Live life to the fullest! The average life span of a dog can be pretty vague, anywhere between 5 to 14 years (source: RSPCA). There are many factors to take in to account that affect your dogs lifespan, i.e. the size, proper care, crossbreeding and whether they are spayed/neutered.
While 14 years old tends to be the average age a dog lives till, some breeds such as the New Guinea singing dog have an average lifespan of a whopping 18 years! Bear in mind that this is a wild breed of dog and there’s only around 100 of this breed in captivity.
You may have even heard of the infamous Australian Cattle Dog; Bluey, who lived for a very impressive 29 years and 5 months! Bluey passed away on the 14th of November in 1939 – long before we even existed, but will always be remembered as the worlds oldest dog! There aren’t many dogs that make it to this age, with only 10 dogs officially making it over the age of 23.
Of course, the unfortunate truth is that it’s very rare that your dog will make it to this age. There are, however, many steps you can take to extend your dogs’ life for as long as possible.
Regular Checkups and Vaccinations.
One of the most important things that can affect your dogs’ lifespan is their general health. Ensuring that they have regular checkups at your veterinarian can help prevent diseases, health problems and long-lasted issues that can’t be treated further down the line. We advise that you take your dog in 1-2 times a year if you have an older dog or 3-4 times if your dog is still a puppy/junior.
You are probably well aware of how important it is to keep your dog in good condition both physically and mentally – taking your dog for a walk can contribute towards both of these. As well as keeping your dogs’ stamina up and providing them with a means of exercise and socialising, it also allows your dog to get mental stimulation by giving them a chance to smell, hear and feel outside of their bed.
Less intensive exercise
Following up from exercising your dog daily, it is also important that if you have an older dog, you allow them time to warm up their joints before jumping in to intensive exercising such as fetching the ball or frisbee – they shouldn’t need too long to warm up, 5 or 10 minutes should do the job. Giving them time to warm up can help prevent an injury further down the line.
Allowing them to walk at their normal pace and then introducing low-level stick/ball throwing can help get them warmed up for the actual play.
Introduce a Healthy Diet
Just as exercising, it’s equally important that your dog is on a healthy diet. It can be very easy to lose track of your dogs’ weight especially when they’re sat at your lap begging for a treat! A few treats here and a couple meaty sticks there, all add up to an unbalanced diet for your pooch. The list of health problems that a dog can develop from a bad diet is never-ending and a hard one to read. Arthritis, Breathing Problems and Diabetes are some of the top problems as a result of overfeeding. If they eat wet food, we recommend making it yourself – where possible. We’ve made a guide in the past that should point you in the right direction, which you can read here. If they eat dry food/kibble, always use the measuring cup accurately to ensure they are getting their correct portion size.
Don’t stress them out
A happy dog is a healthy dog – that’s what we like to believe. When possible, ensure that your dog is in a healthy mental state and doesn’t face any unnecessary stress. Consistent loud noises, lots of people going in and out and shouting can result in stress for your dog, which could leave lasting effects on your dog such as behavioural problems and anxiety.
With RelaxMyDog, you can help combat stress, anxiety, behavioural problems and depression by ensuring your home is a relaxing environment from the beginning with our calming music.
You can try out RelaxMyDogs soothing dog music for 30 days, free of charge to see how much calmer you dog will be.
We use special frequencies and melodies designed to help your dog relax and unwind by just listening to calming piano music. There is also a TV for Dogs option to help keep your dog entertained and engaged for when you can’t be there to play with them. Give us a try and help keep your dog happy and live a longer, fuller life.
Filter your dog’s water
Tap water – and even bottled water can contain harmful containments, including, but not limited to; chlorine, pharmaceuticals and heavy metals are just some of what can be found in water, these can easily be removed by running their water through a water filter.
We’ve previously written about how you can reduce the costs of owning a dog, and the same applies here. Having pet insurance can help your dog get life-saving treatments that could otherwise cost in the region of $2,000! (source: CNBC) Insurance can allow you to provide your dog with the best treatments for cancer or arthritis which may not have been a possibility previously.
There is a lot that you can do for your dog, but there’s also a lot you can’t do. Your dog won’t live forever but by following some simply, yet extremely effective tips and routine changes, you can help extend your dogs lifespan just a bit more.
One of the best things you can do is make the most of every second with your dog. Just like anything in life, nothing is forever, and you should always live life to the fullest incase anything unfortunate was to happen.