We all want our dogs to live a long, healthy life. We care for them as best we can but we have busy lives too.
Still, we need to sacrifice our time and energy to ensure our best fur friends are well cared for. The reality is, we will outlive our dogs. It’s a sad truth that many of us battle with.
We wish our dogs could remain at our side until it’s time for us to leave this planet. Sadly, this is not a reality.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t do our part to help our dogs live the longest, most fulfilling life possible.
Here are 8 helpful ways you can help your pup live a longer life:
1. Physical Exercise
Exercise is key to prolonging your dog’s life. And it also helps you live longer too!
According to Rover.com: “Exercise is proven to lower stress, increase endorphins, and balance mood and emotions in people and dogs alike.”
In addition, exercise helps your dog maintain a healthy weight and keep her cardiovascular system in tip-top shape.
But most importantly, exercise on a regular basis is a key component to keeping your dog happy.
If you want your doggo to live longer then consider prolonging exercise time like your evening walks. If you normally go for a ten-minute walk, change it to twenty!
Or consider taking your pooch to the park so she can run off leash and meet up with some doggy friends. With dog-friendly pups, socialization has been known to reduce stress and improve her “overall quality of life.”
2. Mental Stimulation
A bored dog can lead to an unhappy dog. Just like people, dogs need mental exercise and stimulation to keep them happy. Boredom can increase depression and anxiety and even illness!
Extend your dog’s life by keeping her busy with mind-active training such as games, puzzle toys, and one-on-one attention.
Even older dogs can benefit! An old dog CAN learn new tricks! Consider signing your senior canine up for doggy agility class.
Some are made specifically for aging doggos. This is a great way to keep her mind AND body stimulated as well as strengthen your bond as a duo!
3. Doggy Diet
Yes, we all know that eating healthy can improve our overall health. The same goes for our pups. Your veterinarian can recommend the best diet for your dog and talk to you about adding Superfoods.
Superfoods are foods that are naturally jam-packed with nutrients. Adding them to your pup’s diet can help him live a longer, healthier life.
Click here to learn about 8 vet-recommended Superfoods your dog can benefit from.
4. Follow Doctor’s Orders
Veterinarians are trained professionals. Their livelihood is based on keeping our pets healthy and happy. Routine physicals, vaccinations, and teeth cleaning are all essential in keeping our dogs as healthy as possible so that they can live longer.
If your doctor recommends a specific diet, then follow it. If your vet is urging you to vaccinate your dog against Lyme Disease, Canine Influenza and other illnesses, take his advice seriously!
If money is an issue, look into pet insurance. Many plans cover routine care and vaccinations.
5. Avoid Stressful Situations
No animal does well with stress. Your pet may have specific triggers that are best to avoid. Your dog may not like big crowds or loud noises.
Pay attention to those triggers and respect them. Stress can increase heart rate and lower the immune system.
As an example, if your dog hates thunder, she may benefit wearing a Thundershirt during a storm. Or if your dog doesn’t do well with crowds, avoid walking her in crowded areas or having too many people over the house.
Remember your house is HER house too! It’s her safe place and if it feels unsafe, it can have a catastrophic effect.
6. Always Spay/Neuter Your Pet
This is a healthy choice for ALL pets. According to Pet Health Network: “Female dogs that are spayed CAN’T get uterine cancers, their risk of mammary (breast) cancer is reduced by 25% and they are less prone to urinary tract infections.”
“Male dogs that are neutered CAN’T get testicular cancer and they live 40% longer than their unneutered counterparts. Unneutered male dogs respond to the “call of the wild” and their desire to wander is fierce. In fact, 62% of dogs hit by a car are unneutered! Finally, 66% of unneutered males get prostate disease.”
7. Bath Time Is Healthy Time
Cleanliness is essential! Routine bathing can prevent all sorts of nasty things, from insects to skin diseases. Keeping their nails trimmed is important too.
Make sure you clean out their ears and if they need their anal glands expressed, you have a licensed groomer or veterinarian do that when needed.
8. Embrace The Moment
The truth is, we are all mortal. Our pets are no exception. Make sure you live each day together to the fullest. Give your dog lots of love and affection.
Spend time with him. Don’t forget he is your best friend and counts on you for his daily needs.
Lighten up a bit if he wants to lay on the couch with you or sleep in your bed. Dogs are pack animals and you are their pack leader. They want to be as close to you as possible.
Here’s to LONG, HEALTHY lives for both you and Fido!