There are a lot of things you can do to help your dog live longer. If you love your dog, then you'll want to keep them happy and healthy as long as possible.
Our dogs won’t be with us our entire lives, but if the oldest dog lived to be 29.5 years old, I think we should all shoot for 20 years with our puppies.
Here are a few tips to help you take care of your dog so they'll live longer.
The average lifespan of dogs is between 10 to 14 years, but they have the potential to live much longer.
Breed type and genetics play a role there are many more factors involved in a dog's lifespan such as dietary, lifestyle and maintenance. We all need some maintenance and care, our pets are no exception.
Our choices for our pets help decide not only how long your dog will live, but the quality of his or her life.
Tips for Maintaining Your Dog's Health
- Maintaining dog's teeth, brushing and regular teeth cleanings can add four years to the average dog's life.
- Keeping our pets lean might hold off degenerative bone disease.
- Pets on a good quality, restricted calorie diet can live an average of two years longer.
How to Help Your Dog Live a Long, Healthy, Happy Life
Humans, on average, are living longer lives, according to a lot of articles and reports.
Can we say the same for dogs? It’s a little harder to gauge in dogs, since dogs have such different lifespans based on their size.
A larger dog has a shorter life expectancy. Large dogs live to be about 9 years old, whereas medium and small dogs live to be at least 12. Toy dogs live the longest living up to 15 years or older.
But most experts seem to agree that dogs are living longer, to the point they're living twice as long as they did 40 years ago.
Advances in veterinary medicine and a better understanding of dogs’ nutritional requirements have helped extend the lives of our four-legged friends. Dogs are more often fenced in or kept in, lowering the chances of cars hitting them or dogs getting run over.
Dogs are loyal and loving animals, so most people want to keep theirs as long as possible.
Keep Your Dog At A Healthy Weight
It's so easy to let your dog get overfed. When he looks at you with those sad, soulful eyes, begging for just a little snack, it’s hard to turn him down. However, if you give your dog too many treats or the wrong food, the pounds will start creeping on.
Overweight or obese dogs have higher risks of heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and even cancer. It can go a long way towards keeping your dog at his best weight and health if you feed him the right food for his age, activity level, breed, and any health issues.
Feed Your Dog A Healthy Diet
Dogs that eat less live longer. A 2011 study found that dogs given 25% fewer calories than “normal” diet lived two years longer on average than dogs fed more.
You should consult your vet before reducing your dog’s caloric intake, but this data supports common sense knowing that a puppy with a healthy weight will live a longer life. Obese dogs have a higher chance of getting heart disease and joint problems.
The food your dog eats also matters. Always research labels. Avoid “meat byproducts,” sugar, excess sodium, and unnecessary fillers. Look for whole ingredients and responsible sourcing practices from your dog food to’s health.
Exercise Your Dog Daily
Your dog needs daily exercise. Most dogs live inside or have fenced yards.
This protects them from many dangers, but it makes them less active than if they were left to their own devices.
Dogs need 30 minutes of exercise a day, but whether they get more or less depends on their age and overall health. It will keep him lean, tone his muscles, and keep his mind stimulated.
Exercise Enables a Healthy Body
Exercise is an essential part of helping your dog live longer, and as a bonus, it'll help you live longer too!
Exercise lowers stress, increases endorphins, balances mood and emotions in dogs and people alike.
In addition to keeping your dog's weight in check, and her cardiovascular system in shape, regular physical activity will help keep her happy.
If you want to extend the life of your dog, consider taking her out for strolls, and maybe even jog.
Let your dog play off-leash with another dog if you have one; canine socialization is another way to reduce stress and improve her quality of life.
Filter your dog’s water
Have you ever considered’s in the water your dog drinks?
Tap water and many bottled waters contain contaminants you can get rid of with a water filter. Cysts, heavy metals, chlorine and pharmaceuticals are common contaminants in water.
These contaminants can affect your do’s skin, coat, and overall health. Keep your dog’s water in a stainless steel or glass bowl. Plastics can leach into your dog's water, so you should avoid them.
