When thinking about adding a Poodle to your household, it’s natural that your first question is about Poodle lifespans.
Dogs quickly become an integral part of the family, and it’s natural to want to know how long you can expect to have their companionship. So, what is the average Poodle’s lifespan?
The Average Poodle Lifespan
Typically, large dogs don’t live as long as smaller dogs. That’s true of Poodles, too. The lifespan of a Poodle varies depending on its size.
What Is the Lifespan of a Standard Poodle?
A healthy Standard Poodle weighs approximately 70 pounds, including its tail and an uncut coat. These Poodles live for an average of 12 years. However, like any rule, there are exceptions. A Standard Poodle might die prematurely at ten years old or live to the ripe age of 14.
Poodle Lifespan for Miniature Poodles
As discussed, small dogs often outlive their more sizeable canine contemporaries. The Poodle lifespan of a Miniature Poodle is between 14-17 years.
Most Miniature Poodles take the average and live to roughly 15 years old, but there are always outliers.
How Long Do Toy Poodles Live?
Toy Poodles are smaller than Miniature Poodles. Whereas the average Miniature Poodle weighs between ten and 15 pounds, a Toy Poodle typically weighs six to nine pounds.
A healthy Toy Poodle has a lifespan ranging from 14-18 years. On average, they outlive their Miniature relatives by a year, with most Toy Poodles living to 16 years old.
However, this presupposes a healthy Poodle with an uncomplicated medical history and robust lifestyle. Consequently, when evaluating Poodle lifespans, one of the things you need to consider is the kind of problems Poodles develop.
Common Poodle Health Problems
Like any pedigree breed, Poodles are predisposed to various health conditions. Some of these affect a Poodle’s lifespan, while others merely cause discomfort. Here are some of the most common Poodle health problems.
One of the most prevalent health problems that affect the Poodle’s lifespan is heart disease. Since many things can cause it, pinpointing the exact cause and mechanism may be difficult. Some of the most common causes include:
- Heart valve deterioration
- Muscle weakness/disease
- Heart arrhythmia
Reputable breeders try to weed out genetic conditions as much as possible, but if a Poodle develops an arrhythmia as a secondary symptom to another health issue, they may develop heart disease anyway.
Symptoms of heart disease include:
- Cough that doesn’t go away
- Difficulty breathing
Depending on the severity of heart disease, a Poodle may change their behavior to accommodate for its new condition. Pay attention to Poodles who suddenly:
- Lose appetite
- Reluctant to play or exercise
- Become antisocial/isolate
The other name for Addison’s disease is hyperadrenocorticism. That’s because Addison’s is a condition that causes a hormonal imbalance. Poodles with this condition suffer a decrease in the release or production of:
Unhelpfully, Addison’s symptoms are vague and difficult to spot. They include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Sudden weight loss/anorexia
The problem is that there is a significant overlap between the symptoms of Addison’s and other illnesses like:
One of the most effective ways to diagnose Addison’s is to run blood and urine tests. A vet will compare electrolyte levels against the Poodle’s symptoms and medical history.
The other test vets run for Addison’s is called an ACTH-Stimulation Test. This measures blood cortisol levels. However, because vet visits can be stressful for dogs, not all vets consider this as effective as urinalysis.
While Addison’s sounds dire on paper, various medications can help manage the symptoms, ensuring your Poodle’s lifespan is unaffected. The crucial thing is that you diagnose Addison’s fast enough to treat it effectively.
Gastric torsion is the technical name for bloat, another condition prevalent in Poodles. Unlike some of the other illnesses on this list, bloat doesn’t sound life-threatening, but it is.
Poodles are highly susceptible to bloat, making it imperative you recognize the symptoms. These include:
- Distended stomach
- Breathing difficulty
- Sensitivity to stomach palpitations
- Unsuccessfully attempting to vomit
Gastric torsion causes the stomach to fill with gas and sometimes twist. This is painful for Poodles and also dangerous. The gas-swollen stomach presses on and cuts off circulation between veins and heart.
The other illness that drastically affects Poodle lifespan is cancer. Depending on the cancer type, this can present with many different symptoms.
