Scientists have revealed a simple factor that affects your pet’s lifespan.

There are tons of ways to make your dog happy. Attention, care, games, walks, a suitable diet… There is no defined instructions for your four-legged companion to lead a dream life, but there are certain essential factors . Because a happy life can also be, for our pets, synonymous with increased life expectancy.

The lifespan of a dog is estimated at between 10 and 13 years, all breeds combined. The longest-lived dog breed is also estimated to be the Jack Terrier, according to a 2022 study, which set that age at 12.72 years on average. But the lifespan of a dog can vary by a factor of three. The world’s oldest dog lived for over thirty years!

Also note that as a general rule, small dogs live longer than large dogs. Purebred dogs are also more fragile than their crossbred cousins. If genetics play a vital role in the longevity of our furry animals, there are certain factors on which you can influence directly, influencing the life expectancy of your animal.

To extend the lifespan of your dog, there are several tips: give a balanced diet, monitor his good health, meet his physical needs (chewing, intellectual) and above all: social! And yes, according to a study published in the journal Evolution, Medicine and Public Health, it is essential for dogs to benefit from the company of other dogs, but also of humans. Which can influence their happiness and therefore their lifespan.

To arrive at this observation, American researchers studied more than 21,000 dogs of several breeds, ages and weights, with varying diets and physical activities. Based on their observation, it appeared to them that the socialization factor was five times more important than the others on the health of these animals. “As with many social animals, including humans, having more social companions can be very important for a dog’s health,” says biologist Bri McCoy of Arizona State University in this study.

More surprisingly, however, some companies can have a negative impact on dogs’ health: “We found that time spent with children actually had a detrimental effect on the dog’s health, said Layla Brassington, another researcher participating in study. The more children or time owners spend with their children, the less time they have for their fur children.” The survey concludes that “the take-home message is this: having a good network, good social connections is good for the dogs who live with us.”