Shar-Pei are medium-sized ancient dogs. In theory, they should be considered centenarians. But centuries of breeding have led to a predisposition to a number of genetic diseases that shorten the canine’s eyelid. And as a result, representatives of the Shar-Pei breed do not live very long by dog standards.
Let’s figure out what signs indicate the beginning of aging of a pet, and how to increase its lifespan.
The average lifespan of Shar-Pei is 10–12 years. But there are several known cases when they died at an older age. Among lovers of the breed, there is a legend about the Shar-Pei, who survived this period and died at the age of 17.
On a note. The sex of the dog affects the life span of Shar Pei. Males live a couple of years less than females. The lifespan of spayed females is slightly shorter than those with puppies.
How to find out the age of a pet
Unfortunately, people sometimes fail to cope with the dog and simply throw it out into the street.
If the dog is lucky, and It ends up in another house, the new owner will be able to establish their approximate age by the teeth:
- In a young Shar Pei, they are white with characteristic tubercles.
- After 2 years, the lower toes begin to wear out.
- At 4 years of age, the bumps on the upper toes disappear.
- At the age of 5 years, a slight yellowness appears on the Shar Pei’s teeth. At the same time, the bumps on the incisors disappear.
- At 6 years old, the front teeth are worn out so that it is impossible to determine the dog’s bite.
- At the age of 8–10 years, the Shar Pei’s canines, incisors, molars, and premolars become very dull and turn yellow. In even older dogs, teeth loosen and fall out.
You can determine the approximate age of a Shar-Pei by Its appearance:
- The young dog is active and energetic. Her muscles are toned and in good shape. Elderly Shar Pei are lazy and inactive. As they age, they gain extra weight and their muscles become flabby.
- The young Shar Pei has a smooth coat. With age, the dog’s awn becomes dull and takes on a dirty look. Gray hair appears on the face of the old Shar Pei.
- The eyes of a young dog are clear and shiny. With age, they grow dull and cloudy. Older Sharpeis often develop ophthalmic diseases.
How to extend the life of a Shar-Pei
How many years a Shar-Pei lives depends not only on heredity but also on conditions of detention. To maintain the dog’s health, it must be provided with adequate nutrition, appropriate physical activity, hygienic care, timely vaccination, and disease prevention.
Adequate nutrition is one of the most important factors in helping to increase a dog’s lifespan, and Sharpei can be fed both industrial and natural foods.
The first type of food is preferable for owners who do not have time to cook for the dog. For Sharpei, it is better to choose premium or super-premium food. It is desirable that they be free of wheat, corn, soy, preservatives, and dyes.
On a note. Since Shar-Pei have a predisposition to allergies, it is better to give them dry food marked “hypoallergenic”.
If the dog eats “natural”, its diet should include the following foods:
- Raw meat (beef or turkey)
- offal (liver, heart, and tripe);
- cereals (buckwheat and rice);
- boiled sea fish;
- eggs (no more than 2 times a week);
- vegetables (zucchini, pumpkin, and carrots);
- fermented milk products (kefir, yogurt, and cottage cheese).
In order not to shorten the already short life of Shar-pie, they cannot be fed with tubular bones, river fish, potatoes, sausage, pork, onions, and chocolate.
Regardless of age, the dog’s diet should not contain sweets, smoked meats, pickles, and leftovers from the master’s plate. The use of these products has a bad effect on the digestive system of Shar-Pei, which leads to a decrease in their life expectancy.
On a note. With age, Shar Pei become less mobile and quickly gain excess weight. Obesity shortens the dog’s lifespan, so the old dog is cut back on cereals and added more vegetables.
Walks and games
The Shar Pei’s lifespan will also be increased by regular walking. Due to the not too active temperament of dogs of this breed, an hour’s walk is enough for them. And because of the special structure of the skull, long runs and intense physical activity are contraindicated for Shar-Pei.
