How Old Do Our Pets Get?

Exciting information and clear graphics.

Animals are always setting incredible records: one of the oldest animals in the world is a giant sponge on the Antarctic seabed. It’s over 10,000 years old. And it’s still going!

A small island mussel made it to 410 years old and the giant turtle “Adwaita” made it to 256. Almost an eternity for us humans. How old do the animals we live with get - our pets? And does the mayfly really only live for one day?

Dogs

How old a dog gets depends on its breed. Generally, our loyal four-legged friends can enjoy 10-13 years - and small dogs usually get older, with a lifespan of 15 years not being unusual. Larger dogs get to around 8 - 9 years old. The oldest dog was called Bluey. This Australian shepherd made it to 29 years and 5 months old.

Bichon Frise Bichon Frise - Photo: Vasilyev Alexandr/Shutterstock

Cats

Cats can only laugh when they hear about the oldest dogs in the world. The female cat Creme Puff holds the Guinness world record for the oldest cat at 38 years and three days.

Bengal Bengal - Photo: Shvaygert Ekaterina/Shutterstock

Birds

If budgies are kept at least in pairs, given healthy food and enough attention, they can live for 5-10 years. Parrots can live for much longer, longer even than us humans. Cookie, a Major Mitchell's cockatoo, made it to an impressive 83 years old.

Rabbits

If you look after your cuddly little friend well, they can expect to live for 6 - 8 years. George, a plucky rabbit from Tewksbury (USA), was officially crowned the oldest rabbit in the world in 2008 by the Guinness Book of World Records at 14 years old.

Rabbit Rabbit - Photo: Natdanai Wicha/Shutterstock

Goldfish

Who’d have thought it? The small, delicate-looking goldfish can live for 20-30 years. The record is currently held by Tish from England. He made it to 43 years old!

Tortoises

When they’re kept well, pet tortoises can reach a stately age. 30 - 40 years isn’t uncommon.

Mayfly

Mayflies aren’t pets but when it comes to animal lifespans, that one question always comes up: “Do they really only live for one day?”. The answer is: yes and no. As larvae, they spend a few months to a year under water. It’s only when they hatch that the clock begins to tick. Some mayflies really only live for one day after this point. The female doliana americana mayfly actually only lives for a few minutes as an adult in order to reproduce. Most die after a few days.

How Old Do Animals Get? How Old Do Animals Get? - Illustration: Silke/tierchenwelt.de