Dogs are the dearest part of a family and their innocence, loyalty and pure love are unparalleled. They spread joy and constantly remind us that the world has some goodness left. However, it seems unfair that such wonderful beings have a short lifespan around a decade long.
While the average lifespan of dogs is between 10-13 years of age, there are some dogs that even live for 25+! Wondering how!? Well, their dog parents might have taken good care of them and provided well. So if you wish for your furry friend to have a long and happy life with you, there are certain things that you need to change right now.
Mistakes That Shorten Your Pet’s Life
Most dog owners begin to neglect or overlook their dogs’ welfare as time passes. This ignorance often leads to the dog developing mental or physical illnesses that shorten his life. In this blog, you will learn about the common mistakes that are overlooked by dog owners that need rectifying immediately and improve dog life.
1. Allowing your dog to get overweight
One of the leading causes of a shortened lifespan is overweight and obesity. And it is totally upon the owner to make sure the dog maintains the correct weight. Overweight makes the dog vulnerable to a range of severe disorders including osteoarthritis, diabetes, cardiac issues, and others. So make sure that your dog is fed and exercised correctly. In case you feel that the weight gain is abrupt and seems unusual, it is best to get it checked for signs of other disorders. It is also a common mistake for owners to misjudge their dog’s weight; it will help to refer to dog size and weight charts to make sure your dog is growing positively.
2. Improper feeding
It is essential for owners to know that the amount of food and feeding intervals largely differ according to the dog’s age and breed. For instance, puppies require smaller and frequent meals, whereas adult dogs require two full meals per day. Both overfeeding and underfeeding come with serious problems – it might cause overweight or malnourishment. So take extra efforts to create a suitable, healthy, and balanced diet for your dog including nutritious and homemade fresh food and not just packed dry food. Never feed your dog scraps off the table or your food, as their digestive system is equipped to absorb such complex food.
3. Lack of physical activity
Yes, you might be caught up at work all day, but having a dog at home has some responsibilities as well. Exercising a dog is a very basic and essential need without which several complications like obesity, might arise. Larger breeds especially require a good deal of physical activity every day. When dogs are deprived of exercise, they tend to become aggressive and restless. Exercise also ensures that they are mentally stimulated and physically fit.
4. Not maintaining regular health check-ups
Most dog owners do not maintain regular check-ups and wait until the 11th hour to make a trip to the vet. This neglect can be very dangerous as serious diseases could be left undetected. Regular check-ups can ensure early detection, prevention, and treatment. So it doesn’t matter if check-ups are costly or time-consuming, never skip them.
5. Missing out vaccinations
Vaccinations are a must if you want your dog to be healthy. Dogs do not have a strong immune system and without proper vaccination, they can easily succumb to illnesses. Similarly, preventive measures for fleas and ticks and regular deworming must be maintained. Though tiny, those pests can put your pooch in serious danger.
6. Neglecting to groom
Grooming a dog is as important as feeding it. Poor grooming can cause the coat to become matted, thus allowing ticks or fleas to grow rapidly. Dogs that go outdoors regularly must be given frequent baths so that they don’t carry any harmful or infectious foreign bodies. Dental hygiene is very important and must not be overlooked. You must brush your dog’s teeth at least two to three times a week to prevent plaque accumulation and growth of bacteria. Neglecting dental care can lead to life-threatening issues in the heart, liver, and kidneys. In short, personal hygiene is a must for a healthy and long life.
7. Using unsuitable products
Most owners tend to use human products like shampoo or toothpaste for dogs as well. Sometimes they might use human medication or ointments too. This is very dangerous as a product that is safe for you might be potentially dangerous for your pooch. So make sure you invest in dog-specific products only, even though they might be costly. Also make sure you buy only trusted, verified, and authentic brands that are safe and best for your dog. Always check the expiry date and avoid buying products with added harmful substances.
8. Lack of socialisation
Sure your dog has you at home but he needs another company too! Just like you, even your dog requires a healthy social life that keeps him mentally stimulated and engaged. You can take your dog out to parks and let him meet and play with other dogs. You could also set up playdates with other dogs. Socialization keeps them happy and free from any psychological and behavioral issues.
9. Not spaying or neutering
Spaying or neutering is not just to curb reproduction but it ensures long and healthy life. In female dogs, each heat cycle increases their chances of contracting mammary or uterus cancers. Similarly, potent males are vulnerable to prostate and testicular cancers and urinary infections.
10. Lack of attention
In addition to overlooking or not fulfilling the above-mentioned factors, you could also be the direct cause of your dog’s short life by failing to spend time with your dog. This leads to psychological issues like depression or anxiety leading to major behavioral problems. Your dog loves you and his world revolves around you. They are forever loyal to you and your love and attention matter more than anything. So, no matter how long your day was, spend some time with them and show them that you care.
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