If you have just brought home a new puppy, you are probably not too worried about its life expectancy, as the average life expectancy of a dog is somewhere between 10-15 years. Some dogs live much longer than average, so as your dog gets older, you will probably want to know what you can do to keep them healthy.
Are there things you can do to increase his life expectancy? The life of a dog is partly determined by its genetics. His future is not set in stone, but you can tell the difference from how you take care of him. The earlier you start some of these changes, the better, so start right away.
Here are some important tips:
- Limit feeding so that your dog stays lean.
- Feed your dog a homemade diet.
- Brush your dog daily.
- Examine your dog every week at home and take care of any problems you find immediately.
- Provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
Average life expectancy of some popular dog breeds
|Bernese Mountain Dog||8|
How long will my mixed breed dog live?
It is difficult to estimate the life expectancy of some purebred dogs and even more difficult if the dog is a crossbreed. The best assessment you can make is based on the size, weight, and genetic background of your dog.
For example, if your dog is a crossbreed in a laboratory and looks a lot like a laboratory, he will probably live a little more than 10 years. If your dog is a Poodle crossbreed, he can survive much longer – maybe about 14 years.
If you need help guessing your dog’s likely life expectancy, leave a good description of it in the comments section.
Why should I keep my dog thin?
- Numerous studies on longevity in humans reveal that thin people live longer. In addition to putting less stress on their heart and joints, insulin levels are lower and this may be the reason for their longer life.
- A British study showed that puppies fed a 25% calorie restricted diet lived about 2 years longer than those fed a normal diet. They also had fewer joint diseases as they got older.
- Overweight puppies stress their joints as they grow and tend to develop arthritis as they age. An older, thin dog with arthritis may not even show clinical signs, while an obese dog will have trouble getting out of bed or even going outside to pee.
Why should I feed my dog a home-made raw diet?
- Although there are no studies to prove that a home-made prey diet is more effective in increasing your dog’s life, there was a study done by European researchers and they found that dogs fed with any home diet lived almost three years longer than on a commercial diet,
- Eating a quality commercial diet can help your dog live longer, but there is no evidence of this. Pet food is not as regulated as human food, and if a company decides to make a claim for its food, no one can stop it. None of the dry dog foods sold to keep your dog longer have been tested.
- Some breeders and rescue organizations recommend a raw diet because the mare in dog food is so often composed of corn and other fillers. A raw diet consisting mainly of bones and raw meat will meet his needs naturally, without the use of grains, which can cause joint diseases that will reduce the life expectancy of the dog.
- Feeding your dog raw bones as part of his diet can prevent him from developing dental disease until he is very old. Dental disease is present in most dogs fed kibbutz until the age of three; oral infections, especially when they become systemic, will lead to a shorter life. If your dog has bad teeth, he will have to brush his teeth every day, even if he is eating bones, and he may still need to brush his teeth once a year.
How about vegan food for my dog?
Since dogs do well with most foods, it’s a good idea to feed your dog a homemade vegan diet as long as you meet his needs. One of the longest living dogs in the UK was a crossbreed car that ate a homemade vegan diet. He lived to 27, but the problem with the anecdotal evidence is that we don’t know how long he would live on another diet. Would you live to be 29 on a home-cooked raw diet? (The Australian dog, who died at the age of 29, eats mostly raw kangaroo meat and bones.) Would he die at the age of 25 on cheap dry dog food? No one knows.
I have seen puppies suffer from malnutrition when they are fed a homemade vegan diet, so during the rapid growth phase it is a good idea to include them in an animal protein diet. There are also commercial vegan dog foods in some areas, so if you are morally against providing your puppy with animal protein, this may be an option.
What supplements will make my dog last longer?
- Omega fatty acids : Dogs need polyunsaturated fats in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and prevent painful joints when they are small. Fatty acids can also reduce joint pain as they age. Because omega-6 fatty acids will be present in so many parts of his diet, it is important to supplement omega-3 acids with sardines and good quality fish oil.
