Miniature Poodles Life Expectancy. How to Make Minis Live Long

lifespan of miniature poodle chart

How Long Do Miniature Poodles Live?

The average lifespan for a miniature poodle is 14 years. This information is based on what British veterinarian researchers found when they studied the lifespan of 23 miniature poodles. They found that the miniature poodle has a life expectancy of 13.92 years. They also found that miniature poodles can live for as short as 6.5 years and for as long as 18.5 years.

Compared to their other poodle cousins, miniature poodles live longer than the bigger standard poodles, but miniature poodles also live shorter than the smaller toy poodles.

Poodle VarietyAverage LifespanLifespan Range
Miniature poodle14 years6·5 years to 18·5 years
Toy Poodle14·6 years2 years to 19 years
Standard Poodle12 years1·25 years to 18 years
Life expectancy of poodles

Considering the wide lifespan range of the miniature poodle, here are a lot of things you can do to help your miniature poodle live to the end of that spectrum or beyond.

One of the best things about a miniature poodle is its medium size. It isn’t as small as a toy or as large as a standard. As with most breeds, health issues are compounded if the breed is bred too big or too small. This is one reason the miniature poodle has remained one of the healthiest sizes of a poodle.

The average size of the miniature poodle has stayed the same for many years, whereas the standard poodle and the toy poodle have been bred either too big or too small, causing other health concerns to present themselves. The miniature poodle, on the other hand, has been bred to standard over the course of many years, leaving it an excellent example of the poodle breed.

The miniature poodle has a more predictable life expectancy of all the poodle sizes. Its lifespan is between 7 years and 19 years. Whereas the lifespan of toy and standard poodles is between 2 years and 18 years Generally, the miniature poodle tends to be a more vigorous and healthier breed. 

graph of how long miniature poodles live
How long miniature poodles live

How to Help Your Miniature Poodle Live Longer

The following are the ways you can make your miniature poodle live its life to the fullest, in terms of life span.

True Miniature Poodles From Good Lines Live Longer

At one point, it seemed like poodle buyers wanted to buy the tiniest poodle they could find or the largest one. Because of this, many unethical breeders tried to breed very tiny toy poodles which they called “teacup poodles” and very large standard poodles which they sometimes called “royal” poodles.

These extra poodle sizes are not actually recognized by the American Kennel Club, but they were used among poodle lovers to specify an extra-large or an extra-small poodle. Over time, however, breeders and owners became aware of the health problems that came up in these special sizes of a poodle. Now, more poodle buyers are looking for a poodle that is “bred to standard”. That means that it is the size it should be not too big, and not too small.

Since the miniature poodle was left alone to continue to be bred to breed standard, the miniature poodle is becoming a more popular size again. For a while, however, it seemed like owners either wanted a huge standard poodle or a tiny toy poodle. Both extremes have their health problems.

Standard poodles are much more likely to have hip dysplasia and heart conditions, while toy poodles are more likely to experience patellar luxation and hypoglycemia. Miniature poodles, on the other hand, are just the right size. If you can find a miniature poodle that comes from a long line of true miniatures, you can eliminate some of the health concerns that are more prominent among the larger and smaller breeds.

To bring back the miniature size, some breeders have started breeding a toy poodle to a small standard poodle. However, this will only maximize the health problems in the offspring. That’s why it is so important to find a breeder of true miniatures who can produce a pedigree that shows several generations of miniature poodles. A miniature poodle from lines like this might be more expensive, but what you pay on the front end, you may very well save in healthcare costs down the road. 

Good Diet and Regular Exercise make Miniature Poodles Live Long

It may be that you have already purchased or adopted your miniature poodle and of course, you are attached. At this point, it doesn’t matter what lines your poodle came from. You know you are going to keep your companion for life, and you’re wondering what you can do to prolong his life, regardless of his pedigree.

While genetics do play a role in health and longevity, you can also play a part in extending your miniature poodle’s life expectancy by making sure that you are feeding her high-quality food and taking her out for the right amount of exercise.

When you purchase your poodle’s food, you will want to look for one that is high in protein without filler ingredients like grains. Some poodles do well on a grain-free food, while others seem to need some grain in their diets. Some breeders and owners believe that feeding your dog a raw food diet close to what wild dogs eat is the healthiest choice. There are a few companies that produce pre-made raw dog food that you can keep in your freezer. Some owners choose to make their own raw food. Still, most choose a high-quality dry kibble.

