How to Help Your Dog Live a Long, Healthy, Happy Life

How to Help Your Dog Live a Long, Healthy, Happy Life

We all wish our furry friends could live forever, however, the lifespan of a dog is only 8-15 years. Luckily, there are some easy tips and things you can do to give your beloved pup the best chance at a long and healthy life. We're sharing the best ways to help protect your dog's well-being, from exercising to providing the right nutrients for good health.

Having a good diet 

Even for humans, when we talked about ways of living longer, the first thing that comes to our mind would be, eating healthy and exercising. The same goes for our 4 legged friends. Being overweight can lead to lots of other health problems, feeding your dog the right diet is vital to controlling his weight. Before making any changes, consult with your veterinarian to choose the best food for your pet.

You may think that it doesn't matter when your pup eats low-quality store-bought food, or organic, home cook meals, but it does matter. Pups that consume high-quality food have a shinier hair coat, bright eyes, and healthier skin. 

In consideration of its size, weight, age, activity level, and overall health. Your vet may recommend something which contains a specially formulated blend of nutrients not typically found in most dog foods. These beneficial nutrients can help promote your dog's well-being by supporting its immune system, heart, brain, and digestion. 

Here are some facts and tips on types of food that make your dog live longer.

Do take note that you should not overfeed your dog with treats. Treats should not exceed 10 percent of your dog's daily caloric intake.

happy dog

Do what makes your dog happy

Happier dogs tend to live longer lives. Don't forget to do things with your dog that he absolutely loves. If you brought your dog to the beach one summer and was showing how much he loves it, make a point to go more next year. Our pets are only here for a short while, it's important we give them the best life we can while they're around.

Exercise

After all those eating, it is important for your pups to exercise too! Exercise improves their mood, lower stress, and increases endorphins in your pup, just like it does in you. If you want to prolong your dog's life, consider prolonging the evening walks, and kick it up to a jog after a period of time. 

Be familiar with the signs to potential health problems

It's important to educate yourself with the signs that your dog needs to visit the vet. The common signs include bad breath or drooling, changes in appetite, activity levels vomiting, etc. Additionally, different breeds have a slight change of signs, talk to the vet about the common symptoms to look out for in your dog's particular breed. 

dog vet

Visit the vet regularly 

Our pets can't communicate with us verbally, so it's harder to know when something's wrong. Regular vet checkups are important because you might not always be able to tell when there's a problem with your dog's health. 

In many cases, an early diagnosis improves the chances of successful treatment. Early diagnosis is also likely to be less costly for you than waiting until your pet's illness has become advanced and serious before attempting treatment. 

Keep them busy

A mentally unstimulated dog can lead to depression, anxious and sick, and start to act out. Another way you can extend your dog's life is by keeping him mentally busy and entertained. Such as taking them out for a walk, give them more attention, coming up with games to play, etc. 

dog roaming

Don't let your dog roam around freely

Pets who are allowed to roam around freely, unsupervised, are way more at risk of things like getting hit by a car, contagious diseases, exposure to poison, and predation. Additionally, allowing your pet to roam unsupervised may alienate your neighbors should your pet ever "relieve" him-or herself in their lawn or dig up their garden. It's better for everyone to keep an eye on him. 

Brush your dog's teeth

Most dog owners never take a good look inside their dog's mouth, as they might think that it will only lead to a stinky breathe. And that's unfortunate because it's estimated that over 80% of dogs have significant dental health issues. 

Veterinarians discover during the physical exam that their canine patient has serious dental disease. Discolored teeth, a foul odor to the breath, and infected gums are just a few of the signs of canine periodontal disease. Rotten dog teeth aren't just their own issue; they can cause other serious health problems. If your dog's dental care hasn't been top of mind, here's why it should be.

dog oral problem

How Poor Oral Hygiene Affects Your Dog

Dental disease can cause progressive issues that may put your dog's entire body and overall health at risk. Here are some of the health problems that can result from periodontal disease. 

Gum inflammation 

Beneath the gum line, the bacteria associated with plaque release toxin that damages the surroundings. Hence, white blood cells take place to destroy the bacteria. This process causes significant inflammation of the gums, it causes the gums to look red and puffy, and tissues may bleed when touched. 

Kidney and Liver Disease

You might be wondering what are the relations from teeth to the kidney and liver. Oral inflammation allows bacteria in the mouth to enter directly into the bloodstream. Once circulating, these bacteria can travel to and establish in other organs, especially the liver and kidneys. Organ infection and failure are well-documented consequences of untreated canine periodontal disease. 

lost weight and appetite

Loss of weight and appetite 

Dental issues may cause feeding to become a painful and uncomfortable process for your dog. As a result, it might be hard for your dog to open its mouth and food might be dropping out from their mouth while eating. Over time, the reluctant to eat can take a toll on your dog's body condition, leading to weight loss. 

Poor appetite and weight loss may also indicate that dental disease is causing problems in the liver, heart, and kidneys.  

The sad fact of dog parenthood is that people outlive pets, and there are no miracle products that guarantee it will extend your dog's life far beyond the natural lifespan of its breed. But with conscientious care and regular veterinary attention, you may be able to give your pup a few extra years.  

Your time together is precious, so maintain hygiene habits, keep your pups active physically and mentally, and savor every minute. 

image 2017 revised how petbacker works 

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