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Why do small dogs live longer than large ones? Here's a simple scientific explanation.

Dogs aren't like the rest of the animal kingdom.

big dogs, small dogs, dog longevity

A Chihuahua and a Great Dane

A basic rule throughout nature is that larger animals tend to live longer than smaller ones. Elephants saunter into their sixties and whales can cruise the ocean for centuries, whereas mice live about a year or two and the common house fly won’t make it past a month.

The major reasons for the discrepancy are slower metabolisms and reduced risks from predators. However, there is a disconnect when it comes to man’s best friend. On average, smaller dogs tend to outlive larger ones.

For instance, petite Chihuahuas can live up to 15 years, outliving their significantly larger counterparts, Great Danes, by a solid 8 years. What’s to account for the huge difference in lifespan?



Dogs diverge from the rest of the animal kingdom regarding longevity primarily because of how they mature as puppies.

According to Discover Magazine, larger breeds suffer from more physical ailments when they age because they expend more of their early resources for growth instead of maintaining their bodies. This can lead to more damage on the cellular level that doesn’t manifest until the dog has reached adulthood. This lowers a larger dog's defenses against cancer while also raising the possibility of DNA replication damage that can lead to cancer at a later age.

To put it simply: Larger dogs grow up fast, which leads to a faster decline.

"There's a body of robust theory in evolutionary biology—what we call 'life history theory' – about the way animals allocate their resources to different functions," evolutionary biologist Professor Mark Elgar of the University of Melbourne's School of Biosciences told Phys.org. "The bottom line is, there is no free lunch.”

"We conclude that large dogs die young mainly because they age quickly," Elgar says.

It appears that all that wear and tear on a large breed dog’s body as they rapidly grow can harm its health in the long run. A group of undergraduate students from Colgate University in New York found that as puppies, large breed dogs have significantly more free radicals in their cells, which can lead to damage that has long-lasting effects.

Free radicals steal parts from other molecules, which causes damage and can lead to aging and disease.

Being a dog lover is bittersweet because you know that you and your furry friend will have to say goodbye one day. I guess that’s what makes the time together so special. Your time together is finite, so it’s best to enjoy it together while you can.

The good news is that, as pet owners, if we take good care of our dogs, they can have the best chance of living a long and happy life. The American Kennel Club offers this list of tips to promote your dog’s longevity and quality of life:

  • Feeding a healthy diet
  • Helping maintain a healthy weight
  • Encouraging breed- and age-appropriate physical and mental exercise
  • Taking our dogs for annual veterinary checkups and vaccinations
  • Providing preventive dental care
  • Administering heartworm, flea and tick preventatives
  • Keeping them safe from accidents
  • Giving love and affection

Joy

Sorry, Labradors. After 31 years, America has a new favorite dog.

The American Kennel Club has crowned a new favorite.

via Pixabay

A sad-looking Labrador Retriever

The sweet-faced, loveable Labrador Retriever is no longer America’s favorite dog breed. The breed best known for having a heart of gold has been replaced by the smaller, more urban-friendly French Bulldog.

According to the American Kennel Club, for the past 31 years, the Labrador Retriever was America’s favorite dog, but it was eclipsed in 2022 by the Frenchie. The rankings are based on nearly 716,500 dogs newly registered in 2022, of which about 1 in 7 were Frenchies. Around 108,000 French Bulldogs were recorded in the U.S. in 2022, surpassing Labrador Retrievers by over 21,000.

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Joy

Gen Z is allegedly ‘aging like milk’ and this TikTok star’s proof has people rolling

The 26-year-old’s encounter with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was too hilarious.


Jordan Howlett is 26, but people always think he's in his 40s.

Every generation eventually reaches the point where they realize they're aging, but apparently Gen Z is hitting that milestone a lot earlier than most. Despite—or perhaps because of—growing up during the biggest anti-aging beauty product boom the world has ever seen, the young folks born between 1997 and 2012 are gaining a reputation for looking old before their time.

