You’ll rarely meet a person who doesn’t love dogs. Sure, they may not love dogs as much as you do, but they don’t hate them exactly. Even those who had a bad experience with dogs learn to forgive and forget later on. There’s something about these canine animals that humans are drawn to. Simply put, when they said dogs are a man’s best friend, they weren’t lying. Dogs are one of the best things to happen in our lives. Fact is, we don’t even deserve them.
And that’s what scary about falling in love with dogs. Barring any accident or illness, you know that you’re going to outlive them. They’re going to break your heart, the same heart that they mended and tended during all the years they spent with you. And yet, people can’t seem to stop wanting to have dogs. At some point, your kids will even ask you repeatedly and obsessively to get another dog for them.
The question now is, how do you prolong the life of your dog? If you have a small breed such as a Shih Tzu, how are you going to make sure it lives far beyond the average 12 to 15 years? For larger dogs, can you beat seven or eight years?
Keep Dogs at a Healthy Weight
Always keep your dogs at a healthy weight. It’s tempting to give them all the treats they want because they look so cute and cuddly when they have more meat in their bodies. However, obesity is bad for dogs (as much as it is bad for people, too). You can try giving them vegan dog food because this has a host of benefits. It’s great for dogs with allergies, as well as those with problems with their weight. Anytime your dogs have to lose weight, switch them to a healthier version of their dog food.
That being said, you shouldn’t give them table food. An occasional strip of bacon is fine, but if you go beyond what’s normal, the salt, sugar, and preservatives in table food will affect the dogs’ health. The dogs’ livers are not made to process the food that humans eat, so try not to give them these “treats.”
Limit the Number of Pets
Here’s a little fact that people don’t know affects the lives of their dogs. In Singapore, the government has limits on the number of pets you can own. Only a maximum of three dogs is allowed per household. If you want to take care of more, you will need a special permit. Also, you will be subjected to an investigation to make sure that you can take care of that many dogs in your house.
Why is this important? You’ll take care of your dogs better when you don’t have to feed all 12 of them. Putting the number to a manageable size makes taking care of them more affordable and practical. Think about the quality of life you can provide for them.
Get Them to Exercise With You
Some dogs tend to be lazy. Whether it’s because of their breeds or their personalities, don’t let them sleep all day. Take them for walks, joggings, and such. Never let them get so fat that they can’t walk anymore. Normally, dogs love to do some exercises with you. They love the idea of this being their bonding moments with you.
Brush Their Teeth Regularly
Similar to people, dogs need to have their teeth brushed regularly. If you don’t, the bacteria from their gums will travel down their intestines and into their stomachs. The bacteria living inside their mouths bring plenty of diseases. Many of these will be untreatable.
Take Him to the Vet
Dogs should have regular shots of anti-rabies, deworm, heartworms, and many more. Make sure to work these into your budget. Or better yet, get pet insurance for them if that’s available in your country. A licensed veterinarian will know what to do in case your dog gets sick. They will give you tips on how to take care of your dogs. A regular visit to the vet will determine illnesses long before they become problems.
It’s always hard to accept that your dogs are not going to live as long as you. Somehow, no matter how much you care for and love them, they are going to break your heart in the most inexplicable of ways. So, while they’re with you, nurture and love them. Make sure they know that you’re doing your best to prolong their stay with you.