Any dog owner would be devastated to know that he or she is unconsciously shortening the life of a beloved pet. However, many pet owners unknowing decrease the lifespan of their dogs by engaging in a number of bad habits. Are you guilty of any of these five habits that can shorten a dog’s life?
Overfeeding Your Dog
Canine obesity is one of the most prevalent problems for household pets worldwide. Excessive portion sizes, table scraps, and being too liberal with treats are all to blame. The dangers of a dog being overweight or obese (i.e. more than 20% overweight) include diabetes, cancer, liver and kidney dysfunction, and thyroid disease.
Too Little Exercise
Alternatively, a dog may become overweight because of inadequate exercise. From an evolutionary perspective, dogs were designed to be nomadic animals, driven to roam or work. When they are denied regular exercise, they are likely to suffer both mentally and physically. Dogs, like humans, require exercise to strengthen their cardiovascular systems and maintain good health. More information about the importance of exercise for your dog can be found here.
Ignoring Preventative Care
Dogs should receive an annual checkup once per year, during which they will receive preventative vaccinations and medications. Fleas, ticks, heartworm, and other parasites are all entirely preventable, yet can cause life-threatening diseases that can shorten a dog’s life by causing devastating illness. During an annual exam, veterinarians can also catch abnormalities before they become more serious problems.
Second hand smoke affects dogs in a similar manner as humans, reducing the function of lung tissue and increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. For dogs, nasal and lung cancer are most common, while allergies and respiratory problems can also occur.
Avoiding Dental Care
Giving dogs proper dental care is one of the easiest ways to prevent disease in pets. When plaque and tartar build up on tooth enamel, periodontal disease can occur. Bad bacteria enter the bloodstream, causing cardiovascular disease. There are many ways to care for a dog’s teeth, including dental treats, regular tooth brushing, and periodic teeth cleaning by a veterinary professional.
Even the most well-meaning dog owners may be inadvertently engaging in behaviors that can shorten a dog’s life. If you find yourself making any of these mistakes, even small changes can be beneficial in providing your dog with a long and happy life!
Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals.The Actijoy blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.