Are you considering a Boykin Spaniel as a pet? Perhaps you’ve already chosen a Boykin and have questions about their health, temperament, how big they might get, or how long they live.
In this post, we will show you how to ensure that your dog has the longest, healthiest life possible.
While the life expectancy of the Boykin Spaniel is 10 to 15 years, there are a lot of factors that go into determining whether or not your dog will live that long. While the American Kennel Club considers the Boykin to be a “generally healthy” dog, it is important to know and understand these factors and to take steps to keep your dog healthy.
Time, Love, Tenderness…and Training!
Even though Boykins are considered healthy by nature, and they tend to have relatively long lives for dogs, there are ways to enrich their experience on the planet and improve their lifespan.
As with almost any dog, one of the utmost ways to do this is by giving your Boykin your time and attention.
These are extremely intelligent dogs that are eager to please. Their need for positive feedback and love makes them very easy to train and a pleasure to spend time with. It’s an almost symbiotic relationship, you feed their need for affection, and they will respond by working hard to make you happy.
If you have a Boykin puppy, be aware that they are very energetic and prone to act out if ignored.
They have a mischievous nature that can quickly lead to trouble if they are not closely supervised. Working off their energy is a good way to discourage this and gives them the one-on-one attention they crave from you.
This not only expands their lives by making them want to live but also encourages them to get plenty of exercise, which in turn, gives them a longer lifespan and better quality of life.
When training a Boykin, remember to use positive reinforcement and never harsh discipline, as they are very sensitive animals and can have their feelings hurt quite easily.
Nutrition for A Longer Life
There is no need for a special diet with the Boykin Spaniel. These dogs tend to stay quite healthy on a regular routine of store-bought dog food, as long as it is a good quality brand.
You might want to choose formulas that are designed for each stage of the dog’s life – puppy stage for a puppy, adult stage for a grown dog, and senior stage for an older animal.
In some cases, your Boykin might require a high protein blend of dog food, but this is something that you will need to discuss with your veterinarian. This is usually the case with dogs who are extremely athletic or maybe training for competitions.
Human food and treats should both be limited to any dog. Pet owners all have different rules to dictate whether or not they feed their dogs from the table, but many human foods can be harmful to your Boykin.
Watch their weight closely and discuss any diet changes with their vet.
Da Do Run, Run (and Hike, and Swim!)
As mentioned, Boykins need a lot of exercise and attention. This makes them great workout buddies for owners who love to hike, swim, or go for regular walks and short runs. They also love to go hunting with you as well!
While they are high-energy dogs, the Boykin doesn’t really need to exercise vigorously for more than 15 minutes at a time.
3 short exercise sessions per day are great for them, with less strenuous activities between them. They may only be able to hold out for a 15-minute swim or run but could manage long walks, hikes, and hunts very well.
You also want to be sure that you don’t begin strenuously training a Boykin until they are at least 9 months old. Before this age, their joints are still growing, and their growth plates have not yet hardened, so exercising them too hard could cause damage.
Health Issues to Watch for
Although they are naturally healthy dogs, boykins do have a few health issues that their owners should watch out for. Speak with your vet about helping you keep an eye out for these problems.
- Eye issues: There are a few eye conditions that Boykin Spaniels can be prone to having. These include Collie Eye Anomaly, which is an inherited disease that can cause detached retina and blindness. This issue can be fixed if caught early on, which is why it is so vital to watch out for it.
- Exercise-induced collapse: As mentioned, the Boykin Spaniel should not engage in vigorous exercise routines for more than 15 minutes at a time. This is because they are known for having a high rate of this occurrence. Be sure that your pet stays well-hydrated and does not get too hot while exercising to avoid this issue.
- Patellar Luxation, or Kneecap Dislocation: Obviously, this issue would be extremely painful for your dog and can lead to less ability to exercise and low quality of life. Talk to your vet about how to avoid this and the steps to take if your dog is in pain.
- Degenerative Myelopathy: This is a spinal illness that can slowly lead to paralysis in Boykins. There is no cure, but your vet can test to see if your dog is at risk for this genetic disorder. Good nutrition and low-impact exercises such as swimming can help keep your dog from being overweight or stressing their joints too much, both of which can make this condition worse.
- Hip Dysplasia: Several dog breeds are prone to this issue, so it is not only prevalent in Boykins. Diet and exercise can have a great impact on whether or not this issue will plague your pet. If your dog suffers from hip dysplasia, your vet can help you to determine whether or not it can be improved with diet and exercise or if surgery will be needed.
While some of these issues are genetic, and others are simply not-preventable, you can take steps to make your dog as healthy as possible. This will expand its quality of life even if one of these diseases becomes an issue.
While the Boykin has a typical lifespan of 10 to 15 years, the quality of those years can be greatly increased according to the actions of the owner. Boykins can be prone to a few scary conditions, but diet and exercise are great ways to help prevent serious issues.
We hope you have enjoyed this post about the lifespan of your Boykin Spaniel. Please feel free to explore more articles on our website about these wonderful dogs!