Dog Life Span 6 Ways To Extend Your Dogs Life Expectancy

What if I told you that there was a way to extend the average life span of your dog.

Would you believe me?

Imagine if you could make one simple change to your dogs lifestyle and by doing so increase the life expectancy of your dog by months, or even years.

Or even better: 

What if I told you there were 2, 3 or even 5 changes you could make that would not only help your dog live longer, but improve their overall health and well-being for the remainder of his/her life.

Well your in luck, because today Im going to reveal 6 effective changes you can implement Right Now! to significantly boost your dogs life expectancy.

No hype or BS just pure simple facts.

So What Is The Average Dog Life Expectancy?

Now before I answer this question I feel it is important to point out that dogs,

and I mean all dogs

Including yours

Age at different rates depending on their current age and breed

I wont go in to great detail on the subject but in todays world, there is a common misconception among many people who believe that 1 year of a humans life, equates to 7 years of a dogs life.

In simple terms this means that for every year you age, your dog will age 7. Resulting in the average dog life span to be around 11 years

However this estimate is not correct.

The truth of the matter is that dogs can live anywhere from 6 years, right up until 20 years plus.

For instance a Great Dane, one of the largest dog breeds, only has a life span of 6-8 years.

However a Chihuahua, can live anywhere from 16-20 years. Sometimes more.

Thats a pretty big difference right?

great-dane-and-chihuahuaThe reason behind this phenomenon is that larger breeds grow at an accelerated rate, which in turn causes them to age quicker, and ultimately die younger.

Allow me to explain further

The average birth weight of a Great Dane is usually within the 1-2 poundrange. But the average weight of a Great Dane at the age of 1, can be anywhere from 90 135 pounds. 

This drastic increase in weight means that by the time a Great Dane reaches his first birthday, he could potentially be over 100 times heavier than his birth weight. And by the end of his first year, research suggests that a dog of this size has will have the adult maturity of a 25 year old.

The Chihuahua on the other hand, has a birth weight between 2-5 ounces. But will reach a weight of 2-6 pounds at 1 year old. Meaning a Chihuahuas weight will be 16-20 times its birth weight by the age of 1, with an estimated maturity of a 12 year old.

As you can see thats a huge difference in doggy age in the space of just 12 months of being alive.

Pretty scary huh?

There are other factors that can have make a huge difference your dogs overall life expectancy, such as diet, lifestyle, exercise, and a few other important influences.

Lets discuss these now

Dog Life Span 6 Essential Changes You Can Make Today!

1. Proper diet & nutrition

Its an obvious one i know but there are still a large amount of pet owner who fail to understand the basic nutritional needs of their beloved canine.dog diet

For almost all dog owners it boils down to these 2 options:

  • Homemade Dog Food
  • Commercial Dog Food

While the homemade option seems great, a lack of dietary resources andproper nutritional information leads to over 60% of people buying commercial dog food on a regular basis.

Why?

Because its cheaper, requires little to no effort to prepare, and provides your dog with all the essential nutrients they will ever need.

Or Does it?

The truth is that around 80% of commercial dog food has little to no nutritional value, and can damage your dogs health if used consistently.

Its a sad fact I know but professional veterinarians and dog care experts agree that most commercial dog food is bad news.

Now dont get me wrong. I dont have a personal vendetta against commercial dog food companies, and Im not saying that every single one is bad.

But let me ask you this...

Do you really know what you are feeding your dog?

2. Regular exerciseRegular exercise

If you own a dog and your notproviding an outlet for you pet to get in his/her daily exercise then you my friend should have bought a cat.

A little harsh I know but regular exercise is essential if you wish to keep you dog healthy. Putting aside the visible benefits of exercising your dog such as maintaining a healthy weight. There are also a number of other advantages to exercising your pooch.

Stopping unwanted behavioral problems

Dogs misbehave. Its a fact.

But there is something that you, YES YOU! can do about it.

