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Schipperkes Lifespan – How Long Do They Live For?

On average, a Schipperke has a lifespan of 13 to 15 years, although it’s not uncommon for some to live up to 16 years or more with proper care. This breed boasts of robust health, partly owing to its early history as a rat chaser on Belgium canal boats, which required agility, strength and stamina.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of a Schipperke

  • Genetics: The importance of responsible breeding can’t be overemphasized. A diverse gene pool tends to result in healthier offspring, decreasing the chances of congenital diseases.
  • Diet and Nutrition: Feeding your Schipperke a balanced, high-quality diet can significantly affect its health and lifespan. Foods rich in essential nutrients and free from fillers and artificial additives are recommended.
  • Exercise and Mental Stimulation: Schipperkes, being naturally energetic and curious, require regular exercise and mental activities to keep them in optimum health. It not only strengthens their physical body but also wards off obesity-related issues.
  • Routine Veterinary Care: Regular vet visits can detect potential health problems before they become severe. Annual check-ups, vaccinations and preventive measures against parasites are vital.

Common Schipperke Health Issues

While Schipperkes are generally robust, they aren’t exempt from specific health issues common to the breed. Being aware of these potential concerns allows owners to detect early signs and provide timely treatment, ensuring better health outcomes and potentially extending the dog’s lifespan.

  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease: This condition involves the hip joint and is often observed in small breeds. It can result in arthritis or inflammation, causing pain and limping.
  • MPS 111B (Sanfilippo Syndrome): A rare genetic disorder that affects multiple systems in the body, leading to severe neurological symptoms.
  • Epilepsy: While not specific to Schipperkes, they can be prone to seizures. Regular veterinary care and monitoring can help manage the condition.
  • Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid gland can lead to issues like obesity, lethargy and skin conditions. With proper medication, it’s manageable.

Leading Causes of Death in Schipperkes

  • Old Age: Like all living beings, Schipperkes eventually succumb to old age. With age might come complications like organ failures or diminished cognitive functions.
  • Disease-related Causes: The diseases mentioned above, if not managed or detected early, can lead to fatalities.
  • Accidents: Due to their curious nature, Schipperkes might find themselves in precarious situations. Ensuring a secure environment can minimize risks.

Schipperke Life Expectancy Compared to Other Breeds

When compared to other small breeds, the Schipperke generally has an average to slightly above-average lifespan. For instance, the popular Shih Tzu and Chihuahua breeds have similar life expectancies of around 10 to 16 years. The longevity of Schipperkes can be attributed to their strong genetics, especially if they’re bred responsibly without close inbreeding.

Schipperkes Lifespan – How Long Do They Live For?