How Long Do Pitbulls Live?

When it comes to owning a dog, one of the things we don’t normally consider is how long the dog may live for when it comes to its breed. 

Obviously we hope that it will have a long, healthy and meaningful life as part of the family, but it is realistic to have an expectation that their life will come to an end so it doesn’t come as a major shock – though, it still will.

How Long Does a Pit bull Live

On average, a Pitbull will normally live around 12 years if cared for and it stays healthy.

Because of that, their life expectancy is around 10 to 14 years in total, but that depends on a number of different factors.

In this article we shall take a look at what some of those factors are, and more about the lifespan of a Pitbull.

What Can Affect The Lifespan Of A Pitbull?

Like with all dogs, there are a number of things that can affect the overall lifespan of a Pitbull. One of the biggest factors is the Pitbull’s size.

When the dog is larger, it actually ages at a much faster rate than a smaller Pitbull.

A Pitbull is often referred to as a medium size, so this means that they have the chance of staying alive for around 10 to 14 years, with 12 being the average age. However, there are bigger breeds which can grow to a big size.

However, there are many other reasons a Pitbull may pass away that has nothing to do with its size, so let’s take a look at them:

Daily Exercise

A Pitbull needs plenty of exercise to stay healthy once they are fully grown to make sure they do not become overweight.

Whilst a Pitbull, like any other dog, will start to become slower as they age, they will still need to be active to avoid health issues.

When a dog is still growing, you should be wary of how much exercise they have. If you give them too much, then a breed like a Pitbull may suffer from Elbow and Hip Dysplasia.

Not only will it be painful for your dog, but it can cause problems with mobility.

General Health

One of the best ways to make sure your Pitbull lives a long and healthy life is to give them the health checks that they need.

Making sure he or she sees the veterinarian can potentially prolong their life.

This is because Pitbulls are particularly prone to a few things. For example, due to their short fur, they often suffer from skin cancer. You may not notice anything until it is too late to treat your dog. 

Pitbulls often suffer from illnesses connected to the heart as well, and other things too, but if left untreated they can cause death knell for the Pitbull. 

If you make sure your Pitbull is getting checked regularly each year, then there is a higher chance that he or she will live much longer due to getting any help needed if something does arise. 


Pitbull Diet

The food a Pitbull eats can play a huge part in whether it is healthy or not (Find out How Much Should A Pitbull Eat Per Day?). If the food is well balanced and nutritional, then it is less unlikely that they will become overweight. 

An overweight Pitbull can severely impact their life, so making sure they eat well and stay active is paramount to prolonging their life with you.

Not only can they suffer from issues mentally due to them not being able to do things like other dogs they meet, but their joints will suffer too.

If they are overweight and age, the joints may end up failing and this will ultimately lead to no exercise, and death.

If you are concerned your Pitbull might be carrying some extra weight, you can always check.

To do so, have a feel at the side of their rib cage. If you can feel the rib cage without barely touching, then they are underweight. 

If you can just about feel them without the need to really search for them, then they are at a good weight. If you cannot feel them and have to press, then they are overweight. 


The history of its breeding plays a role in the life expectancy of a dog.

There have been a lot of pedigree Pitbulls bred to create particular fur patterns, and in doing so it narrows the overall gene pool of the dog. 

One of those affected is the Merle which is bred for the attractiveness of its skin pattern.

It isn’t classed as the general pattern for a Pitbull, therefore some breeders use any methods they can to produce it which might even include inbreeding dogs. 

Despite the testing of significant diseases by the breeders, those that have been bred to produce particular patterns on their fur can have diseases due to it being hereditary.

Because of this, always be cautious when it comes to adopting a Merle dog. 

Genetics Of The Dog

If a Pitbull’s parents died young, then there is a chance yours might too. Genes play a big part in how long your Pitbull may live. 

Because of this, if you are using a breeder for a Pitbull, find out as much as you can about both the grandparents and parents. 

If you are adopting a Pitbull, then there is little chance you will be able to obtain this information. 

Final Thoughts

There are a number of factors when it comes to determining the lifespan of a Pitbull.

From their overall size and the food it eats, to the breeding history, and the healthcare it receives – all these play a role in deciding how long he or she lives for.

If you want to make sure your pet pooch lives for as long as its breed should, then there are a few things to think about.

So long as you make sure it has regular health check ups, is eating well and is active, then you are on the right track. 

Hopefully this article has helped you into deciding whether a Pitbull is right for you or not.

Emily Andrews