Dogs are very important to some people. They are like family members and get treated that way. In return, they are often very loyal and loving creatures who will protect their family against any dangers they spot.
They do not live as long as humans though, so people tend to have more than one over their lifetime. Each time one is lost it is heartbreaking for all those involved and most owners will do whatever is needed to make sure their dog lives as long as possible.
Give Them A Healthy Diet
A dog eats what you give them and so it is in your hands to make sure they have a healthy diet. Research has shown that dogs that eat less maintain a better weight and on average live for two years longer than dogs whose diet is not monitored.
The quality of the food they are given is important. Beta dog food, for instance, provides a 100% nutritionally balanced formula to suit every dog’s needs. With foods for puppies, adults and senior dogs, all ages are catered for to the same high quality.
You should avoid sugars and salt and there are some foods that are bad for dogs. Onions, garlic, eggs, grapes, raisins, certain nuts, alcohol and chocolate will all do them more harm than good. Never let them get hold of sugar-free gum, as the sweeteners in that can be fatal for them, but they tend to be attracted to it.
Exercise Is Vital
Exercise is a vital contribution towards helping your dog live a long and healthy life, and the same can be said for you.
Going for walks together, playing with a ball or even just running around the garden for a while will help to maintain your dog’s weight and is good for their joints. Even better is if they have a doggie friend they can run wild with occasionally.
Take them to places where they are safe to be off their lead for a while, as you will find they will run more in this way.
Their Mind Matters Too
Dogs need mental stimulation as much as humans do. They can get bored, which can lead to them becoming depressed and anxious. Play games with them often to prevent this from happening and teach them new tricks to help keep their mind occupied.
It is never too late to teach them new tricks as dogs are quite intelligent and learn quite quickly.
Brush Their Teeth
Brushing their teeth is something that is often overlooked where dogs are concerned. Poor dental hygiene can lead to infections and gum diseases. You should brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis, make sure the dog treats are dental friendly ones and give them safe toys to chew.
Most dogs will happily let you brush their teeth as it freshens their mouth for them too. Your vet will examine their teeth as part of their annual check-up.
Listen To The Vet
The idea of visiting the vet once a year with your dog is to help keep them in the best health. If a minor problem is dealt with sooner rather than later, it can help to prevent it from turning into something major and causing your dog to suffer.
Your vet will also be able to advise you on how to prevent some disease from occurring. They will provide whatever vaccines are needed and generally take care of the health of your beloved dog. Guidance on keeping them parasite-free will also be given. We all know how itchy an insect bite can get but imagine that if it was under their fur as well. It is hard to stop dogs scratching which can mean the bites are more likely to get infected too.
You need to take heed of whatever advice the vet gives you, or you could end up with a very poorly dog and a huge vet bill.
Enjoy Your Time With Them
It is a sad fact that most people’s dog will die before they do and you should make the most of the time you have with them. There is no miracle that will keep them alive forever, and all you can do is your best to extend their lifespan as much as you can. Often, their breed has a bearing on the length of time they live. Good food, plenty of exercise and regular visits to the vet will all help them to live longer though, and that is totally up to you.