Pet owners all want their dogs to live long and healthy lives. And there are a number of things dog owners can do to help their pets live long and live well. Here are a few.
Dogs can become overweight, and, just like humans, carrying around that extra weight can have a negative impact on the animal’s health and life expectancy. The first thing to do is find out what your pet should weigh. Many pet owners don’t realize that their dog, which may not look heavy, is actually overweight.
You also need to realize that dogs do not assimilate food the same way that humans do. Giving a dog just one ounce of cheddar cheese is the equivalent of giving a human one and a half hamburgers or three chocolate bars.
What you need to do is find out how much you can feed your dog to keep him or her at a healthy weight, and then stick to that amount.
- Dental care.
Make sure your dog receives good dental care. Most dogs over the age of five have gum disease, which can lead to many different kinds of health problems, including heart valve dysfunction and kidney disease.
Also, brush your dog’s teeth regularly.
- An annual check-up.
Make sure your dog gets one. Even if he or she looks healthy, there could be health problems lurking that haven’t revealed any symptoms yet.
Just like people, dogs need exercise. Exercise can lead to increased life expectancy for humans, and the same is true for dogs. Make sure your pet exercises every day.
- Spaying or neutering.
Not doing this can have a deleterious effect on your dog’s health. It reduces the risk of several different types of cancer, and for female dogs, it reduces the risk of mammary cancer.
- Table scraps.
These should only be given to your pet sparingly. First of all, they add calories to his or her diet, which can lead to weight gain. Another problem is that people food is usually high in fats and sugars, more than dogs should consume, which puts them at risk for such illnesses as pancreatitis.
- Heartworm, fleas and ticks.
Make sure you control these little parasites because they can spread disease.
- Social life.
Just as with humans, having an active social life helps dogs live longer. Isolated dogs develop problems with anxiety and depression.
When you need to head out of town, make sure your dog gets the socialization and exercise he or she needs by boarding your pet here at Barney’s Ranch, home to our 4,000-square-foot outdoor dog run. Call us at (469) 273-1661 for more information.