No matter how long our dogs are with us, it is never long enough. Dogs may be living longer today because of better nutrition and veterinary care, but there are still many things you can do to help your dog live a longer, happier life.
How To Prolong Your Dogs Life
Spaying or Neutering
Spaying and neutering, particularly if performed at an early age gives a dog certain health advantages including protection against several cancers of the reproductive system, most notably cancer of the ovary, breast, and testicles. Neutering a male dog has also been shown to slightly prolong life in several studies. To learn more, check out our blog post titled “Spaying Or Neutering Your Dog”.
Brush Their Teeth
One of the major causes of death is dental disease, so by brushing your dog’s teeth regularly you can reduce this risk. After all, we all take the time to brush our own teeth every day, and we make sure our children brush their teeth, so why not take a few extra minutes to brush our dogs’ teeth as well.
Feed A Healthy Diet
Try to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into your dog’s diet as treats or supplement some of their kibble for a home cooked meal. There are many foods that are extremely healthy for a dog so why not take the time to feed it to them.
All dogs need adequate exercise regardless of their size. Take your dog to the dog park to play or out for a long walk every day. It will be fun for the both of you, and a nice way to bond.
Making sure that your dog gets plenty of daily exercise is also a good way to reduce the nervousness that some dogs feel when they are left alone. Tired dogs are more likely to rest when they are alone, instead of becoming anxious.
Its important to note that if your dog doesn’t receive enough exercise, he may have poor muscle tone, become obese, and may develop heart problems, bone disorders, or other health issues later on.
Lots of Attention
Dogs that are neglected or sad will live a shorter life span than a dog who is given lots of attention. Your dog can benefit from affection just as we all can.
Don’t ignore your dog when you first come home as that is one of the happiest moments for them when they hear you open the door and know you are home again.
Schedule time if need be to have dedicated play time with your dog. Spend some time playing tug, fetch, or even petting while chewing a bone. Do things that your dog particularly likes to do and have fun with it.
Take your dog for walks but make them fun by having your dog carry an object such as a toy or stick.
Play hide and seek in the house or in your backyard and let your dog find you.
Get creative and make a tunnel with old boxes or purchase one from your local pet store and have your dog explore through it, rewarding them with praise and treats along the way.
Another great idea is to put some treats on the floor and place a bowl over the top of them. Then let your dog figure out how to get the treats out from underneath the bowl.
Get More Than One Dog
Getting more than one dog can increase the level of stimulation as dog’s can stimulate each other mentally. They will also burn up their energy faster while they play, especially if they are close in age. To learn more, check out our blog post titled “The Benefits Of Having More Than One Dog”.
Dogs can provide each other with great company, especially when you are not home. They are naturally social creatures, living in packs, and often prefer to have a doggy friend in the home.
If you have a dog that is shy or fearful, it can be therapeutic to get another dog to act as a friend, provided you choose a dog that is compatible.
Getting a second dog can also revitalize an older dog. A second dog can get them off the couch and help them become more active again. Just be careful not to get a pesky puppy or a dog that will dominate your older dog. Chose your second dog carefully.