Other then the basics, like taking your dog for a walk round the block, or letting them run wild in the garden like most people do. It is important tothink outside the box and come up with new ways to exercise you dog. This will not only keep them fit, but also prevent boredom by adding variety to their daily routine.

Next time your with your dog, try hiding a few of his/her favorite toys in and around the house or garden or teach them a new trick or command. Even a simple game of fetch with a tennis ball or Frisbee will suffice. Not only are you wearing your dog out physically, but you will also be providing mental stimulation which in time will increase their brain activity, and stop unwanted behavioral problems.

Increase confidence

Did you know that there are roughly 80 million dogs living in the USA. And of that 80 million, around 20% suffer from some form of anxiety or fear. Thats 16 million dogs for those of you without a math degree.

Why am I telling you this?

Because these dogs still need exercise. Not only from a health point of view but to also help them deal with the real world.

By exercising your dog you will not only raise their confidence. But also build trust which in time, will help them establish relationships with other humans and dogs alike.

Help digestive problemsHelp digestive problems

If toilet time is a no go for your POO!-ch then exercise comes to the rescue again. Theres nothing better for the bowels then bounding around on all fours to help kick your digestive system into gear.

Add plenty of fresh, clean water into the mix, and youll have yourself one happy dog.

Help Your Dog Sleep

If Rover cant sleep then more often then not, lack of exercise is the culprit.

To cut a long story short:

Exercise = Tired Dog = Sleepy Dog = Happy Dog

Need I say more.

I could go on forever about the benefits of exercising you dog and how critical it is to improving your dogs life expectancy, but im pretty sure you get the message.

So lets move on

3. Trainingdog Training

I was a little unsure if I should include this in my list because the fact of the matter is. Trained or untrained, the obedient level of your canine has very little to do with their actual life span. You dog wont live longer just because they know how to Sit, Drop or Play Dead.

But then I got thinking

How often have you seen a dog get in to unnecessary trouble simply because they had no obedience training, or were unable to follow a simple command. It happens everyday.

Ill give you an example

A few weeks prior to writing this post, I was driving through my neighborhood when I noticed a dog running towards me. OFF LEASH! I might add. Closely followed by their owner. Pleading with the dog to stop running away.

Moments later the dog bolted out in to the road, narrowly escaping the front wheel of my vehicle.

Now it doesnt take a scientist to figure out that this dog was probably untrained. And for that reason alone, had very nearly become the victim of a nasty accident.

Ive done a little digging and found out that on average, around 1 million dogs die each year in road traffic accidents.

And the worst part is

the majority of these accidents are cause by the dog either chasing something, or running away from something like in the example above.

Although training wont physically improve your dogs health. It may well be a deciding factor to how long your dog lives. So take caution and at least consider some form of obedience training. 

4. Stress Reduction

We all get stressed from time to time. For humans it is a normal part of our lives, and for some can happen on a consistent basis. But have you ever stopped to consider stress related behavior in your dog and how it can affect their life span.

If not, then read on.

So you might be thinking

How do I know if my dog is stressed?

Well its not as difficult to spot as some people might think. Its just a case ofknowing what to look for.

When a human gets stressed for instance, you may notice a few physical and/or emotional traits they possess such as moodiness or frustration. They may become easily agitated or have low energy and/or self-esteem.

Some common stress related dog behaviors include:

Excessive Yawning

Now im not talking about when your dog wakes up from their afternoon snooze, or when they are starting to wind down for the night. Im talking about yawning on a consistent basis. This type of yawn tend to be more intenseExcessive Yawning and happen repeatedly throughout the day.

If you see your pet exhibit this behavior, consult a veterinarian ASAP.

Ears Pinned

Dogs have different types ears depending on their specific breed. But one thing they all have in common is that they are all capable of pinning them back depending on their current mood or state of mind.Ears Pinned

If you notice this behavior, remain calm and try to assess the mood of your dog. If he appears happy and relaxed then chances are everything is fine. If he seems uncomfortable in any way this could be a sign of stress.

