A Bostons Lifespan – What You Can Expect + Human Years Equivalency!

Have you ever wondered how old your Boston Terrier is in human years? Now that Bella, my Boston, is a decade in age, I can see the changes in her body. 

This made me curious about how old she is compared to me. I bet she is pushing senior citizen status.

All this curiosity led me to do some research. Here is what I found out…

Boston Terrier Rescue

What Is The Average Lifespan Of A Boston Terrier?

The average life expectancy for a Boston Terrier is 11 to 13 years of age. This can vary depending on many factors including size, health, and environment. Some Boston owners have reported their Boston living for 15 years plus.

How Old Is Your Boston Terrier In Human Years?

The chart below shows you how old your Boston is in the human-year equivalents. As you can see, there is a pattern with a Bostons age and the human equivalent.

When your Boston Terrier is a puppy, they grow at the rate of one month equating to the equivalent of aging one and a quarter years compared to a human. 

This rapid growth slows down once they reach their “adulthood.” Then they begin to grow at the rate of one year equating to four years of human equivalent growth.

Boston Terriers Age And The Human Years Equivalent

Boston Terrier AgeHuman Age Equivalent
1 Month1.25 Years
2 Month2.50 Years
3 Month3.75 Years
4 Month5 Years
5 Month6.25 Years
6 Month7.50 Years
7 Month8.75 Years
8 Month10 Years
9 Month11.25 Years
10 Month12.50 Years
11 Month13.75 Years
12 Month15 Years
2 Year24 Years
3 Year28 Years
4 Year32 Years
5 Year36 Years
6 Year40 Years
7 Year44 Years
8 Year48 Years
9 Year52 Years
10 Year56 Years
11 Year60 Years
12 Year64 Years
13 Year68 Years
14 Year72 Years
15 Year76 Years
16 Year80 Years
17 Year84 Years
18 Year88 Years
19 Year92 Years
20 Year96 Years

I was able to find this information using Pedigree’s website.

What Are Some Aging Factors In Boston’s?

Four primary factors will cause your Boston Terrier to age. These factors are:

  • Hereditary
  • Physical Health
  • Food
  • Home Life

These four factors encompass everything that will affect the aging factors of your Boston. The beautiful thing is you can control three of these factors: physical health, food, and home life.

Quick Poll: What type of food do you feed your Boston?

We will be getting into the topic of food shortly but please fill this poll out to help current and future Boston owners.

Thanks for taking the poll!


While your Boston Terrier has no choice as to who her parents are, you personally do have an opportunity. All reputable breeders will do a genetics test on their Boston’s. You should use this information to choose the healthiest parents you can for your puppy. 

[Yes, every puppy deserves and should have a place to call home. I’m just mentioning that if you are concerned with hereditary issues, do your research first. This way you can make an informed decision]

While the genetics of the parents is not a slam dunk that you’ll have a 100% healthy Boston, the odds will be in your favor.

What health screenings or certifications are there?

There are two health screenings, most if not all reputable breeders will conduct on their dogs. These two screenings are OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) and CHIC (Canine Health Information Center). 

How To Find Health Screenings of OFA-CHIC

Want To Do Your Own Health Test?

If you would like to do your own in-home health and DNA test, the technology is here. I have not used this personally on Bella, my Boston. But I have done it for myself using Ancestry’s DNA Kit. 

These are simple kits to use, and the turn around time is a few weeks. The leading Health Screening DNA Kit is from Embark. Embark will test several genetic health issues. This is valuable information you can then share with your vet, allowing you to monitor your Boston over its lifetime then.

Get the Embark Breed + Health Kit, tests for 250 breeds and more than 175 genetic health conditions.

Physical Health

Physical health relates to the activity level of your Boston. You should be allowing your Boston to get at least 30 minutes of physical exercise every day. It would be ideal for them to get one hour of exercise a day for great health.

My favorite exercise to do with Bella is to go for walks around the neighborhood. Emily and I load up the kids in the stroller, and we will walk well over an hour around town. 

However, in the winter months, Bella does not get her required workouts in because no one, including Bella, in the family, wants to get out in the Kansas cold.

Exercises You Can Do With Your Boston In The House

  • Tug of war
  • Walking up and down the stairs
  • Walk them on a treadmill…still working on that with Bella
  • Have your dog do things for its treats
  • Play fetch


Nutrition is critical for a Boston’s health. Diet can increase your animal’s lifespan, just like in humans. Our dogs are so much like us their body can digest food in nearly the same manner. 

