Border Collies live an average of 12 years but, they can live up to 18 years when not exposed to any major health risks, which is why it’s so important to do your research before you buy one and find out if there are any genetic issues that run in the family.
That said, it’s hard to predict when an individual dog will pass away because there are so many factors involved, like size, health issues, and personality type.
One way you can ensure this is by buying from a reputable breeder who has done all the necessary health checks on both parents and grandparents of the pup or adult dog they’re selling you.
This article will show you the tips and tricks for living with a Border Collie and improving their average lifespan.
Do Male or Female Border Collies Live Longer?
Female dogs tend to live longer than male dogs. This goes for all types of dogs, including Border Collies.
However, since male Border Collies are more predisposed to genetic health problems than females in general, it’s even more important that you find a breeder who has done their homework regarding the family history of both parents.
What do border collies usually die from?
Their most common causes of death are cancer and cerebral diseases. But, other common health issues run in the Border Collie bloodline, including hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.
Because of the latter, it’s very important to see both parents and grandparents in good health before you buy a Border Collie puppy or adult dog.
Common Border Collies Health Issues
When it comes to common Border Collies health issues, a few conditions affect specific parts of the body. For example:
Hip dysplasia occurs when the femur doesn’t fit correctly into the pelvis area. The dog may have difficulty walking and severe pain. This is a very common issue in Border Collies because it’s an inheritable condition that can skip multiple generations if the grandparents had it, but some of their puppies didn’t.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
This condition is expressed through vision problems, including night blindness and eventually total blindness. Unfortunately, Border Collies are one of the most predisposed breeds when it comes to this condition. If both parents don’t have it, they can still pass it on to some of their puppies.
Heart Disease – Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
Border Collies are very predisposed to heart disease, affecting their lifespan by limiting activities or causing their organs to shut down.
PDA happens when the ductus arteriosus does not close after birth, resulting in too much blood flow to the lungs causing fluids to build up and press on the heart.
This condition causes seizures, which can limit the Border Collie’s lifespan. There are medications you can give your dog to reduce the likelihood of a seizure. If not treated, seizures could lead to tremors or even paralysis.
Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)
Collie eye happens because of a defective chromosome 37. The symptoms include cloudy eyes, eyeballs sinking into their sockets, and smaller-than-usual eyeballs. It happens if one of its parents’ carried the defective gene.
Unfortunately, Collie eye anomaly cannot be reversed.
To reduce the risk of your dog contracting any of these conditions, I suggest finding a reputable breeder who has done all necessary genetic testing on both parents and grandparents.
This is very dangerous because bloat can cause stomach torsion. It is when the stomach twists itself and cuts off blood flow to vital organs.
Border Collies are predisposed to bloat because of their deep chests and narrow waists.
This is a condition that makes the thyroid less active, causing a decrease in metabolism. This results in weight gain and lethargy.
Hypothyroidism can be treated through medications as well as special diets.
Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome (TNS)
TNS happens when white blood gets trapped and is not released from the bone marrow. Your puppy will get more susceptible to infections. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for TNS currently.
In short, a Border Collie’s lifespan will be reduced if they get any of these conditions or diseases. The best thing you can do for your dog is take them to the veterinarian regularly and give them the appropriate meds if they need them.
How to help your Border Collie live longer
Extending your Border Collie life expectancy is very achievable if you give him or her the right care. You can reduce their chances of getting any health conditions by making sure they are eating healthy food and taking them for regular walks.
Here are some more tips:
Watch what your Border Collie eats
Healthy food with the proper nutrients, especially protein, is essential for your Border Collie’s health.
Be careful to only feed them the right portions for their size and make sure they don’t snack on other people’s food.
Border Collies are heavy shedders and require a lot of grooming.
Regular brushing will help get rid of the excess hair and keep their coat nice. However, it is important to only use the right types of brushes for your Border Collie’s fur type.
Grooming can also include bathing, trimming nails, and cleaning their ears, which preferably should be done by professionals.
Do not use chemical products on your Border
Avoid chemical products when grooming your Border Collie since this can cause a lot of damage to his or her skin and fur. Chemical products can also cause a painful reaction, so be very careful!
You should only use natural products that are more environmentally friendly and have a tendency to cause less pain for your Border Collie.
