Whether you already have a vizsla or are considering getting one, knowing their lifespan is basic but very important.
This article will cover the typical lifespan of Vizslas, factors that can change it, as well as tips on keeping them healthy.
The lifespan of a Vizsla is between 10-15 years. Naturally, some Vizslas will not live as long as others due to a number of reasons including genetics, diet, lifestyle, and health issues.
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How Long Do Vizslas Live For? (the truth)
When looking at the breed standard, it states that on average Vizslas live until around 12-14 years old… But after countless time spent researching, digging through Vizsla groups and forums, and speaking to vizsla owners, we found the range to be a little broader, in both directions.
I found out that a lot of Vizslas lived until the ripe age of 15 (which is very generous for a breed of this size), but unfortunately, we also found out that many passed at the age of 10-11.
So instead of just going by the breed average, it’s fairer and more accurate to know that a Vizslas life expectancy is typically between 10-15 years old.
Interesting Fact: 10-15 in “dog years” is the equivalent of 60-83 in “human years”.
4 Factors Affecting a Vizsla’s Lifespan
There are a few different factors affecting the life expectancy of any single Vizsla, let’s cover them below.
Just like in us, genetics often play a larger role in our overall health and ultimately, life expectancy. The same is true for your Vizsla (and all dogs in general). Of course, we have no control over what kind of genetics our dogs have but we can work to provide our pooches with everything they need in order to remain healthy. More on that below.
2. Health Issues
Just as important as genetics, are health issues. While some dogs make it to their golden years without health problems, most will eventually be subjected to some kind of issue. There’s a wide range of common health issues affecting vizslas, most of which will either directly or indirectly (weight gain, mobility, stress) affect life expectancy, especially for those that are already in their senior years.
Common health issues affecting Vizslas:
- Bleeding Disorders (Von Willebrand’s disease)
- Hip Dysplasia
- Dental Disease
- Bone & Joint Disorders
- Canine Cancer
While some of these issues do not directly reduce life expectancy, they may do indirectly through the form of weight gain, decreased mobility, or chronic stress.
3. Diet & Nutrition
The kind of diet and food your Vizsla consumes over the course of their lifetime will certainly have an impact on their health. A high-quality diet that prioritizes fresh and whole ingredients while avoiding preservatives, chemicals, additives, and flavorings is of course optimal.
Your vizsla’s diet from a macronutrient perspective is vital. Vizslas are agile working dogs that thrive on a high protein, medium to high-fat, and low carb diet. Unfortunately, many inferior kibbles try to increase carb content while decreasing protein and fat in order to cut costs for the consumer. Although this reduces costs, it makes the kibble significantly less nutritious and valuable. Over the span of years, this will definitely impact health.
And lastly, aside from providing a high-quality nutritious diet, it’s crucial that your Vizsla actually gets on well with it. Regardless of quality, some dogs just don’t get on with certain formulas, and if that’s the case it must be switched. If a dog isn’t digesting the kibble well, then the nutrients are likely not being properly absorbed by the body.
A dog’s lifestyle can have a huge impact on their overall health and life expectancy. Your Vizsla’s exercise levels (both physically and mentally) are crucial to their health. Providing adequate amounts of exercise on a daily basis will keep your V young and healthy for longer.
Aside from exercise, external factors like their environment and general life at home can play a part in their health. Reducing stress levels can help avoid many health issues further down the line. I’ll cover some more tips about this below.
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What Do Most Vizslas Die From?
Although a little unpleasant to talk about, many owners often ask us the main cause of death for Vizslas. Thankfully we found out some very good and reliable information on this which we can share with you below.
