Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
Breeds Health

Great Dane Lifespan – How Long Will My Dog Live?

Rachel Poli Author
Jul 20 ·

Did you know that some of the world’s largest animals, such as the elephant, live longer than smaller animals such as rodents? For dogs, it’s the opposite. Large dog breeds have a much shorter lifespan than small dog breeds. For example, the Great Dane lifespan is pretty short, but why?

Unfortunately, there are a few reasons why Great Danes have a short lifespan, mostly because of health issues. With proper care and a healthy diet, though, you can boost your dog’s longevity. 

great dane lifespan

How long will my dog live?

Great Danes have an average lifespan of seven to ten years. But, of course, there have been some Great Danes to have lasted at least 12 years. One doggo even lived to be 15!

While it’s unknown why large dogs seem to age faster than small dogs, we know a few reasons behind it. For instance, Great Danes are prone to a few serious health conditions.

What are the health problems for Great Danes?

Every dog has health issues. Some are more serious than others. For Great Danes, there are a few health concerns that dog owners need to be aware of. Unfortunately, most of these issues are life-threatening, which is partly why they have a shorter lifespan. 

Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV)

Also known as Bloat, this disease can be fatal if not caught early enough. Your dog’s stomach will look bloated as it becomes enlarged with air. The stomach will flip over, twisting. Thus, causing an obstruction and cutting off the blood supply. Symptoms of Bloat may be:

  • Hard, bloated abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Pacing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Collapsing

Should you notice any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian right away. If they’re closed, go to the emergency vet since this is a life-threatening condition.

There are ways to prevent Bloat from occurring. For instance, be sure to feed your Great Dane in small amounts two to three times per day. Make sure they rest for up to an hour after eating to ensure they’ve digested everything properly.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy DCM

Typically seen in older dogs, Great Dances can get Cardiomyopathy, which is when the heart enlarges. As a result, the muscle walls surrounding the heart get thinner, and your dog’s heart may not be able to do its job properly.

If you notice your dog falling over, having trouble breathing, or coughing after playing outside, then call your vet. They can do x-rays and other tests to see if there’s anything wrong with your pup’s heart. 

great dane lifespan


Joint and bone diseases are also common in Great Danes. Osteosarcoma is one of them and is common cancer in bigger dogs. Your dog can develop a swollen area around the wrist, shoulder, or knee. Unfortunately, this cancer is aggressive. You can treat it through radiation, chemotherapy, or amputating the leg. However, due to their size, it’s different for Great Danes to balance on three legs. In addition, this would be costing for dog owners.

Great Dane lifespan – Other health issues

In addition to those three health conditions listed above, there are a few other issues to be wary of. For example, your Great Dane may develop hip or elbow dysplasia, which is a form of Arthritis, especially as they get older. They can also become obese, develop thyroid problems, or have various types of cancer.

How to improve your Great Dane’s lifespan

There are a few ways to ensure that your pooch lives a long, happy, and healthy life with your and your family. While we can’t control how long they’ll actually live, with proper care through a healthy diet, ample exercise, and regular vet visits, your furry friend can thrive.

Buy from a reputable breeder

If you’re looking for a purebred Great Dane, then chances are you’ll have to go through a breeder. A good breeder will know the health history of the two parents and give you a copy of the health history for the litter. The puppies will be tested for any issues, and the breeder will be upfront and honest about it all. Upon bringing home your puppy, you can also bring them to the vet and have them tested for certain things.

A health diet

Throughout your dog’s life, be sure to feed them a nutritious diet that’s right for them. Your vet will be able to help you figure out the best meal plan and the best dog food to buy that will be safe for your pooch to eat. This is one sure way to increase your great dane lifespan.

Regular vet visits

Just like we visit the doctor at least once per year, your dog should do the same. You can bring your dog to the vet once or twice per year for a check-up. If you have any concerns, you can talk to your vet. Or, if anything is wrong, you may be able to catch it early enough.

great dane lifespan

Can a Great Dane’s lifespan increase?

With great care, a healthy diet, and teamwork with your veterinarian, your Great Dane lifespan can increase, living a happy life with you.

Similar reading: all about Great Danes

Rachel Poli Author
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
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