There are a lot of things that can shorten your pet’s life. Some of them may be things that you wouldn’t expect. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common things that can cause harm to your pet and lead to an early death. We will also provide tips on how to prevent these things from happening. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Allowing Too Much Weight Gain
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 53% of dogs are overweight. Furthermore, the association discovered that 95% of these obese dog owners incorrectly believed their pets to be at a healthy weight. Letting your dog become excessively obese can reduce his lifespan and his quality of life. When a dog eats one ounce of cheddar cheese, it is equivalent in calories to a human eating 1.5 burgers or three chocolate bars. It’s not just people’s food that causes the problem; some dogs have way too much dog food or treats. Limiting the amount of people food you give your dog and ensuring that you are monitoring his kibble intake is extremely important. Pet parents should also increase their overweight pets’ exercise routines, even if it means doing so in a creative manner. If it’s chilly outdoors or the owner can’t go outside much, put a leash on your dog and walk around the house a few times. If your pet is resistant to walking, try playing catch in the backyard or visiting a nearby park. If the weight still isn’t coming off, consult your veterinarian, as they may want to put your pet on a dietary program. Your veterinarian may be able to assist you in determining an underlying condition, such as hypothyroidism, that is causing weight gain.
Neglecting Dental Care
Gum disease (periodontal disease), which affects approximately 70% of dogs, is a typical problem. According to the American Humane Society, veterinarians believe that 85% of dogs over the age of five years are afflicted with periodontal disease, which develops after food and germs collect along the gum line and form plaque in their mouths. Oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause problems in other organs, including the heart.
You can help prevent gum disease by brushing your dog’s teeth regularly. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, there are a variety of oral rinses and dental treats available that can help reduce plaque buildup. It would be best to take your pet to the vet for regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings.
Skipping Annual Checkups
While it may be inconvenient to take your pet to the veterinarian every year, doing so may save his life. Getting your dog seen by a doctor only once or twice a year can help extend his life. Even seemingly healthy dogs need annual physicals. Even if your dog is acting normally, something could be wrong with him. A routine physical examination can help catch these problems early. The veterinarian will perform a nose-to-tail examination during your pet’s annual checkup. The vet will also update your dog’s vaccinations and test for heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal condition that is transmitted by mosquitoes. If left untreated, heartworm disease can cause damage to the heart, lungs, and other organs.
Not Enough Exercise
Dogs, like people, need to exercise to stay healthy. A lack of exercise can lead to obesity, which we discussed earlier. It can also lead to behavioral problems, such as boredom and destructiveness. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise are also more likely to develop joint problems later in life. The amount of exercise your dog needs depends on his age, breed, and overall health. Most dogs need at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. If your dog isn’t used to exercising, start slowly and increase the amount of time you spend walking or playing with him each day.
You may not realize it, but smoking around your dog can shorten his life. Second-hand smoke contains more than 4000 chemicals, including over 50 carcinogens. These chemicals can damage your dog’s lungs and other organs. If you smoke, do so outside and away from your dog. You should also avoid taking your dog to places where people are smoking. Dogs exposed to second-hand smoke are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer, nasal cancer, and other respiratory problems.
Not Neutering Or Spaying
If you have a male dog, he should be neutered. Neutering can help reduce aggression and roaming behaviors. It can also help prevent testicular cancer. Female dogs should also be spayed. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer. It can also help reduce the risk of your dog getting lost or stolen. Dogs that are not spayed or neutered are also at an increased risk of developing prostate problems later in life. Prostate problems are one of the most common health problems in older dogs. If you’re not planning on breeding your dog, make sure to have him neutered or spayed. This simple procedure can go a long way in prolonging your pet’s life.
In conclusion, many different things can shorten your dog’s life. Some of these things, such as not getting enough exercise or being exposed to second-hand smoke, are within your control. Others, such as puppy mills and hereditary conditions, are not. By taking care of your dog and ensuring he lives a healthy lifestyle, you can help prolong his life. And while no one knows for sure how long their dog will live, the bond you share with him is sure to last a lifetime.