Keep your Border Collie active
Make sure your Border Collie gets lots of exercise. Getting regular exercise for your Border Collie will help reduce the likelihood of obesity, which is linked to Diabetes and hypothyroidism, and heart diseases. This will also help you prevent bloat.
Taking your dog for a walk helps increase his or her metabolism. I suggest going for a walk at least twice a day or giving it at least one hour of exercise every day so they can run free in a secure area.
Do regular veterinary visits
Border Collies are very active, and they need to be checked by a veterinarian regularly. This will help you prevent any health conditions from developing early. You want to catch anything that can shorten their lifespan before it becomes serious enough that it does.
The veterinarian can also make sure your Border Collie is up-to-date on all their vaccinations, which can extend their life expectancy.
Brush his teeth regularly
Brushing your Border Collie’s teeth twice a week is very important to prevent plaque buildup, leading to gum disease.
If your Border Collie has gingivitis, it means they are in pain and are suffering from unhealthy gums. Make sure you brush their teeth regularly and visit the vet to have their teeth cleaned!
Give them supplements
Check with your veterinarian if he or she can give your Border Collie some vitamin supplements. Supplements are not that expensive, and especially when compared to the benefits they bring for your dog.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Border Collie
If your Border Collie sleeps outside, make sure they have a nice place to sleep and that it is clean from any waste.
A dog who lives outside compared to a dog who lives inside usually has a shorter life expectancy and is more likely to develop any health conditions.
Improving your Border Collies lifespan is possible with good food and exercise. You can also help your dog live a longer life by getting a DNA test done on both of his or her parents. If either one has any bad health condition, then the puppy will probably get it too.
The best thing you can do for your dog is take him or her to the veterinarian regularly because proper pet care will enhance their lifespan.
What should Border Collies be health tested for?
Border Collies should be health tested to determine their genetic history and to prevent any diseases from occurring.
You should test your Border Collie for:
- Neurologic diseases – These are diseases related to the brain, such as Degenerative Myelopathy. Your Border Collie should be tested for the Multidrug Resistance;
- Ophthalmologic diseases – Are related to the eyes. Your Border Collie should be tested for Collie Eye Anomaly;
- Metabolic diseases – This type of disease is related to the body and its cellular metabolism. Your BC should be tested for Cobalamin Malabsorption;
- Immunological diseases – These diseases are related to their immune system. Your Border Collie should be tested for Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome;
- Haemolymphatic diseases – These are diseases associated with the circulatory system. Your Border Collie should be tested for Cyclic Neutropaenia – Grey Collie Syndrome;
- Musculoskeletal diseases – These diseases are related to the muscles and bones. Your Border Collie should be tested for Degenerative Myelopathy.
Overweight Border Collies Live Shorter Lives
Do not feed your Border Collie too much food, especially if you know they are not exercising enough!
Overweight BCs are more likely to suffer from:
- Diabetes – which can result in blindness and lead to amputations;
- Chronic pancreatitis – which is the inflammation of the pancreas;
- Overheating, breathing problems, and bloat – bloat is a condition where your dog’s stomach becomes too full of food or water or air and then twists on itself, which can lead to death.
If your Border Collie is overweight, talk to a veterinarian about how you should go about changing their diet, so they do not put on any more weight.
Make sure your Border Collie gets the needed exercise daily. A Border Collie who does not get enough exercise is more likely to become obese, and it is even possible to develop Diabetes.
Does Neutering or Spaying Affect their lifespan?
Neutering or spaying your Border Collie can increase health and lifespan. This is because you can decrease their risk of developing certain degenerative diseases like cancer and reduce some behavioral issues lengthening their life expectancy.
Do Mixed Border Collies Live Longer Than Purebred Ones?
Generally, mixed breed dogs live longer than purebred ones. Though the difference is not large, it is still something to consider.
For example, if your Border Collie is purebred, they are four times more likely to suffer from deafness than a mixed breed. Purebred BCs are also twice as likely to have hip dysplasia than mixed breed ones.
What Is The Longest Living Border Collie
The longest living Border Collie known was Bramble, and he lived to 25 years.
Bramble ate a 100% vegan diet. Her meals included lentils, textured vegetable protein, and rice primarily.
Bramble got lots of exercise, and her owners tried to reduce her stress to improve her health.
Border Collies are incredible dogs that can live long lives if they are cared for properly.
Take your dog to the vet, make sure they exercise and feed them healthy food to increase their lifespan!