Akita Lifespan: How Long Do Akitas Live?

Akita Lifespan: How Long Do Akitas Live?

The Akita, a large and powerful breed of dog originating from Japan, captures the hearts of many dog enthusiasts with their majestic appearance and loyal nature. If you’re considering adding an Akita to your family or already have one, you may be curious about their lifespan and how to ensure they live a long and healthy life. In this discussion, we will explore the typical lifespan of Akitas, the factors that can influence their lifespan, and provide insights into how to extend their lifespan through proper care and attention. Understanding the lifespan of Akitas and the steps you can take to promote their well-being will help you provide the best possible care for these wonderful companions.

How Long Do Akitas Live?

On average, Akitas live 10-14 years. This is a good lifespan for such a large dog!

Large dogs tend to have shorter lives than small dogs, who usually live longer. At 70-130 pounds, Akitas are very big dogs.

Spayed female Akitas live longest, while intact females have the shortest lifespans. Males are in the middle, with neutered male Akitas living longer than intact males.

Akita Lifespan: How Long Do Akitas Live?
Akita Lifespan: How Long Do Akitas Live?

Factors That Affect Akita Lifespan

Several factors can influence the lifespan of an Akita. Here are some key factors that can impact how long an Akita lives:

Genetics: Genetic factors play a significant role in determining a dog’s lifespan. Some health conditions or genetic predispositions may be inherited, which can affect an Akita’s overall health and longevity. Responsible breeders strive to produce puppies from healthy parents with minimal genetic issues to help improve the breed’s overall health.

Diet and Nutrition: Providing a well-balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for an Akita’s overall health and lifespan. Feeding them high-quality dog food that meets their specific nutritional needs, along with appropriate portion control, can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of obesity-related health problems.

Exercise and Physical Activity: Regular exercise is essential for keeping Akitas physically fit and mentally stimulated. Providing them with daily exercise, such as walks, playtime, or engaging in activities like agility training, can help prevent obesity, improve cardiovascular health, and promote overall well-being.

Veterinary Care: Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive care, such as parasite control and dental care, are vital for an Akita’s health. Routine examinations can help detect and address any potential health issues early on, increasing the chances of effective treatment and prolonging their lifespan.

Spaying/Neutering: Spaying or neutering your Akita can have health benefits, such as reducing the risk of certain reproductive system-related cancers or infections. Discuss the appropriate timing and potential benefits with your veterinarian.

Environmental Factors: The environment in which an Akita lives can impact their lifespan. Providing a safe and stimulating living environment, free from hazards and with adequate shelter and protection, is important. Exposure to extreme weather conditions, toxic substances, or accidents can significantly affect their health and longevity.

Socialization and Mental Stimulation: Akitas are intelligent and social dogs that require mental stimulation and social interaction. Regular training, socialization with other animals and people, and engaging activities like puzzle toys can help prevent boredom and promote a healthy mental state.

Remember, while these factors can contribute to an Akita’s lifespan, individual variations and unforeseen circumstances can also influence their longevity. Providing a loving, caring, and attentive environment for your Akita can go a long way in promoting their well-being and maximizing their lifespan.

Life Stages Of A Akita

The life stages of an Akita, like most dogs, can be divided into several distinct periods. Here are the typical life stages of an Akita:

Puppy Stage (0-6 months): This is the early stage of an Akita’s life. During this time, puppies are highly energetic, curious, and are developing both physically and mentally. They require socialization, basic training, and plenty of positive reinforcement to learn appropriate behavior and develop a strong bond with their owners.

Adolescence (6 months – 2 years): Akitas reach adolescence around 6 months and continue until they are around 2 years old. During this stage, they experience significant growth and development. Their energy levels may increase, and they may challenge boundaries or exhibit some stubbornness. Consistent training, socialization, and structured exercise are essential to guide them through this stage successfully.

Adult Stage (2-6 years): Akitas typically reach adulthood around 2 years of age. At this stage, they are physically mature and have settled into their adult size and appearance. They have reached their full energy levels and strength. Adult Akitas require regular exercise, mental stimulation, and ongoing training to maintain their physical and mental well-being.

