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The only downside of having a canine companion is that he probably won’t live as long as you. Don’t worry; there are life-lengthening tips for your dog to make your pooch live a longer and healthier life.
Pets tend to grow on you and over the passage of time, become just as important as a family member. Here are 5 life-lengthening tips for your dog:
Regular daily exercise is vital for keeping your dog healthy. It will not just keep your pet in good shape, but also keep him happy.
Physical exercise releases endorphins, which are chemicals that help reduce stress and pain. Physical activity will help your dog stay at a healthy weight. While taking him for a walk, consider jogging in between in order to add variation to the speed.
If there is a safe space nearby, such as a large park, take your pooch off his leash and let him run around freely for a while. Getting larger dogs to exercise is important in order to prevent common health issues such as dysplasia.
If you feel your dog is becoming overweight, consult your vet about using weighted backpacks to make your pet shed those extra pounds. Playing fetch or chasing a Frisbee is also strenuous physical exercise that would keep your dog fit.
If you have a lazy dog, there are some tips and tricks that you can try to get him moving. Keep some of his meal aside and make him follow you around the house to get to them. You can also consider taking your dog for a swim. If he is still a puppy, fill up a bathtub with water and have him doggie paddle under supervision. Save your dog’s favorite treat for the outdoors to encourage him to go for his daily walk.
While you make sure your dog gets the optimum amount of exercise, make sure that he does not overexert himself or get dehydrated in the process. If you tend to experience warm summers, take your dog for a walk early in the morning or during the evening.
Research suggests that dogs that are raised on a calorie diet tend to live 1.8 years longer than those who are allowed to eat more. They are also less likely to contract chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis.
Make sure you do not reduce your dog’s diet drastically without professional advice. Do consult your vet before finalizing a diet plan for your dog. Moreover, study the ingredients of the food you give your dog to eat. Steer clear of excessive ‘meat byproducts’ such as sodium and sugar.
Check the ingredients when you buy dog food from the market. Make sure the food items you buy for your pet contain a good balance of vitamins, proteins and fat.
It may warm your heart to see your dog happily consume yummy treats, but make sure you do not overdo this practice. Treats are typically loaded with sugar and can lead to an increase in your dog’s weight.
While eating food, it may be tempting to share some with your canine friend. Do not fall into the habit of feeding table scraps to your dog as it may cause diseases such as pancreatitis. Food that humans eat is often too high in fats and sugars to be fed to dogs. Be especially careful that your dog does not ingest certain food such as garlic or chocolate as it is toxic enough to be fatal for them.
If you have a foodie pooch that stares at you with pleading eyes as you have your lunch, keep some healthy food items to give him. You can treat him with baby carrots or apple slices. Alternatively, you can give him his meal in another room before you start eating yourself.
Consider giving your dog nutritional supplements to improve his health. They are widely available in the market and have several health benefits.
Brushing teeth is important not just for humans but for dogs as well. Make sure you brush your pet’s teeth routinely to prevent gingivitis, plaque, and periodontal disease, which is a bacterial infection that may lead to heart disease or organ damage.
Besides brushing your dog’s teeth regularly, also ensure that you give him safe chew toys and dental treats. To brush his teeth, first apply a pet toothpaste to your dog’s toothbrush. Lift your dog’s lip so that the teeth show and brush his teeth thoroughly from the outside as well as inside.
Be careful to not use human toothpaste instead of pet toothpaste. Unlike human toothpastes that have a minty flavor, pet toothpastes are typically flavored like foods that your dog likes to eat.
It is okay to give your pooch some time to smell or taste the toothpaste. First brush a couple of teeth to check his reaction. Brush the upper teeth while holding the upper lip. Praise your dog while you clean his teeth to encourage him to tolerate tooth brushing.
A key life-lengthening tip for your dog is to introduce teeth brushing from a young age so that he is used to the practice even after he reaches adulthood. Always get your pet’s teeth checked during annual vet checkups.
Second hand smoke is dangerous for human and dog health alike. Dogs’ lungs cannot bear smoke being blown at them every day. Studies show that dogs that are exposed to second hand smoke are more likely to develop allergies, eye infections, respiratory issues and cancer.
Dogs that live in a smoking environment are more vulnerable to nasal cancer. Dogs with a longer nose are at a higher risk for nasal cancer while those with a smaller nose are more prone to lung cancer.
The ideal way to prevent your pet’s exposure to smoke is to quit smoking yourself, if you have the habit. However, if you cannot manage that, then make sure you never smoke in your dog’s presence.
If you think your dog has been exposed to second hand smoke, monitor him for any tell-tale signs. If your pup experiences breathing issues, excessive salivation, diarrhea or vomiting, take him to a vet immediately.
Focus on your dog’s grooming to prevent fleas and ticks. If your pet has long and thick fur, detangle his hair daily and check for any knots or debris stuck in them. Pluck them out from the coat if you see any.
Brushing your dog’s fur daily is of the essence. If foreign debris is stuck in your pet’s fur, it may cause irritation in the form of rashes and sores. If unattended, these substances can also lead to infections or skin diseases.
Us e a slick brush that has bristles places closer together in order to detangle effectively. Use mineral oil or detangling solution to get rid of tighter knots.
Check your dog’s fur for flea, heartworms and ticks. These critters can threaten your dog’s health if not removed in time. Make sure you give your pet a bath regularly to keep them clean and free from mites and ticks.
Never skip your dog’s annual checkup as regular examination by a vet is vital for maintaining good health. Have your pet vaccine routinely to prevent common diseases.
Maintaining mental health is a crucial life-lengthening tip for your dog just like enhancing his physical health is. Make sure you spend time with him and train him since an early age. When you take him for a walk, let him meet other people and dogs to enhance his social life and keep him happy.
by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™ .
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