Panting

All dogs pant at some time or another. If its a hot day or your canine has just engaged in some sort of physical activity, then panting is perfectly natural. If however, you notice your dog panting for no apparent reason. Stress could be playing a part in their behavior.dogs pant

A word of warning! 

If your dogs panting is stress related, be wary of them stopping suddenly and closing their mouth. This is asure sign that they are preparing to attack or bite. So be careful!

Avoidance 

Maybe Fido is just having an off day and wants to be on his own. Or maybe he is stressed and you just havent noticed yet.Avoidance

If your dog is looking or turning away from you, sniffing excessively, or his attention span is non existant. This can be a major indication of stress, and can often lead to behavioral problems includinganxiety, inability to socialize and even aggression in some cases.

Other Stress Related Behavior Can Include:

  • Excessive Nose Licking
  • Low Tail Position (or tail between legs)
  • Low Body Posture
  • Obvious Tension
  • Uninterested In Food Or Play

The list goes on

What Can I Do To Avoid My Dog Getting Stressed?

First and foremost, you need to find out why your dog is stressed. Have you changed part of their daily routine, changed their diet, increased or decrease their daily exercise, have you moved house. Think very carefully as sometimes it can be the tiniest little thing that causes these sudden changes in behavior.

Avoiding stress related behavior can sometimes be a simple as giving your pooch some extra love and attention. A few extra treats here and there or even increasing playtime or socialization with yourself and other dogs.

If the problem persists then it is always wise to consult a professional trainer or veterinarian.

5. Dental Caredogs teeth

Are you brushing your dogs teeth?

You should be!

It is said that a dogs mouth is much cleaner then a humans, which to some extent is true. But the fact of the matter remains that doggy dental care is just as important, if not more important then your own.

Why?

Because not only are dogs susceptible to everyday dental problems such as bad breath, yellow teeth and plaque. They are in fact vulnerable to a wide range of serious health issues including kidney, liver and even heart disease.

So lets get you on the right track

Brush Regularly

You wouldnt brush your own teeth only once a week, so why would you allow it for your dog. If youve ever left for work in a hurry and forgotten to give the pearly whites a once over, youll know exactly what I mean.

Regular brushing is key to keeping your canines teeth and gums healthy, and should therefore be brushed on a regular basis. 4-5 times a week minimum or everyday if possible.

==> DONT USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE <==

Did you see the big letters that said

==> DONT USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE <==

If not then ill say it again:

Dont and I mean Dont

Use human toothpaste.

Human toothpaste contains fluoride which is extremely harmful to dogs. It can cause stomach aches, digestive problems and can even poison your dog.

There are plenty of other great toothpastes out there made especially for dogs.

Limit Soft Foods

Soft, or wet dog food as some might call it, has a tendency to stick to your dogs teeth like gum to a park bench.

Disgusting as that may sound, this is why it important to take care when feeding your dog soft foods.

Now, im in no way indicating that you should throw out the soft stuff, lock your dog in a dark room and force him to eat dry food for the rest of his life. But instead be aware that your dogs teeth may require a little more attention then usual.

If your dog is on a soft food diet, brushing once a day is a must, as the sticky residue from their food is enough to cause serious dental problems further down the line.

Now that I think about it, they actually created a double headed toothbrush a while ago that is specifically made just for dogs. Its designed to clean the teeth and the gum line at the same time which for most owners, is a big time and stress reliever.

Start Early

As with most dog related learning. It is always better to start as early as possible.

The same can be said for your dogs oral hygiene.

Getting your pup into the habit of brushing his/her teeth when they are still young will help establish a regular routine and avoid any complications as they progress into their adult life.

6. Living conditions

Every pet requires suitable living conditions where they can learn, play and grow in a safe and secure environment.

This however is easier said then done for the majority of pet owners due to the personal circumstances of that particular person, or family for that matter.

So what I want you to ask yourself is right now is: And be honest.