Mature Stage (6-8 years): From around 6 years of age, Akitas enter the mature stage. They are still active and healthy, but they may start to show some signs of aging, such as decreased energy levels or changes in mobility. Regular veterinary check-ups become even more important during this stage to monitor their overall health and address any age-related issues that may arise.

Senior Stage (8+ years): Around 8 years and older, Akitas are considered seniors. They may experience further changes in their physical abilities, such as reduced mobility or sensory functions. Senior Akitas require extra care, including a balanced diet, regular exercise appropriate for their age and health, and increased monitoring of their overall well-being. Regular veterinary check-ups and early detection of age-related health issues are crucial during this stage.

It’s important to note that the ages mentioned above are approximate and can vary from dog to dog. The life stages of an Akita can blend into one another, and each dog’s individual development and health can influence the transition from one stage to another. Providing appropriate care, nutrition, exercise, and veterinary attention throughout each life stage can help ensure a happy and healthy life for your Akita.

Akita Lifespan: Common Signs Of Aging In Akitas

As Akitas age, they may begin to exhibit certain signs that are commonly associated with the aging process. While individual dogs may experience aging differently, here are some common signs of aging in Akitas:

Reduced Energy Levels: Akitas may become less active and have lower energy levels as they age. They may be less inclined to engage in vigorous activities and prefer more relaxed and leisurely pursuits.

Joint Stiffness and Mobility Issues: Like many large breed dogs, Akitas are prone to joint issues such as hip dysplasia and arthritis. As they age, these conditions may worsen, leading to stiffness, difficulty getting up or lying down, and a decline in mobility. They may be slower to rise from a resting position or have trouble navigating stairs.

Weight Changes: Older Akitas may experience changes in their weight. Some may have a decreased appetite, resulting in weight loss, while others may have reduced activity levels and experience weight gain. Monitoring their diet and maintaining a healthy weight is important to prevent obesity-related health issues.

Dental Problems: Dental health can deteriorate with age, leading to issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. Regular dental care, including brushing their teeth and providing appropriate chew toys, can help maintain their oral health.

Vision and Hearing Changes: Akitas may develop age-related changes in their vision and hearing. They may experience reduced visual acuity, cloudiness in the eyes (e.g., cataracts), or even vision loss. Additionally, their hearing may become less acute, and they may be less responsive to auditory cues.

Cognitive Changes: Cognitive decline, often referred to as canine cognitive dysfunction (similar to dementia in humans), can occur in older Akitas. They may display signs such as disorientation, confusion, changes in sleep patterns, decreased responsiveness, and behavioral changes. Providing mental stimulation, maintaining routines, and engaging in interactive play can help support their cognitive function.

Increased Susceptibility to Illness: Aging Akitas may have a weakened immune system, making them more susceptible to illnesses and infections. Regular veterinary check-ups, preventive care, and vaccinations are crucial to detect and address any health issues promptly.

It’s important to note that not all Akitas will experience these signs of aging, and the onset and severity can vary. Regular veterinary care and observation of any changes in behavior, mobility, or overall well-being are essential to ensure early detection and appropriate management of age-related conditions. With proper care and attention, Akitas can continue to live fulfilling lives well into their senior years.

Extending The Lifespan Of A Akita

While you cannot control all factors that influence the lifespan of an Akita, you can take steps to promote their overall health and potentially extend their lifespan. Here are some ways to help extend the lifespan of an Akita:

Balanced Diet: Provide a nutritious and balanced diet that meets the specific needs of your Akita. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate type and amount of food, considering factors such as age, activity level, and any specific dietary requirements or restrictions.

Regular Exercise: Ensure your Akita gets regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight, cardiovascular health, and mental stimulation. Tailor the exercise routine to their age and physical abilities, providing a mix of walks, playtime, and mentally engaging activities.

Veterinary Care: Schedule regular veterinary check-ups to monitor your Akita’s health, receive necessary vaccinations, and address any health concerns promptly. Routine examinations, preventive care (such as parasite control and dental care), and early detection of potential health issues can make a significant difference in their overall well-being and lifespan.

