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Extend Your German Shepherd’s Lifespan: Tips & Tricks (2024)

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Gifted with grace and grandeur, German Shepherds are renowned for their loyalty, intelligence, and athleticism. They have an average lifespan of 9-13 years. It is critical to understand the various factors that could affect how long they live in order to maximize your beloved canine’s life expectancy.

In this article, we’ll be discussing ways you can extend the life of your German Shepherd. This includes keeping them lean, regular check-ups, exercise, and providing tips about responsible breeding.

Key Takeaways

german shepherd lifespan

  • German Shepherds have an average lifespan of 9-13 years.
  • Factors such as weight, regular check-ups, exercise, and responsible breeding can affect their lifespan.
  • Feeding high-quality food without corn, by-products, or artificial ingredients is important for their health.
  • Natural supplements like fish oil, hemp oil, or glucosamine/chondroitin can support overall health and joint health in German Shepherds.

German Shepherd Lifespan

German Shepherd Lifespan
You can extend the life of your pup by following some simple tips, such as keeping them lean and providing a healthy diet with plenty of exercise. Maintaining an ideal weight is key to preventing joint issues like hip dysplasia that are common in German Shepherds.

Feeding high-quality food without corn, by-products, or artificial ingredients will provide all the necessary nutrients for growth and development. Consider adding natural health supplements like fish oil, hemp oil, or glucosamine/chondroitin too, which may support overall health and joint health in German Shepherds over time.

Exercising regularly is also essential for their well-being; two hours per day should do the trick! Walking them daily has great benefits not only for your dog but also for you – it’s a win-win situation! You can mix things up with fun activities like playing fetch, setting up obstacle courses, or even going on hikes together if possible – this way they won’t get bored easily while exercising at the same time!

When looking into getting a German Shepherd puppy, be sure to thoroughly evaluate breeders before making any decisions regarding purchasing one from them – visit puppies on-site if possible so you know exactly what kind of environment they have been raised in since birth, as well as other important factors such as genetic testing conducted, etc.

Once you have chosen wisely, spaying/neutering at an appropriate age (not too young) could further help increase their life expectancy significantly due to reduced risk towards certain cancers caused otherwise when left unaltered, along with many other dangers including fights & accidents faced outdoors, especially when roaming freely about neighborhoods, etc.

Keeping Them Lean

Keeping Them Lean
Recent studies have proven that keeping your German Shepherd lean and feeding them a healthy diet can significantly improve their lifespan. Adopting a well-rounded nutrition plan for your pup is important to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients needed for growth and development while also helping reduce the risk of health issues like hip dysplasia.

Proven Studies

Studies have proven that taking the necessary steps to care for your pup can extend their life by up to 18-24 months, so give them all the love and attention they deserve!

Regular dental care is essential, as periodontal disease affects up to 90% of dogs over three years old.

Exercise also plays an important role in increasing a German Shepherd’s lifespan; aim for two hours per day of walks and fun activities like fetch or obstacle courses.

A healthy diet with a protein range between 18-22%, high-quality food without corn, byproducts, artificial ingredients but with real fruit/vegetable sources is beneficial too – feeding small meals throughout the day can prevent bloating.

Natural health supplements, such as fish oil, may offer additional support for joints and overall health as well.

Responsible breeding practices are key when looking into getting one; evaluate breeders onsite before making any decisions, then spay/neuter at an appropriate age (not too young) once you’ve chosen wisely – this could significantly increase life expectancy due to reduced risk towards certain cancers caused otherwise when left unaltered.

Plus, there are many other dangers, including fights & accidents faced outdoors, especially when roaming freely about neighborhoods, etc.

Give your pup everything it needs now so they’ll be around longer later!

Healthy Diet

Providing your pup with a healthy diet can help extend their life expectancy, and feeding them 25% less food can increase it by up to 18-24 months!

Aim for foods that are high in protein, within the range of 18%-22%, such as meat meal. Incorporate natural supplements like fish oil, which may also offer additional support for joints and overall health.

If you have a German Shepherd puppy, feed him or her puppy food specifically designed for large breeds to ensure proper joint development without excessive growth or caloric intake.

Additionally, give dental treats regularly to prevent periodontal disease, which affects 90% of dogs over three years old if left untreated.

