If you're anything like most pet parents, chances are you love spending time with your dog or cat. But the thing is a lot of people sometimes forget that it's our responsibility as pet owners to give our furry friends a healthy life.
While there are many factors that can affect your dog's or cat's lifespan, I've put together a simple-to-follow checklist of the most important things to take note of to help you maintain your pet's well-being and make him reach his golden years.
Make sure you follow along to get in on 5 ways that can help your canine or feline friend live a much happier and healthier life. We will also cover questions like "How long do cats live?" and "What diet best suits my dog?" as we go along.
1. Live Lean, Live Well.
Just like us humans, having an overweight pooch or kitty can have a significant effect on his quality of life and lifespan. Let's start with your cat's or dog's diet since this can have a big impact on his average life expectancy.
The first thing to remember is to keep an eye on the portions you're serving your furry companion. The amounts and types of food our canine and feline friends require vary depending on key aspects like their activity level, age and size. Specific life stages also have to be considered.
A quick example of this is younger cats tend to load up on foods that give them as much nutrition and energy as possible. On the other hand, older cats or senior cats require eating stuff that still nourishes them properly but won't set off any unwanted health conditions sooner or later.
Moreover, regardless of what life stage your dog or cat may be in right now, it's important to take note that pets that have constant access to food tend to eat a lot more. And this could already have an effect on his average lifespan in the long run.
"Healthy diet" isn't just about serving the right cat or dog food.
Your furry friend will probably eat until his bowl is empty. Giving him small portions throughout the day is a lot better than keeping food in his bowl all day long. Knowing how many calories your dog or cat should eat in a day is also important.
Knowing so will give you an idea if he needs his portions readjusted or changed completely in case he's prone to hereditary illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and arthritis, among others. If your fur baby is already suffering from one of these conditions, you may want to look into the best food that fits his dietary requirements.
Asking a veterinarian to provide you with nutritional guidelines that suit your furry friend is also a smart strategy to make your cat or dog live longer. This is something you need to remember whether you have a pedigreed pooch, outdoor cats, indoor cats, a young adult/mature adult dog.
Going for natural dog foods and their cat counterparts can make a huge difference regardless of your pet's age, too!
2. A High-Quality Balanced Diet is Essential
Now we've got the portions covered, let's check out the types of cat's or dog's food to consider. Giving your beloved animal companion a high quality diet has many advantages. Besides nourishing your fur baby, a high-quality diet also helps him keep clear of health issues like dental disease and digestive disorders.
In case you're wondering how long your furry friend's lifespan will be, feeding your dog or cat high-quality food will significantly contribute to his overall health. And not doing so can potentially lead to shorter lives—lesser than the usual seven years (human years, just be clear) that a mature dog or cat can have.
But what exactly is considered high-quality when it comes to food and how does it have an impact on your pet's life expectancy? Is there a difference between the food of outdoor cats and indoor cats?
Outdoor cats and indoor cats (and dogs) can have different nutritional requirements.
A balanced diet has to be age and breed-appropriate. As a dog or cat ages, the type and amount of food that his body needs will tend to change. For example, purebred cats can have different nutritional requirements compared to other cats. And there's a link between food intake and how long cats live, whether we're talking about outdoor cats or indoor cats.
You can actually "persuade" your fur baby to start eating healthy.
While this may sound surprising, you can even make your very own food for cats and dogs! Since you have the final say on what goes in them, homemade cat and dog food are a lot healthier than commercial ones offered by the pet food industry.
While homemade cat and dog food does take some time to whip up, making it a point to include it in your checklist can help extend the life expectancy of your furry friend because it will make his immune system stronger and more resilient against unexpected health problems.
A quick tip to choose "long life" dog food and cat food.
Keep clear from brands that use cheap "filler" ingredients because they offer poor nutritional value. These ingredients include corn, wheat and white rice. Corn is not very digestible and has been linked to many ailments like allergies and joint pain, particularly among older cats and mature cats.
One trick you can do is check the litter boxes. Cats have a tendency to pass dry, hard stools when they lack fiber. A cat's weight will also be affected as well. Moreover, outdoor cats live longer than their indoor counterparts since they have access to alternative sources of fiber such as grass.
Feeding your pet raw foods is another great option since it offers many health benefits. See, when cats live indoors, they tend to be deficient in Vitamin D, which can be compensated by a raw dietary program. An indoor cat is more vulnerable to bone problems than an outdoor cat. This can also have a significant effect on its overall life expectancy.
3. Cats and Dogs Should Get Physical!
Regular exercise is essential in a dog's or cat's life regardless of age. Unlike what a lot of people mistakenly think, consistent workouts aren't just for pups and kittens. Older cats and dogs need them, too. Studies even show that exercise makes dogs live longer and give cats an extended lifespan.
When cats and dogs lack exercise, they get bored and will tend to exhibit destructive behavioral changes. Exercise will also prevent obesity and numerous complications, which will shorten your dog's or cat's life. Indoor cats live happier when they get regular exercise, too.
4. Visit The Vet Regularly
Our furry friends don’t get sick overnight regardless of age. Additionally, there are certain health issues that you need to take note of with each life stage of your dog or cat. The question "How long do cats live?" will also apply in this section.
Veterinary medicine isn't something you should totally overlook.
You can prevent so many health problems by bringing your dog or cat to the vet regularly. This is highly recommended if you have a senior cat or dog. If an illness is diagnosed, the chances for a successful and quick recovery are so much higher.
Whether you have a dog or cat, prevention is always better than cure. Knowing the right canine or feline medicine is also a plus. Dogs and cats live much happier lives if they don't have health issues.
5. Don’t Over-Vaccinate Your Pet
Pet vaccination: is it needed or not? This question has been highly debated and still is, but in the end, it's still your personal choice. Does vaccination have a relationship with how long cats live? Does it shorten the lifespan of a dog?
Vaccination has saved many lives, but it has also caused great suffering and developed conditions like epilepsy and autism in many animals. Also, your cat or dog may have a shortened life expectancy with vaccines.
If you think your pet has been intoxicated with a vaccine, you can remove any potential side effects with VACCINE DETOX which treats vaccine damage. It will reinstate the balance that has been disrupted by your pet’s vaccination.
In your experience as a pet parent, what other things do you know to help extend your furry friend's life? Please share your insights in the comment box below.
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