Pitbull Life Expectancy | How Long do Pit bulls Live?

American Pitbull Terrier’s life expectancy typically falls within the range of 8 to 14 years. However, certain variables such as genes, eating habits, exercise, and overall wellness can affect the lifespan of a Pitbull. Responsible pet owners must understand the main concerns regarding their life expectancy and how we can ensure our furry companions live a long and healthy life.

What is the life expectancy of a pitbull?

Average Pitbull life expectancy range between 8 and 14 years; some Pitbulls may live shorter lives due to health or external conditions. Some Pitbulls live well into their late teens when they get enough attention and care. Genetics may play a significant role in determining the lifespan of a Pitbull, as certain bloodlines may be predisposed to specific health issues.

There are several factors to ensure the best possible Pitbull life expectancy. Providing an adequate and healthy diet is essential. Feeding your Pitbull high-quality dog food containing the nutrients it needs can promote overall well-being and long life. Regular exercise is crucial to keep your Pitbull physically and mentally stimulated. Daily walks, playtime, and training sessions can extend your pitbull life expectancy.

Another vital aspect of maximizing your Pitbull life expectancy is routine veterinary care. Regular check-ups, vaccinations, and preventative measures against common health issues can significantly impact their overall health and catch any potential problems early on. This proactive approach can help address any health concerns promptly, ensuring your Pitbull receives the necessary treatment or intervention when needed.

While the American Pitbull Terrier is a generally healthy breed, they are susceptible to specific health conditions affecting their life expectancy. Some of these conditions include hip dysplasia, heart problems, allergies, and cancer. Understanding the signs and symptoms of these conditions and seeking veterinary care promptly can make a significant difference in managing them effectively and potentially prolonging your Pitbull’s life.

Also-Read: Panther Black Pitbull: The Most Aggressive Dog?

Facts about PitBull Terriers

You probably know everything about a Pitbull (or even a Pibble), whether you like it or not. Allow me to highlight some of the unique traits this dog has:

  • The family dog and affectionate companion
  • Friendly and lively
  • The ability to please others and to be people-oriented
  • Friendly, intelligent, and easy to win over
  • It fits nicely in small living spaces
  • Quickly cared for with a short coat

Pitbull pups have the following features you should consider before bringing one home:

  • Keeping a suitable weight requires exercise and a healthy diet
  • Training in obedience and interaction should begin early
  • A tendency to overprotect family and territory if not adequately socialized
  • Aggressive towards other pets
  • Supervision is needed around children
  • Preys on cats, small animals, and birds unless trained
  • Friendly and adaptable, as long as she has regular exercise and is well-socialized.

During the 19th century, people from England, Ireland, and Scotland brought the American Pit Bull Terrier to the United States. American selective breeding has given them a powerful-looking head due to their increased weight and larger jaws. Its original purpose was to bait bulls and be a farm dog, but today the APBT is also popular as a companion dog. Pit Bulls live an average of 12-14 years in good health. Some common conditions can affect them, such as hip dysplasia and allergies. Ensure you undergo regular health checks so he lives to a ripe old age.

Read More: Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix: A Complete Guide

Your American Pit Bull Terrier’s Health

We know how much you love your dog and want to give her the best care possible. Therefore, we have summarized the health concerns we will discuss with you during your Pit Bull’s lifetime. Observing and preventing some predictable risks is possible by being aware of health concerns specific to American Pit Bull Terriers.

Many illnesses and health issues are inheritable, meaning that your pet’s breed has an impact. Generally, canine geneticists and veterinary practitioners agree that the conditions described in this article are prevalent and impactful in this breed. 

You should not be afraid that your dog will suffer from these problems; only that she is more prone to them than other dogs. We aim to highlight the most common problems in American Pitbull Terriers here. Please immediately contact the veterinary center if you notice any abnormal symptoms.

There’s information in this guide about general health care for dogs and information about genetic predispositions for American Pitbull Terriers. These details can be used to plan your pet’s medical needs. Our article also includes a section on keeping your Pit looking and feeling her best at home. As a result, we’ll feel better about caring for your pet.

American Pit Bull Terrier Health Information

american pitbull terrier lifespan

Learn: American Bulldog Vs Pitbull: What Are The Differences?

Dental problems

Dogs with dental disease are the most common chronic health problem among pets, affecting 80% by age two. It’s more likely that your American Pit Bull Terrier will have dental problems than other dogs. The disease develops from tartar buildup on the teeth to gum disease and tooth root infection. 

If we fail to treat dental disease, we will lose our buddy’s teeth. Her kidneys, liver, heart, and joints may also be damaged. Your American Pitbull life expectancy may be reduced by one to three years! 


