7 Tips for Making Your Dog Live Longer

7 Tips for Making Your Dog Live Longer

Author WDF Staff


One of the worst things about dog ownership is the fact that dogs live shorter than us. If everything was right with the world, our dogs would stay with us until we die. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. For now, we will settle with spending 10+ years with the best possible companion you can ever wish for.

The good news is that we can influence our dog’s quality of life and longevity. If we take this advice and follow these 7 tips to help our dogs live longer, we can keep our furry friends with us for as long as possible. Here’s what you should keep in mind if you want to prolong your dog’s life;

1. Nutrition

The most important thing you can do for your dog is - provide them with high-quality, age-appropriate dog food. If your dog’s diet is bad, it can lead to different health issues like diabetes, obesity, pancreatitis, and cardiovascular diseases. As you can imagine, all of these things will significantly impact your dog’s life expectancy.

old dog tongue

Luckily, there are high-quality dietary options for our dogs. You can pick from a large number of industrial dog food brands that will provide a healthy, supportive diet for your beloved dog. If you consider yourself a good cook, you can always prepare your dog’s food at home. However, talk to a canine nutritionist and make sure you include all the nutrients your dog might need.

2. Pick the right dog

This might seem like an odd piece of advice, but if you’re worried about your dog leaving you too soon, you should know how to pick the right dog. Certain dog breeds live longer, and as a general rule, small dog breeds have a longer life expectancy than large or giant breeds. This is a bit odd because, in the animal kingdom, large animals like elephants or blue whales live a lot longer than tiny mammals.

The second thing you should do is - pick a dog from a good breeder. Adopting a dog is noble, but it comes with its downsides, like unknown family history. Good breeders only breed healthy dogs and make sure their ancestors are free from genetic diseases. This is the best possible start your dog can get in life.

Want to know which breeds are the healthiest? Check out this article - Top 7 Healthiest Dog Breeds.

3. Train your dog

Training should be a crucial part of every dog’s life. Even more so, if you know that training could potentially save your dog’s life. You already know that dogs love eating things they come across on their walks. Unfortunately, our environment is full of things that can poison our dogs. Things like pesticides, mushrooms, human foods, rat poison, cleaning supplies, or antifreeze can kill a dog in no time. That’s where training comes into play.

golden-retriever senior

If you teach your dog commands like “No,” “Leave it,” or “Drop it,” you can save your dog’s life. Your dog might grab something in their mouth, and before they get the chance to swallow it, a simple “Drop it” command can mean the difference between life and death. In that case, training is literally a life-saver.

4. Dog-proof your home

This tip is an extension of tip #3 - dog-proof your home. As you can see, our homes are filled with things that can harm our dogs. While you might enjoy a bit of the incredible taste of chocolate, your dog might get very hurt if they eat it. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and that is not the only human food that could harm your dog. Things like onions, garlic, or anything that contains xylitol, like human toothpaste, can poison your dog in your own home.

It is crucial that you make sure your dog can’t reach toxic things. Keep your cleaning supplies locked away, your alcohol stored securely, and don’t leave out food that can kill your dog. They are naturally curious, and it is up to their owners to make sure their dogs don’t accidentally get poisoned by things they left in places dogs can reach.

5. Educate yourself

This is an aspect whose importance many dog owners don’t realize right away. If you want to help your dog live healthy as long as possible, you have to educate yourself about different aspects of your dog’s life and overall health. Learn about canine nutrition, veterinary practices, training, socialization, and diseases.

border collie

Perhaps the most important thing to learn about is the different diseases your dog’s breed is prone to. Dog breeds are generally healthy, but some breeds are prone to certain health concerns. If you learn about them, their treatment, and their symptoms, you might notice them early. That means you can start treating your dog earlier and prevent the disease from severely impacting your dog’s life.

6. Veterinary care

One of the most important things for your dog’s overall health is regular vet visits. Your vet can notice things most of us can’t. If you take your dog regularly for vet check-ups, you might uncover developing issues and prevent them. The sooner you begin treating a possible health concern, the better are your dog’s chances of recovering. For example, cancer in the early stages is far less deadly than cancer that has spread.

Your vet is your ally, and even though you might spend a bit more money, your dog will have a healthier and longer life if you check them regularly. Our advice is to never skip vet appointments. As soon as you notice something’s wrong with your dog, call your vet and make sure they know what’s going on.

black puppy

7. Prepare for different things

Being a dog owner means dealing with things you didn’t expect. In fact, being a human means the same thing. Things will happen, and despite your best effort, your dog might swallow something toxic or get sick. If that happens, you want to be prepared for any scenario. Make sure you know your emergency contacts, have your dog microchipped, and have your vet on speed dial.

Another thing you should probably do is - save money. Dog insurance is great, but it won’t cover all possible expenses. You should save some money for emergencies like surgery or other expensive treatments your dog might require. This is one of those things where preparedness can make a world of difference.

World Dog Finder team

World Dog Finder Logo