In just less than ten years, most dogs die of health and genetic problems making them one of the most short-lived animals for their size. If you’re like many dog owners, you consider your furry friend as part of the family. He/she often gets the same loving attention you would give to a child or a best friend. Seeing them die young will surely leave you heart broken.
How can you make sure your dog stays happy and healthy? What simple ways can you do to add years to your dog’s life?
1. Play with your dog every day:
Dogs are inherently playful creatures. They love to run, chase things, and socialize with people and other canines. That’s why experts believe bonding through playtime is the key to making your dog hale and hearty.
According to a recent study conducted by researchers from Bristol University, lack of play can result to disobedience, nervousness and aggressiveness in dogs. After questioning more than 4,000 dog owners, researchers found that play is one of the key to a dog’s well-being.
2. Control it’s weight:
It’s not rare to see a pet owner gushing about how adorable her overweight dog is. What she doesn’t know is she might be giving her dog an early death sentence by allowing it to gain extra weight. Dogs who weigh more than they should or are on the obese scale are far more likely to have health problems that shorten their lifespans. All those extra pounds that may look cute actually place extra demands on all the organs of their body resulting in various diseases.
Vets recommend owners giving a specific calorie limit for their dogs and a strict avoidance of sugar in their dog’s diet. Sugar is known to increase levels of insulin in the dog’s body which may cause liver failure. It is also known that obesity in dogs leads to damaged joints, ligaments and bones which affect their movement and overall temperament.
Need to know if your dog’s weight is normal? Here’s a pet weight calculator that will help you determine if your dog needs a diet.
3. Keep your pet hydrated:
Dogs can easily get dehydrated, especially during a hot weather. So as responsible owners you must provide sufficient amount of water for your pooch. Also, dogs that suffer from upset stomach, which induces vomiting and loss of fluid may need more water to compensate.
Recognizing dehydration once your dog shows signs of it can reduce the risk for further health complication. Symptoms of a dehydrated dog include: repeatedly licking of lips, dry gums, and deep yellow urine color. You can also check the dog’s scruff or the portion of skin behind its neck to see if your dog is dehydrated. When dogs are dehydrated, this skin becomes less elastic and will not spring back instantly.
4. Exercise Fido every day:
Dogs in all kinds of breed and size need exercise to function well. Give your dog frequent walks to make sure that it gets its daily dose of exercise. You can also take him for a swim in the doggy pool or play with fetch in the backyard. Ideally, a dog must get at least an hour of exercise for every day a week.
Exercising dogs will prevent obesity, increase athleticism, and keep your dog’s heart at a healthy rate. Dogs that are exercised are also less likely to show destructive behaviors which are often a result of anxiousness and irritability.
5. Give your dog proper hygiene:
Dogs don’t mind if they smell and look bad – but it’s not okay for us since they’re often cuddling and sleeping on our couches. According to veterinarians, most dogs need to be bathed only once every three months. While this rule doesn’t apply to active dogs and long-haired dogs, it’s clear that most owners over bath their pets. Bathing your pup every day can leave your dog’s skin irritated and its coat looking dull.
Want to keep your dog clean? Brush its teeth every day. Most dogs suffer from periodontal disease and cavities just like us humans do. Some dogs can even have serious bacterial infections that lethal if not treated early on.
6. Don’t forget regular vet visits:
Just like we need doctors to keep our health in check, our pets need regular check-ups to make sure they stay healthy. If you see signs of pain, restlessness or strange behavior – it’s always wise to consult your vet before the condition gets worse.
Some dogs that are born with congenital disease or suffered an accident may require a more specialized treatment. The popular English bulldog is one of the many breeds of dogs that are known to be deformed and suffering in constant pain because of its unhealthy genes. The English bulldog has health problems that require more specialized care and frequent vet visits.