How To Make Dogs Live Longer

By Ameera Mills. Updated: March 25, 2019
How To Make Dogs Live Longer

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The responsible possession of pets is not a simple task. This is because, as sentient beings, domestic animals need to receive care throughout their lives. As their guardians, naturally we want our animals to be happy and healthy and in order to do this, we need to understand the specific needs of each and every species.

Here at AnimalWised we want to show you how to make your dog live longer. We will be discussing 10 essential tips, allowing you to make sure that your dog lives both a happy and healthy life.

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How to make a dog live longer: high quality dog food

Food is a fundamental aspect when it comes to caring for a dog. Diet directly affects a dog’s health and well-being. Therefore, offering your dog a balanced and high-quality diet is incredibly important. A quality diet can prevent obesity in dogs, as well as additional health problems associated with nutritional imbalance.

When feeding a dog, it is important to take into account their: breed, age, gender, clinical history, size and lifestyle. When these points are taken into account, you can provide the recommended daily calories, depending on your dog’s specific data. You can opt for a diet based on quality feed or consult your veterinarian about trying out homemade recipes or a BARF diet. When it comes to extra food, such as dog treats, its count should never exceed 10% of a dog’s caloric need[1].

Your dog should also always have fresh and clean water at its disposal.

It is important to note that there are many foods, such as fruits and plants, which are not harmful to humans but are harmful and toxic to dogs. Such foods include; chocolate, onions and grapes. Therefore, you should always avoid any prohibited foods for dogs based on scientific studies, in order to prevent dog poisoning.

How To Make Dogs Live Longer - How to make a dog live longer: high quality dog food

Extend dog life expectancy: dental health

Canine dental care is not that much different than what we do as humans. For example, the formation of tartar and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) are very common health problems in domestic dogs. If such a health problem is not treated or prevented, it can result in serious dental diseases. Common dental diseases in dogs include; premature tooth loss, abscesses and even infections.

The best way to prevent dental diseases or dental problems in dogs, is by following a proper dental hygiene routine. Brushing your dog’s teeth with a dog toothbrush can be very effective. For more, take a look at our article on the different ways of cleaning a dog’s teeth.

How To Make Dogs Live Longer - Extend dog life expectancy: dental health

Things to do to help a dog live longer: hygiene

Brushing is probably the most important routine when caring for a dog's coat and is especially necessary in long haired dogs. After choosing the right brush for your dog, we advise that you set a weekly brushing routine for your dog. This routine should be based on the type of hair that your dog has. Brushing your dog’s hair will help remove dirt, dust and tangles.

In addition, this routine will allow you to check for any visible parasites on your dog, as well as improve your bond with your dog (as most dogs love to be groomed).If your dog has serious knots which are causing discomfort, we recommend visiting a dog groomer.

In addition, regular baths are essential in order to keep your dog's skin both clean and healthy. However, you must not over-bathe your dog, in fact, we only suggest bathing your dog 1 to 3 times a month. Do not forget to use specific dog cleaning products, made specifically not to harm your dog’s skin.

How to make your dog happy: exercise

Exercise is an essential routine which helps dogs; channel their energy, release accumulated stress and tone muscles. In fact, exercise it is key to helping a dog live a longer and healthier life. Even so, you should always take into account the limitations of your own animal. Your dog’s specific physical and mental capabilities need to be taken into account since intense, uncontrolled exercise can harm your canine. This is specifically relevant if your dog belongs to the brachycephalic family, which is made up of dogs that commonly suffer from breathing problems.

In general, it can be estimated that a dog should be walked between two and three times a day, in addition to an hour of daily exercise or games.

How To Make Dogs Live Longer - How to make your dog happy: exercise

How can I improve my dog’s life: mental stimulation

Mental stimulation is very important when it comes to a dog’s intelligence and mental well-being. In fact, dog intelligent games are equally as important as physical exercise. Providing your dog with such mentally stimulating activities, whether through intelligence toys, canine skills or games, is essential in helping your dog maintain a healthy state of mind and keeping its cognitive abilities active.

In addition, mental stimulation improves the bond between dog and human. Mental stimulation in dogs also helps to prevent any behavioral problems, like destructiveness.

Environmental enrichment is also important for canines. Offering an environmentally enriched space offers your dogs various stimuli, giving it an opportunity to channel any excess stress or anxiety. For more ideas, take a look at our article offering you some tips on dog intelligence games at home.

Make your dog happy: enrichment

Although it seems obvious, we recommend keeping your house clean with enzymatic products. It is important to avoid using chemical products which can harm your dog. In addition, encourage a calm, relaxed and comfortable environment for your dog, where it feels safe and protected.

7. Dog deworming and vaccination schedule

The deworming of your dog, both internal and external, should be taken very seriously. Most parasites can act as vectors for serious diseases which can only be prevented by a regular deworming schedule.

Consult your veterinarian on which deworming products are best for your dog. A professional will also be able to help you establish an appropriate deworming and vaccination schedule.

How To Make Dogs Live Longer - 7. Dog deworming and vaccination schedule

8. How often should I take my dog to the vet?

In addition to following both a vaccination and deworming schedule, you should visit your veterinarian every 6 to 12 months. Regular veterinarian visits are important to help prevent or detect any physiological or mental changes in your dog.

Adult dogs can general go to the vet once a year, but young dogs should visit a vet every 4 months. When abnormal symptoms arise these periods must be adjusted accordingly[2].

How to make a dog live longer: sterilization

There are many advantages of canine castration, including greater longevity and the prevention of various pathologies. Likewise, spading and neutering your dog tends to favor better behavior such as; sexual behavior and aggression. This, however, is more noticeable in male dogs[3].

10. Is my dog happy?

Finally, we want to show you some symptoms that a sick dog or unhappy dog may present. If you want to know whether your dog is happy and healthy, make sure that you know how to spot any of these symptoms:

  • Lack of energy.
  • Depression.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Anorexia.
  • Obesity.
  • Hair in poor condition.
  • Nasal or ocular discharge.
  • Pale mucous.
  • Respiratory problems.
  • Changes in the skin.
  • Behavioral changes.

If you are thinking about adopting a dog for the first time, we advise that you do some research on the specific breeds of dogs and what each breed requires. This is specifically important when it comes to making sure that you have enough time to dedicate to your specific dog.

How To Make Dogs Live Longer - 10. Is my dog happy?

If you want to read similar articles to How To Make Dogs Live Longer, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.

    1. John A. Bukowski, Susan Aiello, Providing a Home for a Dog, Merck Manual Veterinary.
    2. John A. Bukowski, Susan Aiello, Routine Health Care of Dogs, Merck Manual Veterinary.
    3. Le Boeuf, Burney J. "Copulatory and aggressive behavior in the prepuberally castrated dog." Hormones and Behavior 1.2 (1970): 127-136.
    • Howell, TJ, Bennett, PC (2016) Pet dog management. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, Volumen 12, p 4-12
    • Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, Volumen 10, Issue 4, p 295-301.

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