How Long Do Pit Bulls Live? Everything You Should Know About the Pit Bull’s Lifespan 

The American Pit Bull Terrier, or Pit Bull, as they’re commonly referred to, might be the first dog that comes to mind when you think of a powerful-looking canine with a muscular build that could put your favorite gym rat to shame. 

American Pit Bull Terriers, a crossbreed between terriers and bulldogs, trace their roots back to England, where they were used for bull baiting and dog fighting. When these cruel sports were outlawed, early American immigrants brought along their treasured Pitties into the U.S. for a fresh start at life. Although Pit Bulls were originally bred for fighting sports, they still possessed valuable traits to make incredible family pets. 

Pit Bull’s Lifespan 

Today, almost everyone with a Pit Bull — be it a Red Nose Pit Bull or a Blue nose Pit Bull — will tell you that these dogs are sweet, playful softies who enjoy nothing more than loving on their families.

How long do Pit Bulls live, though? If you’re thinking of adding a Pittie to your family, chances are, your mind is swirling with thoughts about their life expectancy.

Before we dive into the Pit Bull’s average lifespan, it’s worth pointing out that “Pit Bull” isn’t a specific dog breed recognized by the American Kennel Club. Rather, it’s a blanket term used to refer to Pit Bull-type dogs: From the American Pit Bull Terrier to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and the English Bull Terrier. 

For this article, though, we’ll explicitly look into the average lifespan of a Pitbull in reference to the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Here’s How Long Pit Bulls Live on Average

Close up of a brown-eyed American Pit Bull Terrier with mouth open,
(Photo Credit: Joey | Pexels)

The average lifespan of an American Pit Bull Terrier ranges between 8 and 15 years, almost as long as that of most medium and large dog breeds.

One key factor that influences how long any dog breed lives is size. Generally, smaller dogs have a much longer life expectancy than their larger counterparts. This is why it’s not unusual for a breed like the Chihuahua to outlive Pit Bulls and other larger breeds.

Pit Bulls, like other bigger breeds, often age at a faster pace than small breeds. For this reason, American Pit Bull Terriers may develop age-related conditions earlier in their lifetime, hence a shorter lifespan (compared to smaller breeds).

This is not to say that Pit Bulls can’t live beyond 15 years, as their average lifespan suggests. In fact, healthy Pitties with a good quality of life can live longer than expected. You’d be surprised to learn that the longest-living Pit Bull on record was a Pittie mix named Max, who reached 26 years of age in 2009. 

6 Common Health Issues That Affect a Pit Bull’s Lifespan

Close up of an American Pit Bull standing in a green farm

Like every other breed, American Pit Bull Terriers are predisposed to various health problems that can shorten their lifespan. Without early diagnosis and proper, ongoing medical care, your Pittie may cross the rainbow bridge sooner rather than later.

That said, here are five common health conditions that Pit Bulls are prone to:

1. Dental Diseases

Pit Bull’s Lifespan 

Unfortunately, American Pit Bull Terriers are highly susceptible to dental diseases due to their crowded teeth. These diseases are preventable by adhering to good (and regular) dental hygiene practices. 

What’s worse is that if left untreated, dental disease-causing bacteria can make their way to your Pit Bull’s vital organs — heart, kidneys, liver, to name a few — and wreak havoc. In other words, dental diseases can significantly shorten your beloved Pittie’s lifespan.

2. Hip Dysplasia 

Pit Bull’s Lifespan 
Source: Reddit

Like many other medium and large breeds, Pit Bulls are genetically predisposed to hip dysplasia, a painful hereditary condition characterized by abnormal development of the hip joint.

Hip dysplasia is associated with symptoms such as difficulty in waking, change in walking style, lameness in the legs, and difficulty standing up from a lying position. If not medically managed, this condition can lead to osteoarthritis, which is potentially fatal. 

3. Hypothyroidism 

Pit Bulls are prone to Hypothyroidism, defined by an alarming drop in the amount of thyroid hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Since the thyroid gland plays a crucial role in a dog’s metabolism, untreated hypothyroidism shortens a Put Bull’s life expectancy. 

4. Obesity

Being a muscular dog with high energy levels, Pit Bulls are hearty eaters. Their mighty appetite often puts them at risk of obesity, particularly if consideration isn’t given to portion control. Those excess pounds come with life-threatening diseases that can lower your Pittie’s longevity.

5. Cataracts

Pit Bull’s Lifespan 

Cataracts — an eye condition characterized by the clouding of the eye lens — is common among American Pit Bull Terriers. If not medically addressed, Cataracts will affect your Pittie’s everyday quality of life and shorten their lifespan. 

6. Skin Issues

Pit Bull’s Lifespan 
Source: Reddit

Due to their short coats, American Pitbull Terriers are vulnerable to various skin problems, from allergen-triggered issues like atopic dermatitis to ichthyosis and even skin cancers. These distressing skin issues can hinder your Pit from enjoying a healthy, comfortable, long life. 

Prolong Your Pit Bull’s Lifespan with These 5 Tips 

A happy-looking Pit Bull jumping on green grass with mouth open,
(Photo Credit: Nikola Čedíková | Pexels)

As a Pit Bull owner, you have a great influence over how long your pup spends by your side. Your Pittie has a greater chance of living way past their average life expectancy only if you prioritize these five tips:

  • Don’t ignore regular vet checkups. Frequent checkups will help your vet catch any underlying health issue early enough before it worsens. 
  • Ensure to feed your Pitbull high-quality, vet-approved dog food (and exercise portion control to help them maintain a healthy weight).
  • Observe proper dental hygiene and seek your vet’s guidance on more ways to improve your Pitbull’s overall dental health. 
  • Make regular exercise and mental stimulation part of your Pitbull’s everyday lifestyle. 
  • Talk to your vet about joint health supplements that could be of great benefit to your Pittie’s overall joint health. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is the Blue Nose Pit Bull’s Lifespan?

If your Blue Nose Pit Bull is an American Pit Bull Terrier, expect their average lifespan to be between 8 and 15 years.

What Is the Red Nose Pit Bull’s Lifespan?

If your Red Nose Pit Bull is an American Pit Bull Terrier, their typical lifespan ranges from 8 to 15 years. 

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