Am I providing my dog with everything he/she needs to maintain a happy, healthy lifestyle. And if not

how can I change this

Now im not going to provide you with a vigorous lecture on the exact way you should raise you dog because I know for a fact, that every home is not the same.

Instead id just like to give you a little insight to the living conditions that we should all strive for, in order to provide the best possible lifestyle for our four legged friends.

Here it goes

Sleeping Arrangementsdog sleeping

Where is your dog sleeping? 

Whether it be Indoors, outdoors or on the roof, it is essential to provide your canine with adequate sleeping facilities to maintain their health. Preferably indoors, if this is possible.

Either way, when your pooch beds down for the night. It should be somewhere clean, quiet and most of all comfortable.

However if you dog does have to sleep outside for one reason or another, then you MUST! provide somewhere warm with enough room to move around and stand up without any obstructions. And of course, away from any wet weather conditions as this can, and most probably will, make your dog unwell. 

Toilet Accessdog toilet

Imagine waking in the middle of the night, bladder bursting at the seams, when you discover you have nowhere to relieve yourself.

For most dogs this is often a regular occurrence as I have yet to come across any animal with the ability to lift the toilet seat and stand on their hind legs.

This is why it is so important to provide a suitable place for your dog to relieve themselves, day or night, as and when they need to.

If your dog is forced to hold it in then 1 of 2 things is going to happen.

The little tyke is going to relieve themselves all over your nice clean carpets. This is not only bad from a potty training point of view. But can also cause anxiety problems or even coprophagia (dog eating own stool)

Your dog is going to hold it in, which can permanently damage the kidneys and decrease your dogs life span.

So what can you do to avoid this problem?

Fortunately there are a few measures you can take to ensure your dog has somewhere to go when they need to.

Walking your dog before bedtime is a great way to help deal with this problem, as well as limiting food and water intake after a certain time.

If your dog sleeps indoors then a litter tray, or even doggy pee pads placed around the house may be an idea. Although if your dog is not house trained this may not be a viable solution.

Safety

Your pet could have the best home life in the world. But all the food, fun and affection means very little if you havent taken the necessary precautions to prevent possible dangers in and around your home.

Safety matters, FACT!

You wouldnt bring a newborn baby home without first baby-proofing the place, so why would you not take the time to dog proof your house.

Just in-case your a little lost on the matter here a few dog proofing tips Ive dug up just for you!

 Restrict Access To Dangerous Areas

Dont leave your dog unsupervised in any area of your home where there arepotential dangers lurking.

A great example of this would be the kitchen, as your dog could come into contact with harmful cleaning products, medicines or even sharp kitchen utensils such as knives.

Setting up a baby gate, locking low level cabinets and covering all electrical outlets and cords is a great way to prevent your mutt gaining access to these life threatening dangers.

Tidy Up

What better motivation to keep your house clean then to stop your dog mistaking that brand new cell phone for a squeaky chew toy.

Dogs, especially young puppies, are extremely curious creatures that can  and will, sink their teeth into anything and everything they get their paws on. Especially shiny things!

So if you dont want to lose it, lock it away, or at least keep it out of sight and reach of prying little eyes.

Not only will this keep your possessions safe, it could help avoid an emergency trip to the vet to retrieve the TV remote your dog just swallowed.

Be Wary Of Choking Hazards

Curtains, blinds, plastic bags and even hanging dog leads are all potential choke hazards that could put your dog in an early grave.

If you home does contain curtains or blinds. It is imperative that you keep dangling cords out of reach. Keep plastic bags and small items such as jewelry away in a locked cupboard, or an area your canine does not have access to.

Thousands of dogs die each year from choking on household objects, so make sure your dog isnt one of them.

Lets Wrap This Up

If youve made it this far, congratulations. You can give yourself a big pat on the back.

Everything that I have outlined above can, and will have a positive effect on the overall life span of your pet.

And the best thing is, you can start putting these into practice Right Now! 

So what are you waiting for?