The Vet Experts
5 Tips to Improve Your Dog’s Lifespan
Being a dog parent comes with both unconditional love and immense responsibility. Keeping your furry friend happy and healthy comes down to consistent attention and care, regular veterinary visits, wellness checks, and your emergency vet's phone number on hand - just in case.
You want to make sure you bring in your dog for regular appointments at a vet clinic so your furry companion is up to date on pet vaccines, treatments, medication and so your vet can address any new health concerns that arise.
If you’re looking for a 24 hour emergency vet in Bradenton, FL, our team at Companion Veterinary and Urgent Care Center is here as a resource for compassionate, around the clock care for your pet.
Helping your dog live a longer, healthier life is achievable if you implement the tips below between regularly scheduled veterinary services.
1. Promote healthy eating
Dogs that eat less live for longer. A 2011 study found that dogs who were fed a lower-calorie diet (about 25% less than the "normal" recommended food amounts) lived on average two years longer than dogs who were fed higher-calorie foods.
While you should not drastically decrease your dog's calorie intake without visiting a vet clinic first, this information supports the commonsense knowledge that dogs with healthy weights live longer. Dogs who are obese are more likely to have heart disease or debilitating joint issues.
It is important to consider the quality of the dog food you give your furry friend. Pay attention to labels. Avoid "meat byproducts", sugars, excessive sodium, and other unnecessary fillers. To extend your dog's life expectancy, ensure that you only use whole ingredients.
2. Stimulate your dog’s mind
Dogs thrive on mental stimulation. Dogs can become anxious and depressed if they are bored. Keep your dog's mind busy as she gets older with training, socialization and games.
You don't have to wait until it's too late to teach your dog new tricks. Sign up for advanced obedience lessons or lure coursing. You and your dog will both thrive when you provide stimulation. Your bond will also strengthen as you share new skills.
3. Exercise is key to a healthy body
Your dog's health is not only dependent on diet. Exercise is key to prolonging the life of your dog. Spending time outdoors with your dog will also help improve your own health.
Exercise has been shown to reduce stress and increase endorphins. It can also balance mood and emotions. Regular exercise will keep your dog happy and maintain your dog’s muscle mass and weight.
You can prolong your dog's life by taking her for evening walks and even going for a run. You can also let your dog run loose with one or more dogs: socialization with other dogs will help reduce stress and improve overall quality of life.
4. Brush your dog’s teeth
One of the most important aspects of pet care is dental hygiene. Many pet owners forget to brush their dogs’ teeth regularly. Poor oral hygiene can lead to plaque, gingivitis and ultimately periodontal disease.
This is a bacterial infection that can cause serious organ damage and heart disease in dogs. These consequences make pet dental cleaning a critical part of your dog’s daily wellness.
It's easy to maintain your dog's dental health. Keep your dog's teeth clean, give her safe chew toys, and make sure she visits a nearby vet clinic regularly to have her teeth checked. Many veterinary services include a thorough dental exam and pet dental cleaning during your visit.
5. Follow your vet’s guidance
Even if your dog looks healthy, it is important to visit your local vet clinic at least twice per year.
Wellness examinations help your dog stay consistently healthy and provide a record of your dog’s health as she ages. Your vet will be able to detect potential medical issues earlier, so if a problem is detected early enough, it's more likely to be addressed and solved successfully. Keeping up a good preventative care program is key to helping your dog live a longer life.
Regularly scheduled veterinary services like heart worm testing, spaying and neutering, pet vaccines and pet dental cleaning are an important addition to your dog’s at home wellness regimen.
If you need a compassionate and experienced emergency vet or wellness care vet clinic in the Bradenton, FL area, click here to schedule an appointment for your dog.