A lot of research indicates the following as the main cause of death in Vizslas:
- Heart-related issues
- Immune issues
- Kidney Disease
- Other complications with health
Information collected by the Australian Vizsla Health Registry gives us some great information to look at which we have put into our own table. The study looked at 357 Australian-Hungarian vizslas (214 with known or probable cause of death)
|Cause of death||No. of Vizslas||Median Age|
|Accident (usually involving cars/vehicles)||34||2.3 years|
|Kidney Disease||8||9.1 years|
What surprises most owners (including us) is that accidents account for a large percentage of overall deaths. Accidents are mostly car-related fatalities, which would also explain the young age. Young vizslas are more prone to escaping and running into the road compared to adults or seniors.
Cancer is by far the largest known cause of death in Vizslas. For those with cancer, the average life expectancy was around 10.4 years, slightly lower than those that had heart-related issues, living for around 2 years longer on average.
Seizures also affect younger Vizslas more often than older vizslas, again, accounting for a younger life expectancy of just 3.5 years.
While the “other” and “unknown” causes do not help us much here, this information is still very helpful on the whole.
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What’s The Oldest Vizsla?
After a little digging around we found out from many sources that the oldest recorded vizsla lived to almost 21 years! We aren’t sure whether it was 20 or actually 21. But nonetheless, that’s an incredible age to reach.
As for Vizslas that are still alive, we asked owners and scoured forums. We had a few owners stating their Vizsla was 15, a couple 16, and one 17, but we didn’t find any older than this. Although we don’t doubt that there is!
How To Help Your Vizsla Live a Long Healthy Life
We all want to know how we can help our dogs live a long and prosperous life. Here are some of the most important tips we think will have the biggest impact on keeping your Vizsla healthy and happy.
1. Don’t miss routine vet check-ups
We’re all guilty of skipping a few vet appointments here and there (including me!) But this isn’t recommended. One of the most crucial aspects of handling health issues is detecting and treating them early. And this can only happen if our vets are regularly performing thorough health checks ups. If you don’t already have your Vizsla scheduled in once or twice a year, it’s time to make those arrangements.
2. Provide sufficient exercise
Vizslas need their fair share of exercise, ideally around 60-90 minutes per day. And if possible, split this up to a morning and evening session. Keeping your vizsla physically active will have a big impact on their health over the span of a decade. Owners often skip their daily walks if their schedule gets a little busy, it’s crucial to make your V’s exercise a priority every day.
3. Ensure their diet is high quality
Take a second to reconsider the brand you are using and do some further research into their formulas. If you are not confident that they are truly providing highly nutritious food then don’t hesitate to try another brand. Having a high protein, medium to high-fat, and low carb breakdown is by the best for a vizsla. Avoid high carb diets and always check that the first 3-5 ingredients are fresh and whole. Always avoid preservatives, chemicals, additives, and flavorings.
4. Ensure they digest their diet properly
It’s crucial that your Vizsla actually gets on well with their kibble. If his body doesn’t 100% agree with it then it’s likely his body isn’t taking in the proper nutrients as it should. This can lead to a whole range of issues and deficiencies over the span of several months. Watch out for signs of discomfort, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, food refusal, or any unusual changes in behavior after eating.
5. Reduce their stress as much as possible
Unfortunately, our dogs are prone to stress as easily as we are. Vizslas in particular are highly sensitive and aware of their surroundings, which does make them more prone to stress and anxiety.
Tips to avoid stress and anxiety in dogs:
- Provide sufficient exercise (start of the day being most important)
- Provide sufficient mental stimulation (training, socialization, brain training, nose work games)
- Reduce the amount of time your vizsla spends alone
- Reduce the amount of noise in the household
- Teach boundaries and respectful play to young children
- Give at least 30 minutes of undivded attention to your vizsla every day
- Ensure you avoid feeding table scraps, human food, or unhealthy treats
Vizslas live to around 10-15 years of age. Some vizslas do go on to live older than this but that’s far and few between. Aim to provide your vizsla with a high-quality diet, sufficient exercise, a stress-free life, and always remember routine vet checkups.
I hope this article answered your original question sufficiently. If you have any comments to make on this article please let me know! Contact us
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