Weight Management: Obesity can contribute to various health problems and shorten an Akita’s lifespan. Monitor their weight and body condition, and if necessary, adjust their diet and exercise routine to maintain a healthy weight.

Mental Stimulation: Provide mental stimulation through activities like puzzle toys, obedience training, and interactive play. Mental exercise can help keep your Akita’s mind sharp and prevent cognitive decline.

Dental Care: Maintain good dental hygiene by regularly brushing your Akita’s teeth and providing appropriate chew toys. Dental problems can lead to pain, infections, and other health issues, so keeping their teeth clean is crucial.

Stress Reduction: Minimize stress in your Akita’s life. Provide a safe and comfortable environment, avoid exposure to excessive noise or chaotic situations, and ensure they have a routine and predictable daily life.

Spay/Neuter: Consider spaying or neutering your Akita. This can help prevent certain reproductive system-related health issues and reduce the risk of certain cancers.

Quality Time and Socialization: Spend quality time with your Akita, providing love, attention, and socialization opportunities. A strong bond and positive social interactions contribute to their overall well-being.

Environmental Safety: Create a safe living environment, free from potential hazards such as toxic substances, dangerous objects, or situations that may lead to accidents or injuries.

Remember, every Akita is unique, and genetics can play a significant role in their lifespan. By implementing these measures and providing a loving and attentive environment, you can give your Akita the best chance at a long and healthy life.

What Health Problems Do Akitas Have?

Akitas, like many dog breeds, can be prone to certain health problems. While not all Akitas will experience these conditions, it’s important to be aware of potential health issues that can affect the breed. Here are some common health problems seen in Akitas:

Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition where the hip joint does not develop properly, leading to improper alignment and wear of the joint. It can cause discomfort, pain, lameness, and mobility issues.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): PRA is an inherited condition that causes degeneration of the retina, leading to progressive vision loss and potentially blindness.

Hypothyroidism: Akitas can be prone to hypothyroidism, which is a disorder where the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient thyroid hormone. Symptoms can include weight gain, lethargy, hair loss, and skin problems.

Autoimmune Disorders: Akitas are susceptible to various autoimmune disorders, such as autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) and immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (ITP). These conditions occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own cells, leading to anemia or low platelet counts, respectively.

Canine Cancer: Akitas have a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer, including lymphoma, osteosarcoma (bone cancer), and mast cell tumors. Regular check-ups and early detection are crucial for effective treatment.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV): Also known as bloat, GDV is a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists upon itself. It is more commonly seen in deep-chested breeds like Akitas. Immediate veterinary attention is necessary to save the dog’s life.

Allergies: Akitas can develop allergies, which may manifest as skin allergies (atopy), food allergies, or environmental allergies. Common symptoms include itching, redness, hair loss, and recurrent skin infections.

Elbow Dysplasia: Elbow dysplasia is a condition where the elbow joint does not develop properly, leading to lameness, pain, and arthritis.

Cardiac Conditions: Akitas may be prone to certain cardiac issues, such as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) or mitral valve disease, which can affect the heart’s structure and function.

Cruciate Ligament Rupture: Akitas can be susceptible to cruciate ligament tears or ruptures, which can cause lameness and require surgical intervention.

It’s essential to work with a reputable breeder who conducts health testing on their breeding dogs to minimize the risk of inherited health problems. Regular veterinary check-ups, preventive care, and early detection of any health issues are crucial for maintaining an Akita’s overall health and well-being.

How To Keep Your Akita Healthy?

Keeping your Akita healthy requires a combination of proper care, attention to their specific needs, and preventive measures. Here are some key steps to keep your Akita in good health:

Balanced Diet: Provide a balanced and nutritious diet that meets the specific nutritional needs of your Akita. Feed them high-quality dog food appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Consult with your veterinarian for dietary recommendations and portion control.

Regular Exercise: Ensure your Akita gets regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight, promote cardiovascular health, and mental stimulation. Engage in activities such as daily walks, playtime, and interactive games. However, be mindful of their exercise needs, as Akitas can be prone to joint issues.

Veterinary Care: Schedule regular veterinary check-ups to monitor your Akita’s overall health and receive necessary vaccinations. Routine examinations can help detect any health issues early on and allow for timely treatment. Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for preventive care, including parasite control and dental check-ups.