If your Boston is overweight they might start acting like this:

Angry French Bulldog Who Just Got Put On A Diet

Herbivores, Carnivores, and Omnivores

Interesting school lesson. Dogs are just like us when it comes to how they can get their dietary needs. There are three groups animals fall into based on what they eat. Here are the three groups:

  • Herbivores – are animals that can only get their nutritional needs from eating plants.
  • Carnivores – animals who can only get their nutritional needs from eating meat.
  • Omnivores – are animals who can get their dietary needs met by eating both meat and plants.

Dogs like your Boston Terrier are omnivores, like you. This means they can eat a variety of foods to stay healthy. The trick is finding the right foods for your Boston. You want your dog to enjoy its food as well as provide the proper nutrients.

What Nutrients Are Required For My Boston?

According to Ryan Llera, DVM with VCA Hospitals, there are six necessary nutrients your Boston. A Boston will need water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. As long as you are feeding your Boston a combination of these nutrients in their food, you will be providing it proper health.

Personal Story On Finding The Right Food

Emily and I had to switch Bella to a non-grain dog food after she developed an allergy to grain at the age of five. 

This means even though you have a food that is working now, your Boston may develop allergies over time. You need to continually observe your Boston and be ready to make nutritional changes if necessary.

What works today may not work tomorrow.

Boston Terrier Puppy
Bella as a little puppy next to her food bowl.

We found out Bella was having issues with grain when Bella started losing her hair, and her belly was becoming red. Bella now eats Blue Buffalo Salmon, here is my review about Blue Buffalo

What Food Options Are Available?

There are literally thousands of food options for your Boston. And there are many food choices that people will tell you are the best, this is not my goal here, every dog is different. 

I want to inform you of what is out there in the world, you can then make your own decision on what is best for your Boston. Here are the different choices available.

  • Kibble – dry dog food.
  • Wet – canned dog food.
  • Raw – diet emphasizing raw meats, fruits, vegetables, and bones.

While Kibble and Wet dog food may not look appealing to us, it is important to note the amount of research and testing that went into that food. 

The research behind these large commercial dog food brands helps give me peace of mind that Bella is getting all the proper nutrients she needs.

This video explains some of the pitfalls in a raw diet, but overall it advocates a natural way of feeding your dog.

If you decide to do a raw diet for your dog, be sure to do some research into the number of calories your dog will need and the variety of nutrients. Here are some resources to get you started on your Raw journey.

Home Life

The home life of a Boston Terrier is vital for one major factor, stress. Stress in dogs is the same as in humans. A constantly stressed body does not function as well as one that is stress-free.

Signs Your Boston Is Stressed

According to Lynn Buzhardt, DVM, there are many ways you can tell if your Boston Terrier is stressed.

  • Shaking or Pacing
  • Barking
  • Whining
  • Drooling
  • Licking
  • Yawning
  • Avoidance Behavior
  • Panting

I know what you are thinking, my dog does one of these things all the time! 

You really need to be focused on has my dog’s behavior changed recently. And if it has evolved into one of these behaviors, continually. Now is the time to call your veterinarian to see what is going on. 

How To Comfort A Stressed Boston

The number one thing you can do to increase comfort and reduce the stress of your Boston is to eliminate the stressor. If you can’t eliminate the stressor, try removing your Boston from that specific situation.

For example, if your Boston gets stressed from loud noises and you live in the city, try moving their bed to a quiet area of your home rather than by the window.

What Can I Do To Increase My Boston Terriers Lifespan?

According to Prestige Animal Hospital, there are several things you can do to help increase the lifespan of your Boston we will cover them below. 

However, the key to increasing your Boston’s life expectancy in all these tips below is to make these healthy choices part of your routine. 

Consistency in good health choices is the crucial factor in trying to increase a dog’s life expectancy.

#1 Proper Diet

You must ensure your Boston is fed a proper diet and ensure you are not jumping from food type to food type. Dogs need consistency, just like their human parents. A consistent diet is necessary.

However, you do need to monitor your Boston. If your dog is having a reaction to a particular food then, yes, you must change it.

Scroll back to the top to get proper diet ideas.

#2 Exercise

Exercising your Boston is critical to longevity. A Boston needs approximately 30 minutes to an hour of exercise a day. This can be done on a walk during the summer months or playing around the house in the winter months.

