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How Long do Toy Poodles Live? Tips to Help Your Toy Poodle Live Long

Toy Poodle on a Boat

Last updated on January 31st, 2021 at 06:43 am

This article was medically reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Sara Ochoa, a renowned veterinary doctor.

How Long Do Toy Poodles Live?

Yes, all dogs go to heaven. Yet, I want my pup to live forever. – Anonymous

Do you have a toy poodle? Or are you looking at getting a toy poodle? Well, toy poodles are great dogs that can live a very long life. 

When most people get a dog, they would like them to be around as long as possible.  There are many things to help ensure that your toy poodle stays healthy and happy for many years. These are:

  • Feeding your toy poodle a great diet
  • Paying attention to your toy poodle`s health needs by paying regular visits to the vet
  • Providing the best care possible (bathing, grooming, exercise)
  • Making sure your toy poodle does not get into accidents that can make you loose your poodle prematurely

Toy poodles tend to live 12 to 15 years.  Some toy poodles live even longer. some will live shorter. According to a research study of 48 toy poodles, the average life expectancy of a toy poodle is 14 years and 7 months.

On unofficial records, the world`s oldest dog is a toy poodle. He was named Uncle Chi-Chi, and he lived to be well over 20 years old.  While 20 years is a very long time for a toy poodle to live, your toy poodle can reach into their late teens with the proper care and a dedicated owner.

Another record, which is official, by the Guinness Book of World Record, listed a toy poodle among the top 19 of longest-living dogs on record. This toy poodle on the world record list was named Seamus. And he lived to be 20 years, 298 days. Toy poodles can live very long.

uncle chi-chi world oldest dog is a toy poodle
Uncle Chi-Chi, a toy poodle, who was possibly the oldest dog in the world at age 24. Source: The DailyMail

What Affects the Life Expectancy of Toy Poodles?

There are many things that will affect your toy poodle`ss life expectancy.  These are common things that can influence how long your toy poodle lives:

  • Health care: Toy poodles that receive preventative care and see a vet at least twice a year for a checkup usually live longer.  These toy poodles will more likely receive the needed care and routine bloodwork needed to catch the disease earlier before the disease becomes fatal.
  • Genetics: Genetics play a big role in how long a toy poodle`s life.  Some toy poodles come from great genetic lines and do not have a history of life-shortening diseases that kill toy poodles such as heart disease or cancer.
  • Homelife: Toy poodles who are fed a better diet live longer. Toy poodles that live the whole life inside will live longer than those who spend a lot of their life outside.  This is because toy poodles who live outside are prone to be attacked by predators. These toy poodles are more likely to have to fend out predators and deal with changes in climate that poodles who spend most of their life inside do not have to deal with.
  • Spaying and Neutering: Spaying your toy poodle will make them avoid diseases that can be life-threatening. We will discuss extensively on this later in this article.

Sometimes even with the best care, your toy poodle may not live as long as you would want them to. Some toy poodles may develop life-threatening diseases early in life and unfortunately, die young.

two toy poodles

What Are The Common Causes of Death in Toy Poodles?

There are a few diseases that can be life-threatening in toy poodles.  These are some of the most common causes of death in a toy poodle