Vaccinations and Preventive Medications: Keep your Akita up to date on vaccinations, including core vaccines (such as rabies and distemper), as well as preventive medications for parasites like fleas, ticks, and heartworms. These measures help protect against common diseases and parasites.

Dental Care: Maintain good dental hygiene by regularly brushing your Akita’s teeth, ideally daily or several times a week. Use canine toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush designed for dogs. Dental care helps prevent periodontal disease, tooth decay, and other dental problems.

Mental Stimulation: Provide mental stimulation to keep your Akita’s mind active and engaged. Use puzzle toys, interactive feeders, obedience training, and socialization opportunities to provide mental challenges and prevent boredom.

Socialization and Training: Socialize your Akita from a young age to various environments, people, and animals. Proper socialization helps them develop good behavior, adaptability, and positive interactions. Obedience training is also important for establishing a strong bond, teaching basic commands, and reinforcing good behavior.

Weight Management: Monitor your Akita’s weight and body condition regularly. Obesity can lead to various health problems, including joint issues, heart conditions, and diabetes. Adjust their diet and exercise routine as needed to maintain a healthy weight.

Safe Environment: Create a safe living environment for your Akita. Remove any potential hazards, secure fences and gates, and keep toxic substances out of reach. Provide adequate shelter, comfortable bedding, and protection from extreme weather conditions.

Love and Attention: Give your Akita love, attention, and quality time. A strong bond and positive interaction with their family members contribute to their overall well-being and happiness.

Remember, each Akita is unique, and their specific needs may vary. Regular observation, being attentive to any changes in behavior or health, and seeking prompt veterinary care when needed are essential for maintaining your Akita’s health and well-being.

Akita Lifespan: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average lifespan of an Akita?

Akitas typically have a lifespan of around 10 to 15 years. However, individual variations and factors such as genetics, health care, and lifestyle can influence their lifespan.

Can Akitas live longer than 15 years?

While 10 to 15 years is the typical lifespan range for Akitas, it is possible for some individuals to live beyond 15 years with proper care, genetics, and a healthy lifestyle. However, it’s important to note that not all Akitas will live that long.

What are the factors that can affect an Akita’s lifespan?

Several factors can influence an Akita’s lifespan, including genetics, diet and nutrition, exercise, veterinary care, spaying/neutering, environmental factors, socialization, and mental stimulation. Providing a balanced and healthy lifestyle can contribute to a longer lifespan.

Do female Akitas live longer than males?

There is no conclusive evidence suggesting that female Akitas live longer than males. The lifespan of an Akita can vary between individuals, regardless of gender. Other factors, such as genetics and overall health care, play a more significant role in determining lifespan.

What can I do to extend my Akita’s lifespan?

While you cannot control all factors, you can take steps to promote your Akita’s overall health and potentially extend their lifespan. This includes providing a balanced diet, regular exercise, routine veterinary care, weight management, mental stimulation, socialization, and a safe environment. Early detection and treatment of health issues are also important.

Are there any specific health problems that can affect an Akita’s lifespan?

Akitas can be prone to certain health problems, including hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), hypothyroidism, autoimmune disorders, cancer, gastric dilatation-volvulus (bloat), allergies, elbow dysplasia, and cardiac conditions. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventive care are crucial for maintaining their health.

Remember, while these FAQs provide general information, each Akita is unique, and individual variations can occur. Monitoring your Akita’s health, providing proper care, and seeking veterinary advice are key to ensuring their well-being and maximizing their lifespan.


In conclusion, the average lifespan of an Akita is around 10 to 15 years, although individual variations can occur. Several factors can influence an Akita’s lifespan, including genetics, diet, exercise, veterinary care, and environmental factors. By providing a balanced diet, regular exercise, routine veterinary check-ups, preventive care, socialization, mental stimulation, and a safe environment, you can help promote your Akita’s overall health and potentially extend their lifespan. It’s important to be aware of common health problems that Akitas may face and address any issues promptly. Remember to consult with your veterinarian for personalized guidance and care specific to your Akita.

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.