Finally, regular exercise is essential. Aim for two hours per day, and remember to brush their teeth daily to keep your pup’s mouth clean while helping maintain good oral hygiene both now and later on in life!

Regular Check-ups

Regular Check-ups
Regular check-ups with your veterinarian are essential for maintaining the health of your pup, so they can live their longest and happiest life.

  1. Schedule routine care appointments to evaluate overall health and detect underlying conditions before they become severe.
  2. Take proactive steps to maintain oral health, such as daily brushing or giving dental treats.
  3. Incorporate physical activity into their lifestyle. German Shepherds should get at least two hours of exercise a day, including walks, playing fetch or frisbee, and setting up obstacle courses.
  4. Plan out a nutritious diet that has a protein range of 18%-22%. Avoid corn products in food, along with artificial ingredients. These measures will help promote breed quality while preventing certain cancer-related risks associated with neutering/spaying procedures as well! Additionally, using deshedding tools during regular grooming sessions is important in order for them to keep a clean fur coat throughout the year.

With proper nutrition planning combined with good veterinary care and an exercise regimen, you’ll be sure that your pup follows the American Kennel Club’s suggested 7-10 years lifespan guideline happily set forth by the United States’ most popular dog breed – The German Shepherd!

Brushing Teeth Daily

Brushing Teeth Daily
Good dental hygiene is essential for German Shepherds to maintain their normal weight, sharp teeth, and overall health. Brushing your pup’s teeth daily can prevent periodontal disease from developing in the first place.

To ensure that happens, offer dental treats regularly as an alternative way of keeping those pearly whites sparkling clean. Make sure diet choices are high-quality with no corn products or artificial ingredients.

In addition, provide lots of chew toys and rawhide bones for them to play around with. These help reduce plaque build-up on teeth surfaces without even brushing! Finally, remember that prevention is always better than cure when it comes down to maintaining good oral health in dogs like German Shepherds, who have a recommended 7-10 years lifespan according to the American Kennel Club.

So take steps today by setting up routines tailored specifically for your furry friend.


Exercising your pup is an essential part of keeping them healthy and extending their lifetime, so be sure to dedicate at least two hours every day for fun activities! This will help German Shepherds avoid common health issues like hip dysplasia, joint problems, and even periodontal disease.

Not only can exercise improve muscle development, but it also provides mental stimulation. Plus, socializing with people or other dogs while exercising can have additional benefits such as reducing anxiety in puppies or providing companionship for older dogs.

When choosing what kinds of exercises are right for your dog, there are a few things to consider: age appropriateness (puppies need shorter bursts of activity) and the type of exercise itself (running versus walking).

Some great ideas include playing fetch in open spaces, taking long walks, setting up obstacle courses, going on hikes, running alongside you during bike rides, etc.

In addition to the physical benefits that come from regular exercise, such as increased energy levels and improved heart rate/blood pressure readings, it’s important not to forget about the emotional aspect too since it helps prevent boredom & depression-related behaviors in these intelligent pups! So do yourself (& your furry best friend) a favor now by dedicating some quality playtime together each day & see where adventure takes you both this year.

Neuter or Spay

Neuter or Spay
Neutering or spaying your pup can be a great way to show them love and keep them healthy, as it can increase their life expectancy significantly – up to two years in some cases! Unaltered dogs have a reduced life expectancy due to fights and accidents.

Neutering or spaying reduces the risk of certain cancers such as testicular cancer for male German Shepherds and prostate cancer for female German Shepherds. Early neutering may increase the risk of joint disorders and CCL tears, while females who are spayed within their first year might experience an increased chance of incontinence.

It’s important that neutering is done at an appropriate age; males should wait until after they’ve stopped growing, which is usually around one year old.

Apart from increasing longevity, neutering or spaying also helps with dental care since periodontal disease affects up to 90% of dogs over three years old if left untreated—a condition that could potentially be fatal! Prevention methods include brushing teeth daily (brushing your amazing dog’s teeth will help prevent any gum diseases!), feeding healthy dry foods without artificial ingredients & real fruit/vegetable sources recommended by the American Heart Association, along with giving dental treats every now & then too!

These steps all contribute towards keeping those precious pearly whites clean & maintaining optimal health throughout a German Shepherd’s lifespan (which is typically between 9-13 years according to most experts).

