Pit Bull Lifespan: How Long Do Pit Bulls Live?
The average life span of a Pit bull is 10-14 years.
Most Pit bull lives up to 12 years. These dogs, as you might know, are a widely misunderstood breed no thanks to careless pet owners who mishandle them, sensationalist media, and other untrue myths about them.
Due to these things breed-specific legislation (BSL) have been put in effect in some places in the US and Canada, restricting or banning Pitties as pets.
In Spite of all these, Pit Bulls are still one of the best and sweetest dog companions to own, as they are sweet and adorable when raised in a caring and supportive family.
Matter of fact, these breed are highly popular dogs, making up 6% (4.5 million) of all dog breeds in the US in 2019.
So, if you do want to adopt a pit bull, you probably asked “how long do pitbulls live?”
This article covers everything you need to know about a pit bull’s lifespan such as the American Staffordshire Terriers, including factors that influence or reduce them, why some pitties die faster or live longer than others, and what you can do to help your best friend live a longer healthier life.
Recommended Read: 30+ Pitbull Statistics Every Pitbull Lover Should Know.
- How Long Do Pit Bulls Live?
- How Does Characteristics Determine Pit Bull Life Span
- How Old Was The Oldest Pit Bull to Ever Live?
- How Can You Help Your Pit Bull Live Longer?
- Factors That Impact Pit bull Lifespan
- What Do Pit Bulls Usually Die From?
How Long Do PitBull Breeds Live?
One significant indicator of how long a dog will live is its size. Larger dogs live shorter lives, because they age faster than smaller dogs. Pit bulls on the other hand are medium-sized dogs and live relatively to this size classification.
That being said, the average Pit bull lifespan is 8-16 years on average, with their life expectancy depending on the particular pit bull breed. In this family, the American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terriers live longer than the others.
How Does Characteristics Determine PitBull LifeSpan?
When it comes to Pit bulls, there are other factors besides health that can affect how long they live . These factors can be summed up to the characteristics and type of pit bull. For example, the American Staffordshire bull terrier can live from 12-16 years, making them the pit bull with the longest life span.
We have discussed other pit bull characteristics in the table below and their life span too:
Pit bull Life Expectancy
The followng chart looks at pit bull’s life expectancy.
|Pit Bull Type||Weight||Life Expectancy|
|American Bulldog||60 to 110 pounds||8 to 15 years|
|American Pitbull Terrier||35 to 65 pounds||8 to 15 years|
|American Staffordshire Bull Terrier||25 to 40 pounds||12 to 16 years|
|English Bull Terrier||50 to 80 pounds||10 to 14 years|
|Staffordshire Bull Terrier||25 to 40 pounds||12 to 14 years|
How Old Was The Oldest Pit Bull to Ever Live?
The oldest pit bull to ever live was Max, from Louisiana, who was documented to live the longest any pit bull had ever lived. He had a long and healthy life, and died at the age of 26. While Max was a terrier crossbreed, he still qualified as a Pit bull.
Pit bulls according to varying reports, can live into their twenties and more, positioning this breed as being stronger than previously established.
How Can You Help Your Pit Bull Live Longer?
As a pit bull owner, you’ll have to come to terms with the fact that this type of dog breed is prone to lots of diseases which they are predisposed to due to their genetics and sometimes size.
Being their primary caregiver, owning a pit bull no matter what type you get, means that you will be responsible for this dog’s wellbeing and part of this responsibility means keeping this dog alive.
These are the ways you can help your pit bull live longer:
- Give them suitable shelter
Pit bulls’ coats don’t give them much protection from the elements, which means they get cold quickly and should not be left outside during chilly weather. To keep your pit bull cozy,you should keep them in a safe, warm, and dry sleeping spot.
- Keep them at a healthy weight
A healthy weight can help your Pittie achieve a longer life. Don’t feed them too much food or follow the directions at the back of dog food bags as some of them recommend unhealthy portions. Don’t use these recommendations to feed your dog, instead do this by their body condition.
To know the amount of food your dog needs, run your hands by their sides, if you have to push in to feel their ribs, then they weigh too much. But, if you can feel their ribs easily, then feed them more.
Keeping your dog at an ideal weight reduces the risk of them suffering from weight-related health problems like joint pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart issues.
- Exercising them
Take your Pittie out to play and run daily, and if they are slow due to being in their senior years, keep them active by taking them for walks everyday. Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart issues and them being overweight.
You could also engage their minds by playing mental exercise and brain games with them to keep their minds sharp and slow down their predisposition to dog dementia.