Pay Attention to Chemicals you put on your Dog
Longevity for dog’s is all about toxic load. Toxic load can be explained by the amount of toxins you put in your dog’s body and how your dog’s body processes those toxins. It’s the same concept for humans.
Whenever you put medicine or products on your dog, think about what they make it with. For example, when you wash your pup, use a natural plant based shampoo that's free of sulfites and heavy chemicals.
Add Enzymes and Probiotics to your Dog’s Diet
Enzymes are fundamental to proper digestion. If you give your dog dry or canned dog food, it's essential to give them digestive enzymes. Enzymes aren't found in commercial dog food because the extruding and cooking process destroys them.
Your dog's stomach is built to break down raw food that's high in enzymes. Probiotics are an excellent way’ to help stomach bacteria levels.
Proper gut bacteria lead to a strong immune system and good digestion. Gut health for dog’s is directly related to overall health, just like it is for us.
Keep Your Dog's Mind Busy
Like people, dogs need mental stimulation to keep them happy. A bored dog can get depressed, anxious, and even ill.
You can lengthen your dog's life by keeping him busy. As she gets older, make sure she is mentally stimulated with training, socialization, games and one-on-one attention.
It’s never too late for an old dog to learn new tricks: try agility or lure coursing. Your dog will thrive with the extra stimulation, and you will grow closer as you learn new skills together.
Give Your Dog Food Puzzles
Speaking of minds, dogs need to stay active, too.
Dogs are intelligent animals that love to solve problems. Toys with food in them can keep your dog younger, more alert, and less bored.
And a bored dog can be destructive. Just make sure you consider the extra calories from those treats when you are deciding how much to feed him for dinner.
Don’t Forget to Brush Your Dog's Teeth
Dental health is a neglected part of pet care. Many people, myself included, forget to brush their dogs' teeth.
Poor oral hygiene can lead to plaque, gingivitis, and finally periodontal disease, a bacterial infection that's harmful to dogs' hearts and organs.
You should brush your dog's teeth daily, or at least several times a week. There's a lot of dog toothbrushes to choose from. Some treats keep teeth clean as well. Good oral health keeps your dog healthy.
Take Your Dog to Regular Vet Visits
Bring your dog to the vet for a regular checkup. If a dog is healthy, they usually only need to go to the vet once a year.
Your vet will let you know if you need to bring your dog in more often. In most cases, the earlier a health issue is discovered, the easier it is to treat or at least manage.
Follow Your Veterinarian's Orders
Even if your dog's in great shape, it still needs to be seen by a vet at least once a year for a check-up, and twice a year as it ages.
Wellness exams are meant to keep your dog healthy as she ages, and they keep a record of her health history. By doing these, your vet can spot potential problems early, and a problem discovered early is more likely to be treated and fixed.
Keeping up with preventative care will make sure that your dog lives a long, healthy life.
Become Familiar with the Warning Signs
It's important to know how to spot warning signs that your dog needs to see a vet.
Some of the most common symptoms include stuffy nose or drooling, mood swings, sleep disorders, digestive problems, headaches, and bad breath.
Talk to your vet about what breed-specific symptoms to watch for.
Spay or Neuter your Dog
Spaying your dog by removing hormones prevents diseases. Unless you want your dog to have puppies, spaying or neutering, your pet is healthier and safer.
If you get your dog fixed, it won't suffer the hormonal fluctuations and stress that comes with being a dog. Removing that stress makes them healthier longer.
Help your Dog Live a Stress-free Life
Stress can shorten your dog's life just like it does for you. You should do your part throughout the rest of the year to keep your dog happy and stress-free.
Final Thoughts: Give Him Love and Attention
Your love is one of the most important things you can give your dog. Your pooch's world revolves around you.
There's nothing better than rubbing his favorite spots and telling him what an awesome dog he is.
Giving your dog daily attention will keep him by your side for the longest time possible.