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We all love our dogs like family, and all we want for them is to have a long, healthy, and happy life with us. Unfortunately, even with the best of care, dogs still tend to live shorter lives than us. To help your adorable furry friends to live longer, provide them with these 5 essentials for a long, healthy, blissful life.
1. Regular veterinary care. To help your dog avoid preventable diseases through timely vaccines and treatment, routine veterinary check-ups are a must. This regular veterinary care should include mandated shots like protection against rabies, leptospirosis, parvovirus, kennel cough, distemper, and Lyme disease when necessary. Remember, it’s through early diagnosis and treatment that health issues can be managed easily, and are much less costly to cure.
2. Proper dog training. Training is not merely about having a well-behaved pooch, although that’s crucial too. Whether your dog came to you as a little puppy, or as an adult adoptee, the very first thing you need to teach Fido is obedience to the most useful commands like “sit”, “stay”, “come”, and “leave it”. Never trust its previous master’s assurance that your new pet knows these basic commands- ensure that Fido acts upon them with YOU. A well-mannered, well-trained dog is less likely to run away, eat something dangerous, or ignore your commands that keep him out of harm’s way.
3. Appropriate diet & exercise. Whether you’re feeding your pooch canned dog food or dry kibble, or giving him organic or raw foods, see to it that you always choose a well-balanced doggie diet appropriate for his age, energy level, and health condition. The same attention shall be given to the special treats and other foods that you feed him. Never overfeed your dog, and as much as possible, keep his treats to only 10% or less of his diet. If your pup has some sort of special dietary needs, your vet should provide you with suitable food and treat guidelines. With adequate exercise, at least 30 minutes every day, your dog is better able to maintain a healthy weight, avoiding the problems associated with dog obesity, with have healthier bones and joints, and will be much calmer and more relaxed inside the home.
4. Plan ahead & be prepared. At one time or another, almost every dog, no matter how well trained or restrained, will find a way to break loose and go exploring. Ensure that whoever finds your pooch once he runs out of your house or pulls his leash from your hand, knows where to find you. Familiarize your dog with your neighbors, keep a collar and identification tag with a current phone number and address on your dog whenever he’s outside the home (even in the backyard!), and have him microchipped. This way, even if he loses his ID and other license tags, you can still be reunited with your dog once he’s found.
5. Neutering or spaying. Spaying your female dog prior to her first heat cycle will almost completely safeguard her from developing breast cancer and uterine infection. Neutering your male dogs, on the other hand, will make them less difficult to live with since it can make them less likely to escape from your house, seek out a female in heat, pick a fight with other dogs, and encounter any sort of trouble that a loose pooch normally gets into.