6 Ways You Could Be Shortening Your Dog’s Life
It goes without saying that we all love our beloved furry friends dearly. We’d do anything to make them happy, but could our actions actually be hurting them? Here are some common mistakes that might be shortening your dog’s life.
1. Neglect Of Dental Hygiene
Have you been brushing your dog’s teeth regularly? If the answer is no, your pup might be at risk of having gum disease. This is a common problem in dogs that develops when food and bacteria build up on the teeth, hardening into tartar and becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. Though seemingly harmless, these bacteria may lead to life-threatening problems such as liver, kidney and heart disease.
To avoid this, consider giving your dog dental chews and brush its teeth at least three times a week.
2. Deprived Of Daily Exercise
All dogs, big and small, need daily exercise to stimulate their mind and maintain good physical health. This can be in the form of a good long walk outside, or a round of fetch at a dog run. Taking quick bathroom breaks as their “walks” is not going to cut it, and this can lead to boredom, destructive behaviour and obesity.
Remember, exercise should be carried out daily for your pup to have the best quality of life.
3. Exposed To Second-Hand Smoke
Dogs aren’t any less susceptible to the dangers of second-hand smoking than humans are. Just like us, frequent exposure to cigarette smoke puts them at risk of heart and lung disease, respiratory issues, and cancer. They can also develop allergies and may become terribly sick if they happen to ingest cigarette sticks or butts.
If you’re a smoker, it is obviously best for both you and your pup to cut down on smoking altogether. If this is out of the question, be sure to smoke away from your dog and ideally in an outdoor area.
4. Eating Human Food
It’s not easy resisting those pleading eyes, but while giving in may make your dog momentarily happy, you might be harming its body in the long run. Not all human food is safe for dogs, especially dishes that are doused in heavy sauces and spices. It is never a good idea to give your dog food that is marinated, even slightly salted. Such fatty food puts your dog at risk of pancreatitis, a life-threatening ailment that occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed.
Replace unhealthy human food with natural treats such as carrot and apple, and make sure you are aware of the foods that your dog can and can’t consume.
5. Lack Of Socialisation
While every dog is differently disposed to social settings, all dogs need companionship and some form of a “social life”. Being at ease with its housemates is not enough to provide a dog the best quality of life – walks become tense instead of a fun and invigorating activity, and anxiety may greatly hinder your dog’s ability to enjoy life as it should. Self-mutilation, aggression and dermatological issues are all a result of improper socialisation.
If your dog has an aggressive tendency, don’t take this as a cue to isolate it from other dogs, instead, bring it to a trainer or animal behaviourist. While on walks, don’t be too quick to pull your dog away from social interactions, let your dog greet its counterpart before going on your way.
6. Using Dangerous Cleaning Products
Cleaners with bleach, chlorine, formaldehyde, ammonia, andglycol ethers are unsafe and should not be used around dogs. Make sure that the products you use on your floor and dog’s dishes are pet-safe – you can even make your own!
For a list of some recommended pet-safe products, check out this link.