The same bacterial and viral infections can affect American Pit Bull Terriers as they do for all dogs, including parvo, rabies, and distemper. We recommend vaccinations depending on the type of illnesses in our area, her age, and her health before preventing many of these infections.


An American Pit Bull Terrier’s weight poses a serious health risk. It may cause or aggravate joint pain, hormonal imbalances, gastrointestinal issues, back pain, and heart disease. When your pal gazes at you with those soulful eyes, giving her food is tempting, but giving her left-over people food and doggie treats is just as easy. Try hugging her, brushing her fur, playing a game, or walking with her instead. You will feel better as well as she will!


A Pit’s body can be infested with worms and bugs inside and outside. Various pests can infest her skin and ears, including fleas and ticks. Infections such as ringworms, heartworms, and whipworms can affect her in various ways, such as water contamination, walking on dirty soil, or catching a mosquito bite. It is weighty that you or a family member can be infected with some of these parasites. You must test for these parasites regularly because your dog can suffer pain, and discomfort, and even die from them. Additionally, we’ll recommend preventive medications if necessary.

Spay or Neuter

Spaying (neutering for males) your Pit Bull is a great thing to do for her. It involves surgically removing the ovaries, usually the uterus in females and the testicles in males. When your pet is spayed or neutered, they are less likely to develop cancer and less likely to become pregnant or father unwanted puppies. During this operation, we can also identify and treat some diseases likely to develop in your dog under anesthesia. For example, a puppy tooth extraction or hip X-rays would be good times to bring your pet in. You and your friend will find this convenient. Prior to surgery, routine blood testing allows us to identify and prevent common problems that increase anesthetic or surgical risks.

Explore: How Long To Keep Cone On Your Dog After Spay/Neuter?

Genetic Predispositions for American Pit Bull Terriers

pitbull life span female

Developing hip dysplasia

American Pit Bull Terriers are commonly affected by hip dysplasia, a genetic disease that causes improperly formed hip joints, which leads to arthritis. It may be difficult for him to get up from lying down because of lameness in his hind legs. The sooner we treat arthritis, the better our chances are of avoiding discomfort and pain. An X-ray of your dog’s joints will determine when the disease is present. The possibility of surgery is sometimes considered in severe cases of hip dysplasia that threaten the patient’s life. Overweight dogs may suffer undue pain and suffering from arthritis years ahead of those of average weight.

Knee Problems

Patellar luxation refers to the slipping out of place of your Pitbull’s kneecap (patella). You might see him run along and suddenly pick up his back leg and skip or hop for a few steps. His kneecap pops back into place when he kicks his leg sideways. In mild cases, your friend may only need medication for arthritis. There may be a need for surgical intervention in severe cases to realign the kneecap and prevent it from popping out.

Having thyroid problems

A common condition in pitbulls is hypothyroidism, a lack of thyroid hormone. 

In addition to dry skin and hair loss, other symptoms include weight gain, fearfulness, and aggression. It will be necessary to conduct blood screenings on an annual basis to detect the disease. It is usually possible to replace hormones with pills as a treatment.


Sneezing and itching are symptoms of pollen, mold, or dust allergies. A dog’s skin becomes itchy when they are allergic rather than sneezing. Pitbulls often suffer from this skin allergy, called atopy. There is a tendency for symptoms to appear on the feet, tummy, folds of the skin, and ears. Each year, symptoms usually begin between one and three years of age. Infections of the ears are the most common signs, along with licking the paws and rubbing the face. The treatment options for this condition are various.


Demodex is a microscopic mite living on dogs’ hair follicles. These are common to all dogs.
Some breeds of dogs, such as your Pitbull, develop overabundances of mites due to their immune systems. It is common to see a few dry, irritated, and hairless lesions on pets in mild cases. It may or may not be itchy and occurs most often on the face or feet. Infections of the skin can result in secondary skin infections.

 Prompt veterinary care is crucial for the disease not to get out of control. Some pets seem to outgrow the issue, while others require lifelong treatment.

Read About: Jack Russell Pitbull Mix: Everything You Need to Know

Skin Infections

Zinc-responsive dermatosis is a skin infection caused by not consuming enough zinc or not absorbing it correctly in your Pitbull. These include lesions on the skin around the nose and foot pads and skin that is red, hairless, crusted, scaling, or oozing. We will prescribe your dog a carefully regulated amount of zinc if he develops this disease.


In particular, Pitbulls are prone to an itchy, dry, flaky skin condition called ichthyosis, which causes severe skin flaking. Affected puppies are born with abnormal skin and have large, dry flakes resembling fish scales. The disease can be treated with soothing methods, such as special shampoos and fish oils, but no definitive cure exists. It is possible to determine whether he is a carrier, affected, or an apparent breed by taking a genetic test. The goal is to prevent future generations from suffering from this debilitating disease, so breeding dogs with the disease or carriers is not necessary.

