Rising life expectancy means more older pets

The Colorado Springs Gazette looks at the challenges of living with aging dogs:

“Pets are living a lot longer. They get better nutrition, better medical care and aren’t out wandering neighborhoods having accidents,” says Rebecca Ruch-Gallie, coordinator for community practice at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

The average life expectancy of a cat has nearly doubled since 1930, with indoor cats living an average of 8 to 16 years, according to the Peoria (Ill.) Humane Society. The average life expectancy of a dog is 12.8 years, but the number varies widely depending on breed and size.

Here’s a 15-year old Scottish Terrier who’s kept in great shape:


For more Scottish Terrier and Scottie Dog videos, click on the video label directly below.

15 thoughts on “Rising life expectancy means more older pets

  1. Saturday July 5th my Scottish Terrier Jude, 13, passed away. We went for a two mile walk. When we came back he would not lie down, he drank water (and had water during the walk) but just wouldn’t stay in one spot for any length of time. At 10 am Saturday morning he finally slept. I watched him sleeping for over an hour. I noticed his breathing slowed, and then stopped completely. He is use to walks and loves to go. I don’t know what happened. I hurt inside.

    I just want to say to all the owners of older Scotties, please be sure your dog is up for a lengthy walk. Jude has been healthy for over 13 years,never sick a day in his life. Never overweight. I don’t know what happened. Please say a prayer for me and Jude. He was named after the Beatles song. He will be dearly missed. Rest in peace, old friend.

  2. Please don’t blame yourself over this.

    Jude lived a long and happy life.

    There’s no reason to believe the walk caused his death.

    His time may just have come.

    And if he loved walks, then taking one final one was probably the best possible way for him to leave this world.

    Rest in Peace.

  3. I agree that it is very sad to see them go. When my 12yr old scottie “Jock” passed i was very upset, but gratefull that he passed quietly in his sleep. All we can do is be gratefull for the time that they were borrowed to us. I still have three other scotties, each one unique in his and her own way. i do however know that one day i will have to say goodbye to them too.

  4. Your post brought tears to my eyes, since I know that one day I will have to face the fact that my Scottie (Buster) passed away. At that time, I am hoping the my memories of the great times that we have had together will persist. I hope that you have come to understand/accept that the walk was coincidental. I am sure that your Scottie had a great life. Would he have wanted a different life. I doubt it and I am sure that he was comforted by your presence when he passed away. Aren’t we all lucky to have been loved by one of these little guys!

  5. Your post hurts my heart. My Scottie is 13 years old. She is obese. She has been difficult all of her life to train. She is a headstrong girl, but is loved and she loves us. She has been the most fun of any dog I have ever had. I know she won’t be with us much longer, but right now is happy, still plays, and will wrestle anybody to the ground for a treat. I hope she goes in the same way that your beloved scottie went. I dread the thought of having to have her put down. I pray every day that God will be kind and let her go in her sleep when the time comes. You were a very lucky mommy to Jude.

  6. I went to this website because I have an 8 year old Scotty, named McJagger, who is starting to show his age. He had a bad cold last month, and rattling breathing. He recovered, but I basically wanted to know how old Scottys are when they go. My heart goes out to those who lost their Scotty’s because when mine comes it will devastate me.

  7. The end of Jude’s life probably came just the way he would have wanted it. I have lost two Scotties, and at the end, their stubbornness meant that they put their foot down on the last day and refused to walk. But the day before the last day, Webster went for a walk with me to his favourite stream, where he went for a small swim. I think we would all agree that Scotties will not do anything they don’t want to do, which is why we love these diehards.

  8. It has been almost a year since I posted and every day I am thankful that my little Scottish Terrier, Buster, is still here to defy my requests that he do anything that he doesn’t want to. He makes me smile, he makes me laugh, but most of all he loves me without question. And; I am thankful for him every day. He is my best buddy.

  9. My Scottie Walter is 8 1/2 yrs old. I came to this site to find out the average life span. He is the best dog I ever had and can’t even think about the day when he crosses the Rainbow Bridge. My heart goes out to owners of Scotties that have passed. They are very special hairy friends.

  10. I have two beautiful Scottie’s one white and one black they are best friends! They have totally different personalities both of which I love:) they have carried me through many difficult times and I treasure them dearly. I just found out that my black one has an in operable tumor. They are both 10 and I cannot imagine losing her. The years keep coming but I am going to enjoy what ever time I have left with her. She is full of spunk and her personality has never shown any age. She still jumps around like a puppy. I feel so bad that she has cancer and I think that her best friend is going to have as difficult a time as I am when she leaves us. My husband picked them out and then he passed from cancer himself. I can only hope that he will be waiting for my precious black Scottie with open arms when she passes. I enjoyed all your posts. Thanks for sharing. It’s so good to hear such nice stories about this wonderful breed:)

  11. I have 15yr old Scottie who is very active and goes everywhere with me. I can’t leave my house without him. He’s very tight with me and my wife-Scottie’s are totally loving and demand attention. Feel bad for Scottie who died he lived a great life and it took me months to get over the loss of my first two Scottie’s but I got another one and have had15 yrs with him Scottie’s are grand….

  12. We just lost our two scotties to cancer, one at 14 and the other 12, passing within 3 weeks of each other. Our first scotty, passing at age 14, showed his age and the signs of cancer when he went, but our second scotty was misdiagnosed with a blood clot, when he had cancer filling one third his body cavity. He just sat down in the back yard until I noticed he wasn’t moving much from place to place for hours. I took him to the vet, but he only lived about 2.5 hours beyond that. These little guys bodies are much smaller than ours and a tumor can spread quickly in short time. I am just thankful for spending this much of our lives with two very special animals. They are sorely missed, is an understatement.

  13. I came to this site to see what the average lifespan was of a Scottie. We had one we rescued at age 6 and she lived to 16, which we were told was rare. We rescued our current Scottie Dexter at age 7 and he is now 12. He was recently diagnosed with Cushings. Does anyone know how long they can live with this disease? He is the sweetest little love bug. I am so grateful he came to us. I hope when his time comes he goes peacefully in his sleep. I hope we have a bit more time with him though. He is such a joy.

    1. Marie sent this comment in reply to Jeanne. McJagger is a great name and it’s not the first time Scottie News has run across it:

      Our Scottish Terrior, McJagger, is 11 years old going on 12 years in June. He is doing well. Graying a bit around the muzzle. He sleeps a little more and I do believe he suffers a bit from stiff joints since he is more likely to sleep on the floor at our feet then jump up on the chair, stool or sofa. We generally get his teeth cleaned every 18 months, and have his (bear) claws trimmed while he is under sedation. Hope that was helpful. Good eater, and well mannered.

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