Does dog diet matter? If you want your best buddy to live as long as possible, yes, it matters a lot. Here’s why
Though it depends on the breed, most dogs only live between eight and 11 years.
Thankfully, you can help extend your best friend’s lifespan with the right healthy habits.
Here are nine tips to help extend those dog years. With a quality dog diet and the right lifestyle choices, you can ensure your pooch lives healthier, longer.
1. Choose a Balanced, Nutritious Diet
To start improving your best friend’s dog diet, take a look at what they’re eating.
A balanced diet can make sure your dog looks and feels their best. However, it’s important they have the right nutrients in their daily diet. This includes:
The right balance of these dog diet essentials can ensure your pup grows into a healthy pooch.
However, determining the right food for your dog depends on their breed and age. To develop the right dog diet, speak with your veterinarian or research your dog’s breed.
If the food you’re currently feeding your dog is just right, you’ll notice:
- Healthy skin and coat
- Firm and brown stools
- Tail-wagging happiness
If it seems like your pet is missing essential nutrients, trying adding fresh whole foods to their dog diet.
This includes fruits and vegetables, which are brimming with live enzymes. These whole foods will add fiber to their diet as well, which will improve their digestion.
Since most nutrients are destroyed once the food is cooked, whole, raw food can help your dog get the nutrients they need.
However, there are some fruits and vegetables to avoid, so make sure you do your research.
Inflammation causes a number of diseases in human and dogs alike.
In fact, inflammation can cause you and your dog to prematurely age.
Processed commercial foods can cause inflammation and inflammation-related diseases. This includes arthritis and pancreatitis.
To avoid these health issues, try giving your dog anti-inflammatory foods such as quality phytoplankton.
In addition to reducing inflammation, phytoplankton also improves cellular function, reduces anxiety, increases energy and stamina, and supports mobility and joint health.
2. Get Out and Exercise
Get out and get active! Once you start to discover a healthy diet for dogs, it’s important your pet works off that diet with proper exercise.
Daily exercise can also help your dog remain disease-free. Just 20 to 30 minutes a day can help improve their cardiovascular health. It also reduces behavioral issues while boosting their immune system.
Commit to a walk every day or toss a ball around. Getting in that daily exercise routine can help your pet make the most of their dog diet.
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Once you start that hustle with your hound, you can help them maintain a healthy weight.
Speak with your vet about your dog’s healthy weight range. Then, you can start calculating the calories they need each day and measure their meals out.
You can also use this formula to calculate the number of daily calories: [(your pet’s weight in lbs/2.2) x 30] + 70.
Since each pet’s metabolism is different, it’s still important to consult your vet about the number of calories your pet needs each day.
Then, you can stop filling the bowl or guessing how much food your dog needs. Instead, you can give them the right number of calories so they can maintain a healthy weight.
4. Check in with the Vet
Your vet can give you a lot of guidance regarding the right dog diet for your pet.
A trip to the vet’s can also make sure your dog is examined for any possible health risks. That way, you can respond to these problems early on in your pet’s life.
Before you head to the vet, read more here about paw problems your pooch might be experiencing.
5. Vaccinate Against Disease
Potentially deadly diseases such as rabies, parvo, distemper, and panleukopenia can also threaten your dog’s life.
When you visit your vet, speak to them about vaccinating against these diseases. That way, you can prioritize their long-term health in addition to helping your dog maintain a healthy diet.
6. Keep Free of Parasites
It’s not enough to just develop a healthy dog diet and get in some daily exercise.
Prevention can also help expand your dog’s life. This includes keeping your dog free of parasites.
Fleas, ticks, heartworm, and other parasites can impact your dog’s health. Speak with your vet about the best products to keep these parasites at bay.
7. Check the Label
Shelf-stable foods might last between 12 to 24 months, but they’re not a healthy dog diet option.
Instead of trusting these products, test their labels. Complete a Google search of the first five ingredients listed on your dog’s food.
Since these foods are industrially cooked, they also lack the live enzymes your pet needs. Instead, the synthetic supplementation might leave your dog’s diet lacking.
You can add supplements to your dog’s diet to help them get the nutrition they need.
8. Limit Treats
While a healthy dog diet is important, make sure you don’t overfeed your dog.
If your dog is overweight, you can feed him earlier in the day. That way, he has more time to work it off.
It’s also essential you don’t overfeed your dog with treats. These can leave your dog overweight, so hand them out sparingly.
Instead of store-bought treats, try making your own at home.
That way, you don’t have to worry about harmful ingredients. This can also ensure your dog is getting healthy, fresh food into their daily diet.
9. Manage Gum & Teeth Health
A study by the American Veterinary Medical Association revealed that 80 percent of dogs have an oral disease by the time they’re 3.
Gum or teeth issues could limit your pet’s lifespan.
To keep them healthy, give your dog coconut oil. In addition to acting as a natural toothpaste, it’s also antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal.
Plus, it keeps the dog breath away!
Extending Dog Years: 9 Tips for a Healthier Dog Diet
With these nine tips for a healthier dog diet, you can extend your dog’s lifespan (even in dog years).
That way, man’s best friend can stick around for a long, long time. Check out the Pets category on our blog for more helpful advice!
Meg is an author at Cinnamon Hollow. She writes on a variety of topics sharing tips and ideas for daily life.