The Great Dane is considered the real Apollo among dogs. Its natural aristocracy, majestic beauty, and impressive dimensions cause genuine admiration. But for the gigantic size, it has to pay with early mortality.
Great Danes live on average 8-10 years. But proper care and good living conditions will help slightly increase this period.
Let’s figure out how to determine age, recognize the first signs of aging and increase the lifespan of a pet.
The life expectancy of Great Dane dogs
Great Danes belong to the large dog’s category, among which there are no long-livers. Nature generously endowed these animals with beauty but deprived them of good health.
On average, the life expectancy of dogs of this breed is 8-10 years, and most of them at this age are decrepit old men dogs.
How do I know the age of a Great Dane?
If an adult Great Dane gets into another house by accident, the new owners should try to calculate at least the approximate age of the dog. The number of years a dog has lived is determined by the condition of the coat, teeth, and muscles of the animal:
- The young dog has prominent muscles and a lean body. With age, the dog loses mobility and begins to get fat. The muscles of the elderly mastiff lose their elasticity, and the abdominal line drops.
- The young dog has a silky shiny coat. With age, it becomes duller and begins to turn gray.
- You can distinguish an old mastiff from a young one by looking. With age, a dog’s eyes become cloudy and dull. And the look of an elderly pet loses its liveliness.
- The most accurate way to establish age is by the teeth. Up to 1-2 years old – they are white and sharp. By the age of 7, the dog’s teeth are gradually grinded and covered with yellowness.
How to prolong the life of a Great Dane?
How many years the Great Dane will live depends not only on genetics but also on the conditions of detention. In order for a dog to remain active and healthy with age, it needs to ensure:
- good nutrition;
- age-appropriate physical activity;
- proper dog care;
- timely visits to the veterinarian.
All of these factors will help increase your pet’s lifespan and keep it healthy.
Note: the life span of the Great Dane depends on the conditions in which he was kept up to 5 years of age. This affects how the dog will age and how soon various age-related diseases will begin to appear.
Nutrition is one of the most important factors affecting the life span of the Great Dane. To extend the time allotted to the dog, the dog needs a complete diet.
Although mastiffs are impressive in size, they eat relatively little. In order not to shorten the dog’s already short lifespan, it must not be overfed. An adult dog is given food twice a day at the same time.
You can feed the giant with both industrial and natural food.
When choosing “drying” for the Great Dane, you should give preference to super-premium or holistic class products.
It is important that it is free from dyes, preservatives, corn, and wheat. Such additives have a negative effect on the functioning of internal organs and shorten the life span of the dog.
Young pets are fed “drying” for active dogs. With age, they are transferred to food for older animals.
The serving size can be calculated from the table on the packet. For this, it is enough to know the age and weight of the pet.
It is believed that in order to increase the life span of the Great Dane, it needs to be fed with natural food.
When drawing up such a menu, you need to take care that the following products are present in it:
- lean meat;
- porridge (buckwheat, oatmeal, and rice);
- sea fish;
- sour milk (low-fat cottage cheese, yogurt, and kefir).
Regardless of age, you cannot feed Great Danes with pork, river fish, barley, potatoes, beans, and grapes. From the menu of dogs of this breed, you must forever exclude baked goods, sweets, sausages, smoked meats, and any food from the master’s table.
All of the above foods lead to disruption of the digestive system, which shortens the dog’s lifespan.
Important! An excess of vitamins is no less dangerous than a lack of them. Therefore, you cannot give the dog any mineral supplements without first consulting a veterinarian.
Walks and games
Great Danes are active animals that need physical activity. Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors live longer than their passive counterparts.
Under normal weather conditions, you need to walk with a Great Dane for several hours a day. In hot and cold weather, the time spent in the fresh air should be reduced. In order not to shorten the life span of a giant pet, it must be protected from overheating in summer, and from hypothermia in winter.
In damp cold weather, it is advisable to make sure that the dog does not sit on the ground.
Important! The Great Dane is a short-haired breed that is not adapted to frost. Therefore, at subzero temperatures, it is recommended to dress the dog in a warm waterproof overalls or blanket. Thanks to this, the pet will not be overcooled and will not develop diseases that lead to a reduction in life expectancy.
Timely treatment and deworming
The stately tall mastiffs cannot boast of good health and, alas, like other large dogs, live much less than their small relatives.
The breed has a predisposition to the following diseases:
- volvulus of the stomach, which often leads to the death of the animal;
- dysplasia of the elbow and hip joints;
- aortic stenosis;
- Addison’s disease;
- cutaneous histiocytoma;
- the entropy of the eyelids.
The dog must be regularly shown to the veterinarian. Most of the diseases that dogs of this breed are prone to are easily diagnosed in the early stages, and, if not completely cured, then at least do not shorten the life of the pet.
Parasites are no less dangerous for the mastiff. Helminths not only disrupt the work of the digestive tract but also carry various diseases that worsen the quality of life and reduce its duration. Therefore, it is important to get rid of them in a timely manner with the help of anthelmintic drugs.
Antiparasitic treatment of an adult dog is carried out once every six months. Puppies are given anthelmintic once a quarter.
In addition to helminths, there are fleas and ticks. These insects parasitize the dog’s skin and spread infections. Fleas cause dermatitis. And through a tick bite, a pet can become infected with Lyme disease or piroplasmosis, which often leads to the death of the dog.
Therefore, it is recommended to regularly treat mastiffs from external parasites with special drops, sprays, shampoos, or tablets.
Care and hygiene
The lifespan of the Great Dane is also increased by proper grooming. It does not take much time and comes down to basic hygiene procedures.
The short hair of the dog is brushed weekly with a massage mitt and a special brush with soft bristles. During the molting period, the procedure is carried out once every two to three days.
It is advisable to train the dog to combing at puppyhood. Bathing the dog with veterinary shampoo no more than two to three times a year. More frequent washing will not only worsen the condition of the dog’s coat but also negatively affect the animal’s immunity.
To prevent the onset of otitis media, the pet’s ears are regularly wiped with cotton pads dipped in a special lotion. If an uncharacteristic discharge or an unpleasant odor appears, the dog is shown to the veterinarian.
If the ears are not healed in a timely manner, complications may develop. which will ultimately lead to a reduction in life expectancy.
The claws of the Great Dane are systematically shortened with a claw cutter. If this is not done, the dog may develop lameness and joint problems, which will significantly worsen the quality of its life.
Causes of premature death
The average lifespan of the Great Dane is extremely short. Most often, dogs of this breed die at a young age for the following reasons:
- hereditary and infectious diseases;
- lack of timely treatment;
- improper nutrition;
- physical activity that does not correspond to the age and state of health of the dog;
- transport accidents;
- poisoning with toxic substances;
- inappropriate conditions of detention.
Signs of Aging
Since Great Danes live less than most other breeds, they start aging relatively early. With age, dogs become less active, they sleep more and more often refuse to play. Their character begins to deteriorate.
Previously obedient pets can be capricious and not so quickly follow the master’s commands.
With age, mastiffs are less tolerant of heat and cold. In older dogs, diseases are more often exacerbated, hearing deteriorates, and visual acuity decreases.
The life expectancy of Great Danes is comparatively low. On average, they live about 8-10 years. But good grooming, good nutrition, and a considerate attitude can slightly increase a dog’s life span.