PitBull Lifespan: How Long Do Pit Bulls Live?

Last Updated on: 5th November 2023, 01:40 pm

While the average life span of a Pitbull is 10-14 years, this life expectancy is not cast in stone as this will depend on how well you care for your pitbull.

The life expectancy of a pitbull is one question most dog lovers and pet owners have.

As one of the most misunderstood dog breeds, Pitbulls have captured the hearts of many dog lovers with their unique blend of loyalty, strength, and affection.

However, their lifespan is a subject of curiosity and concern for those who wish to provide the best care for their four-legged companions.

In this guide, we will unravel the factors that influence the lifespan of Pitbulls, ranging from genetics and health care to lifestyle and environmental influences.

So, join us as we embark on a journey to understand the intricacies of Pitbull lifespans and gather insights to ensure these remarkable dogs lead long happy lives.

Recommended Read: 30+ Pitbull Statistics Every Pitbull Lover Should Know.

How Long Do PitBull Breeds Live?

Note: 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.

How Do 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:

Average Pitbull Lifespan: Life Expectancy of Pitbull Breed

Pitbull is a type of dog breed. The bully breeds in this category include the American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bully. 

The following chart looks at the life expectancy of common types of  pit bull breed:

Pit Bull TypeWeightLife Expectancy
American Bulldog60 to 110 pounds8 to 15 years
American Pit bull Terriers35 to 65 pounds8 to 15 years
American Staffordshire Bull Terriers25 to 40 pounds12 to 16 years
English Bull Terriers50 to 80 pounds10 to 14 years
Staffordshire Bull Terriers25 to 40 pounds12 to 14 years
American Bully20 to 40 pounds8 to 15 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 26. While Max was a terrier crossbreed, he still qualified as a Pitbull.

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 proper care, and part of this responsibility means keeping this dog alive.

These are the ways you can help your pit bull live longer:

  1. 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.

  1. 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 on 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 gain problems like hind legs pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart issues.

  1. Daily Exercise

Take your Pittie out to play and give them plenty of exercise, and if they are slow due to being in their senior years, keep them active by taking them for walks every day. Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart issues and them being overweight.

You could also engage their minds by playing mental exercises 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Regular visits to the vet

Regular visits to the vet can assist you in giving your Pitbull 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.

  1. 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 is a lot of quality food: pitbull dog food is recommended to match the dog’s gender, and 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.

  1. 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 dogs’ longevity.

Factors That Impact Pit Bull Breeds Lifespan

A pit bull’s lifespan is influenced by different factors. We have sampled these factors that impact pitbulls’ lifespan so that you can know what is a threat to your Pittie’s health and what pitbull owners can improve it.

  1. Predisposed Illnesses

Your dog’s overall health will be determined by its 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.

  1. Spaying or Neutering

Spaying or Neutering your Pitbull could positively impact its longevity. This is because pit bulls that have been spayed or neutered, suffer less from diseases like prostate or skin 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.

  1. Gender

Female pit bulls generally live longer than male pit bulls. This is a result of factors like trauma and hormones or aging processes.

  1. Genetics

Genetics are probably the largest factor 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 predisposes pit bulls to some health conditions like:

  • Skin conditions such as allergies
  • Cataracts
  • Heart disease
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Inflammation of the joints/arthritis
  • Thyroid problems
  1. Lifestyle

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.

  1. Size

A pit bull’s size affects how long they live. Pitties are eclectic and come in different sizes and weights, 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.

  1. Environmental Factors

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.

  1. Love

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.

  1. 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 its 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 for 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 result in a shorter lifespan.

Inbreeding and breeders trying to create merle-colored 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 with double merles thereby creating unhealthy offspring.

This section also samples the most common illnesses and threats pit bulls usually die from.

  1. 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.

  1. Skin Allergies

Although they look tough, Pit bulls are allergic to a number of skin infections that could harm them or their skin. Those allergens to keep them away from include:

  • Some types of pollen.
  • Some grass types.
  • Latex.
  • Some shampoo types.
  • Dust mites.
  • Certain types of perfumes.
  • Proteins like beef, chicken, and pork.
  1. Thyroid diseases

Thyroid disease is a medical condition that could keep the dog’s thyroid from producing the right amount of hormones.

  1. Cataracts

Non-hereditary cataracts accompanying aging are one of the things pit bulls may get. They cause cloudy eyes, inflammation, and loss of eyesight.

  1. 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 in their hands and legs.

  1. Heart disease

The symptoms of heart disease in Pit bulls don’t show early, and might even go unnoticed and become difficult to treat 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 the 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Trauma

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.

  1. Cancer

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 Pitbull can be quite a challenging process, and even after you get your furry friend, you must be committed to taking care of them and ensuring that they live healthily.

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 Pitbull will live is decided by factors like genetics and of course how you care for them. Ensuring that your pet maintains a healthy weight by feeding them a balanced diet, exercising them daily, and letting them roam within a fenced yard are some sure steps you could take to ensure that they live long and continue to be loyal companions.

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?

The 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 pit bull?

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.

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