom your pit bull and clean its ears. You must provide them shade because they are vulnerable to sunburns due to their short hair.
  • Problems in Knee: Knee issues are common in pit bulls. Pit bulls are energetic dogs who enjoy racing, playing with toys, and being active in a playground or in a dog park. But pit bulls are vulnerable to knee issues, ligament tears, and injuries to the hind legs due to their high activity level and robust frame.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Among pit bulls, hip dysplasia is a common problem. Pit bulls frequently experience issues with their back legs, which can make them less agile. This disorder causes the hip to develop incorrectly, resulting in arthritis and ongoing pain.
  • Thyroid Problems: For Pit bulls, thyroid illness is another major issue. You may be surprised to know that pit bulls are particularly vulnerable to hypothyroidism. When the thyroid glands aren’t creating enough thyroid hormones, your pit bull will put on excessive weight and get skin and knee issues in return.
  • Stomach Dilatation or Volvulus: Although many pit bull owners write this illness off as it is little more than bloating, it can be lethal in a matter of hours. Pit bulls with this illness will have too much gas in their stomachs after eating. This illness can get worse from consuming fermented food and “air eating.”
  • Ichthyosis Disorder: Ichthyosis is prone to occur among pit bulls. Ichthyosis is a congenital defect that, if left untreated, can become painful. In this illness, the outer layer of the footpads and the skin on your pit bull’s skin may occasionally become thicker.
  • Ataxia Cerebellaris: 1 in 400 pit bulls has cerebellar ataxia, a genetic disorder that causes impaired motor coordination and imbalance. Cerebellar ataxia symptoms frequently appear as canines mature. Pit bulls with this ailment will have tremors, unsteady movements, a wobbly walk, and in more difficult situations, they may not be able to move at all.

Factors Affecting How Long Pit Bulls Live

Apart from tragic accidents, there are a wide variety of factors that can affect a Pit Bull’s lifespan. Some things that can shorten a Pit Bull’s life expectancy include:

  • Obesity causes many of the same health problems in dogs as people
  • Poor diet can impact the health of your Pit Bull
  • Hip dysplasia affects your dog’s mobility and quality of life
  • Heart disease can dramatically decrease a Pit Bull’s lifespan
  • Lack of training can lead to an aggressive Pit Bull that needs to be put down after attacking a person or another dog
  • Not enough exercise can cause destructive behaviors that may cause owners to take their Pit Bull to a shelter, where they are likely to be euthanized

pitbull lifespan

What do Pit Bulls Usually Die From?

Although pit bulls are normally healthy canines, there are a few things that can shorten their lifespan. These may include factors like trauma, medication side effects, and certain variants of typical health issues found in dogs.

To begin with, health problems like Ichthyosis disorder, thyroid problems, Ataxia cerebellaris, and stomach dilatation are some of the major problems that pit bulls can go through during their lifetime. These health problems seriously affect their lifespan and become a major reason behind their death.

There are some other problems that also affect their life expectancy. Let’s have a quick look at them as well.

1. Physical Injury

For the majority of pit bulls, physical trauma is another early killer. They occasionally engage in combat with a larger dog or attack an unwary stranger because of their protective attitude. In either scenario, there’s a good chance that your Pattie will sustain physical harm or, worse yet, will have to be put down.

2. Presence of Toxins

Pit bulls who are kept outdoors are frequently left exposed to their surrounding elements. Your pit bull’s lifespan will undoubtedly be shortened by exposure to hazardous substances, including pesticides, dirty water, and other chemical compounds.

Additionally, be sure to frequently clean your pit bull’s feeder and keep an eye on it from time to time. Additionally, pet owners are advised to spend money on a premium food bowl. Cheap plastic dishes are typically dangerous and could introduce plastic toxins into their food.

3. Drugs

As with humans, taking the wrong medication can cause difficulties and, occasionally, even death. Therefore, before giving your pit bull any medication to prevent illness or act as a dietary supplement, make sure to confirm with your veterinarian first.

Additionally, pay attention to the recommended dosage for the various vitamins and medications you give your dog. Please remember that overdosing is risky!

Why Do Some Pit Bulls Live Longer Than Others?

The lifespan of a pit bull is influenced by a variety of variables. Your pit bull’s life span may depend on a variety of factors, including nutrition, genetics, and breeding history.

Genetic Configuration

The most important factor affecting a pit bull’s life span is genetics. Looking at the parents and grandparents of your pit bull is the greatest approach to estimating how long it will live. The best you can do is to try to change their surroundings and ensure that they have a healthy lifestyle so they live as long as they possibly can.

Breeding Background

The lifespan of a pit bull is also significantly influenced by its breeding history. Due to breeders’ inclination to attempt and maintain breed standard features in the gene pool, sometimes to the detriment of the dogs, pedigreed breeding greatly reduces the gene pool. Particularly true of pit bulls with merle patterns is the factor of this small gene pool.

