When picking a breed of dog, we want to know how long they live, how to ensure they have a long and healthy life, and any causes that may prevent this.
This article will take you through how long Rottweilers will live and how best to keep them healthy and any issues that the breed are prone to!
How Long Do Rottweilers Live?
Rottweilers generally live between eight to twelve years old, with some even being known to live until the age of fifteen (this is not as common)! While this isn’t as long as other dogs, there are a lot of reasons to love this breed!
What Affects Your Rottweilers Lifespan?
To ensure you are enabling your Rottie with a long and healthy life, there are some things that you will need to consider!
Before owning a Rottweiler, we kept Labradors ever since I was young, then we got our first Rottie two years ago, and we weren’t aware of how loving this particular breed can be!
We had dealt with typical problems with our Labrador such as, weight gain, hyperactivity and allergies! Well, from acquiring our Rottie puppy, we realised that he came with his own set of allergy problems also! This meant that we had to completely change his diet, so that it was all natural, but even still, some meat products will cause him to get sick, so it all depends on the dog.
Other issues that may affect your Rottweiler may be:
Rottweilers may be prone to diabetes. This means, that just like with humans, they may need twice daily insulin injections to keep them healthy.
To defend against diabetes, a well balanced diet and also plenty of exercise is necessary. You want to ensure that your Rottweiler is not gaining excessive amounts of weight, that would incur diabetes. A healthy diet is also fundamental to your Rottweilers health.
For their diet I would recommend keeping it as healthy as possible, and by this I mean, knowing what is going into the food you are feeding them. If it is store brand tinned or dry food, it can have a lot of additives that are not great for your dog.
With my own Rottweiler we feed him cheap meats that we buy either from the butchers or the supermarket, with a mix of natural dry food with no additives or gluten. It can be a bit more expensive, but our dogs health is the most important thing to us, so we accept that we may spend a little more on him to keep him healthy!
With big dogs comes the issue of joint problems, and Rottweilers are susceptible to two kinds of joint problems in particular.
Hip Dysplasia – In layman’s terms it is where the hip joint and thigh bone become disjointed. This can not only cause sever pain for your beloved pet, but also a number of other problems, such as:
- Tenderness of the legs
- Aggression when in pain
- Inability to walk as the Rottweiler usually would
However, a vet will be able to detect any issues early on in the dogs life. This means that you will be able to make accommodations for your pet. The only issue you may face is, if left untreated, procedures, such as surgery, made need to take place. This can be expensive and seems an unnecessary experience your pet will need to go through, when there are preventative measures.
Elbow Dysplasia – The symptoms with Elbow Dysplasia are very similar to Hip Dysplasia. It can cause problems with mobility and be very painful for your Rottweiler. Again, there are many treatments available when speaking to your vet, and if the problem is very severe then the last resort would be surgery.
This again can be very expensive, so it would be worth insuring any dog that you acquire, to save a hefty fee. You will usually find these sorts of problems with big dogs, as there is a lot of pressure on their joints.
Cancer is not an exclusive problem for just Rottweilers, it may affect any breed of dog. With an early diagnosis, you will find it easier to treat. However, with an older dog, it may be detrimental.
Regular check ups at the vets will ensure any problems with your pet are seen to quickly. As we said before, cancer doesn’t just affect Rottweilers, so it definitely should not put you off them as a breed.
Again, we recommend insuring your pet against any health problems, as this one in particular could be very costly, and we want to make sure our pets are covered against everything!
Rottweilers can be prone to cataracts, like many other breeds. With the help of your vet, they can be rectified and it would be no reason to not choose a Rottweiler.
They may also be prone to eye problems in their earlier stages of their lives, so it would be wise to speak to the breeder or rescue centre as they should know of any current problems. If you are getting your Rottweiler from a breeder, it may be worth asking to see the entire litter, and also the parents.
By doing this, you will see if the rest of the litter or parents have any problems, but also you want to ask the breeder a lot of health problems questions. If they do not give you confidence, then I wouldn’t be as keen to buy a Rottweiler off them, as a good breeder will answer your questions with ease.
Another eye problem that may affect your Rottweiler would be Progressive Retinal Atrophy. This is where the loss of retinal cells, which will lead to blindness. Unfortunately, there is no cure for PRA, but your Rottweiler will still be fine in familiar surroundings, with their other senses heightening. This can also occur within 2 – 5 years, and will take roughly a year for the Rottweiler to become fully blind.
With my own Rottweiler, we have had issues with his allergies. This has caused us to change his diet completely, as he was losing fur and itching constantly.
We now have to feed out Rottie a lot of fresh meats and we buy dry foods that are natural. He is allowed treats, but we make sure that they are things such as pig ears so they do not upset his stomach or make him itchy.
