11 Ways You May Be Shortening Your Dog’s Life!
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Believe it or not, it is possible that you may be contributing to shortening your dog’s life. Providing them with love, quality food and playtime is great, but “there is a lot more that goes into raising a healthy pup,” according to PetMD. Read on to find out 11 ways that you are shortening your dog’s life.
- Allowing your dog to gain too much weight: An estimated 53 percent of dogs were overweight last year, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Another shocking statistic stated by the association is that 95 percent of these owners incorrectly identified their dogs as being at a normal weight. It is important to be able to recognize when your dog is at an unhealthy weight because being too heavy reduces their lifespan and quality of life. Dogs do not process food the same way we do, and therefore they do not need as much food as we do. Limit your dog’s food intake and be sure they are getting enough exercise to help them live a longer life. Our store carries Natural dog Food for your pup to stay fit and get all the nutrients they need!
- Neglecting your dog’s dental care: A common problem found in dogs is Periodontal disease, or gum disease. About 85 percent of dogs over five years of age suffer from this disease, according to the American Humane Society. This problem can come about after food and bacteria collect in your dog’s gums, which gathers along the gum line and forms plaque. Any buildups of bacteria can lead to a variety of health problems, including heart valve problems and infections, according to PetMD. To be sure this doesn’t happen to your pup, brush your dog’s teeth as frequently as possible and try to schedule professional cleaning sessions at least once a year.
- Skipping annual check-ups: Even if dragging your dog to the veterinarian is a serious chore, it can help save your dog’s life. Visiting the vet on an annual basis can detect any problems that require treatment and improve your pup’s life span. This is especially important if your dog is over the age of seven, or if they have a history of any previous conditions. Getting your pup scheduled for grooming services allows your dog to maintain a healthy and shiny coat all year round! Here at our Dog Fashion Spa our team can help you make sure your pup’s coat and skin stay healthy!
- Not providing daily exercise: Allowing your dog daily doses of exercise is important. Your pup will benefit from physical and mental stimulation, which will expand their lifespan. While you may not be able to visit the dog park seven days a week, make sure you’re taking your dog for a walk, playing catch in the backyard, or providing them with any other physical activity at least once a day.
- Exposing your dog to secondhand smoke: Just like humans, smoke is detrimental to canine lungs. If you, or any other members of your household, smoke be sure to stay clear of your dog when doing so. If possible, abstain from smoking yourself so you and your pups lungs can stay clear.
- Neglecting heartworm and flea and tick prevention: Heartworms, fleas, and ticks can spread diseases in your pup that have the potential to be life threatening. Fortunately, these critters and the diseases they cause are preventable through medications. Purchase the proper veterinary approved products and follow the recommended dosage guidelines for your dog to be sure they are safe from potential heartworm, flea and tick harm.
- Pushing certain breeds too hard: All dog breeds are different and require different amounts of specific care. Small, toy and brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds require different types of exercise, and should not exercise in extreme heat. These breeds, including English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Boxers, can have their lives threatened when exercising in significantly hot temperatures. Be sure to consult with a veterinarian to understand how much physical activity is appropriate for your pup.
- Feeding your dog from the table: Not only are table scraps additional calories to your dog’s diet, but they can also be unhealthy for your dog. Many human foods are high in fats and sugars, and some are even toxic to pets, according to PetMD. If it’s hard to say no to your dog’s puppy-dog-eyes, feed them meals in a separate room during dinner or slide them healthy treats like carrots or apples. Also, make yourself aware of which foods are healthy and which are unhealthy for your pet’s consumption.
- Letting your dog outside without supervision: Not keeping a watchful eye on your dog while they play outside can lead to unfortunate tragedies such as car accidents, wild animal attacks, or attacks from human beings. Even if your dog is tagged and microchipped, don’t let them outside unsupervised, according to PetMD. Also walk your dog on a leash and supervise them while playing at a park or open space.
- Not socializing your dog: Dogs who don’t socialize with other dogs can “develop anxiety and fear-related issues, even dermatologic issues, and they don’t enjoy walks in the same way,” according to expert Dr. Werber. “Similarly a dog that has no human interaction, no fun, no playtime, can get depressed.” Letting your pup meet up with other (healthy) animals and humans can help them live a happier and longer life.
- Not spaying or neutering: Expert Dr. Mahaney states that “spaying and neutering are still the best way to guarantee to reduce the risk of several cancers, let alone the behavioral issues you can see with intact dogs.” There are many affordable and safe options to provide your pup with this important procedure, which can be done at your local veterinary office. Being aware of all of these potential problems can help you help your pup lead a long and healthy life.