  • Congestive Heart Failure (CHF): Small breed dogs like toy poodles commonly have problems with their heart valves as these dogs get they get older. This can lead to congestive heart failure.  If your toy poodle has congestive heart failure or any heart failure at all, they will usually cough more, be exercise intolerant, and breathe heavily.  To diagnose CHF, your vet can take x-rays of your dog and listen to your dog’s heart to see if they have a heart murmur or fluid in their lungs.  If your vet does find that your dog has heart issues, there are medications that they can start your dog on to help their heart work more effectively. Treatment may prevent the early death of your toy poodle.
  • Kidney Failure: As toy poodles get older, their organs do not function as they should.  Commonly their kidneys do not work as they should.  This can lead to kidney destruction and failure.  When your toy poodle’s kidneys do not work properly, they do not filter out the waste products from your toy poodle’s blood.  This can make your toy poodle very sick.  There are supplements and kidney diet your older toy poodle can take to help their kidney’s function as they should. Talk to your vet about this.
  • Cancer: Unfortunately, poodles do get cancer.  They commonly get canine lymphoma.  This is a cancer of the lymphatic system and usually causes enlarged lymph nodes.  You can find lymph nodes all over your toy poodle.  You can commonly feel the ones in their neck and behind their knees.  If your toy poodle has canine lymphoma, these lymph nodes will become enlarged, and you will be able to see them more clearly. Also, the other lymph nodes that you do not typically see on your toy poodle becomes enlarged.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes is common in toy poodles.  This is just like with people where their blood sugar gets very high.  This can cause your toy poodle to have symptoms such as drinking a lot of water and peeing a lot. Untreated diabetes can cut the life of your poodle short.  If you notice your poodle showing symptoms of diabetes, talk to your vet. Your vet can easily and quickly check your toy poodle`ss blood sugar.  If your poodle is diabetic, it can start on insulin injections, just like a human does, to help control its diabetes. 
  • Dental Disease: While dental issues do not directly cause your toy poodle to die, the bacteria that live in their mouths can lead to many health issues.  When the bacteria and tartar build up on your dog’s teeth, this can enter your dog’s bloodstream.  The bacteria then can travel anywhere in your dog’s body.  This commonly causes endocarditis (an infection in your dog heart) or kidney disease.  By keeping your toy poodle’s teeth cleaned, you can help them live a long and healthy life.
Dog with mild dental tartar
Poodle with mild dental tartar on its teeth
  • Accidents and Trauma:  If you do not keep a watchful eye on your toy poodle, your toy poodle might get into an accident that could lead to its death. Such accidents include getting hit by a car, getting stepped on by humans, falling down from the stairs, and so on. Furthermore, toy poodles do tend to pick on dogs that are a little bigger than them.  This can cause them to get into a fight with other dogs where they usually do not win.  Some of these damages can lead to broken legs, punctured wounds, and even death. According to one account, accidents and trauma account for more than 10 % of deaths in poodles. You should be on the watch out to prevent these easily avoidable causes of losing your toy poodle.
Poodle on busy street
To avoid accident and trauma, pay more attention when you have your poodle outside in places with human and car traffic.

While all of these diseases mentioned above are life-threatening, many toy poodles will live long even with these diseases provided the diseases are managed with the right vet care and medication.

How Spaying or Neutering Affects Toy Poodle Life Expectancy

Spaying and neutering your toy poodle will help prolong their life.  When you spay or neuter your toy poodle, you are decreasing the chance of many other diseases that can cut the life of your toy poodle short.

Why Should You Spay Your Toy Poodle?

These are some of the most common reasons that you would want to spay your toy poodle. 

  • Overpopulation: By spaying your toy poodle, you are helping decrease the number of unwanted dogs in shelters.  There are many pure breed dogs in the shelter, and many of them are puppies that were unplanned. 
  • Mammary cancer: By spaying your toy poodle before their first heat cycle, you will decrease the chance of mammary cancer by 90%.  Mammary cancer can cause many issues in unspayed female dogs leading to surgery later in life to remove cancer growth.
  • Pyometra: A Pyometra is an infection in the uterus that can easily be prevented by spaying your toy poodle.  A pyometra is an infection in your toy poodle’s uterus.  This is a very common occurrence in an older intact (unspayed) female dog. These dogs are often very sick and will need emergency surgery to remove the uterus and the infection.  In some instances, this may even be fatal.  When your toy poodle is spayed, the entire uterus and ovaries will be removed, and cannot get infected.
  • Stop unwanted guests: When you spay your toy poodle, there will no longer be male dogs unexpectedly entering your yard trying to mate with your toy poodle.  Male dogs can smell the pheromone that is released by your female unspayed toy poodle up to a mile away.  If the male is intact (not neutered), he could find a way to get to your toy poodle to mate with it.  Many of these dogs are way larger than a toy poodle. If these dogs mate with your toy poodle, your poodle will be pregnant with a big dog puppy inside her. Delivering large puppies can be very dangerous to your female toy poodle.

Why Should You Neuter Your Toy Poodle?

While males toy poodles cannot give birth to puppies, there are other medical reasons that you should neuter your male dog. These are: 

  • Decrease aggressive behaviors: Intact male dogs tend to be more aggressive towards people and other dogs.  This can cause them to get into a dog fight and have large lacerations or internal damage.  Toy poodles are very small, and they usually get into fights with much larger dogs. They can easily sustain damages to their bodies in this way. By neutering your male toy poodle, you are taking away the testosterone and their drive to get into mortal combats.
  • Decrease them running away: Intact male dogs are always looking for a mate.  Toy poodles can quickly and easily get under a fence or out the front door due to hormone drives.  They can then get into the streets and get hit by a car or even be picked up by someone else.  By neutering your toy poodle, you are decreasing this drive to look for a mate, thus helping keep your dog safe at home more.
  • Decrease prostate and testicular issues: Older intact male dogs tend to have an enlarged prostate or testicular cancer.  By neutering your dog, you eliminate the chance of testicular cancer and drastically decrease any prostatic issues.

