Updated by Sheryl on Sep 8, 2021
Your dog will grow in a blink of an eye. And as he gets older, the thought of losing him one day will grow along with him. We want our dogs to live forever. And fortunately, dogs are living longer than before now.
In 2013, a beagle, dachshund mix dog named Max peacefully died at the age of 29. Max’s case was an odd exception. But there are many cases where dogs live a much greater life than their natural lifespan before.
Though dogs have a much shorter lifespan than we do, we can help them live as much longer lives as possible by making simple changes in their lifestyles.
Here are a few tips on how to help your dog live longer. Some breeds do live longer than others, but these 6 tips will work for every dog living on this planet.
Every dog species lives upto a certain time. But, there are a lot of other factors which affect a dog’s long lifespan.
How long will a dog live has a lot to do with its size. Large size dogs naturally have a shorter lifetime as compared to small and medium-sized dogs. Statistically, only 30% of the large size dogs live more than 10 years. Whereas 40%of the smaller dogs live ten years or even more.
Largest dogs such as Saint Bernards, Irish Wolfhounds, Bullmastiffs, Great Dane can live only 6 to 8 years on average. You will hardly find a 14-15-year-old mastiff. On the contrary, a Chihuahua is among a long lifespan dog who lives 15 years on average and sometimes more. Researchers believe it’s because larger dogs age much faster than smaller dogs.
Besides the size, genetics also play a big role in their ageing. Like humans, certain dogs are prone to certain diseases at some age which is pre-determined by their genes.
Statistical results show that golden retrievers, rottweilers, German shepherds, and boxers are at higher risks of developing cancer than other breeds.
Inbreeding in pure-breed dogs can cause many health issues, which is not a concern for mixed breeds or mutts. If you are getting a pure-breed dog, take a note on how long its ancestors have lived and what they usually die off. You will have an idea of your dog's life expectancy.
Research shows that female dogs can live 2 - 3 years more than their male equivalents. Basically, stats for long-living dogs include smaller dogs, female dogs, and mixed-breeds more than the rest.
Spaying and neutering also have an impact on your dog’s long lifespan. Spaying and neutering reduce the chances of cancer and other complications associated with reproductive organs.
We understand that it becomes very hard for you when the little pet looks at you with those sad, pitiful eyes, drooling and begging for an extra treat. But overfeeding your dog or feeding the wrong type of dog food can make him obese. Obesity is a serious concern for dogs as it leads to many health problems, including diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, and even cancer.
Also, dogs who don’t have a nutritious diet while they are young grow up with a weak immune response and are more prone to health problems. So, you need to feed your dog based on his species, age, and activity. Highly active dogs, elderly dogs, puppies, and dogs with certain medical conditions will have different nutritional needs. Some pets also have allergic reactions to some foods. So, seek the help of a vet for a healthy diet plan to keep your dog in his best shape and health. Maybe an automatic pet feeder is a nice choice.
Just like humans. Regular exercising makes a dog happier and healthier. Exercise is proven to increase endorphin levels, lowers stress, and helps to keep a positive mind and emotions in dogs. Regular exercise keeps a dog in good shape, aids in good cardiovascular health, and keeps the muscles strong and flexible joints. For example, you can play some interactive games with your dog or give him a funny chasing toy.
Remember, not every exercise is suitable for every other dog. While some dogs require strenuous exercise to be in good shape and mental state, some need to perform lighter exercises like dogs with hip dysplasia. Arthritis-prone dogs should involve in exercises that don't put much pressure on the joints like swimming.
Dogs recovering from some injury, pregnant dogs, older dogs, and dogs with special conditions should do safe exercises. In this case, it's better to consult a vet for safe exercise tips.
Dogs are intelligent creatures. It means they need to exercise their brains as well. A bored dog often becomes destructive, depressed, or even sick. So, you must give them some activities to keep their brains working and help them live longer.
You can give them food puzzles. Toys that have hidden foods inside them encourage a dog to use his brain and keep him from getting bored. Try to teach your dogs new tricks, play games that help socialize, give them puzzles and teach new skills.
You can enroll your aging dog in an obedience class. Always be patient. Small treats and lots of praise help dogs to stay young at heart. Just keep a count on the extra calories that the treats have.
Maintaining good dental hygiene is crucial for dogs. Sadly, it's often overlooked. You need to brush your dog’s teeth regularly or at least thrice a week as poor dental health can result in many health complications and shorten the time of long lifespan dogs.
Don’t worry. It’s easy to maintain good dental health for your dog. Just brush his teeth regularly and visit the vet annually for a full dental checkup. You can provide him with safe chew toys and treats to reduce the chances of getting an infection.
Every dog owner must visit the vet once a year for a general wellness checkup and twice a year as he gets old. Wellness checkups help to retain optimal health. It keeps a record of your dog's health history and helps the vet detect a concern at an early stage, allowing him to start the treatment as soon as possible, giving your dog the best shot to live his full life.
One of the best things you can do for your bow-wow that costs nothing is your love and care. There’s nothing in this world that makes him happier than the time you spend with him. He wants all of your love; he loves to be pet, rubs on his favorite spots, and enjoys the time when you praise him telling him how much of a good boy he is. When away from his owner, a dog becomes depressed, sick and his health declined. So, give your dog your undivided attention and show him your love to help him live the longest life possible.
The sad story of every dog owner is that they outlive their beloved pets. Fatefully, there’s no way you can make your dog live a long life that’s far beyond the natural lifespan of their breed. But you can surely give them some extra years by taking proper care, going for routine veterinary visits, and keeping their body and mind active.
Your time together is limited. So, take care of the things mentioned above and relish every moment.