However, take care not to over exercise your Pittie during summer, especially if they are Razor Edge or Black Pit bulls species which are heat sensitive.
- Wellness checks
If what you have on your hands is a senior pit bull aged 8-9 years, take them to the vet twice a year for a wellness check. You should also get bloodwork done to find any potential health issues and treat them accordingly. Medical conditions can be easily treated if found on time.
- Regular visits to the vet
Regular visit to the vets can assist you in giving your Pit bull a long and healthy life. If the dog is a healthy one, then you can take them to be checked 2-3 times yearly, but if they are always sick take them frequently or as recommended by the vet.
- Healthy diet
What your pit bull eats is also important,so look for brands that are actually made with your dog’s well being in mind. There are lot of pitbull dog food recommended to match the dog’s gender, age, and also use quality ingredients. Similarly, you could ask a vet or reputable breeder to recommend one for you or prepare your own homemade dog food.
- Multivitamin supplements
Give your pit bull multivitamin supplements that offer nutritional components like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, probiotics, and bone-friendly compounds. These supplements can also be found in dog foods and help to increase dog’s longevity.
Factors That Impact Pit bull Breeds Lifespan
A pit bull’s life span is influenced by different factors. We have sampled these factors that impact pitbull’s lifespan so that you can know what is a threat to your Pittie’s health and what pitbull owners can improve it.
- Predisposed Illnesses
Your dog’s overall health will be determined by their genetics, so when you’re buying a pitbull, do that from a trustworthy breeder. Breeders should do DNA screening on parent dogs to ensure that their puppies are sound genetically.
Likewise, get your puppy tested for any other illnesses they may be predisposed to if you intend to adopt.
- Spaying or Neutering
Spaying or Neutering your Pit bull could positively impact their longevity. This is because pit bulls that have been spayed or neutered, suffer less from diseases like prostate cancer, pyometra, and intestinal issues. If you don’t want to breed your dog, get either of these procedures done to it at the right age, to help increase its longevity.
Female pit bulls generally live longer than male pit bulls. This is as a result of factors like trauma and hormones or aging processes.
Genetics are probably the largest factors when it comes to determining a Pit bull’s health and how long they’ll live. These dogs inherit several tendencies or diseases that reduce their life span and due to this won’t live as long as other dogs.
Breeding predispose pit bulls to some health conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Hip dysplasia
- Inflammation of the joints/arthritis
- Thyroid problems
Taking good care of your Pitbull can contribute to these furry babies living longer and healthier lives. You could do this by grooming them properly and feeding them the right food.
A pit bull’s size affects how long they live. Pitties are eclectic and come in different sizes and weight, ranging from small 30 to large 60 pounds. Smaller pit bulls as is with other dog breeds, typically live longer as long as they are healthy and well taken care of.
Dogs that thrive or live outdoors tend to live shorter lives than indoor dogs. If your pittie spends too much time outside, then they might be exposed to diseases, accidents or dog fights. Indoor dogs aren’t prone to accidents or diseases.
When your Pittie is outside, do well to keep them on a leash and if you must leave them unattended, ensure that they are kept in an enclosed or fenced area and monitor them.
Don’t leave your dog uncared for, especially overnight. If you notice that your dog suffers from heat stroke or hypothermia, don’t wait for it to get worse before you treat it. Also, check on your dog to ensure its health and the health of people around you too.
Pit bulls are affectionate creatures who love receiving kisses and cuddles as much as they love giving it. Respect your dog and treat them right so that they don’t feel threatened in any way.
Interact with your pit bull, show them attention and comfort them by letting them get familiar with your tone and voice.
Include your Pitbull in your daily activities as much as you can and spend time with them.
- Teeth Brushing
Keeping your Pit Bull’s teeth clean is another important step to take towards prolonging their lives. Not brushing their teeth can cause a buildup of plaque and bacteria in their mouths, which get into their bloodstream and damage their major organs.
If your dog has periodontal disease, it can take off 3-5 years from their life expectancy. Thankfully, this can be avoided by simply brushing their teeth thoroughly and regularly.
What Do PitBulls Die From?
Pit bulls have a reputation of being strong, athletic, healthy and active dogs, so being sickly isn’t something you would attribute to them. However, these dog breeds still suffer from a number of health issues and environment related issues that sadly end in death for them.
Inbreeding and breeders trying to create merle coloured Pit bulls are one of the key things that predispose pit bulls to a series of life threatening illnesses. This is mostly because in a bid to create merle patterns, Breeders mate double merles thereby creating unhealthy offspring.
