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How Long Do Bloodhounds Live? Vet-Reviewed Average Lifespan, Data & Care

Written by: Genevieve Dugal

Last Updated on March 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

How Long Do Bloodhounds Live? Vet-Reviewed Average Lifespan, Data & Care

VET APPROVED

Dr. Lorna Whittemore  Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Few breeds can match the loyalty and gentleness of the Bloodhound. With their floppy ears and soulful eyes, this gentle giant steals the hearts of those lucky enough to share their lives with one. The bond formed between a Bloodhound and their human is a treasure trove, and with proper care and dedication, this loving relationship could last over a decade. Let’s start with the good news: On average, Bloodhounds have a lifespan of 10–12 years. 

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Bloodhound Average Lifespan

The average 10-12 years will obviously never be enough for a pet parent, but this lifespan is still respectable for a dog of this size. That said, your Bloodhound’s lifetime will greatly depend on their genetics, lifestyle, and the care that they receive.

bloodhound on the porch
Image By: Anna Tronova, Shutterstock

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How to Care For Your Bloodhound for a Long Lifespan

Ensuring that your Bloodhound will live as long as possible starts with giving them the best care as soon as they enter your home. Unfortunately, there are things over which you have no control, but you can still try to do everything you can to help your dog develop in the best possible way.

1. Feeding & Diet

A diet with high-quality ingredients is paramount for any dog.  It is best to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations, but here are some pointers.

As a starting point, due to their size, Bloodhounds need a diet adapted to large breeds and their specific stage of life (puppy, adult, or senior). Also, keep in mind that since Bloodhounds are large, deep-chested dogs, they can be affected by a life-threatening condition called gastric dilatation and volvulus1, or bloat. Although the exact cause of this terrible disorder is unknown, you can limit the chances of it happening by feeding your dog several small meals a day and avoiding vigorous exercise immediately after eating.  Using a slow-feeder bowl can prevent your dog from eating too quickly and swallowing air at the same time, which is thought to increase the risk of a GDV occurring.


2. Exercise

Bloodhounds are far from big lazy dogs! They have an innate need for physical activity, and regular exercise is essential to prevent obesity, boredom, destructive behaviors, and all the other problems caused by the lack of physical stimulation.

Your Bloodhound will be happy to take long daily walks with you, and this will help keep their joints healthy. However, as they are exceptional tracking dogs with a keen sense of smell, you should keep them on a leash when walking in an unsecured area. You don’t want them wandering off after smelling a squirrel!

Bloodhounds are smart but quite stubborn and independent, especially when tracking a new scent, so they need a healthy dose of mental stimulation. Puzzle toys, obedience training, and scent games tap into their innate abilities and will keep them engaged.

Blood Hound
Image By: Edoma, Shutterstock

3. Healthcare

There are two things that you can do to increase the likelihood of your Bloodhound living for as long a time as possible:

  • Do careful research before buying your puppy. Since genetics can greatly influence your dog’s lifespan, it is essential to get your Bloodhound from a reputable breeder with ethical practices. These breeders will pass all the health and genetic disease screenings required by official breed associations. Good breeders should invite questions from prospective owners and should ask you a lot of questions about how you plan to keep and care for your puppy.  Don’t be disheartened if the breeder is quizzing you, be reassured!
  • Always keep up with vet visits and health checkups. Regular checkups, annual vaccinations and quick vet visits will help detect any health problems.

Common health issues in Bloodhounds include:
  • Gastric dilatation with or without volvulus (gas-filled stomach that may or may not twist)
  • Bloat
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Heart disease
  • Ear infections due to their long-hanging ears.
  • Eye problems, entropion (rolling in of the eyelids), corneal ulceration
  • Skin fold dermatitis
  • Atopic dermatitis (allergies)

The American Bloodhound Club recommends checking that the following health tests have been done before buying a puppy from a reputable breeder:

  • Hip and elbow evaluation
  • Cardiac exam

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The 3 Life Stages of a Bloodhound

Like with any other dog, the life stages of a Bloodhound can be broadly categorized into three main phases: puppyhood, adulthood, and senior years. Each stage brings unique challenges and joys, and understanding them will help you provide the best care and support for your Bloodhound throughout their life.

1. Puppyhood

Being a large breed, Bloodhound pups have a lot of growing to do, so they are usually not considered adults until they are about 18 months  old. A bloodhound’s mental maturity might take even longer to arrive which means your pup will quickly grow into a dog with an imposing stature while having the maturity of a rambunctious puppy!

Bloodhound puppies can be quite stubborn and may test your boundaries as they search for their independence. You’ll need all your patience and training skills to keep your pup out of trouble during this time—like chewing on anything that comes their way!


2. Adulthood

As your Bloodhound reaches adulthood, they become more stable and mature. They aren’t as fiery and mischievous as when they were young, but they still have a good amount of energy. This is usually the peak of their physical abilities and mental acuity. It is also during these golden years that you can truly enjoy their sweet and loyal nature and deepen your bond with them.


3. Senior Years

Around the age of 6 or 7, your Bloodhound will enter their senior years. Their bodies start to show signs of aging, and they tend to experience a decrease in mobility and energy levels. Senior Bloodhounds will benefit from a modified diet and joint supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin can help to support their mobility.  Regular visits to the veterinarian to monitor their health become more and more necessary as dog’s get older. Despite the natural slowing down, their love and loyalty remain steadfast, and they still appreciate spending quality time with their family.

Close-up portrait of a cute brown bloodhound puppy sitting on the sand
Image Credit: Glikiri, Shutterstock

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How to Tell Your Bloodhound’s Age

Determining the age of a Bloodhound can be a bit tricky, especially if you adopt or rescue one.  However, there are a few physical and behavioral indicators that can provide rough estimates of your Bloodhound’s age.

Teeth Condition

Checking the condition of a dog’s teeth can provide a few clues about their age. In young Bloodhounds, you may notice clean, white teeth with little to no wear. As dogs age, their teeth might show signs of wear and tartar buildup, and there may even be missing teeth.

Graying

A Bloodhound’s coat can offer a few hints about their age. Young pups usually have smooth and shiny coats, while old dogs might have coarse and dull ones. Graying around the muzzle and face is a common sign of aging in most breeds, but not all dogs will develop gray hair at the same rate.

Behavior

Young and not-so-small Bloodhounds will be more excitable and require a bit more training and guidance to control their energy. Older dogs will generally be more stable and well-behaved and have better obedience skills—though their stubbornness will never completely go away!

bloodhound dog lying on the ground
Image By: Degtyaryov Andrey, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

When it comes to choosing a breed of dog, life expectancy is a crucial factor to consider. No pet parent wants to think about the inevitable, but that makes us cherish the times spent with our beloved pups even more. Therefore, although the lifespan of a Bloodhound may seem fleeting, every moment spent with these devoted companions is worth a lifetime of memories.


Featured Image Credit: markfizzwig, Pixabay

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