WHAT IS THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF A ROTTWEILER?
Are you thinking about adopting a Rottweiler and wondering what their lifespan will be? Although the Rottweiler is a relatively strong and robust dog, the breed is still susceptible to some health problems that can shorten its life expectancy. And it’s always best to know about these things beforehand. Knowledge is power! Discover all the common health issues for a Rottweiler and what you can do to keep your dog healthy throughout their life below.
The Average Lifespan of a Rottweiler
The average life expectancy of a Rottweiler dog is between 9 and 12 years. This is relatively short when compared to smaller dogs, but higher than larger dog breeds who live even less long: 7 years on average for the Bernese Mountain Dog; 9 years for the Great Dane, for example. Large dogs take longer to mature but unfortunately age faster. This is something to keep in mind when adopting a large dog like the Rottweiler.
Bear in mind that the average life expectancy of any dog breed is only an indication; several factors can affect it. Of course, no pooch is immune to accident or disease, but you can help prevent the onset of common diseases by taking a few simple precautions. To help you deal with unforeseen events like this, we recommend that you take out pet insurance for your Rottweiler.
How Can I Increase My Rottweiler's Life Expectancy?
There are a few precautions you can put in place to will help you extend the life expectancy of your Rottweiler:
Choose a High-Quality Diet
Your dog's food plays a vital role in their health. Low-quality dog food will have a direct impact on your Rottweiler's health, and vice versa. Choose dog food rich in high-quality animal protein, not vegetable protein. Remember: dogs are carnivores! Try to avoid buying supermarket dog food, as this tends to be very poor in quality and thus incapable of meeting your dog's nutritional needs. It is better to buy dog food that’s a little more expensive if it means better quality. Learn to read the product labels and avoid products (dry or wet dog food) with added sweeteners or preservatives.
If you prefer, you can even opt for tailor-made dog food for your Rottweiler, specially designed to meet all their needs. Otherwise, why not try homemade dog food or the BARF diet? Always seek advice from your vet before implementing a new diet. And remember that your Rottweiler's diet will change over time: a puppy will not eat the same amount of food as an older dog, for example. The good health of your dog should be your main priority when it comes to their food.
Prioritise Dog Training
Training your Rottweiler indirectly helps protect them from accidents. A dog who understands exactly what is expected of them and knows how to obey commands is much more capable of responding when they're called and stopping what they're doing when asked. In any case, dog training is an essential step for your Rottweiler, given their impressive size.
It is never normally advised to let a Rottweiler off the lead in public but it is still important to teach your pooch to come back to you when you call. Teaching your Rott to stop and let go of whatever is in their mouth is also vital, as certain products, plants, or foods are dangerous to animals. You need to be sure that your dog won’t eat just anything that passes under their nose. Do not neglect this important step in your dog’s life and don’t hesitate to call a professional dog trainer for help if you feel the need.
Get Serious about Vet Check-Ups
Adhere to your dog's vaccination schedule and keep their antiparasitic treatments up to date to protect them against fleas and ticks. It's also essential to regularly deworm your furry friend because intestinal parasites can weaken their immune system. Finally, make sure to visit your vet every year for a little check-up, especially when your Rottweiler starts to get older.
What Diseases are Common for Rottweilers?
Although the Rottweiler breed is quite robust, it is subject to several health issues, all of which it's important to understand beforehand to better know how to handle them.
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: Unfortunately, this joint problem affects a large number of large dogs. This fairly common disease is caused by a deformation of the joints during growth. Dysplasia is a genetic disease, which is exacerbated by certain external factors, including canine obesity and intense physical exercise. It usually affects both sides of the body; hip dysplasia affects the hind legs, while elbow dysplasia affects the front legs. As a result, your Rottweiler may suffer from lameness or a lack of coordination. They might even have trouble standing up and lying down and, ultimately, dysplasia can lead to paralysis. All serious breeders will have both parents screened to prevent puppies from being predisposed to the disease. This disease affects nearly 20% of all Rottweilers.
Aortic Stenosis: This is a common congenital defect of large breed dogs, characterised by a narrowing at the aortic valve of the heart. The symptoms vary depending on the severity of the narrowing but can include fainting, poor growth, exercise intolerance, and sluggishness. Dogs with moderate or severe subaortic stenosis may require medication. Without treatment, the prognosis is very poor. Diagnosis can be made through veterinary examination.
Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV): Also known as gastric dilation, twisted stomach, or gastric torsion. As a large dog, the Rottweiler is more at risk for this. This is a medical condition that affects dogs in which the stomach becomes overstretched and rotated by excessive gas content. When the stomach expands and twists, it turns on itself and blocks the entry and exit routes, causing gas to build up. It is a life-threatening emergency, which can be fatal within hours if left untreated. The dog drools and tries to vomit unsuccessfully. Surgery is the only treatment for this condition, but the prognosis is not always good.
Hypothyroidism: This is a fairly common endocrine disease involving a decrease in the production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. It is often associated with unexpected weight gain and obesity. Treatment is based on the injection of synthetic hormones.
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