Smiling Samoyed sitting on a deck.

What Is The Average Lifespan For A Samoyed?

9 mins |

As soon as that signature “Sammy Smile” enters your life, the thought of it one day leaving you can be difficult to imagine. The life expectancy of a pet is not something most owners want to think about. Knowing the average lifespan for a Samoyed, and what you can do to lengthen your dog’s life can reduce vet bills and increase its quality of life dramatically.

Typically, Samoyeds have an average lifespan of 12-15. There are several factors affecting a Samoyed’s lifespan that you need to be mindful of. Their diet, exercise routine, and even spaying or neutering all can impact how much time you’ll have to spend with your little companion.

Health Conditions

An owner and her Samoyed show each other some love.

Samoyeds are generally very healthy dogs. And they tend to stay healthy late into their life. While every Samoyed is different, there are a few health conditions and diseases the breed is prone to. These conditions lower the average lifespan of a Samoyed.  


A glaucoma is a group of eye conditions damaging the optic nerve which is vital for sight. Damage is often caused by increased eye pressure. It can be hereditary or secondary due to decreased fluid in the eye from another eye disease. Glaucoma can cause vision loss and pain. It’s commonly treated through eye drops or in more serious cases, surgery. Preventative measures include ensuring your dog receives enough vitamins from its diet and avoiding tight collars which increase ocular pressure. 

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Hip Dysplasia

This is an inherited condition where the Samoyed’s thigh bone doesn’t fit into the hip joint.  Some dogs will show pain or limp on their hind legs, while others will muscle through without showing signs of trauma. Take your Sammy to get an x-ray diagnosis if you’re worried about hip dysplasia. 

Arthritis can develop as Samoyeds age, making it less mobile. It often leads to joint pain and inflammation which makes it painful for your Sammy to walk or jog with you. Arthritis is usually treated with anti-inflammatory medication. 

Samoyed Hereditary Glomerulopathy

This is another genetic disease, but this time affecting your Samoyd’s kidneys. This is seen more often in male Samoyeds, who are extremely healthy in their first three months of life before the condition strikes. It often results in kidney failure. 

Unfortunately, there is currently no screening method to detect glomerulopathy. Treatment mostly consists of immunosuppressors, a low dose of Asprin to stop clotting, and omega-3 fatty acids to stop inflammation.  

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes in dogs is no different than diabetes in humans. The body cannot create enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. A diabetic Samoyed maintains a healthy appetite but continues to lose weight due to improperly stored food. 

Diabetic Samoyeds will urinate frequently and be very thirsty. However, you can modify your Samoyed’s diet to help it fight diabetes. And insulin shots are available to help regulate blood sugar levels.


The word that no one wants to hear. Cancer symptoms in Samoyeds include abnormal swelling creating a bump or sore that will not heal and can often bleed drawing your pup’s attention on a regular basis. 

Other symptoms include difficulty breathing. Cancer is treated through chemotherapy, surgery, or other medications. 

The above conditions are not specific to Samoyeds alone. As with any breed, a Samoyed is at risk of contracting them. 

One thing to note, is that Samoyeds have a predisposition to heart problems and hypothyroidism. This can result in hair loss, obesity, and other skin problems.  A good breeder will be able to eliminate most hereditary conditions.

Finding A Good Breeder

A man carries his tired Samoyed puppy.

Avoid any breeder not offering health guarantees on their Samoyed puppies. If they give you false information that the Samoyed breed is 100% healthy and not prone to any conditions, find someone else. A good breeder is honest about the pre-existing health problems of their puppies. Good breeders will take action to increase the average lifespan for your Samoyed.

The Samoyed Club of America is the American Kennel Club parent organization for the breed in the United States. It participates in the Canine Health Information Centre program (CHIC). 

For a Samoyed to achieve CHIC certification it must have hip evaluations performed by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), to rule out hip dysplasia. The OFA will also deliver an eye examination and cardiac evaluation to rule out glaucoma and pre-existing heart conditions.

Breeders must agree to have all the test results, whether positive or negative, published in the CHIC database. And CHIC gives the public access to all these records so you can research Samoyed breeders.  

If a breeder cannot provide you with written documentation that both of the Samoyed puppies’ parents received health clearance, then it is best to find another breeder. You want your Samoyed to be certified healthy by the CHIC program before taking him in. Having a vet examine your Samoyed puppy is not a proper substitution. 