The most common cancer in Poodles is lymphoma. This is a cancer of the lymph nodes. One of the first signs a Poodle has lymphoma is enlarged lymph nodes. However, it’s important to remember that lymph nodes can also swell reactively when battling an infection.
Other lymphoma symptoms to watch for include:
- Atypical bowel movements
- Change in gum color
- Skin irritation
Even when caught early, the prognosis for lymphoma is seldom good. With treatment, it’s possible to increase the affected Poodle’s lifespan by six months to a year. But since Poodles react individualistically to treatment, this outcome isn’t guaranteed.
Skin cancer is another common problem, especially for Poodles with a love of sunbathing and a cut coat. The most obvious sign of skin cancer is tumors on or under the skin. These are distinct from lipomas, which are almost always benign.
How Genetics Affect Poodle Lifespan
We talked earlier about how size affects Poodle lifespan. But one of the best indicators of your new pet’s lifespan is the age of their relatives.
If you are buying through a breeder, talk to them about the age and health of a potential puppy’s family. Find out how long aunts, parents, and previous litters have lived if possible.
This gives you a barometer by which to measure your new Poodle’s lifespan.
A breeder can also advise on any genes that might adversely affect a Poodle’s health and familial medical history. That way, you will know whether to anticipate problems like epilepsy, which could be congenital.
Extending Poodle Lifespans: Keeping Your Poodle Healthy
Many of the conditions affecting Poodles are manageable, allowing them to live long, happy lives. But there are other things you can do to promote a healthy lifestyle for your Poodle.
Poodles of all sizes are naturally healthy dogs. Routine exercise is an excellent way to keep Poodles healthy.
It’s a great way to keep a Poodle’s weight under control while simultaneously expending some of its boundless energy. It can also help alleviate the possibility of heart disease later in life.
Another way to prolong a Poodle’s lifespan is by avoiding bones. Dogs love bones, but they come with several risks.
In the best-case scenario, they fracture your Poodle’s teeth, and you spend a fortune on dental care. The worst-case scenario is that your Poodle chokes on a piece of bone.
Sticks are equally popular and equally dangerous. For a healthy Poodle, stick to:
- Rope toys
- Heavy-duty chew toys
- Ball games
Another way to keep Poodles healthy is by minimizing treats. Food-motivated Poodles, in particular, are at risk of gaining weight.
This puts Poodles at risk for various illnesses, including diabetes. Poodles that develop and maintain more weight than they should in puppyhood are also at higher risk for mammary cancer. That gives owners another reason to save treats for special occasions.
Finally, while routine grooming doesn’t increase a Poodle’s lifespan, it helps keep them healthy.
Irregular grooming can cause Poodle coats to mat. At best, mats are painful. At their worst, they lead to skin infections that become systemic.
Since Poodles need almost daily brushing, it’s worth investing in a dog groomer if this isn’t something you feel able to do.
Another way to manage a Poodle’s coat is with regular cutting. However, it’s important to remember that Poodles, like other dogs, regulate their body temperatures through their fur, so you don’t want to cut it too short.
In addition to routine brushing, regular bathing will also help with a Poodle’s coat and, by extension, keep them healthy. Shampoo that either caters to sensitive skin or discourages matting is an excellent way to keep Poodles’ coats under control.
The Bottom Line
Poodle lifespan varies depending on the size and lifestyle of the Poodle in question. Since smaller dogs live longer than bigger ones, Toy Poodles have the longest lifespan of any Poodle type, while Standard Poodles have shorter lives.
However, all rules have exceptions, and it’s possible for a Toy Poodle to die younger than expected or a Standard Poodle to outlive a Miniature Poodle.
The type of health problems Poodles is subject to plays a part in this. Some common Poodle health conditions are easily treatable, like:
- Hip dysplasia
Even Addison’s Disease can be managed with routine vet care and result in a Poodle with a long, happy life.
However, other problems like bloat and cancer are more serious. If these aren’t diagnosed immediately, they can drastically shorten a Poodle’s lifespan.
But, provided your Poodle enjoys regular exercise and a healthy diet, you can expect to have a loyal, intelligent, and often accidentally clownish companion for years to come.