How can anyone who is younger than 27 look old, you may ask? It's a valid question. According to one cosmetic doctor, young adults are engaging in anti-aging interventions like fillers and Botox prematurely, which ironically is making them "age" faster. Another culprit could be that smoking and vaping have taken hold of Gen Z in a way that their millennial predecessors generally managed to avoid.

According to Jordan Howlett, better known as Jordan the Stallion on TikTok, it's "mainly because of the stress" that Gen Z is "aging like milk." But it's Howlett's own personal anecdotes of looking older than his age as a Gen Zer that has people marveling—and laughing out loud.

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Joy

An 8-year-old snuck his handwritten book onto a library shelf. Now it has a 56-person waiting list.

Dillon Helbig's 81-page graphic novel— written by "Dillon His Self"—captured the hearts of his local librarians and their patrons.

Dillon Helbig's 81-page graphic novel captured the hearts of his local librarians.

Writing a book is no easy task, even for adult professional writers. Many would-be authors dream of a day when their work can be found on library shelves, unsure if it will ever come.

But for 8-year-old Dillon Helbig, that day has already arrived—in truly unconventional fashion—thanks to his own determination to make it happen.

Dillon wrote his 81-page graphic novel, "The Adventures of Dillon Helbig's Crismis" (written by "Dillon His Self") in a hardcover journal with colored pencils over the course of a few days. He even put a label on the back of the book that reads "Made in Idho" [sic] and put an illustrated spine label on it as well. Then, without telling anyone, he brought it to his local library in Boise, Idaho, and slipped it in among the books in the children's section.

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Portland 'Ice Tok' is making social media erupt with laughter

There are actually some people that choose to live where the air hurts your face. Sure, snow and icicles can be pretty to watch on television or even from the comfort of your own toasty living room. But it's much less serene when you have to get out in it to do non-exciting activities like go to school or work.

The people of Portland, Oregon have been dealing with the beauty of mother nature up close and personal–sometimes a little too close. After an ice storm trapped them in the house for days, people started having to venture outdoors and the results are hilarious. Residents of the iced-in city have been uploading videos of themselves and others looking a lot like a new born deer attempting to take its first steps.

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Health

8 nontraditional empathy cards that are unlike any you've ever seen. They're perfect!

Because sincerity and real talk are important during times of medical crisis.

True compassion.

When someone you know gets seriously ill, it's not always easy to come up with the right words to say or to find the right card to give.

Emily McDowell — a former ad agency creative director and the woman behind the Los Angeles-based greeting card and textile company Emily McDowell Studio — knew all too well what it was like to be on the receiving end of uncomfortable sentiments.

At the age of 24, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin's lymphoma. She went into remission after nine months of chemo and has remained cancer-free since, but she received her fair share of misplaced, but well-meaning, wishes before that.

On her webpage introducing the awesome cards you're about to see, she shared,

"The most difficult part of my illness wasn't losing my hair, or being erroneously called 'sir' by Starbucks baristas, or sickness from chemo. It was the loneliness and isolation I felt when many of my close friends and family members disappeared because they didn't know what to say or said the absolute wrong thing without realizing it."

Her experience inspired Empathy Cards — not quite "get well soon" and not quite "sympathy," they were created so "the recipients of these cards [can] feel seen, understood, and loved."

Scroll down to read these sincere, from-the-heart, and incredibly realistic sentiments.

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Pop Culture

Younger people are admitting baby boomers got these 17 things right

"Kids shouldn't be on phones or iPads all the time. It makes them weird."

Baby boomers didn't get everything wrong.

In recent years, baby boomers have often been the target of criticism from younger generations. The most common accusations are that boomers are selfish and don’t care about leaving ample resources (whether financial or environmental) to subsequent generations.

They also come under fire for not being able to acknowledge that it was easier for people of their generation to come of age when things were more affordable and life was a lot less competitive.

However, we should also understand that many of today’s problems are not the boomers’ doing, especially when it comes to the issues that stem from entitled children and technology run amok. In hindsight, there’s something to be said about the importance that boomers placed on self-reliance, letting kids be kids and having a healthy skepticism towards technology.

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