You might need a little trial and error to figure out what food will work best for your miniature poodle. You might also take the advice of experts like your breeder or your vet to decide what food will be best for your miniature poodle. Giving your poodle healthy food is a great way to give your poodle the best chance at a prolonged life. 

Spaying or Neutering Your Miniature Poodle Too Early May Shorten Its Life

More and more research is showing that spaying or neutering pets before they have reached sexual maturity has a negative impact on their health, and possibly even on their longevity. Some owners of male dogs swear that they live longer if they are never neutered at all. There is no comprehensive research to back up these claims, but anecdotal evidence is enough for some poodle owners to forego neutering altogether. Of course, they will then need to closely monitor their poodle to make sure he does not encounter a female in heat. 

Female miniature poodles do need to be spayed if they are not going to have litters because going through heat cycles without being bred can increase the risk of cervical cancer. Females should reach sexual maturity before being spayed, however. This will decrease the risk of some types of cancer and possibly decrease the risk of hip dysplasia. A female miniature poodle should not be spayed until she is at least one year old. Some proponents of late spay would argue that you should wait until she is a year and a half to two years old before being spayed.

For certain, a female miniature poodle must have gone through one heat cycle before she is spayed. A male miniature poodle can be neutered at any age over one and a half so long as he has reached sexual maturity, or he can remain intact for life.

Some research has suggested that an intact male could be at a greater risk for prostate cancer, but the research is inconclusive and there is no evidence for a statistical difference at this point. Either way, we know for sure that spaying or neutering too early is not good for a miniature poodle. You should have your poodle spayed or neutered only after he or she has reached sexual maturity at the age of one and a half to two years of age for both males and females. 

Cleaning Your Miniature Poodle`s Teeth can Extend its Life

Your miniature poodle will need to have her teeth professionally cleaned while under anesthesia a couple of times during her life. Most people choose to have the first deep cleaning done at the same time as the spay/neuter. This reduces the number of times your poodle will have to undergo anesthesia.

You may end up having to put your poodle under anesthesia for other reasons such as emergency surgery. Hopefully, this will not be necessary. But if you do find yourself in this situation, it would be a good idea to talk with your vet about cleaning your poodle’s teeth while your dog is already having surgery. This may or may not be possible, depending on how long the surgery will take and how much anesthesia your vet plans to give your poodle.

A poodle’s teeth can get infected, and if the infection goes unnoticed, that infection can spread to other parts of the body and become systemic. This could lead to a shortened lifespan, so keeping your dog’s teeth clean is especially important. It is not enough to simply have your poodle’s teeth brushed at the groomer. You must have his teeth cleaned professionally at your vet’s office. Talk with your vet about the best ages to have these cleanings done. They will help keep your poodle healthier for longer. 

Keep up on Flea/tick and Heartworm Prevention

Fleas and ticks can spread disease, so keeping your poodle free of these pesky little bugs will also help you keep your poodle healthy. You can use a topical solution like Frontline or you can use the Seresto collar to keep fleas and ticks away from your poodle. Deer ticks are especially difficult to spot early on and they can spread Lyme’s disease very quickly A poodle’s thick curly coat makes it especially difficult to spot ticks so keeping up on this prevention is so important for your poodle’s health.

What Miniature Poodles Die From

Even if you are the world’s best owner, your miniature poodle will die someday. They all do. The best thing you can do is give your poodle a good life while he’s with you and do whatever you can to give him the longest high-quality life possible. When a miniature poodle does die, it tends to be from cancer or heart disease toward the end of the life expectancy. Some poodles will die suddenly at any age from bloat, but it is more common for a poodle to die from heart disease or cancer later in life. 

Are miniature poodles Healthy?

Miniature poodles are healthy, and they tend to outlive other breeds their size. They live 6,5-18,5 years on average. The oldest recorded miniature poodle to ever live died at the age of 19. This is an extremely healthy and vigorous breed. In fact, it is likely the healthiest of the poodle sizes as well. The miniature poodle is a nice, medium-sized, healthy dog with relatively few health problems. 

What are Common Health Problems of Miniature Poodles? 

Miniature poodles are one of the healthiest breeds, and their longevity is a testament to that. Nonetheless, there are some health issues that can come up in the miniature poodle. The most common health concerns are degenerative myelopathy, Skeletal dwarfism, and Progressive Retinol Atrophy. All of these are genetic diseases that can be identified with a simple cheek swab.