Nerve Disease

American Pitbull Terriers can suffer from neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL), a progressive neurologic disease. One-to-three-year-old dogs usually display clinical signs of the disease. It is possible for rear leg weakness and imbalance to occur in the early stages of the disease. In some cases, dogs can lose their vision and all four legs. Genetic tests are available for this disease, but no effective treatment exists. Since the mutation can be passed from generation to generation, it should not be used for breeding.

Balance Problems

It is the cerebellum that gives stability and control to the body. Certain breeds of dogs, including Pit bulls, can suffer from Cerebellar Abiotrophy, a genetic neurological disease. Symptoms usually appear between the ages of six and sixteen weeks in puppies affected by this condition. This condition causes dogs to be unable to perceive space and distance and lack coordination. Despite its non-painful nature, it is not treatable. Breeding dogs with this heritable condition is not recommended.

Bladder Stones

Pitbull urine contains more uric acid if he has a condition called Hyperuricosuria (HU).

 As a fertilizer for bladder stones and sometimes kidney stones, uric acid catalyzes their development. A DNA test can identify the specific mutation that causes the disease; however, they must often be surgically removed after forming stones. Detecting this early can prevent problems for him by starting appropriate dietary therapy. A DNA test may not be necessary, but he may need frequent urine analysis, x-rays, or ultrasounds to determine whether he has these irritating stones.

Lip or palate cleft

pit bull life expectancy

It is more likely that your Pit Bull will be born with a cleft lip or palate than other breeds. Treating mild cases may not be necessary, but more serious defects should be surgically repaired to avoid complications. 

Learn More: Pitbull Blue Heeler Mix: Everything You Need to Know


A genetic disease called Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) results in the eyes going blind. There is a higher incidence of this condition in American Pit Bull Terriers than in other breeds of dogs. Neither PRA nor its cure is painful. In dogs with the bad gene, early signs such as dilated pupils or night blindness typically appear between three and five years of age. Genetic testing is available for this condition.


The parvovirus causes this severe illness in puppies, especially younger ones. Dehydration, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and fever are some symptoms. The virus is shed in stools for several weeks after your older dog becomes ill, but he usually does not seem sick as much as younger dogs do. The Pit Bull is one breed that lacks healthy immunity against parvovirus when vaccinated; their response is weaker. A month after completing the regular puppy vaccine series, he or she should receive a booster vaccine for Parvovirus. Additionally, he should get a booster-shot every year to avoid parvovirus.

Taking Care of Your American Pit Bull Terrier at Home

Dogs are like people; much of what they need to remain healthy and happy is common sense. When you notice anything unusual, contact a veterinarian’s emergency clinic. Make sure she follows the schedule for examinations and vaccinations recommended.

We aim to ensure that she has the necessary “checkups” and tests for diseases common to Pit Bulls. Insurance for your pet is another crucial step in caring for your pet. A pet health insurance policy can cover your pet’s tests and surgeries in the future.

Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly

Your Pit will live longer, be healthier, and be happier with routine care. A healthy lifestyle requires diet and exercise.

  • Your pet needs the same level of supervision as a toddler. Ensure all doors are closed, you pick up after yourself and block off rooms when needed. Don’t fill her mouth with objects she can’t eat, which keeps her out of trouble.
  • It is optional for her to groom herself frequently. We recommend brushing once a week.
  • Brush your Pit Bull Terrier’s teeth twice a week at least.
  • Since she was a puppy, she has been cleaning her ears weekly. 
  • Her mind and body must stay active, or she’ll become bored. She’s an intelligent dog with lots of energy. Things get naughty at that point.
  • To avoid becoming overprotective and aggressive, she needs early obedience and socialization.
  • Don’t feed your dog people food. Maintain your dog’s diet consistently.
  • Her diet should be high-quality and age-appropriate.
  • Take your time with it, but exercise your dog regularly.

Differences: German Shepherd vs Pitbull

What to Watch For

A minor or temporary symptom could be indicative of severe disease. Veterinary help should be sought when necessary and how urgently. When your American Pit Bull Terrier has a characteristic combination of symptoms, it can indicate that it needs medical attention.


Immediately seek medical attention if any of these symptoms occur:

  • Head scratching, tender ears, or discharge from the ears
  • Discolored urine; difficulty urinating
  • Any eye abnormality, such as cloudiness, redness, or itching
  • The ability to get up, sit, use the stairs, run, jump, or “bunny hop” is difficult due to leg stiffness.
  • Hair loss, sluggishness, weight gain, dull coat
  • Face or paws with dry, scaly, sometimes itchy hairlessness
  • Lack of coordination beyond puppy clumsiness
  • Diarrhea and vomiting