Shape and Size

In general, pit bulls are medium-sized dogs. Bully breeds like the Razor’s Edge pit bull, which belongs to the pit bull family, come in sizes ranging from Standard to XXL. 

Now, you must be aware that canines larger in size typically have shorter lifespans than dogs of smaller sizes. It is the same with these pit bulls, and they tend to live less than other pit bull breeds.

Nutritional Need

One important component that pit bull owners may influence to help their pit bull live as long as possible is nutrition. A healthy diet can greatly influence the lifespan of a pit bull.

One of the things that will determine how long your pit bull lives is your ability to prevent them from gaining weight. When compared to their friends, they are heavy, and to make things worse, overweight pit bulls experience various health problems, especially as they get older and their joints start to deteriorate.

Environmental Factors

The longevity of the pit bull is also influenced by environmental conditions. For instance, Razor’s Edge pit bulls have been known to have extremely low heat tolerance. Therefore, owners of Razor’s Edge pit bulls must take precautions to prevent heat exhaustion in their canine companions.

How Can You Help Your Pit Bull Live Longer?

While you can’t change something like congenital heart disease, there are some things you can do to help give your Pit Bull the best chance of a long, healthy life. Here are a few tips to help your Pit Bull live longer.

1. Keep Your Pit Bull a Healthy Weight

More than half of all pet dogs are overweight or obese. As with humans, obesity in your Pit Bull can cause things like:

  • High blood pressure
  • Some types of cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Arthritis
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Shorter lifespan

How can you tell if your Pit Bull is overweight? When your dog is standing up, they should have a visible waistline when viewed from the side and above. You should also be able to feel (but not see) their ribs.

Just like with humans, the keys to keeping your Pit Bull a healthy weight are to feed them a healthy diet and give them plenty of exercise. If you like to give your dog treats, make sure to give them less kibble to make up for the calories, and don’t go overboard on the treats.

You can also substitute healthy fruits and vegetables that are safe for dogs, like carrots, as healthy treats that won’t affect your Pit Bull’s waistline.

If your Pit Bull is overweight, talk to your vet about how to help them safely lose weight. Sometimes, simply feeding your dog less isn’t enough – you may need a reduced-calorie diet.

2. Choose a Pit Bull Breeder Carefully

Pit Bulls are genetically predisposed to several health conditions, including hip dysplasia, heart disease, thyroid problems, and allergies. Reputable breeders work hard to reduce how many genetic conditions are passed through their bloodlines and do certain tests to ensure the health of their dogs before breeding them.

Backyard breeders, puppy mills, and pet stores, on the other hand, are more interested in making money than they are in producing healthy puppies. Dogs from disreputable breeders like these are more likely to suffer from genetic problems, and they’re also more likely to suffer from deadly infections like parvo.

Here are some ways to make sure the breeder you’re looking at is reputable:

1.  They should do health tests on the parent dogs

2.  You should be allowed to see the puppies on site

3.  They should answer all your questions and ask some of their own

4.  You should be allowed to meet at least the mother dog

5.  They should offer to take the puppy back if you can’t keep it for whatever reason

6.  They may offer health guarantees

3. Get Regular Vet Care

Many health conditions are easier to treat the sooner they are spotted. Taking your Pit Bull to the vet at least once a year when young and twice a year when becoming a senior can help spot potential health problems before being severe enough to shorten your Pit Bull’s life.

4. Give Them Plenty of Exercise and Training

how long do pitbulls live

Pit Bulls are very active and require at least an hour of exercise every day. Without enough exercise, Pit Bulls are likely to become bored and destructive. A bored Pit Bull can start chewing up and swallowing things they shouldn’t, which can lead to intestinal obstructions that can be deadly without expensive emergency surgery.

While Pit Bulls are not necessarily any more likely to attack people or other dogs than any other breed, they do tend to cause massive amounts of damage when they do bite.

The best way to prevent your Pit Bull from aggressive behavior is to give them plenty of socialization and training, starting as young as possible. You need to learn to be firm and assertive without dominating your Pit Bull.

Positive reinforcement is a much more appropriate style of training a Pit Bull than domination or punishment styles of training.

5. Feed High-Quality Food

In general, people who eat a lot of junk food tend to have shorter lifespans than people who eat healthily. The same holds true for dogs. Do you know what’s in your Pit Bull’s food?

Most cheap dog foods are made with filler ingredients that don’t have any nutritional value, like corn or meat by-product (the parts of an animal that people won’t eat like beaks or hooves). Look for food that has real meat as the first ingredient, no by-products, and no corn.

For suggestions on dog food for Pit Bulls, check out our article on the 5 Best Dog Foods for Pit Bulls.

