You may be oblivious to this, but your canine companion isn’t just your best friend but more than that. Its puppy eyes cheer you up during the low time, its cuddles shoo away the stress, it offers unconditional love, stays loyal, makes you laugh during playtime, and saves you from serious health issues.
Similarly, as a pet parent, you might be going to extra lengths to ensure that your dog stays healthy and lives longer. You make all of your dog’s decisions, from minor to large. However, raising a dog is a huge responsibility. You have your pets’ best interests at heart, but you may unknowingly make mistakes that shorten your pup’s lifespan.
Let us delve a little more into this.
Ways you are shortening your dog’s life
You are doing everything to ensure the company of your best friends for the maximum number of years.
But sometimes, your innocent efforts do the reverse. The following actions may seem inconsequential, but they might cost your dog years of life.
Let’s understand how these actions shorten your dog’s lifespan.
Not managing your dog’s weight
Obese dogs are more likely to die young, so don’t overfeed your dog if you want to prevent this. Stick to a food chart created by an expert to ensure that your dog does not overheat while also getting sufficient nourishment.
The only catch is that you should not follow a generic eating plan. Follow a diet designed with your dog’s breed in mind. Each species has a different energy level, metabolism, nutrient requirements, etc.
Suppose you are a pet parent to a golden retriever puppy; you should know a few things. As previously said, do not overfeed your dog. But if it is a golden retriever, it is a very energetic dog with an insatiable appetite. If you feed it less, it may get weak and ill. But if you end up providing more, your pup will suffer from obesity.
So, how much to feed a golden retriever puppy. It depends on the food brand, the quality of the food, your dog’s age, energy level, and various other things.
So do your homework or go online for a golden retriever meal chart. In addition, exercise your dog daily to keep it fit.
Feeding your dog unhealthy food
Use extreme caution while feeding your dog since not all dog treats are nutritious. Likewise, not all human foodstuffs are harmful to your dog. Several foods can impair your pup’s health and may even prove fatal. Hence, avoid giving the following foods to your dog.
- Chocolate — Chocolate is toxic to your dog. It causes kidney damage and irregular heartbeats. Chocolates can even kill your puppy.
- Xylitol — Even a tiny amount can cause seizures, low blood sugar, liver failure, and even death if not treated quickly. As a result, avoid giving your dog candies, diet foods, chewing gum, and other items containing the artificial sweetener xylitol, also known as birch sugar.
- Onions — Can cause anemia.
- Raisins and grapes — Can cause kidney failure.
There is a comprehensive list of what you should and should not feed your dog. To make an informed dietary decision for your dog, you might refer to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration article.
Failing to vaccinate
You are making a huge mistake if you do not provide the required immunizations to your dog just because it stays indoors. Even while indoors, a dog might get an illness through infected saliva. Hence, following the vaccine schedule can save your dog from life-threatening diseases:
- Bordetella vaccine prevents respiratory disorders such as kennel cough
- Lyme, Leptospirosis, and rabies vaccines to protect against diseases from ticks and wild animals
- Canine coronavirus vaccine to prevent intestinal issues such as dehydration and diarrhea
- DHPP vaccine to prevent common dog diseases such as hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza, and parvovirus
- Canine influenza vaccine can reduce the risk of your dog catching the virus or reduce the severity if your dog catches it
You must visit your veterinarian to ensure that your dog receives the necessary vaccinations.
- Skipping annual vet visits — Can cause you to miss signs and symptoms of underlying health issues
- Not socializing your dog — Potentially makes your dog nervous, anxious, or aggressive
- Neglecting oral health — Invites dental problems and gum issues
- Exposing your dog to passive smoke – This can cause your dog to develop cancer, allergies, respiratory issues, and heart diseases
- Letting your dog roam freely – When your dog is loose, its more prone to getting injured due to car accidents, snake bites, humans with ill intentions, and other dangers
Since your dog cannot convey its suffering, you must monitor its health.
Don’t shorten your dog’s lifespan
Avoid the mistakes in this article that could shorten your dog’s lifespan and watch for warning signs such as abrupt weight loss or gain, exhaustion, not eating, abnormal feces, and other symptoms.
Be vigilant to identify underlying concerns and make sure you give your dog urgent treatment to rule out health risks.