7 Ways to Help Your Dog Live Longer

June 23rd, 2016

11255215_946038155418782_8174146665151867732_nAs pet parents, you’d like your dog to live longer than a few years. We do what we can to keep them healthy, but there is a lot more that goes into raising a healthy dog than throwing around a ball and feeding them twice a day. Sometimes our busy lifestyles cause us to overlook some simple measures that could help your dog live longer.

1. Keep your dog at a healthy weight

Letting your dog get too heavy can not only reduce his life span but also his quality of life. Consider this: when a dog eats 1oz of cheese, it’s the equivalent to you eating 1.5 hamburgers or 3 bars of chocolate. Limit treats to keep your dog healthy.

2. Brush your dog’s teeth 

A build-up of oral bacteria can ultimately lead to all sorts of health problems for your pet, including heart valve problems and infections within the kidneys. Alternatively, buy some chew toys and bones that assist in reducing plaque and get a professional cleaning session at least once each year.

3. Get annual check ups 

Even if your dog is acting normal, something could be going on internally. By the time some symptoms appear, it could be too late. Getting treatment started early is the best way to improve a dog’s life span.

4. Exercise daily

Exercise helps to keep extra weight of and provides mental stimulation for your pup. Try bringing them into Happy Hound, going to the dog park, going for hikes, and playing fetch.

5. Flea & Heartworm medication

These creatures spread diseases, some of which are life threatening. So make sure you’re using a flea collar, topical ointment, or oral medication.

6. Socialize your dog

Dogs that don’t get properly socialized don’t get the same “bite” out of life as happy, socialized dogs do. They can develop anxiety, aggression, or even depression if it doesn’t get much interaction or playtime from people.

7. Spay or neuter

Spaying or neutering is the best way to reduce the risk of several cancers or behavioral issues. If cost is an issue, there are many clinics that offer low cost procedures. Call your local pet clinic or shelter to find out when they are having a special on the procedure.