You can find these at pawprint genetics or  Embark. If you are buying a poodle from a breeder, you will want to ask for these tests to be done on the parents. The unique thing about these health problems is that they are entirely avoidable. If the parent dogs both had genetic tests for these diseases, the breeder will be able to eliminate these genetic diseases. If you do not know if your breeder tested for these diseases and you suspect your miniature poodle may have one or more of these diseases, you can order them to test your dog yourself. 

How Old Your Miniature Poodle is in Human Years

Recently, some researchers developed a method for converting dog age to human age. We developed a calculator based on their method. Enter your miniature poodle`s birthday (exact or approximate age) in the calculator below to see your miniature poodle`s human age. To learn more, check out our article on how to convert your miniature poodle`s age to human age or your age to your miniature poodle`s age.

How to Prepare for Your Miniature Poodle’s End of Life

Let’s say you have purchased your miniature poodle from an ethical breeder who did all the proper health testing. You have also ensured that your miniature poodle had a healthy diet for his whole life, as well as plenty of exercises. You have taken care of your poodle’s needs and kept his teeth cleaned, kept up on flea and tick prevention, and took him to his regular check-ups. You can rest assured that you have done everything in your power to give your poodle a long and healthy life. And yet, you will still have to face the loss of your poodle at some point. This is a very difficult and grief-filled process, but knowing how to prepare for the end of your poodle’s life can give you some comfort and a sense of security as you walk through this difficult time. 

Putting Your Poodle to Sleep

No one really wants to talk about this, but poodle owners will face this one day, and it can help to be prepared for how to handle it. Some poodle owners will want to prolong their poodle’s lives longer than other owners, so the decision about when to put your poodle to sleep is very personal and differs from one situation to the next. One thing to think about is how much pain your poodle is in daily. If your poodle seems like she is nearly always in pain, and your vet has not been able to control that pain, it may be time to consider putting your poodle to sleep.

Some owners will want to prioritize the quality of life and will choose humane euthanasia when they notice their poodle is in chronic pain. Others will want to give their poodle more time to live, even if it means that there is some pain. This is a very personal choice that each owner needs to make with his or her vet. However, if your poodle’s pain becomes unmanageable, your vet will probably advise you that it is time to say goodbye. This is especially true if your poodle is toward the end of the life expectancy age. 

Your poodle may die naturally, so perhaps you will not have to make that decision. However, most owners will. 

Saying Goodbye

Many owners want to be there for their poodle’s final moments of life if they are putting their poodle to sleep. This is important for your poodle and for your own grieving and healing process. However, some owners may not be able to handle the emotional heaviness of being present in their poodle’s final moments. If you are certain you cannot handle this, you may choose a trusted friend whom your poodle knows well and is extremely comfortable with. If you have a good friend like this who is willing to be there in your place, it can offer your dog some much-needed comfort in his last moments if you are emotionally unable to be there. 

If you can be there, you may still need a friend by your side to be there as a support to you as you say goodbye. Poodles really become a part of the family and saying goodbye is losing a family member, a friend, and a companion. You do not have to feel like you must walk through this alone. Most people understand the pain of losing a beloved pet, and your friends and family will be there for you if they know you need them. So, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for a friend or family member to be there for you when you lose your poodle. 

You may not get to have the option of being there for your poodle’s final moments. It can be very traumatic if your poodle dies when you are not expecting it and have not prepared. It is very traumatic to find your poodle when he has already died and to have missed out on the chance to say goodbye and be there for your poodle’s final moments. If this has happened to you, you will also need to have family and/or friends available to you to support you and walk with you through the pain of this loss. Don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment with a therapist or counselor to help you walk through the stages of grief that go along with losing a beloved pet. 

Burial or Cremation

When you have said goodbye to your beloved poodle, you will need to decide whether you want to bury or cremate your poodle. Most vet offices that do euthanasia will talk you through these two options and how they go about it. Many people want to bury their own pets in their own backyard. In this case, you will take the body home with you for burial. Some owners may not have a yard or may decide that taking the body home is too difficult and emotional. In this case, you will want to have your poodle put to sleep at an office that also has a graveyard on-site so that they can take care of the burial for you. 

Keeping Your Poodle’s Memory Alive

Once you have said goodbye to your beloved companion and friend, you may want to find ways to keep your poodle’s memory alive. Of course, you will never forget your dear friend, but there are ways to keep his face fresh in your mind. Many people will want to have their favorite picture of their poodle hand painted. You can choose a local artist or find an artist who can ship and commission them to paint your favorite picture of your poodle on a canvas to hang in your house, an ornament to hang on your tree every year, or an item in your house. You could also create a picture book of all your favorite pictures of you and your poodle.