How To Make Sure Your Dog Has A Long And Happy Life

If you have had your dog since puppy-hood and he is now old and gray, clearly you have been doing something right.  The most important thing to remember about keeping a dog healthy, happy and comfortable in old age is that he should have been kept healthy, happy and active in youth.

To help your dog live well and long, be sure to provide good care throughout his life.  Make sure all vaccinations are up to date, feed a good quality dog food, keep plenty of fresh water available at all times and keep your pet safe and secure indoors and in a well fenced yard.

Feed the right kind of food for every stage of your dog’s life.  Puppy food is formulated especially for growth and the development of strong bones.  This is important if you want your dog to stay healthy as he grows older.  Strong bones and joints are less likely to succumb to problems such as hip dysplasia.

Adult maintenance dog food helps keep family pets at the right weight and provides proper nutrition for a moderately active adult dog.  If your dog is a working dog, you should feed a high energy, high protein dog food.  Feeding the right kind of adult dog food will help your dog stay healthy as he ages.

Consult with your vet about when to switch from adult dog food to senior dog food.  This will vary with the breed of dog.  Generally, larger dogs are considered to be seniors a little sooner than small dogs.  This is because their life span is not usually as long as that of a small dog.  Follow your vet’s advice regarding the timing and type of senior dog food to choose.

Throughout your dog’s life, you should build and maintain a close bond.  Dogs are meant to be companion animals and they live to please.  Having a close relationship with you will keep your dog and you happy throughout his life.

When your dog is young, play active games and go for walks, runs and bike rides.  As you age together, you will probably slow down together.  You may shorten your walks a bit, but don’t stop completely.  For dogs and people, having an active lifestyle is key to good heart health, avoiding problems like arthritis and living a long and healthy life.

Mark Mansfield
 

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