It is better to walk with the dog at a leisurely pace so as not to provoke breathing problems.
With age, Shar-Pei often develops diseases of the musculoskeletal system. The duration of walks is reduced to a minimum so as not to harm the dog. An old Shar-Pei is not allowed to jump and stay outside for a long time in damp or frosty weather.
On a note. Since Sharpei do not have a dense undercoat, with the onset of cold weather, the duration of walks is also reduced. And before going out on the street, the dog is dressed up in warm clothes.
Timely treatment and deworming
Another reason for the Shar Pei’s low lifespan is the tendency to a number of hereditary diseases.
Most often found in the breed:
- volvulus of the eyelids;
- hereditary fever;
- otitis media;
- upper airway obstruction;
- allergic reactions;
- liver cancer;
- dysplasia of the joints;
- streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.
Most of these diseases appear in Shar-Peis at a young age. Many of them are treatable and, if started in a timely manner, do not affect the lifespan of pets. Therefore, when the first signs of malaise appear, the dog needs to be taken to the veterinarian.
Otherwise, even a non-dangerous disease can lead to unpleasant consequences.
In addition to the above pathologies, there are a number of diseases that can lead to the premature death of a dog. These include carnivore plague, parvovirus enteritis, leptospirosis, and rabies.
Sharpei is regularly vaccinated with a complex preparation. The first vaccination is given at 8-9 weeks of age and is repeated 21 days later. In the future, the Shar Pei is vaccinated once a year.
Dogs that regularly walk outside can become infected with parasites that weaken the immune system and carry dangerous diseases. Helminths provoke malfunctions in the digestive system, ticks carry piroplasmosis and Lyme disease, and fleas cause dermatitis.
Shar-pies are regularly treated for external and internal parasites in order to protect the life of the pet.
Care and hygiene
Taking care of a Sharpei at home is not difficult at all. The main thing to remember is that regular hygiene procedures will help not only maintain a neat appearance of the dog, but also maintain health, and therefore increase its life expectancy.
Sharpies do not tolerate bath procedures very well. Therefore, you need to bathe them no more than 2-3 times a year. It is advisable to use a hypoallergenic shampoo for washing. And after bathing the Shar-Pei, it is better to wipe it dry with a towel.
Brush the dog weekly with a rubber glove or medium-hard bristle brush. During the molting period, the procedure is carried out more often to speed up the removal of dead awn.
Shar Pei’s ears are regularly cleaned with a cotton swab moistened with a special lotion and examined for uncharacteristic discharge. The breed is prone to otitis media. If the disease is not recognized in time, the dog may partially or completely lose his hearing.
Shar Pei’s eyes are daily wiped with a cotton pad dipped in chamomile broth or boiled water. If there is purulent discharge, the dog is shown to the veterinarian.
Shar Pei’s teeth are systematically cleaned with a brush with a special non-foaming paste. To prevent the appearance of plaque or stone, the dog is allowed to gnaw large beef bones or chewy treats.
Shar Pei claws are grinded naturally. But if necessary, they are shortened with a nail clipper. Neglect of this simple procedure can provoke problems with the musculoskeletal system.
Causes of premature death
By dog standards, SharPeis have a short lifespan. But besides this sad fact, there are factors that provoke the death of a dog at a young age:
- congenital diseases;
- infestation with parasites;
- untimely veterinary care;
- infections and lack of vaccinations;
Signs of aging
Shar Peis do not live very long, therefore signs of approaching old age appear at the age of 5–6 years. Dogs become less active and lose interest in walking. Elderly Shar-Peis have worsening problems with their joints, so they prefer to lie down more.
With age, the dog’s eyesight deteriorates. The eyes become cloudy and dull. The coat of old Shar Pei loses its shine and begins to turn gray.
Character changes with age. Shar-Pei becomes capricious, jealous, and suspicious. Their immunity decreases and the existing diseases are exacerbated.
Old Shar-Peis need special attention and a caring attitude.