This section also samples the most common illnesses and threats pit bulls usually die from.
- Hip dysplasia
Hip dysplasia or Developmental dysplasia of the Hip is when the ball and socket joint of your Pittie did not form properly as a puppy, causing their hip joints to become partially or completely dislocated.
Although they look tough, Pit bulls are allergic to a number of things that could harm them or their skin. Those allergens to keep them away from include:
- Some types of pollen.
- Some grass types.
- Some shampoo types.
- Dust mites.
- Certain types of perfumes.
- Proteins like beef, chicken and pork.
- Thyroid diseases
Thyroid disease is a medical condition that could keep the dog’s thyroid from producing the right amount of hormones.
Non-hereditary cataracts accompanying aging is one of the things pit bulls may get. They cause cloudy eyes, inflammation, and loss of eyesight.
- Cerebellar ataxia
Acute cerebellar ataxia is characterized by uncoordinated muscle movement owing to disease or injury to your Pittie’s cerebellum. The cerebellum controls muscle movement. Ataxia means they lose muscle coordination of their hands and legs.
- Heart disease
The symptoms of heart diseases in Pit bulls don’t show early, and might even go unnoticed and become difficult to treate if you are not proactive enough to take them for regular checkups.
One heart disease your dog could be at risk of is aortic valve stenosis or aortic stenosis. This is a condition where their heart’s aortic valve narrows; doesn’t open fully, reducing or blocking blood flow.
Valve malfunctions too can plague a Pitbull, the valve flaps thicken or stiffen and might fuse together, resulting in narrowed Valve malformations in the valve opening and reduced blood flow.
- Car accidents
While this is a tragic way for a dog to die, it can also be prevented with the right measures. Most pit bulls who die on the road from car accidents, do so because their owners don’t secure them in fenced yards or don’t teach them to only come outside when told to do so.
Unless the dog is roaming in an enclosed area that is secure, ensure that you put them on a collar and leash at all times.
Trauma in Pit bulls which is a leading cause of their death, stems usually from their aggressive nature and can happen when they fight with larger dogs or humans and get injured severely.
Cancers in Pit bulls often occur in older dogs and affect almost any organ or system in their body. To ensure an early diagnosis and treatment, take them on regular visits to the vet.
- Gastric Dilation Volvulus
Gastric Dilation Volvulus is when the stomach of a Pit Bull twists on itself when it is full. This condition can be life threatening and is very painful and uncomfortable for the Pit Bull.
- Skin Disease
Skin diseases in Pit bulls can be fatal if they cause sepsis, which could become a critical concern for the dog as they negatively affect their quality of life.
Skin issues Pit Bulls’ face, include mild allergies to terminal diseases like cell tumors or melanoma.
Another skin issue to watch out for is Ichthyosis which is a condition where the epidermis become dry and scaly like fish scales.
Choosing to be a parent to a Pit bull can be quite the challenging process, and even after you get one, you must be committed to taking care of them and ensuring that they live healthy. Pit bulls, depending on which type they are, can live from 8-15 years with an average life span of 12 years.
However, how long your Pit bull will live is decided by factors like genetics and of course how you care for them. Ensuring that your pet maintains a healthy weight, exercising them daily, and letting them roam within a fenced yard are some sure steps you could take to ensure that they live long.
Similarly, you could go the extra mile to get your Pittie from a registered breeder and ask for the life expectancy of your dog’s parents and grandparents, as they could share the same life span with them.
1: Can a pitbull live for 20 years?
It is definitely possible for a pitbull to live for 20 years. Many factors will contribute to how long a pitbull lives, including diet, exercise, and overall health. But with good care, a pitbull can easily reach the age of 20.
2: What’s the oldest pitbull on record?
Oldest pitbull on record is an American Pit Bull Terrier named Punkin who was born in February, 1989 and lived until November, 2002 – a total of 13 years and 10 months. Punkin was the world’s longest living pitbull.
3: What is considered old for a pitbull?
Generally speaking, a pitbull is considered old when he/she is 7-8 years old. However, this can vary depending on the size and breed of the pitbull. Smaller breeds usually have a longer lifespan than larger breeds.
4: How long do Pitbulls normally live?
The average lifespan of a Pitbull is 10-12 years. But there are many factors that can affect how long a Pitbull lives, including diet, exercise, and overall health.
Ryan is a service dog puppy raiser/trainer and founder of The Pit Bull Center, a dedicated Pitbull blog that has been visited by tens of millions of people since its inception.