6. Brush Their Teeth

Most people never think about brushing their dog’s teeth, but a dog’s dental health can impact the rest of their health. You see, if you don’t brush your Pit Bull’s teeth, bacteria can grow out of control under the gumline, then enter the bloodstream and affect your dog’s internal organs, including their heart.

How Long Do Pit Bulls Live

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If you can, you should brush your Pit Bull’s teeth every day with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste made specifically for dogs. If your dog doesn’t let you do that, check out the 5 Best Bones for Pit Bulls.

Chewing on bones helps remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and helps stimulate the gums – it’s the next best thing to brushing.

pitbull life expectancy

FAQs

Can a PitBull live for 20 years?

Generally speaking, pit bulls live between 8 and 16 years. Depending on the particular breed of pit bull, they have varying life expectancies. The two pit bull breeds with the longest lifespans are American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

However, there is a tonne of unsubstantiated claims that pit bulls can live well above 20 years old. These incidents merely demonstrate that pit bulls can survive longer than they are supposed to. The oldest pit bull ever identified was 26 years old, Max, who was a Terrier-cross Louisiana-born dog.

How long do pit bulls normally live?

Size is an important factor in determining a dog’s longevity. Because they mature more quickly than smaller canines, larger dogs typically live shorter lives. Pit bulls are medium-sized canines, and their lifespan will reflect their size. Pit bulls live 10 to 14 years on average.

The longevity of each breed of pit bull is as follows. The American Staffordshire terrier has the greatest lifespan, with an average life expectancy of 12 to 16 years. However, when given the proper care, all pit bull breeds can live well and more than that.

What’s the oldest Pit Bull on record?

The oldest pit bull ever identified was 26 years old. Max was the name of a Louisiana-born pit bull and was a Terrier-cross dog. Max’s astonishing age corresponds to 182 years in human years.

Aside from Max, there are numerous unsubstantiated reports of pit bulls living much past the age of 20. These incidents merely demonstrate that if taken proper care of, pit bulls can survive longer than they are supposed to.

What is considered old for a Pit Bull?

Pit bulls mature at around age 12 on average. The average life expectancy of a pit bull varies between 10 and 14 years, depending on a number of variables, including nutrition, genetics, and breeding history.

If a pit bull lives beyond 17 years, then it is considered to be old enough according to its breed. There is a tonne of unsubstantiated claims that pit bulls can live well above 20 years old. The oldest pit bull ever identified was a dog named Max, which lived to be 26 years old.

What dog breed lives the longest?

With the typical dog only lasting for 10 to 13 years, it is one of the horrible truths of dog ownership that we are likely to outlive our beloved companions. However, some kinds of dogs tend to live longer than others. Besides, it is a well-known fact that smaller dogs typically live longer than physically larger dogs.

The longest-living dog was an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey, who lived for an astonishing 29 years. The average lifespan of this breed of dog is just 15 years. However, Chihuahuas are a dog breed that has an average lifespan of 17-20 years.

How do I prolong my dog’s life?

A dog normally gets outlived by its owner as its average lifespan varies between 13 to 16 years. But there are few factors that can enhance their life expectancy. One factor influencing the longevity of any dog breed is its diet. Give your dog the right food to maintain a healthy diet.

Besides, a regular visit to the veterinary and timely vaccination can positively impact the overall health of your dog, and it can live longer. Additionally, give equal importance to its dental hygiene, and to keep your dog fit, regular walks, strenuous exercises like climbing and swimming, or even a quick game of fetch will be immensely beneficial.

Final Words: Summing Up The Pit Bull Life Expectancy

While there is no way to guarantee that your Pit Bull will live a long, happy life, following these tips should help improve the chances that your dog can live for many healthy, high-quality years as a treasured member of your family.

With a little luck and a lot of love, your Pittie may beat the odds and live longer than the average Pit Bull lifespan of 12 to 14 years.

You May Also Like…

Red Nose Pitbull: Breed Facts, History and Differences

Blue Nose Pitbull: A Beautiful Dog with a Mixed Reputation

5 Best Indestructible Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers

Pitbull Husky Mix: Getting to Know the Pitsky

References

Pet Obesity Prevention

3 thoughts on “How Long Do Pit Bulls Live? A Guide To The Pit Bull Lifespan”

  1. Lots of good information. I advise against buying pit bulls from breeders, though. Pit bulls are one of the most commonly euthanized dogs in shelters. There are tons of them looking for homes and you can buy them in all age ranges. We adopted our pit bulls as puppies from a rescue agency. They are 12 and 8 right now.

    Reply
    • We bought the runt. My husband nephew bough her brother and he’s fine this 2020 really sucks. Few months ago she started having seizures. One month ago black diheria. Went to two different hospitals they said she has a cancerous tumor. She is my life

      Reply
  2. I have a pitbull female, had one. She passed away today at the age of 15 years. Had her since she was four months old. She was half gator and half red nose. Most lovable family member. Going to miss her tremendously.

    Reply

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