"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself." – Billings

 

Being the end recipient of such loyalty and devotion, any dog lover would perhaps want their pooch to live the longest and healthiest life possible. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy prolonged years of being slobbered all over and witnessing his wagging tail almost falling off every time you come home?

But remember, there’s no magic pill (not at the moment anyway), no miracle serum, no expensive treatments. Adding more years to your dog does not involve any complicated formulae - it’s just down to basic TLC.

One essential reminder for all capable dog owners is that you might be in control of so many things in your life, but your four-legged friend is not. Your choices directly affect the life of your dog and it can go one of two ways, either increasing their longevity or not.

Below is a 4-step easy guide that can add years to man’s best friend.

 

  1. Active Body, Active Mind Plus Healthy Diet

This means buying your dog quality dog food and healthy treats. This also means reading the nutritional label of dog foods and ensuring they are made of natural ingredients geared to optimize your dog’s health. Keep him away from human junk food and make sure his toys are toxic-free.

Physical and mental stimulation should not be undermined regardless of your dog’s size. Exercise him every day. Going out for walks on a leash is an activity your dog enjoys doing the most. Throw a ball or a Frisbee and have him go for it (don’t forget that you benefit from exercising too!).  Have your mutt perform tasks and tricks and reward him in the end every time. He will feel a sense of accomplishment, belonging and service.

 

          2. ‘Hello Doctor!’

Prevention is ALWAYS better than treatment and costs significantly less too. Don’t go frugal on Fido and don’t ignore or brush off any sign of a health decline, no matter how minor.  Checkups and following up a vaccination schedule would up his longevity. Better to be safe than sorry.

This is all part of being a responsible dog owner. Your dog is a part of your family, your ever-loyal friend and he should be treated as such.

 

          3. Brush, brush, brush…

You probably ask yourself - how is brushing your dog’s teeth affect his longevity? Studies show that maintaining good oral hygiene of your pet dog can significantly add more years to his life.

Plaque and tartar forming on your dog’s teeth carry harmful bacteria. These contain microscopic toxins that can easily spread to the vital organs such as kidneys, heart, liver and even the brain. Clean your dog’s teeth at least once a day to avoid this.

 

          4. Joint care

Did you know that despite good overall health a number of pet dogs get euthanized simply because their joints have naturally deteriorated and can no longer support their body weight?

Arthritis and hip dysplasia are common health issues for dogs. Go for healthy lean diet and dog food rich in phosphorous. Ask your vet for some dog joint supplements.

 

Above all, be affectionate towards your pooch. Even the most timid of dogs love attention. Don’t let your dog feel he’s alone. Dogs that are neglected and unhappy tend to have shorter lifespans. Praise and play with him. You are his whole world and you should know that by now.