WHAT IS THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF A BORDER COLLIE?

When adopting a dog, the question of their life expectancy always arises. Although all dog owners hope to be lucky enough to keep their furry friend for a long, long time, the reality is that dogs have a much shorter life span than us humans. We have to make the most of them while we can! So, what is the lifespan of a Border Collie? See our answer below.

The Average Lifespan of a Border Collie

The average life expectancy of this dog breed is between 12 and 15 years. This is longer than many similar dog breeds, and even double that of very large breeds such as the Bernese Mountain Dog, whose life expectancy is only 7 years. Border Collies are considered senior dogs from the age of 8 when they start to really feel their old age.

Of course, the life expectancy of any dog breed is only an indication. Unfortunately, your dog's life could be cut short by an accident or a serious health problem. However, there are a few precautions you can take to ensure that your dog stays with you as long as possible.

How Can I Increase My Border Collie's Life Expectancy?

No matter how careful you are, caution does not protect against the onset of a serious disease. These can appear out of nowhere, without warning. Nevertheless, you can guarantee your dog a good life, no matter how long or short, with these simple tips.

Choose a High-Quality Diet

A good way to ensure a good life expectancy for your Border Collie is to choose a high-quality diet that is perfectly suited to their needs. Your Border Collie's dietary needs will change with their age: a Border Collie puppy will not be able to eat the same dog food as a senior dog, for example.

You will also need to adapt your dog's diet according to their health condition and physical activity level. Food supplements can be used to target specific health problems, such as osteoarthritis which often presents itself in older dogs. Always seek your vet's advice before adding a new supplement to your Border Collie’s diet. Be careful not to overestimate the amount of food your Border Collie needs! Respect the recommended quantity to avoid your pooch putting on excess weight; obesity can reduce their life expectancy. Likewise, limit their intake of treats, especially shop-bought treats, which should only be eaten occasionally.

Get Serious about Vet Check-Ups

Adhere to your dog's vaccination schedule and make sure to visit your vet every year for a little check-up. Keep your dog's deworming and antiparasitic treatments up to date. After all, Border Collies love to explore the great outdoors, so they are more likely than other breeds to find parasites like fleas and ticks sneaking into their coat.

Don't Neglect Physical Activity

The Border Collie is a hyperactive dog, with a lively, energetic character. Moving is in their genes! As such, this sheepdog needs to be able to stretch their legs regularly to be well-balanced both physically and mentally. Make sure to adapt the kind of activities you do with your Border Collie to their age and skill level. An older dog no longer has the same vitality as a puppy, so be gentle with them, but don't condemn them to inactivity either.

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What Diseases are Common in Border Collies?

While Border Collies are generally rather strong and robust, they are susceptible to several diseases:

  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a joint disorder that affects many large dogs. It involves abnormal formation of the hip socket, wherein the ball and socket do not fit or develop properly, and they rub and grind against each other, causing lameness and, in more severe cases, paralysis.

  • Multi-Drug Resistance Mutation (MDR1): Like Australian Shepherds, Border Collies also exhibit drug sensitivity caused by a genetic mutation. In this case, certain medications become very toxic or even fatal for your dog, so you need to be very careful when giving your dog medication.

  • Primary Epilepsy: Also known as Idiopathic Epilepsy (IE), this type of epilepsy is defined as recurrent seizures with no identifiable cause. Treatment can be prescribed to help limit the seizures.

  • Sensory Neuropathy Border Collie Type (SN): This is a hereditary progressive neurological disorder which affects the Border Collie breed. It is a rare disease but, to date, there is no known treatment for it. It usually appears early in the dog's life and is characterised by a lack of pain sensitivity. Affected animals are usually euthanised to spare them any unnecessary suffering.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): Without treatment, this disease can lead to full blindness. It usually appears between the ages of 4 and 9 years old.

  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA): This is a hereditary eye disease which is present from birth, which affects the dog's vision and can lead to blindness. 

  • Cerebellar Degeneration: This is a condition in which cerebellar cells, or neurons, become damaged and progressively weaken. In general, symptoms (including loss of coordination of motor movement) appear between the ages of 7 and 13 in Border Collies.

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