- Antioxidants : These supplements are important as they destroy free radicals that will lead to your dog’s age. If your dog is on a home diet, some of the raw vegetables we feed our dogs contain high levels of antioxidants. I give my dogs acerola. This amazing fruit provides a high level of vitamin C, one of the most effective antioxidants available. Although dogs are known to produce their own vitamin C, this is not enough to meet the body’s needs.
- Probiotics : These are the good bacteria your dog needs to stay young. I allow my dogs to consume all the fresh horse manure they want to keep healthy, but if that’s not possible (or you don’t want to deal with the smell), give your dog yogurt, kefir, or one of the commercial probiotic supplements.
- Glucosamine : This supplement will slow down the aging of your dogs by reducing inflammation in his joints. When you eat a raw food diet that includes chicken legs, beef trachea or beef tails, glucosamine is now available to your dog. If you are not feeding your dog properly, you will need to buy commercial supplements that may or may not contain the amount of glucosamine advertised on the label.
Why do I have to raise my dog every day?
- In addition to making your dog feel good and reducing tossing, daily combing or brushing will also allow you to look for skin problems and catch any small tumors or other diseases early.
- Part of the daily grooming procedure should include brushing the teeth of those dogs that need it. Most dogs over the age of three will have diseases of the oral cavity, and unless they take care of their teeth, plaque will develop into tartar and pockets of bacteria will develop below the gum line. These infections will shorten the life expectancy of your dog.
Why do I have to examine my dog every week?
- Good maintenance will alert you to most problems before they become serious. The comprehensive weekly self-examination should also be done at home, as it only takes a few minutes of your time.
- When you notice a problem during the home exam, you should look at it by a veterinarian. Start treatment immediately so that your dog has a better chance of living a long life.
- Although you take a weekly exam for your dog, you should take it for annual or bi-annual exams when he gets older. A higher exam and blood screening can catch a problem early that will shorten your dog’s life.
Will the exercise make my dog live longer?
Adequate daily exercise will keep your dog thin, which is one of the most important factors in increasing his life. Walking briskly several times a day will also prolong his life. Mental stimulation during exercise is also important to prevent the dog from developing memory loss in old age. It may even be important to prevent the development of canine cognitive dysfunction (canine dementia).
Other tips that can help
- Use natural methods to control fleas and ticks. Current and oral flea and tick chemicals on the market today are tested and approved for use in dogs. Unfortunately, they were tested on several animals and even then it was only for a very short period of time. When released, they are applied for the life of the dog and the dog must work his black hour overtime to remove them from the body every month. Natural methods to control fleas and ticks work and will also prolong the life of your dog.
- Do not vaccinate too much. When applied properly, vaccines are great and have saved many dog lives over the years. However, they are not medically necessary every year, and in some dogs they can cause side effects that will limit their lives.
- Dogs that get sick are more likely to die young. Deworm your dog if necessary and give heartworm prophylaxis monthly.
- Treat a heartworm. No one can give you a final age if you want to know how long your dog can live with a heartworm, or how soon it will die if it is infected with the worm. Small dogs have much more heart damage with a small load of worms, and larger dogs are able to withstand a mild infection without showing much clinical symptoms. If your dog is infected and does not show many clinical signs, I recommend the slow killing method as it is less stressful and can help him enjoy the years he has left.
- Consider supplements that can help prevent cancer. If your dog is a member of a breed prone to cancer, you can try supplementing with omega fatty acids and antioxidants. If he develops cancer, your dog will probably die young even if you follow the treatment recommendations of your local veterinarian. Dogs with hemangiosarcoma usually live only a few months. Dogs with untreated osteosarcoma can live only a few months and even with aggressive treatment are likely to die within 6 months; when dogs with lymphoma are treated by a veterinarian, they can last for a year.
- Genetics matters. If you hope to own an Irish Wolfhound or a Bernese Mountain Dog for the rest of your life, then your life will not be your most important concern. However, if you love all dogs and want to find a companion who will be with you for many years, choose a breed that has a long lifespan. Genetics matters.