Before you spay or neuter your toy poodle, your veterinarian should perform a complete health exam.  This is to make sure that there are no other health conditions that would cause your toy poodle not to have a successful surgery.

There is some controversy about spaying and neutering a dog young.  There are very few studies that show in large breed dogs that it may be better to wait until your dog is around one year to spay and neuter.  The American Animal Hospital Association has released a statement with a great flow chart on when to spay and neuter your pet based on their weight. Check out the chart below to guide you to make the decision on when it is best to neuter/spay your toy poodle.

Guideline on when to spay or neuter your toy poodle

How to make sure your Toy poodle lives Long and Healthy

 To help your toy poodle live as long as possible, there are many preventative measures that you can take.  These are some things that you can do to help your dog live a very long life:

  • Give them a proper diet: Research has shown that feeding dogs a good diet and keeping them in good physical shape extend the lives of dogs. Feeding your toy poodle a high-quality diet will help them get all the nutrients that they need to support a healthy immune system.  If your dog does not have a proper diet, they can have GI issues, pancreatitis, and have trouble fighting any infection that they may encounter. 
  • Have them spayed or neutered: Spaying and neutering your pet will help them live a long and healthy life.  Studies show that spaying or neutering your toy poodle around six months of age will decrease or eliminate the chance of many other diseases.
  • Provide routine vet care: Preventative care is the best thing that you can do to help your dog live a long and healthy life. 
  • Have parents genetically tested: Make sure that the breeder that you get your toy poodle from has checked the parent for any genetic defects as well as having their hearts check to make sure that they are not passing on any genetic heart diseases to the litter.
  • Provide proper grooming:  Toy poodles will need to be groomed.  If they are not groomed, they can develop skin issues that cause them a lot of pain and discomfort
  • Give them Plenty of Exercises.  Your toy poodle will not need to go for a long walk each day, but they will need the proper exercise to stay fit.  If your toy poodle is overweight, this can lead to health issues such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease that can shorten their life span.
toy poodle playing with a ball

How to Avoid Accidents that can make you loose your Toy Poodle

The best way to avoid an accident and make sure that your toy poodle lives as long as possible is to be proactive.  Here are some tips to help keep your toy poodle healthy and happy:

  • Look for holes in your fence that your toy poodle could get out of and fix these holes.
  • Keep all household cleaners and other products that are toxic to dogs up and out of the way
  • DO NOT use rat poison in your house.  Look for other humane ways to catch any mice.  Maybe even adopt a cat.
  • DO NOT feed your dog human food.  This can lead to GI issues or problems with their pancreas.
  • Watch your pet when they are outside playing.  Make sure that there are no wild animals or other neighbor dogs that have gotten into your yard and could hurt your dog.
  • DO NOT let your dog outside of a fenced yard off a leash. They can quickly run into the street and get hurt.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long do toy poodle live compared to other poodles, and compared to other dogs of similar size

Toy poodles tend to live a little longer than many small dogs such as Pomeranians, Schnauzers, and Maltese.  This may be due to genetics or the excellent care that many of these dogs receive. In fact, by some records, the dog that has lived the longest is a toy poodle.

Also, toy poodles are small dogs, and it is a know fact that smaller dogs live longer than bigger dogs. Therefore, toy poodles live longer than the bigger standard poodles.

Male vs. Female Toy Poodles — Which one lives longer?

Female toy poodles tend to live longer than males.  This is true of almost all dog breeds; the female tends to outlive the males by about two years. This is also true in humans as women tend to live longer than men.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking at getting a toy poodle, these are a great breed that will live a long time.  There are a few diseases that these dogs may get, but by making routine vet visits and being proactive, you can help your toy poodle live a long and happy life.  If they are giving the proper care and nutrition, these dogs can live for well into their teens, and some may even make it to 20 years old. 

Preventative vet care can help keep your pet healthy for many years.  By having your vet examine your pet every six months, they can help you detect disease much earlier.  This can help your toy poodle receive the necessary medication and treatments to help prolong their life.  These dogs may make wonderful pets that can be with you and your family for many years.


Obesity in dogs