What Can You Do To Increase The Average Lifespan Of Your Samoyed?

A hungry Samoyed eats out of a pristine dog bowl.

After purchasing a Samoyed from a reputable breeder, its health is now in your hands. This is a big responsibility. Especially if you’re a first-time dog owner. 

The decisions you make in terms of care, nutrition, and exercise will have an impact on the overall health, happiness, and average lifespan of your Samoyed.

Caring For A Samoyed

The bigger your home, the more opportunities your Samoyed will have to exercise. Samoyed’s are a very active breed and love as much space as possible. 

It’s a bonus if you have a large backyard for the Samoyed to play in. Apartment living is not recommended for Samoyeds unless you can give them an ample amount of outdoor time. 

Your mission is to keep your Samoyed entertained, which is easier said than done. A bored Samoyed will get up to mischief. Keep him engaged in games, training, and sports that are mentally challenging. 

Just make sure all these extracurriculars are done in a cooler climate. As you might expect, a Samoyed’s thick fur coat does not handle blistering heat well. In the afternoon, opt for an indoor exercise with the air conditioner running to keep your Sammy cool.

To decrease the chances of your Samoyed contracting hip dysplasia, don’t let them play on hard surfaces such as pavement. Schedule all games of fetch on turf. 

And finally, don’t let your Sammy start pulling sleds until it is at least two years old. This is when its joints are fully formed. 

Keep Your Samoyed Social

The last thing you want is a Samoyed who can’t socialize with other dogs or people. This will be detrimental to its health and your nerves. Samoyeds can attend socialization training. 

Like any dog, it can become timid if it’s not socialized properly through exposure to different people and animals. Formal puppy and obedience classes can have your Samoyed ready to dine with the Queen herself. 


Recommended daily feeding for a Samoyed is 1.5 to 2.5 cups of dried high-quality food divided into two meals. Don’t leave a pile of food out in a bowl, as this will encourage overeating. However, these numbers can vary depending on your dog’s size and metabolism. 

Some Samoyeds eat more than others. And a highly active Samoyed will work up an appetite. Higher quality chow will also keep your Sammy full for longer, saving you money in the long run.

Remember, Samoyeds go through a crucial growing period between four to seven months. This is when their diet becomes very important to their health. You’ll want to be giving your Samoyed a diet of at least 22-24% protein, and 12-15% fat. 

Keep your Samoyed in shape. You can give your pup an eye-test to see if it’s packing on the pounds. When you look down at your Sammy its waist should be visible. 

Next, place your hands on its back and move your thumb along its spine with your fingers spread downwards. You should be able to feel its ribs without seeing them and pressing too hard. 

If you can’t feel its ribs, it’s time for a weight-loss program involving lots of exercise!

Did We Mention Exercise?

Samoyeds need about 2 hours of daily exercise to stay healthy and entertained. They also need a variety of exercises, walks are simply not enough. The Samoyed is a working dog bred to pull sleds in the arctic and herd livestock. It needs duties and tasks to keep it mentally stimulated. This mental stimulation adds years to the average lifespan of a Samoyed.

If you’re going to walk your Samoyed make sure it lasts for at least an hour. It’s not so much the walking part that Samoyeds love. They are stimulated by the surrounding environment. They love the sights and sounds. It helps to keep their brain stimulated and focused. And dogs love routines so try to schedule your walk at the same time each day. 

Can You Dig It?

Samoyeds love to dig! Give your Samoyed a designated digging area in your backyard or simply fill up a box with sand or soil and watch it go to work! Hiding a few toys in the sand might get the ball rolling. 

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Feel free to mix in some exercise for yourself as well. Samoyeds love to keep up with you while you bike, run, or rollerskate. It provides them with a unique challenge. 

If it’s raining or too hot, have your Sammy run up and down your stairs. Throw their favorite tennis ball to the top and watch them take off to fetch it. 

And since Samoyeds were bred to pull sleds, they love weight pulling exercises! This involves a special weight pulling harness that evenly distributes weight for your Samoyed to pull.

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There is a range of exercises you and your Sammy can enjoy so feel free to get creative while staying active. 

The most important thing you can do is give yourself a head start with your Samoyed’s health. That’s why it is important to purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder who completed all health checks and certifications. 

Samoyeds quickly become a meaningful part of your life. The last thing you want is for it to be taken away on short notice. With proper nutrition, exercise, and care, your Sammy will live a long and happy 12-14 years. Smiling all the way through!