Cavachon Lifespan: How Long Do Cavachons Live?

how long do cavachons live

When you purchase a new puppy, you are probably thinking about the many years you have ahead of you with a new beloved canine companion. Very few people bring home a new dog and begin to imagine how few years your pup may live. However, it’s essential to educate yourself about the lifespan of your new Cavachon and what you can expect from it.

How long do Cavachons live? Cavachons typically live between ten and fifteen years. They are generally healthy dogs, and some can even live to be as old as eighteen. Understanding their common health problems, such as heart issues, can help you aid your dog in living a longer and happier life.

Your Cavachon likely has a long life ahead of it. Understanding how to improve your dog’s life can even lengthen the number of years you have with your canine. Here are a few things you need to know about your dog’s lifespan.

How Long Do Cavachons Usually Live?

As a general rule, Cavachons are a relatively healthy breed. Mixed breeds like the Cavachon are prone to fewer health issues than their purebred counterparts. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that your pup is immune to hereditary health conditions that can ultimately affect its quality and length of life.

Most Cavachons will live to be ten to fifteen years old. There have been cases where they live much longer, with some reaching the ripe old age of eighteen.

The most significant influencing factor in your pup’s lifespan is the health of the parents. A breeder who took the time to ensure that the parents passed along healthy genetics will likely produce a Cavachon with a longer lifespan. As long as proper precautions are taken, your puppy will hopefully grow into an adult dog with few conditions that could affect its overall health.

Of course, you can also do your part to keep your Cavachon healthy. By recognizing health issues when they first arise, you can seek medical treatment immediately. In the next section, we’ll talk a bit more about what health issues you might expect from your new Cavachon.

Keeping your dog in good health requires a bit of time and financial commitment from you. However, it could extend your dog’s lifespan by several months or even years. For example, you can keep them lean and trim by feeding them a proper diet and taking them to exercise.

Wellness visits to the veterinarian are equally important.

Common Health Problems

If you’re positive that you want to add a Cavachon to the family, there are a few health issues you should be aware of. They can inherit these issues from either the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s side or the Bichon Frise side. While it’s not a guarantee that all Cavachons will inherit these issues, it’s crucial to be prepared and know how to spot the warning signs early.

Heart Issues

From the Spaniel side, your new dog may inherit some heart problems. Heart disease is quite common among this breed, and many Cavachons will also develop heart failure years down the road. It primarily affects middle- to old-aged Cavachons if the problem arises.

Signs of congestive heart failure in dogs include:

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Inability to exercise
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Lack of appetite

Another heart issue your Cavachon may inherit relates to their mitral valve. This part of the heart is responsible for separating the two left chambers of the heart. When it does not work correctly, it causes blood to backflow through the valve.

As a result, you’ll find that the left atrium enlarges and leads to fluid buildup in the lungs or abdomen.

Signs of mitral valve disease are very similar to those of congestive heart failure. Your dog may slow down and stop exercising. You might find that they have a persistent cough or trouble breathing.

In some cases, they may even collapse or have muscle weakness.

Eye Issues

Cavachons are particularly prone to developing issues with their eyes. It’s essential to clean the eyes regularly to prevent a more severe infection. However, the most significant problem with the eyes is often cataracts.

Many breeds are prone to develop cataracts in old age, and the Cavachon is no exception.

Unfortunately, many younger Cavachons are also prone to develop cataracts, including those born with them. If this is the case, a skilled ophthalmic veterinarian may be able to surgically remove them to help restore sight to your pup.

Sensitive Throats

You must also be very careful with the throat of your new Cavachon. This is perhaps most evident when teaching your dog to walk on the leash. If pulling is an issue, you should always walk your dog with a harness to prevent undue stress on their throats.

Our own Cavachon, Kirby, suffers from a collapsing trachea. It presents itself with common symptoms like coughing, an inability to exercise, breathing problems like gagging or gasping, and general respiratory discomfort.

Luxating Patella

If you notice that your dog has a hard time walking or running, it might be because they are suffering from a luxating patella. This is caused by a bone deformity that allows the knee (the patella) to come out of the joint. As a result, your dog may experience lameness or an awkward gait.

Fortunately, this is an issue that can be remedied with surgery if necessary.

Atopic Dermatitis

Skin diseases are commonly found in Cavachons. Atopic dermatitis causes your dog to itch more frequently and results in skin redness. The most commonly affected parts of the body include the ears, lips, paws, or hindquarters.

This is also something that shows up relatively early in a puppy’s life. Some dogs will be affected by this condition as early as four months of age.

Cushing’s Disease

When your dog has too much of the stress hormone cortisol in their bloodstream, they may develop Cushing’s Disease. This is a health issue that is more commonly noted in older dogs. In most cases, it is caused by tumors on the pituitary gland or the adrenal glands.

