How Long do Chow Chows Live: Life Span 

How Long do Chow Chows Live: Life Span 

Last updated on March 20th, 2023 at 08:37 pm

Reading Time: 5 minutes

How Long do Chow Chows Live: Life Span 

Ask anyone who owns a chow chow and they’ll probably tell you that these dogs have an exceptional lifespan. Even though the breed tends to grow old faster than smaller dogs, they tend to live much longer than other breeds in the same size category. The life expectancy of a chow depends on several factors like their environment, their diet, and their genetics.

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Chow Chows happen to have a fairly wide range for their average lifespan. Life can take unexpected turns, but when making a commitment as big as bringing a new member into your family, we should consider how many years we can commit.  

Quick Answer:

In general, chow puppies and adult dogs tend to live around 8-10 years. However, there are also some outliers that live longer or shorter than that. These differences could be due to genetics or other factors.

If you would like to know more about how long chow chows live and their life expectancy, read on. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the life span of this breed.

Quick Rundown On Chow Chows 

Chow Chows are an incredible breed of dogs that have been around for over 2,000 years! Some even say as long as 3,000 years! It is believed that they originated in northern Siberia, from where they eventually made a name for themselves in China. Chow Chows have lived and worked alongside their humans as hunting dogs, war dogs, farm dogs, sled dogs, and guard dogs. The breed is sometimes called Songshi Quan, meaning Puffy Lion Dog, Hsiung Kou, meaning bear dog, and Hek she, meaning black tongue. That’s right! Did you know Chow Chows have a blueish black tongue!

What is a Chow Chow’s Life Span?

To answer quickly, a Chow Chows life span is the amount of time it takes for an individual to die from natural causes.

No two dogs will die at exactly the same time and a dog’s lifespan isn’t solely dependent on its breed. Rather, it’s based on a combination of the dog’s genetics and the environment they live in. For example, a Chow Chow living in a home with a lot of allergens will probably die sooner than a chow living in a home without any allergens. Most Chow Chow owners can expect their dogs to live between 10 and 15 years. However, some chow chows even live up to 20 years! This is rare, but it’s entirely possible thanks to their extremely long life expectancy.

How Long Do Chow Chows Live?

Now that we’ve discussed what a Chow Chow life span is, it’s time to talk about the actual Chow Chow lifespan. The Chow Chow life span is around 8 to 12 years, but many chow chows even live longer. On average, a Chow Chow lives between 9 and 15 years.

Chow Chows
Chows Are Adorable. They Can Live Anywhere Between 8-15 Years.

What Is The Average Lifespan Of a Chow Chow?

The average lifespan for a chow chow is 8-12 years. However, many chow chows even live much longer than that. Chow chows can live up to 15 years in rare cases! This is because chow chows have a long lifespan compared to other dog breeds of the same size category. Chow chows are very large dogs and often weigh more than 60 pounds. Because they grow larger than many other dog breeds, they also tend to live longer. While smaller dogs might live between 8 and 10 years, larger breeds often live more than 15 years. This means that chow chows tend to fall under the “longer-living” category!

Before we continue, wanted to share this adorable video of a Chow Chow growing up:

Risk of Disease and Illness Affecting Chow Chows

Chow Chows have quite a wide range for their estimated life span. This range may be because several different factors can affect the lifespan of Chows. Anything and everything from stress, genetics, fitness, enrichment, size, and diet can affect the health of your dog and, ultimately, its lifespan.  

Here are a couple of factors that can affect a Chow Chow and his lifespan. 

  • Wrinkles and risk of infection 

Chows have wrinkly faces no matter how old they are. They are ridiculously cute, but these deep wrinkles or folds can, unfortunately, become easily infected. If they aren’t checked frequently and aren’t kept clean, something so simple could quickly turn into a health concern for your dog.  

  • Genetics and Breeding  

Of course, genetics come into play when considering a dog’s lifespan. Different dogs face different health issues, but many health issues are inherited. Chow Chows are prone to joint problems, autoimmune disorders, heart issues, and even some vision or eye issues. 

Responsible breeders perform genetic health tests on all their dogs before breeding dogs together that will likely have puppies that will later be more prone to certain diseases and problems.  Unfortunately, not all breeders are in it for the love and health of the breed. Some Chow Chows may be born with or develop behavioral or health concerns that can shorten their lifespan and quality of life.  

  • Risk of hereditary disease 

As with most purebred dogs, Chow Chows can be at a higher risk for certain conditions or diseases. Because of their deep, narrow chests, Chow Chows are at risk for gastric dilatation and volvulus (gdv), otherwise known as bloat. In these cases, the stomach will begin to fill with gas and twist, which can cut off blood supply and quickly turn fatal.  

Chow Chows are also more prone than other breeds to conditions and diseases of the eyes. They are at risk of developing glaucoma, entropion, the inward rolling of the eyelids, cataracts, and dry eye, otherwise known as called keratoconjunctivitis.  

  • Joint Problems

Because chow chows are such large dogs, they’re at risk for joint problems. Chow chows often develop joint problems as they age because of the way their bones grow.

How Long do Chow Chows Live: Life Span 

How to Care for a Senior Chow Chow?

Because Chow Chows have such long lifespans, owners have to plan for their dogs getting older. A Chow Chow will start to show signs of aging around 10 years old. Some of the signs of aging in Chow Chows are reduced activity, slowed metabolism, and increased susceptibility to certain diseases like joint problems and DMM. When a Chow Chow reaches senior status, it’s important to alter their diet. Chow Chows are very large dogs and, as they age, they require more calories. Senior Chow Chows also shouldn’t be fed the same diet as they were when they were younger.

Final Words About a Chow Chows Lifespan

Chow chows are large, playful dogs. They’re very affectionate and make great family pets. Chow chows are also hardworking dogs that make excellent farm dogs or guard dogs. The breed has a long life expectancy, is generally very healthy, and can make great companions. If you’re interested in adopting a chow chow, make sure you’re prepared for the amount of attention and care they require.

About The Author

I'm a content writer and researcher. But bottom line, I loveee animals. I had my first animal which was a guinea pig at age 8. Later had a bunny, dog and a lot, a lot of fish. Writing about what I know about pets will allow me to share my knowledge and love for them with everyone else. Dealing with dogs my entire life, I know a lot.


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