We also will give our Rottie antihistamines over summer, as we think he suffers from hayfever of all things! His eyes will weep, he shakes and itches his ears a lot and will sneeze repeatedly!
Allergies are very common in a lot of breeds, it is not just Rottweilers, as we have had Labradors in the past with similar issues! It’s certainly not something that should put you off them, as you could find it with any dog.
If you notice that your Rottweiler is itching more, losing hair, sneezing, suffering with weeping eyes or even notice skin tears or lesions, it would be best to get an allergy test from the vet!
As long as you maintain and look after your Rottweiler and deal with his/her allergies, it will by no means effect the longevity of their lives.
(Have you ever wondered when your rottie will stop growing? and what different phases you can expect as they grow?)
How Can You Improve Your Rottweilers Lifespan?
Keeping an eye on your Rottweiler and noticing any changes in behaviour is beneficial in preventing problems. If you see something out of the ordinary, take him/her to the vet for a check up!
Regular visits to the vet make a responsible dog owner anyway. This means the vet can find any underlying issues or even if an issue is just manifesting, it can be sorted as quick as possible. These preventative actions may save you any worries and expenses.
Giving your Rottweiler a healthy and well-rounded diet is imperative for a long life. Just like with humans, they need a balanced diet, full of protein. Protein is fundamental in the first year of your puppies life to ensure that they grow big and strong.
However, as I have previously mentioned, you may want to be wary of any allergies that your dog may have to ensure you are not adding to any unnecessary reactions. If you find that your Rottweiler is having a bad reaction to any foods, then I recommend taking them to the vet to get its bloods taken.
Rottweilers are hyperactive dogs at the best of times. They are very entertaining, but need a lot of exercise! If you are not walking them enough you may find that you deal with behavioural problems. Not to mention, they may become lethargic and will gain weight, just like we do, if all they are doing is eating and resting!
Not enough exercise will cause your Rottweiler to become bored, and on top of the behaviour problems, weight gain could lead to more serious heart issues, that we definitely don’t want!
Happiness and Attention
We want a happy dog! Ensuring that your dog is getting enough food and exercise definitely contributes to their happiness. We also want to make sure they are getting enough attention as these are very loving and attentive dogs!
Happiness is key to a long life for a dog, so make sure that your pup gets plenty of attention, toys and treats to help with this! You need to ensure that you build a good bond within the family, to gain the maximum experiences of a Rottweiler!
(Did you know that there’s a difference in lifespan between a male and female? Find out all the differences between male and female rottweilers!)
Ways To Tell Your Rottweilers Health Is Declining
If you think that your Rottweilers health is declining there may be tell tale signs of it. Below is a list of symptoms to be aware of.
Rottweilers are very active dogs, to the point where if not exercised well, can be very boisterous! If you notice that your Rottweiler is becoming overly lethargic and wanting to sleep for the majority of the day, without exercise, then there may be real issues. I would advise taking them to the vet as soon as possible if this is the case!
As we have pointed out with regards to activeness, Rottweilers need lots of space to run around! However, if you have noticed that your Rottweiler doesn’t seem to be as active as usual, there could be a serious reason. If they have had some good, long walks the day before then they may just be tired, but if this is out of character, then get it checked out!
Big dogs come with a big appetite! So if you notice that your Rottweiler is no longer interested in their food then this could also be a sign there is a problem. With my own Rottweiler, he isn’t as excitable about mealtimes as other breeds I’ve had, but he always finishes his food. Your dog could just be stressed at that particular time, but if it’s becoming frequent, then there is a problem.
Aggression, Barking or Whining
You will understand your dog’s temperament better than anyone else. Some dogs are more vocal than others, but it comes down to how your own dog usually acts. If you see they are becoming more vocal, cowering or aggressive when you touch them, this may be a sign that they are in pain. An obvious symptom would be whining, but not all dogs are the same.
A lot of the time, you should be able to see physical signs of any problems we previously listed. For allergies, the eyes may weep or there may be scabs on your dog’s body. Joint or eye problems will usually be prominent with either limping, grooming a particular area, or noticing problems within the eye. Be attentive to your pet and get them checked if you are unsure, just to be on the safe side!
(Does your rottweiler sit on you? There’s actually a number of reasons this could be happening!)
Rottweilers may be below average of how long most breeds live, but these giants have a lot to offer with company and love!
As long as you are attentive towards your dog, and get it checked by vets regularly then you shouldn’t have many problems!
Exercise, a good diet and your bond with your Rottweiler is fundamental to their happiness, and seeking medical attention as soon as possible all contribute to your Rottweiler living to their maximum age!