The tumors are generally treated with medication rather than surgery.


Because these dogs are known to have relatively small heads, syringomyelia is a severe condition that Cavachons can develop. If the skull cavity is too small to contain the brain, you might find that your dog has bulges around its neck where the spinal cord and brain meet. These bulges block spinal fluid and place more pressure on the spinal cord.

Symptoms for this disorder can show up as early as six months of age. Your pup may scratch at the affected area or bite and lick their paws. They may even have neurological symptoms like body shaking.

Ear Infections

At some point in their lifespan, Cavachons are bound to get an ear infection. Regularly cleaning the ears with a veterinarian-recommended solution can eliminate many of these infections. You must be diligent about maintaining ear health.

Signs that your Cavachon may have an ear infection include head shaking, scratching at the ear, odor, or discharge from the ear.

Factors that Affect the Lifespan of a Dog

our cavachon kirby living the good life
Our Cavachon Kirby Living His Best Life

Unfortunately, there are some factors about your dog’s health that are simply out of your control. They are bound to inherit the genetic predisposition to specific health conditions from their parents. Much in the same way that you can’t control what happens to your children, you will not be able to control the genes that your dog inherits.

However, there are some things you can do to better your dog’s life.

The first thing you can do is ensure proper nutrition. All dogs need a balanced diet to keep their bodies running smoothly. As your dog moves through life, his dietary needs may change.

Puppies often require different food than senior dogs will need. Ensure that you keep the lines of communication open with your veterinarian so that your dog can get the proper nutrients at every stage of life.

Exercise is just as important as nutrition.

Many people are tempted to let their Cavachons become nothing more than couch potatoes and lap dogs. The truth is that they still require a good deal of exercise. A daily walk or a rousing game of fetch can help keep their cardiovascular health in tip-top shape. It also helps to prevent them from becoming obese, which results in plenty of health problems on its own.

For your dog to live its fullest life, you also need to ensure that you are stimulating its mind. They need to have structure and boundaries in place. You can work out their mind by teaching them new tricks or by leaving them puzzle toys to play with.

A dog with a tired mind tends to be a happier dog altogether.

Appropriate veterinary care is also vital if you want to prolong your Cavachon’s lifespan. When you catch serious problems early on, you may have more options for treatment. Even if you encounter issues that you think are minor, like conjunctivitis, you can prevent them from worsening by seeking appropriate medical care quickly.

How to Improve the Lifespan of a Cavachon

Once you know the factors that can influence your dog’s lifespan, you can start making a plan for improving them. Many of these are simple lifestyle changes that could have a significant impact on your dog’s lifespan.

The first thing you should do is ensure that they are receiving the proper diet. Refer to your food manufacturer’s guidelines for serving size. Many pet owners feel that their dogs need more to eat than what is recommended.

Your dog is likely to eat the entire meal that you put in front of him, so be sure that you are only giving him the balanced diet that he needs.

Take your dog for regular exercise.

Because they tend to have sensitive throats prone to issues like Kirby’s collapsing trachea, you should walk your Cavachon with a harness instead of a flat collar. Choke collars and training collars should be avoided altogether with this breed.

We bought this vest harness on Amazon for our Kirby. It comes in different colors, is durable, and is pretty affordable.

In addition to exercise, you should also consider playing more games with your canine. Teach them fun games like nosework or agility to keep their minds sharp and active. Playing games like this helps them to receive regular physical activity as well as mental stimulation.

You should also make sure to take your dog for his wellness exams once a year. Even if you do not think anything is wrong with your canine companion, it can be helpful to have a professional opinion. A skilled veterinarian may be able to catch health issues and resolve them before they become major issues for your dog.

This alone could add months or years to your Cavachon’s lifespan.

Another thing you can do to improve your dog’s lifespan is to brush their teeth twice a week. This simple action can remove plaque from building up on the teeth. You might wonder how this can affect their overall health.

The truth is that plaque leads to gum disease and can spread bacteria throughout the body. Left unchecked, plaque can cause damage to the heart. Given that Cavachons are already prone to heart issues, this is one fundamental way that you can keep them healthier for longer.

Improving Your Cavachon’s Lifespan

Understanding how long you can expect your Cavachon to live is essential. It’s equally important to understand just what health issues they may face so that you can seek treatment early. Many of their health issues may result in a decreased quality of life, but they are not necessarily fatal. Seeking treatment for them early may be able to extend your dog’s lifespan and make it more enjoyable for them.

Be sure to integrate some of these helpful tips into your new routine with your dog. Consult your veterinarian for any questions you may have regarding your Cavachon’s health. You can never be too careful!

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