How you might be shortening your dog’s life…….

By K9 Patrol 22/02/16, Posted in Dog Training

Obesity

As good as your dog has been or as cute as they look, you need to be mindful to how many little snacks or treats you’re handing over to them. People can over-feed their dogs without even realising! Know what a healthy weight for your dog is and try and stick to it as much as you can. If they start to creep over that healthy weight, get them on a diet!

Obesity and lack of exercise in dogs will significantly reduce their lifespan because so many areas are affected by excess body fat. It can lead to bone and joint problems, issues with the digestive organs, including those responsible for breathing capacity.

Table scraps

And while you’re watching their weight, you should be watching what they eat too. You might think you’re giving your dog a real treat by handing over whatever roast meat you had for Sunday lunch, but there are some meats that you should really avoid giving them under the table.

Fatty meats like bacon and sausage can lead to upset stomachs, obesity and pancreatitis. Keep them well away from grapes, onions and certain nuts too.

Leaving them alone

Okay, we’re not saying that you have to cancel all of your social plans now that you have a dog – leaving your furry friend on its own has to happen sometimes! However, it does matter how and when you do it.

We’re sure that if you got your dog as a puppy, you are well aware of their tendency to chew on things when you’re not there. This can be caused by a variation of things, including separation anxiety and it’s not only puppies that are susceptible to it. Dogs of all ages can cause damages to homes but it’s not only your sofas that they’re ruining; they can also be causing damage to themselves by chewing materials that are not intended to be chewed.

Make sure that they’re not left alone for too long. Be aware of your dog’s moods and ensure that they have the proper training to reduce the risk of any of this happening.

Keep them clean

Brushing your dog’s teeth is also very important! By doing it regularly – even as little as weekly – you will lower the risk of any potential dental health problems. Not only will you be helping to get rid of that terrible dog breath, you’ll be protecting your pet from the potential of dental diseases leading to much larger problems. Infections can sometimes spread as far to the kidneys, lungs, heart and liver.

Second-hand smoking

Just like people, dogs are also affected by second-hand smoke exposure. Research has found that the effect of the smoke being inhaled depends on the length of a dog’s nose; long-nosed dogs have higher incidents of nasal cancer, whilst shorter-nosed dogs inhale the smoke completely leading to a higher chance of lung cancer.

Our four-legged friends can be affected by smoke exposure by, not only inhaling it, but also ingesting it by licking their fur after smoke has settled on it. This can cause similar symptoms to a human smoker, including coughing and wheezing.

We all try our best to keep our dogs happy and healthy, but there are some things that you may be doing that could be affecting your little pup.

Not microchipping

So many pets get lost every year, and sadly some of them don’t find their way home. Collars and tags can easily fall off or be removed, meaning that your pet can be unidentifiable and unable to be located if they are lost. This is why it’s so important and so beneficial to get your dog microchipped.

Not only does having a microchip mean that that they can easily be scanned to retrieve your information if they ever did go missing, but it also grants you peace of mind about the safety of your dog.

Going to the vet

You probably think you’re doing your dog a favour by letting them avoid that vet check up, right? But just because they’re not there barking and whining at the vet doesn’t mean it’s doing them any good. Regular vet check-ups are essential to maintaining your dog’s health.

Vets will make sure that there are no problems and can determine any underlying conditions before they get too serious. We think it’s more than worth a few barks and squeals to make sure they’re completely happy and healthy!

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