Great Dane Lifespan: How Long Do Great Danes Live?

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Updated: February 5, 2022
Image Credit Al_Er/Shutterstock.com
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close up of a Great Dane
One of the world’s tallest dogs, the Great Dane, is known as a gentle giant.

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The Great Dane is a gentle giant. They are loving and nice with kids. They’ll protect their home. If raised with other animals, Great Danes normally get along. However, if you want a pet that will live a long time, this may not be the dog for you. Sadly, Great Danes have an average lifespan of about 9 years.

How Long Do Great Danes Live?

best big dog - Great Dane
Great Danes have an average life expectancy of about 9 years.

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Compared to other large breeds, Great Danes suffer a raw deal when it comes to lifespan. Great Danes have a life expectancy of 8 to 10 years, with some lasting as little as 6 or 7 years. Rarely, some live up to 12 years.

It also raises a curious quandary. While elephants and whales are extremely large animals, they are among the longest-living species in the natural world, So, why are dogs so different?

Why Do Great Danes Have Such A Short Lifespan?

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Scientists don’t know why, but they do know that huge dogs seem to age faster than tiny ones.

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Aside from scientific uncertainties, Great Danes are susceptible to several health issues that can reduce their lives, including:

Bloat

The Great Dane is prone to bloat, a potentially fatal illness caused by stomach twisting and blood supply being cut off. Bloat recurrence is common in dogs, so ask your vet about bloat symptoms and how to avoid it if you own a Great Dane.

Cardiomyopathy

The term “large heart” has a darker, more literal meaning when it comes to Great Danes. Cardiomyopathy, a condition of the heart muscle that causes the heart to expand, is common in Great Danes.

Joint & Bone Disease

With their massive proportions, Great Danes are prone to joint and bone problems, such as hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis. These illnesses often develop gradually, requiring owners to make decisions concerning their dog’s quality of life.

Thyroid Problems

Additionally, Great Danes are at risk of developing thyroid issues. Hypothyroidism in Great Danes is frequently caused by autoimmune thyroiditis. Fortunately, your dog’s thyroid levels may be checked by your veterinarian using simple blood tests, and the disease can be treated and controlled with medication.

How To Help A Great Dane Live Longer

Merle great dane looking back at some sound
A balanced healthy diet, regular exercise, and vet visits can help your Great Dane live a full and happy life.

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Balanced and Healthy diet

Bloat is the number one killer in Great Danes, which is why feeding them large meals more than twice a day is not recommended. Great Dane puppies typically require three meals per day. What you feed your Great Dane directly affects its lifespan also. The best meal for a Great Dane is breed-specific chow.

Regular Physical Activity

You can plan a variety of physical activities for your Great Dane to guarantee a long and healthy life. It is possible to create a daily regimen for your Great Dane that includes both exercise and a walk. The Great Dane does not need a lot of physical activity. The Great Dane could get by with some light exercise once daily. Also, avoid taking your Great Dane dog for a stroll immediately after its supper.

Regular Vet Visits

The Great Dane is a large breed with severe health hazards. Regular veterinary visits to check on the dog’s health are advised. If the dog’s activity, diet, or mood changes, the vet will investigate the cause. Veterinarians can create a specific care plan just for your Great Dane. In addition, the vet can check for latent ailments that your Dane may contract.

Breeding

Great Danes, according to experts, need to clean up their breeding records. When it comes to breeding your Great Dane, exercise caution. The risk of hereditary illnesses in Great Danes must be considered while breeding to avoid any further issues for this dog.

Are Great Danes Good Companions?

Great Dane puppy laying outside in a chair
Great Danes have a gentle, sweet temperament.

iStock.com/Jesus Manuel Souto Blanco

Although they do not live as long as other family dog breeds, they are a fantastic companion for people who can accept their loss when the time comes. The Great Dane is an adaptive learner. It also notices its owners’ affection. To be a good companion for the Great Dane, owners must be capable of providing for its needs while giving it lots of love and attention.

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About the Author

A substantial part of my life has been spent as a writer and artist, with great respect to observing nature with an analytical and metaphysical eye. Upon close investigation, the natural world exposes truths far beyond the obvious. For me, the source of all that we are is embodied in our planet; and the process of writing and creating art around this topic is an attempt to communicate its wonders.

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