One of the saddest facts of life is that dogs don't live nearly long enough. While average dog lifespans vary by breed, many dogs only live to be 10 or so years old. While your dog's lifespan is not under your control, the truth is that taking good care of their health can improve the odds of them living a longer amount of time than average for their breed. Here are a few things you can do to possibly help your dog live longer:
Opt for Annual Vet Visits
Taking your dog to the vet only when there's an emergency can be disastrous for their long-term health. Regular vet check-ups give you a baseline for their ideal health, including their weight. Your vet will make sure they are always up-to-date on shots, eliminating the risk of certain life-endangering illnesses.
Your vet will also let you know when it's time for a dental cleaning, give recommendations regarding their diet, and be able to notice any health conditions early-on when treatment is still likely to be effective and less complicated. If your vet is open limited hours, be sure to also have an emergency animal hospital where you can bring your dog after hours if they ingest something toxic or have a different type of emergency.
Invest in Quality Food
Just like with people, when dogs eat a healthy, high quality, nutrient-dense diet, they tend to have fewer health problems and longer lifespans. And luckily, there are now healthy, quality dog food options available at a variety of price points. A good rule of thumb is to look for dog food with a meat listed as the first ingredient, and with a short ingredient list full of whole foods instead of fillers and additives. You can read official ratings of various dog foods online and of course consult with your vet to get their recommendations as well.
Don't Skip the Daily Walks
Dogs need daily exercise because it fights stress, keeps them at a healthy weight, and boosts their immune system. Getting your dog into the habit of going on at least one long walk per day will help keep them healthy well into their senior years. If your dog is older and has joint pain, walks are still a good idea though you may need to shorten them and skip the jogging or steep hikes. Swimming is also great exercise for dogs and is easy on their joints.
By visiting the vet regularly and following these tips, you will be doing what you can to help your pup live a long, happy, healthy life. Contact a clinic, like Baywood Animal Hospital, for more help.