Whether you’re thinking about getting a Shiba Inu or you already have one in your home, one thing you’ll want to know is how long you can expect them to live. While the average Shiba Inu lives somewhere between 13 and 16 years, there are a ton of factors that go into this.
Not only that but there’s no guarantee how long your Shiba Inu will live, no matter what you do! Still, there are some things you can do to help increase their chances of living a bit longer, and we’ll break it all down for you here.
Average Shiba Inu Lifespan
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC),1 the average Shiba Inu will live between 13 and 16 years. However, it’s important to note that this is an average, as some Shiba Inus will live longer while others will have a shorter lifespan.
There are tons of factors that go into how long your Shiba Inu will live, and even if you do everything right, it’s possible that your pup will have a shorter lifespan.
The 6 Factors That Affect Your Shiba Inu’s Lifespan
While the average Shiba Inu will live between 13 and 16 years, several factors play a significant role in how long your Shiba Inu will live. While there’s no way to guarantee a certain lifespan for your pup, there are a few things that make it more likely that your Shiba Inu will live longer.
While you can’t do anything about your Shiba Inu’s genetics after you purchase or adopt them, it’s by far the most significant factor in determining how long your Shiba Inu will live. If their family line has a history of cancer or other life-threatening conditions, it’s more likely that your Shiba Inu will develop these conditions too. This just goes to highlight how important it is to ensure you get your Shia Inu from a reputable breeder!
If you want your Shiba Inu to live a long time, it matters what you feed them. Low-quality diets might not have immediate effects, but there’s a good chance you’re shortening their overall lifespan. High-quality diets ensure your pup gets all the nutrients they need each day, ensuring they don’t have any short-term health problems and helping reduce the risk of long-term issues.
Just like regular exercise can help prevent health problems for you, the same is true for your pup. Simply getting your pup out each day dramatically reduces the risk for a whole litany of health issues for your pup, and the fewer health issues they have, the longer they can live. For a Shiba Inu, we recommend at least an hour of exercise daily.
4. Medical Care
If you can catch problems while they’re still small, you can keep them from developing into something more serious and compounding on itself. Regular vet visits help with this, just like regular checkups with your doctor can help prolong your life.
Not only does the medical care, nutrition, and exercise matter on how long a Shiba Inu will live, but their general environment plays a significant role too. Lower levels of air pollution, an absence of lead paint, and other positive environmental factors will lead to a longer lifespan for your pup.
One factor that many people overlook in how long a Shiba Inu will live is how well you care for them. A happy Shiba Inu is more likely to live longer than an unhappy one, so do everything you can to love on them and make them happy!
The Life Stages of a Shiba Inu
The first stage of any dog’s life is puppyhood. Your dog is a puppy from the moment they are born until they are able to reproduce. The second stage is an adult. They are officially considered adults once they have finished growing, and this typically lasts from age 1–7. The last stage of life is when they are seniors. This occurs for most dogs when they are around 8 years old, and this is generally when you’ll start to see the body move slower and they’ll likely require more trips to the vet.
How to Tell Your Shiba Inu’s Age
The best way for determining how old any dog is is by looking at their teeth. Adult teeth should start to appear between 12 and 16 weeks of age for the front teeth and 16 and 24 weeks for the back. However, this gets harder as a dog matures. Veterinarians will usually look for signs of hearing and vision loss for older dogs, so if you notice your dog isn’t as responsive anymore, this could be a good way to get a general idea. However, it can be hard to tell, and your best bet is to reach out to your vet.
While there’s no guarantee of how long your Shiba Inu will live, if you get one, you should expect a lifespan between 13 and 16 years. If you take care of them properly, get them from a family with few genetic issues, and go above and beyond for them, it’s more likely that they will live until the longer end of this range.
Featured Image Credit: Anastasiia Cherniavskaia, Shutterstock