Boston Terriers Love Agility For Exercise

Here is an article I wrote outlining the right amount of exercise as well as some alternatives you can do, Boston Terrier Exercise Needs.

#3 Supervise

Like a small child, you will want to ensure you know what your Boston Terrier is doing on a day to day basis. This extends their lifespan because it will eliminate any unnecessary accidents.

You don’t have to be a helicopter Boston mom or dad; you just need to be aware of their surroundings. For example, if you usually allow your Boston to run around in the backyard by itself, it would be a good idea to inspect the fencing. 

This simple fencing check allows you to ensure you are putting your dog in a safe place to roam and play. Checking the fence helps stop other animals from getting in as well as not allowing your Boston to run into the street.

Two Articles To Boston Terrier Proof Your Home

These are two articles I wrote, and they can point you in the right direction.

#4 Brush Coat

Brushing your Boston helps improve its longevity for a few different reasons.

Reduces Stress

Brushing your Boston Terrier reduces stress because of the bonding you will be doing with her. The simple act of rubbing and touching your dog comforts them and naturally relaxes them.

Check out this article I wrote explaining how and why Boston’s cuddle. This is a big-time stress reducer for them, Why Boston Terriers Cuddle: And It Could Save Your Life Too.

Keeps Your Boston Clean

Keeping your Boston clean stops the spread of any infections that could arise from a dirty coat. This can especially happen near your Boston’s rear end if there is fecal matter on his or her bum…

I don’t know about you, but there has been a couple of times where I had to assist Bella in her defecation {GROSS}.

Allows Inspection

Brushing your Boston often will enable you to rub and inspect them. You can feel your Boston for lumps, bumps, or scraps. Catching any medical issue early will give you a better chance of fighting it medically.

#5 Brush Teeth

Brushing your Boston’s teeth is critical to its health. There are a lot of health issues related to your dog’s mouth and some you wouldn’t even think of. Here is a list of health issues that arise from the unclean mouth or rotten teeth:

  • Heart Disease
  • Liver or Kidney Disease
  • Jaw Fractures
  • Loss of Weight or Appetite
  • Gum Inflammation
How To Clean Your Boston’s Teeth

If you want to increase your Boston’s lifespan cleaning its teeth is essential. Here is a helpful guide on how to Brush your Boston’s teeth, Brushing Your Boston’s Teeth.

#6 Ear Care

Cleaning your Boston’s ears helps eliminate any bacteria that could be growing in them. This helps the overall health of your dog as well as reduces the chances of an ear infection.

Here is an article I wrote on how to properly clean your Boston’s ear as well as a video; How To Properly Clean Your Dog’s Ears.

#7 Positive Training

Boston’s are a sensitive dog. Ensure you’re using positive training methods rather than scolding your Boston. Yelling or negative training like squirt bottles could stress your sensitive Boston.

#8 Regular Checkups

Routinely seeing your veterinarian is vital to the longevity of your dog. The veterinarian will monitor your dog’s vital signs, weight, and overall health. 

Just like we should have annual check-ups with our doctors, so should your dog.

#9 Vaccinations

Vaccinations can help your Boston develop immunity to certain diseases which can stop your Boston from developing specific conditions. Or at the very least it can at lessen the severity of the illness they may contract.

The primary vaccinations your Boston will need to get are the following:

  • Parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Canine Hepatitis
  • Rabies

You will want to ask your veterinarian what type of vaccinations they recommend in your area. 

What Do Boston Terriers Usually Die From?

According to a study by The Kennel Club in the United Kingdom, the number one reason for Boston Terrier deaths was due to old age. This sounds like good news to me. 

The next two causes of death were cardiac issues followed by cancer.

Causes Of Death In Boston Terrier

  1. Old Age
  2. Cardiac – Heart Disease
  3. Cancer

This is why doing an annual check-up with your veterinarian is critical to longevity in your Boston. Your veterinarian will be able to listen to your dog’s heart as well as inspect for signs of other health issues, possibly cancer.

Boston Terrier Eating treats
Bella getting really excited about a treat. It is easy to please these cute animals.

Final thoughts…

Boston Terriers are a lively little breed with a lot of joy and spunk in their heart. Be sure to love your little Boston for as long as you can because every year that passes is multiple years in dog terms. 

If you want to stay up to date on Boston Terriers as well as contest and community events for the Society, be sure to subscribe to the Boston Terrier Society’s newsletter here, Newsletter.


Other Articles You Should Read From The Boston Terrier Society

Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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