There have been a lot of articles and news programs stating that humans, overall, are living longer lives.But can the same be said for dogs? It's a little harder to gauge in dogs, since dogs have such differing lifespans depending on size. In general, the larger the dog, the shorter the life span. On average, large dogs live to be about 9 years old, whereas medium and small dogs live to be at least 12. Toy dogs have the longest average life-span, living to be 15 or older. However, most experts seem to agree that dogs are living longer, as much as twice as long as they did 40 years ago. Advancements in veterinary medicine and a better understanding of dogs' nutritional needs have helped increased the lives of furry friends. Dogs are more commonly fenced or kept inside, lowering the chances of them being hit by a car or otherwise injured. Dogs are such loyal and loving animals most people want to keep their furry friends around for as long as possible. Here are a few things you can do to help keep your dog healthy and happy for as many years as you can:
Keep him at a healthy weight.It's so easy to let your dog get overweight. When he looks at your with those sad, soulful eyes, begging for just a "little, teeny, tiny morsel of that delicious steak," it's hard to turn him down. But too many treats and/or too much, or the wrong sort, of dog food can pack on the pounds. Overweight or obese dogs are at higher risk for a whole host of diseases, including high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Feeding your dog the right food for his age, activity level, breed, and any health conditions can go a long way towards keeping him at his best weight and health.
Exercise Your Dog DailyYour dog needs at least some exercise every day. Most dogs have fenced yards or live indoors most of the time. While this keeps them safe from many dangers, it cuts down on the amount of exercise your dog would get if he were patrolling the world on his own. The type and amount of exercise your dog needs should be tempered by his age, overall health, and activity level that is natural for his breed, but dogs should get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. It will help keep him lean, his muscles toned, and will stimulate his mind.