Improving Health

Improving Health
As a German Shepherd owner, you can make an enormous contribution to your furry friend’s health and longevity by focusing on responsible breeding, nutrition, exercise, and weight control, grooming, and regular vet care.

Responsible breeders should be evaluated for their willingness to take back a pup if necessary, as well as their health testing standards.

Optimal nutrition includes high-quality food without corn or by-products. Along with small meals throughout the day, this helps prevent bloating.

Exercise is key too. Two hours of activity daily will promote strong muscles, while keeping them lean helps increase life expectancy by 18-24 months!

Finally, brushing teeth regularly, along with limited bathing, keeps mouths healthy.

Responsible Breeding

Responsible breeding is key to improving the breed and ensuring that your pup has a long, healthy life. To ensure success, potential breeder visits should be conducted in order to examine potential problem areas before taking on a new pet.

Health testing for hip dysplasia and other genetic conditions is also important when searching for reputable breeders. The best ways of ensuring optimum health include natural supplements such as fish oil or glucosamine & chondroitin, as well as responsible feeding practices with high-quality food sources without artificial ingredients or by-products.

Breeding responsibly offers numerous benefits beyond longevity. It’s an opportunity to help shape the future of this amazing dog!


Providing your pup with a healthy diet is essential for their long-term health and longevity. Aim for a protein content of 18% to 22% to help keep them fit and strong. Check the first ingredient in your pet food; it should be an animal or fish product, not corn or byproducts.

Exercise and Weight Control

Exercising your pup regularly and keeping them at a healthy weight is key to helping them live longer. Benefits of exercise include improved joint health, dental care, muscle strength, and more. Male dogs that are neutered will have an increased life expectancy if exercised daily.


Regularly grooming your pup is essential to their health and longevity. It can help prevent periodontal disease, which, if left untreated, could be fatal. Brushing teeth daily with the right frequency and tools is important for oral care.

This helps reduce tooth decay, which increases the risk of death. Regular appointments with a vet are also necessary for good health in German Shepherds. They have protective natures, lively intelligence, and innate loyalty. Cleaning routine beyond brushing should include trips to the vet’s office every year for professional cleaning, plus dental treats as needed.

Vet Care

Visiting the vet annually is an important part of keeping your pup healthy and happy. Max’s checkup included vaccinations, screenings, and dental cleanings to identify any potential health issues early on.

Natural supplements such as fish oil or glucosamine can be beneficial for joint health in German Shepherds. With good home care, preventative measures at the vet visits like these help ensure your dog’s overall well-being and long-term health.

Regular medical attention ensures any illnesses are caught quickly before they worsen, including conditions like gastric dilatation volvulus that require immediate treatment to prevent death in pets if left untreated.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I tell if my German Shepherd has hip dysplasia?

If you suspect that your German Shepherd may have hip dysplasia, look for signs of stiffness in their hind legs or difficulty getting up. X-rays can confirm the presence of this condition, so be sure to visit your veterinarian if you suspect anything is wrong.

Addressing it early on increases the chances for successful treatment and improved mobility.

What are the benefits of neutering or spaying my German Shepherd?

Neuter or spay your German Shepherd to enjoy an increased life expectancy, reduced risk of cancers and joint issues, fewer fights with other dogs, and improved safety for both of you! Plus, brushing teeth daily helps prevent periodontal disease.

What are the signs of bloat in German Shepherds?

Signs of bloat in German Shepherds include dry retching, a distended stomach, restlessness, and abdominal discomfort.

How can I prevent periodontal disease in my German Shepherd?

Brush your German Shepherd’s teeth daily and feed them a healthy, high-quality diet with 18%-22% protein to help prevent periodontal disease. Additionally, provide dental treats and schedule regular cleanings to further protect their oral health.

What type of food is best for a German Shepherd?

Feed your German Shepherd high-quality food without corn, by-products, or artificial ingredients. Emphasize real fruit and vegetable sources for optimal nutrition. Provide small meals throughout the day to prevent bloating.


In conclusion, German Shepherds have a lifespan of 7-10 years, but with the right care and attention, this can be extended. For example, one German Shepherd who had a healthy diet, regular exercise, and annual vet check-ups lived to the age of 15.

This is a testament to the importance of preventive care to ensure a long life for your beloved German Shepherd. With the right diet, exercise, and vet visits, your German Shepherd can have a long and healthy life.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.