The Russian Spaniel is considered the pride of Russian dog breeders. It has an expressive appearance, a sociable and friendly character, excellent flair.
The average lifespan of the breed is longer than that of other hunting dogs. Despite this, the owners always want their dogs to live even longer.
We will tell you in detail how to properly care for your pet in order to prolong its life, and also figure out how to avoid accidental death of the dog.
The life span of Russian spaniels
Among other medium-sized dog breeds, Russian spaniels are considered to be true long-livers. Their life expectancy is 14-15 years, but very often these dogs live up to 20 years.
Important! Russian spaniels live longer than most hunting dogs. The reason for this fact has been determined – the reduced wear and tear of the organism of the representatives of the breed.
How to find out the age of a Russian Spaniel
If the pet came into the house no longer as a baby, it does not hurt to know how many years the spaniel has already lived in this world. Cynologists have identified a number of signs that can be used to calculate the approximate age of a pet, which can be found out by its teeth, eyes, and fur:
- At 3 weeks of age, puppies have only canines from their teeth, and by 3 months they have all milk teeth.
- The process of changing milk teeth to permanent ends at 7 months.
- Yellow plaque on the inside of the teeth is most often seen on a 2-year-old dog.
- After reaching 5 years of age, teeth gradually begin to fall out.
- The eyes of puppies and dogs in the prime of life are clear, and the look is lively. In older dogs 9–12 years old, they, on the contrary, are cloudy, and their eyes are extinct.
- In young individuals, the coat is softer, silky, and shiny, while in older dogs, on the contrary, it is dull and coarse. After 6–7 years, the Russian spaniel begins to develop gray hair and bald patches.
How to extend the life of a Russian Spaniel
Despite the fact that spaniels live longer than other hunting dogs, housing conditions can leave their mark on how long a pet will live.
Every owner of a Russian spaniel wants their four-legged pet to live as long as possible. And so it will happen!
True, provided that the dog eats right, walks a lot, actively spends time, and visits the veterinarian.
A properly selected diet has a huge impact on the life expectancy of the Russian spaniel.
Important! Dog scientists have shown that a special restrictive diet throughout a dog’s life significantly increases its duration.
Russian spaniels are allowed to be fed both natural food and premium ready-to-eat foods. Veterinarians do not recommend combining both types of food, as this can lead to digestive upset.
With the natural type of feeding, complementary foods are necessarily introduced in the form of vitamin supplements.
The diet of representatives of this breed must necessarily be balanced and consist of 75% lean meat and offal. The rest of the dog’s menu consists of cereals, dairy products, boiled egg yolks, fruits, vegetables, herbs, boiled sea fish without bones.
Ready-made food is perfect for dogs that often go outdoors. They already contain all the vitamins and minerals necessary for the dog, so you will not need to give the Russian spaniel any additional vitamins.
Russian spaniels have an excellent appetite, which is why they often suffer from obesity. That is why it is forbidden to overfeed them.
Studies of scientists in the field of cynology have proven that representatives of the breed with overweight or obesity, more often than their slender relatives, suffer from cancer.
To increase the lifespan of Russian spaniels, experienced dog handlers recommend even underfeeding them a little in adulthood.
Walks and games
Due to their compact size, Russian spaniels often live in city apartments, but they really need long walks, active games, and exercises. This will not only help your spaniel to stay fit, but it will also help you live longer.
The duration of walks with the dog should be at least half an hour (or preferably an hour), twice a day.
Cynologists recommend combining walks with various physical activities.
You can play with an energetic Russian spaniel, invite him to swim in a pond. You can repeat previously learned commands.
Timely treatment and deworming
As a rule, Russian spaniels are in excellent health. But sometimes they suffer from “breed” diseases (otitis media, food allergies, obesity, inflammation of the anal glands). The development of the disease can be avoided if, at the slightest suspicion, contact a veterinarian, and not treat the dog yourself.
Often, unvaccinated representatives of the breed, after swimming in a pond with stagnant water, die from leptospirosis. Therefore, even as a puppy, you should give your pet all the necessary vaccinations. Further, once a year, it is necessary to revaccinate the dog with a complex vaccine against rabies, leptospirosis, plague of carnivores, and other deadly infections.
Increases the life span of the dog, including timely and regular deworming and getting rid of external parasites. Worms negatively affect primarily the state of the gastrointestinal tract, and in advanced cases, the body as a whole. And ticks are dangerous because they are carriers of terrible diseases – piroplasmosis, borreliosis, and others.
Veterinarians advise giving preparations for worms to the pet in autumn and spring – during the migration season of worms. In addition, in the spring-summer period, the Russian spaniel must be regularly treated for fleas and ticks, and after a walk outside the city or hunting, it must also be carefully examined for ticks.
Care and hygiene
Caring for a Russian spaniel will not take its owner much time, but it will have a positive effect on the pet’s lifespan. Representatives of the breed need timely washing, as well as care for their hair, ears, eyes, claws, and teeth.
The coat of these dogs is capable of self-cleaning, therefore it is enough to bathe the spaniel once every 3 months. After washing, the wool is dried with a hairdryer. The paws of the Russian spaniel are washed after each walk, and in winter they are still lubricated with vegetable oil or a special protective cream.
In addition to washing, the dog’s coat requires weekly brushing. During molting periods, this will have to be done daily. 1-2 times a month it is advisable for the pet to carry out a hygienic haircut, shortening the regrown hair between the fingers, in the ear canal, and in the groin. Usually, this procedure is carried out by the owner himself at home.
The hanging ears of the Russian spaniel are cleaned about 1 time per month with a cotton pad dipped in a special solution. And periodically ventilate – waving their ears for 1-2 minutes.
Discharge from the eyes of the pet is carefully removed with a special napkin as it appears. Spaniel claws usually grind down on their own. If this does not happen, it will be enough to trim them with a nail clipper.
Dogs have been taught to brush their teeth since childhood. This procedure with the use of special brushes and pastes is carried out once a week. Periodically, you can give the bones and toys intended for this to gnaw.
Causes of premature death
The owner of the Russian spaniel must definitely know the main reasons why their pet may die at a fairly young age:
- poor quality food;
- insufficient physical activity and short walks;
- lack of vaccinations;
- untimely treatment for parasites;
- excess weight and overeating;
- hunting injuries;
- poisoning with poisonous substances;
- untimely treatment.
Important! Curious and active Russian spaniels, unfortunately, are often run over by cars. In order to avoid a tragic situation in the city, representatives of the breed walk only on a leash.
Signs of aging
Cynologists believe that the Russian spaniel is fully formed by 3-4 years. A dog of this age must bring healthy puppies, participate in exhibitions and competitions, go hunting and be active and healthy. The duration of this period is approximately 4 years, and after 7 years, spaniels gradually begin to age.
The main signs of aging in Russian spaniels:
- Rough, dull, with receding hairline.
- Decreased acuity of hearing, sight, and smell.
- Slower reaction speed.
- Increased sensitivity to cold.
- Preference for sleep overplay.
- Replacement of a part of muscle tissue with adipose tissue.
- Unsteady and slow gait.
The owner of the Russian spaniel should understand from the moment of purchase that he takes responsibility for the life of the pet. The necessary care, love, and care of the owner will make both the dog and the person happy. They are also important components of a long and healthy dog’s life.