How long do cavapoo live for?
In the dog world, and average lifespan can be 8 to 15 years depending on the breed. However strange this may be, larger dogs tend to live shorter lives than smaller dogs. A great dane’s life expectancy may often be capped at 8 short years of age, whereas chihuahuas have been know to reach a respectable old age of 25. Where does cavapoo stand in this?
Cavapoo is a smaller breed so that plays in its favor when it comes to longevity. It is also a cross-breed, and cross-breeds are also known to have longer life spans than other breeds which are often in-bred. Both cavapoo “parents” can boast a fairly good life span. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can live up to 11-13 years, and a poodle can reach up to 15 years of age. A cavapoo lifespan is 10 to 15 years on average. But of course, how long your cavapoo lives will be influenced by many more factors than this simple statistic.
What determines cavapoo lifespan?
Just like any other dog, your cavapoo lifespan will depend on a few factors, such as breeding, which defines genetic health, diet and general care that you provide for your cavapoo, and their lifestyle. All of these factors you can influence: the care and diet (as well as lifestyle) are completely in your hands. The breeding aspect really depends on who you go to as a breeder.
Breeding and genetic health as factors of your cavapoo lifespan
I already have a comprehensive article on my site about how to choose a reputable cavapoo breeder based on genetic testing and solid breeding practices. I will just re-iterate here that it is very important that your breeder only allows healthy parent dogs into their breeding.
The health of the Cavalier King Charles and Poodle can be established by genetic health testing that a good breeder will do both with the parents and the puppies to prevent the litters inheriting some grave conditions that especially Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can have. Such health conditions, if present in your dog, can easily shorten your cavapoo lifespan.
Good breeding ensures your cavapoo will be free of genetic diseases and will go on to live a long and healthy life. This is why choosing a good breeder is such an important thing. I have lists of breeders on my site but you need to do your own (thorough!) research if you think of contacting them.
Cavapoo lifespan and diet: another important factor
In cavapoo, just like in people, a diet is an extremely important factor defining lifespan and the quality of life. I have this article on my website describing the best approaches to cavapoo food and nutrition.
To recap, your cavapoo diet needs to consist of high quality food rich in protein and other critical compounds such as vitamins and minerals. Making sure you buy a good brand with well balanced ingredients is key. Don’t forget that your cavapoo, like any other dog, is a carnivore, which means it thrives on meat.
Whereas (as I was advised by a respectable breeder) just feeding your cavapoo meat (and especially raw meat ) might not be the very best strategy (as you can miss some of the nutrition your dog needs), most of the food ingredients should still consist of meat.
Your cavapoo doesn’t need carbohydrates to thrive, in fact, too many carbohydrates in the food can make your dog sick and / or cause it to gain weight or even become obese. Make sure you read labels and pick the food that does not have too much carbohydrate content, as well as various fillers, aromatizers, additives and preservatives. Those are not good for you of for your dog.
Same goes for treats. Cavapoo are very smart and will do any trick you teach them (and some you don’t) to get a treat. It can be extremely endearing and entertaining.
But you need to remember that treats should only be a rare “treat” rather than a constant part of your interaction with your cavapoo. For one, you constantly giving them treats will make your cavapoo beg them more and more which can make for a somewhat unpleasant dog to live with.
Another thing is of course the influence on your cavapoo diet and health. Most commercially-produced dog treats have a high carbohydrate content. Overdoing on those can quickly lead to your cavapoo gaining unnecessary weight. Carbohydrates can also harm your dog’s health in other ways – for example through blood sugar spikes which can lead to multiple problems in dogs. It’s best to stick to treats on rare occasions.
Lifestyle and activity as lifespan factor
The other important factor in your cavapoo health and longevity is their lifestyle. This includes their activity level.
Cavapoo are not hyperactive and they aren’t work dogs that need to be “working” all the time. They do, however, have a lot of energy and need to expend it in physical activity. This can be walking, running in the park, playing, chasing things – anything you can come up with to allow your cavapoo to move around. If you enjoy jogging, your cavapoo will be a great jogging companion.
You can also take them for hikes and trips involving a lot of hiking/walking – it will be good for both of you! But even if you are a homebody and would rather “netflix and chill” at home, you need to remember that your cavapoo absolutely needs physical activity, and simply hanging out around your house or apartment doesn’t cont as physical activity.
Spending time outside, walking and running is a need for your dog, something you have to provide whether you like or not, rain or shine! Even people can get sick if they are sedentary. This is even more true for dogs. A walk in the park (or a good run) have to be a necessary part of your dog’s every day routine. It is not only important for their physical health, normal weight and their lifespan.
It is also important for their mental health. A dog that’s inactive may develop boredom or even depression, which will express itself in various destructive behaviours, such as chewing your furniture or marking or excessive barking/howling. Dogs just really aren’t meant to be couch potatoes.
Health care as longevity factor for your cavapoo
Another important thing that can influence how long your cavapoo lives is how well you monitor their health. Even a healthy cavapoo may develop health issues – minor or major – throughout the course of its lifetime. Some conditions can be very obvious – if your dog is limping, or coughing, or vomiting – you will probably notice and, I hope, take your cavapoo to the vet.
Make sure you also notice little changes and oddities in your cavapoo behaviour which may point to some brewing health conditions. If you notice anything strange in your cavapoo physical appearance or their behaviour, be sure to consult your vet in a timely manner.
A lot of conditions can be cure or even prevented if noticed early on, and much harder to deal with further down the line. Your cavapoo can’t tell you if they are feeling off or if something is wrong. It is your job to notice those things through their behaviour or body language, and to act accordingly.
If you take good care of your pup, provide them with great diet and an adequate level of activity, your cavapoo will live a long, healthy and most importantly happy life with you!