If you could help your dog live out a longer, healthier, happier life, would you?
Of course, you would! We love our fur babies and as a dog owner it is important, we give them the best lives possible. For many people dogs are literally considered their children – and with good reason.
As with any pet, different breeds are more susceptible or prone to certain health issues. There are many things we can do as dog owners to increase their lifespan; and here is the best part – many of these things are simple and most are even free!
We cannot guarantee results as each breed is different; but following a few tips will ensure a better quality of life, for a longer period of time with you and your furry best friend.
Read more: The Top 10 Dog Health Problems and Remedies
A Few Simple Tips to Help your Dog Live Longer
First on the list is exercise, as it is one of the contributing factors to increasing your dog’s lifespan. Dogs, just like their owners share similar mental and physical benefits from exercising.
Proven to lower stress levels, balance mood and emotions, increase endorphins, and keeping the heart and cardiovascular system in good condition.
The biggest bonus is that exercise simply will make your dog happier, which will make you happier as well. Regular physical activity is vital to increasing the lifespan of your dog.
Make sure you are taking your dog on at least one walk daily, jogging and letting your dog run freely if possible is even more beneficial.
You can plan on going outside with your canine friend at least three to four times a day. Dogs love being outside and spending that quality time with them will increase their mental and physical health, as a bonus it’ll increase yours too!
Mental Health is important
Socializing with other dogs will help reduce stress which in turn improves the quality of life for your dog. Just like people, dogs need to have other canine friends to play and run with they thrive when mentally stimulated. It keeps them happy.
When a dog doesn’t get that stimulation, they will become bored. When constant boredom sets in, depression, anxiety and even illnesses are known to follow.
It is important to keep your dog busy to increase their lifespan. A busy dog is a happy dog. Even as dogs age their minds still need to be tended to. ‘It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks’ so continue as they age to keep them busy and challenged.
Diet! Diet! Diet!
Want to add two years on to your dog’s lifespan? Pay attention to what you are feeding them, but more importantly, how much they are consuming daily.
Talk to your vet to see what the best options are for your dog. Over-weight dogs are more likely to end up with heart disease and joint issues and the list goes on.
There are supplements on the market to help improve liver and joint functions which are highly recommended to give longer life expectancy to your pet.
Denamarin is a supplement that many veterinarians will recommend giving to your dog on a monthly basis; this supplement helps improve liver function, decreases stress and supports brain health for your dog.
Regular Doctor’s Visits
No matter the health of your dog, once a year he/she should be taken to the vet for a general checkup. You never know, and you would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to their health. It could make the difference of years on their lifespan.
As they age, twice a year is recommended to ensure good health for your dog. Always call or take your dog to the vet if you believe something is wrong. Maintaining a record of your dog’s health over the years will help your vet catch early signs, if any, health issues arise.
Regular trips to the vet are for your pet to “maintain their optimal health”. Create a preventative care routine for your dog to live its best life possible.
Their Skin Matters Too!
Boost your pet’s health with fish oil! Fish oil has a wide range of benefits when it is given as a supplement to your dog. Benefits that gives your dog healthier skin & coat, increases their stamina, decreases inflammation not to mention their shedding – let’s admit that we are all not a fan of dog hair EVERYWHERE; it also improves their immune system and will add moisture to dry or irritated skin.
Studies and research have proven that your pet will benefit greatly from Omega-3 & 6 Fatty Acids, which fish oil is full of. These fatty acids have reduced joint discomfort, restored energy, protection against diseases, reduces risk of heart problems or strokes, they also have antioxidant properties that lower your dog’s risk of cancer.
Don’t Forget About Their Teeth
Let’s just put this out there – no one, NO ONE, likes “dog breath”. Our furry little friends must maintain proper dental hygiene just like we do to prevent having funk-mouth amongst other more severe issues.
However, dogs of course don’t eat the cavity happy foods we as humans often like to enjoy; they still need a routine for dental care to maintain optimal health. And believe it or not, your dog’s dental health can and will affect your dog’s overall health and well-being.
So finally, on the list to increasing your dog’s lifespan is your dog’s dental routine. Like us, dogs will benefit from a healthy mouth. Creating a regular dental regimen for your canine will prevent the build-up of tartar, plaque and calculus.
You will be able to check, and hopefully, prevent any onset of gingivitis or gum disease. As a dog owner it is important to look for any broken or fractured teeth that could be causing your pet to have uncomfortable mouth pain or cause an infection in their mouth.
You should also be inspecting your dog’s mouth often, for developmental progress or any orthodontic problems that might occur.
As dogs are known to be “man’s best friend” we should do all we can for our companions to ensure they live their very best life.
A lot of times as pet owners – and because we are people, and life can get crazy; we tend to neglect simple things that can drastically change the lifespan of our pets.
With these simple tips and small adjustments, you can give your dog the best opportunity at a long, happy, healthy life.
Deneen Carter is the pet expert for a healthcare learning resource center for seniors. Deneen loves working in the senior healthcare industry and writing about the many benefits pets offer our elders. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, spending quality family time with her daughter, boyfriend and his two sons.