If you are a canine lover, you will probably know the ins and outs of dog breeds. The temperament of a dog depends greatly on its breed. Some breeds have a reputation for being gentle, while others are considered aggressive. Although all dogs don’t have breed-specific traits, humans generalize and categorize them.
Pitbulls fall under the stereotype of a vicious and aggressive breed. Statistics suggest otherwise, as the count of Pitbull mixes in the United States is 4.5 million, which makes up 6% of all dogs in the country. While the breed is common for service and guard duties, families also adopt these dogs.
According to the American Foundation, Pitbulls make great family pets, provided they get a positive environment. If you adopt a Pitbull, you can make it a happy and docile pet with good care, training, and bonding.
Like any pet parent, you will want it to live a long and healthy life. Fortunately, you can do your bit to prolong its lifespan. Let us share a few canine care tips you can rely on.
Set realistic expectations
All dog breeds have an average life expectancy, with some living longer than others. Setting realistic expectations is important for pet parents. You can expect your pitbull to stay around for a reasonably long time, as they average from 8 to 16 years.
But there are some exceptions. A merle pitbull, which has a distinct coat with patches, lives for 12-15 years, but a double merle pitbull has a much shorter life expectancy.
According to New Pitbull, the double merle type inherits two copies of the merle gene, one coming from each parent. While these genes add extra spots to the dog’s coat, they also make it prone to genetic health issues. The dog may have vision and hearing impairments, immune system deficiencies, and skin problems by birth.
Watch for underlying health issues
While the life expectancy statistics are reliable, they are just averages. The numbers may vary for dogs according to their general health.
As a pitbull owner, you can take a proactive approach by paying attention to your pet’s underlying health issues. Start by buying it from a trustworthy breeder because they invest in DNA screening of parent dogs to ensure genetically-sound offspring.
Regular checks and tests for your Pitbull pup should be on your checklist. They help you detect the health conditions and risks at early stages and get treatment sooner than later.
Research the potential health conditions common with the breed and watch out for unusual symptoms. Early detection and treatment can prolong your pet’s life, so never skimp on them.
Go the extra mile with nutrition
Did you know that canine nutrition can affect longevity? Feeding the right foods and skipping the wrong ones can make all the difference.
Some foods are toxic for dogs, even if they may be your favorites. Always stick with high-quality and trusted dog food brands to ensure proper nutrition for your pet.
You can see a dog nutritionist to get a diet chart for your pitbull according to its nutritional requirements and health conditions.
Besides choosing the right diet, avoid overfeeding because an overweight canine may develop health issues and lose years of life.
Ensure regular exercise
Like diet, exercise is another factor that can add years to your canine companion’s life. Adequate exercise keeps it fit and healthy, translating into a longer lifespan. A daily brisk walk is an ideal exercise for dogs and owners. You can also add some activities at home with daily playtime.
While you take your pet outdoors for physical exercise, find ways to provide mental stimulation. Mental exercises are crucial for senior dogs as they curb age-related memory loss or canine cognitive dysfunction down the line.
Provide a safe environment
Health issues are not the only reason that can cut short your Pitbull’s lifespan.
Mishaps are also a concern. Create a safe environment at home when you adopt a pup. Indoor dogs are safer compared because they are less likely to bear exposure to infection or fall prey to accidents. But you cannot keep your canine cooped in at all times.
Stay close and never leave your pet unattended outdoors. You can secure your backyard with a fence to keep your pet safe outdoors. Avoid leaving it out during hot summer days or overnight in winter because heat stroke or hypothermia can be fatal.
A final word on Pitbulls
Pitbull is a hardy breed, with an average lifespan exceeding a decade. You can invest in its care and well-being to maximize longevity and ensure good health over the years.
A little TLC is all you need to raise a healthy and happy Pitbull.