There are a handful of record-breaking dogs in this world that are living well beyond expectations– and we all want to know how to spend the most time possible with our beloved companions. However, the average lifespan of dogs today is shockingly only 10 years old. Contributing factors are diet, stress and lack of exercise, which in turn are all triggers for illness. In fact, 90% of canine cancers are due to these – only 10% are genetic.
We’ve asked Dog Listener Lucy Proctor to give us her top tips on how to give your dog the best chance at a long and happy life:
-Exercise. Yep, you guessed it – this is the number one thing you can do to keep your dog healthy. Swim, cycle, run and walk as much as you can, for at least two hours a day. If they’re not used to that amount, then just increase their current routine by five minutes and monitor, then increase it again by five minutes the following month and keep monitoring, your dog will tell you what they can cope with.
-Resist giving treats. Keeping your dog lean and fit is essential to a longer life. An overweight dog (especially if elderly too) will not be physically capable of walking for long periods and it will also put pressure on his joints which will cause pain. If your dog is not capable of walking, he will become stressed, depressed and obese. Watch how much your dog is eating, and only give treats occasionally.
-De-stress yourself. Dogs are incredibly intelligent and possess skills we can only dream of. They can actually smell(thanks to our sweat glands)when we have had an argument or a tough day at the office and more worryingly, they adapt and take on those stresses. This leads to all sorts of problems: anxiety, aggression, excessive barking. So, go for a run (with your dog), meditate, do yoga…do whatever it takes for you to de-stress.
-Have fun. Take your dog on holiday wherever possible – they love to explore just as much as you do. Relax and unwind with your dog, play with them often and give them the life you would want for yourself!
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