There is a lot of information out there and it can get very confusing, but sometimes we just must follow our instinct and apply common sense. Educating ourselves is a very important tool which will help us to make the right decisions at the right time.
A good diet, exercise and make sure they are properly hydrated goes a long way, but sometimes we don't know where to start, right?
Here is some information from Dogs Naturally Magazine on 6 Steps to Help your Dog Live Longer
6 Steps To Help Your Dog Live Longer
1. Filter your dog’s water
Have you ever considered what is in the water your dog drinks? Tap water and many bottled waters are full of contaminants that a simple water filter can remove. Cysts, heavy metals, chlorine, and pharmaceuticals are just some of the contaminants found in water.
These contaminants can affect your dogs skin, coat, and overall health. Always use a stainless steel or glass bowl for water. Plastic and plastic derivatives can leach into your dog’s water, so it is best to avoid it.
2. Watch what chemicals you put on your dog
Longevity is all about toxic load. Toxic load can be explained by the amount of toxins you put in your body and how your body processes those toxins.
Every time you go to put medicine or different grooming products on or in your dog think about what it is made of. For example, when you are shampooing your pup, make sure that your shampoo is a natural, plant based soap free of sulfites and heavy chemicals.
3. Feed an all natural diet
To me, diet is the key to longevity and a healthy life. What you put in is what you get out. For the beginner, avoid ingredients like wheat, soy, corn, sugar beets, by-products, and generic animal fats such as poultry fat.
For those of you who are already feeding a holistic kibble, try adding raw fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet as well as raw meat. With any dietary change, make the transition gradually.
If you decide to feed your dog a 100% raw diet, make sure to research the proper techniques for doing so. I feed my Pugs a raw diet. Essential to every diet is a mixture of proteins. This reduces your dog’s chances of developing a sensitivity to their food. I always suggest switching proteins every 2 to 3 months.
4. Add enzymes and probiotics to your dog’s diet
Enzymes are fundamental to proper digestion. If your dog is eating a dry or canned dog food, it is essential to add a digestive enzyme to their diet. Enzymes are not found in commercial dog foods because the cooking and extruding process destroys them.
Your dog’s stomach was built to digest raw foods that are plentiful in a variety of digestive enzymes. Probiotics are an excellent way to balance your dog’s stomach bacteria levels.
Balanced gut bacteria leads to healthy digestion and a strong immune system. Gut health has a direct correlation to overall well-being.
5. Avoid antibiotics
Gut health is a key component to a healthy pup. Antibiotics are the nemesis of happy gut bacteria. Every year, over 125 million dogs and cats are given at least one round of antibiotics.
Many of these animals may need them, but millions more do not. Antibiotics are powerful medicine and have a place in veterinary medicine. However, it is my opinion and the opinion of many scientists and holistic veterinarians that antibiotics should be given only when absolutely necessary.
They should not be used as a means of avoiding infection. For example, giving antibiotics to dogs suffering from an upset stomach, mild diarrhea, or a shallow puncture.
The overuse of antibiotics can lead to autoimmune diseases, chronic ear infections, and cancer. If your dog has a legitimate infection that is not responding to natural methods of healing, then consider using antibiotics but save their use for when your dog really needs them.
6. Avoid topical and internal flea and tick treatments
Flea and tick treatments like Frontline and Advantix are dangerous and in my opinion, should be avoided. The chemicals found in these medications get into your dog’s blood stream and can cause adverse reactions like allergies, skin issues, seizures, and may even lead to death.
These treatments also elevate your dog’s toxic load by making the liver work overtime metabolizing all of the introduced foreign chemicals. Flea and tick collars should also be avoided. Not only are these collars dangerous to your dog but they can be harmful to you and your family if you touch them and forget to wash your hands.
There are many natural preventative methods for keeping your dog and your environment pest free. I encourage you to explore the natural options instead of resorting to strong chemicals.
Dogs are aging at a unprecedented rate and suffering from diseases historically unheard of. They are meant to live a long healthy life. It is a tragedy that a six year old dog is now being considered a senior. With a bit of patience, knowledge, and effort, we can help turn these statistics back around and grow old with our pups.
Here Rocco agrees with all the above, sometimes he forgets he is over 11 years old and runs with the kids in the backyard until dark , then sleeps for 15 hours straight ..
Definitely check out all the information they have at Dogs Naturally Magazine and let us know what you think!