How To Make Your Dog Live Longer (5 Tips)

how to make your dog live longer

Have you ever imagined life without your best friend? the loneliness, memories and could’ve, would’ve, should’ve beens.

With the average dog life expectancy at 11-13 years; enjoying every minute of life possible with your furry friend is of paramount importance, but what if you had a few tips to help your dog live longer?

Tips that could add one, two maybe even three more years to the time that you will spend with your best friend. Would you be interested?

You bet! How to make dogs live longer is an age-old question that has plagued humans since time immemorial.

However with the recent leaps and strides in science and technology scientists and researchers can now state conclusively that a few things if done consistently and correctly could help your dog live longer.

1. Diet

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that at least 53 percent (that’s well over half) of dogs were overweight in the past year.

What was however even more surprising was that 95 percent of dog owners with obese dogs had no idea their dogs were obese thinking instead that they (the dogs) were of normal weight.

In a lifetime study of Labrador retrievers, obese dogs lived for up to 2 years less than their trimmer (fifteen percent or less) counterparts.

things to do to help a dog live longer

Obesity increases the risk of your dog developing chronic illnesses such as:

  • Arthritis.
  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Back problems e.g. slipped disc.
  • Inflammation.

Inflammation from extra fat tissue can result an increase in pressure on the joints and cause lameness in your dog due to arthritis.

One out of five dogs, one year in age or older, will suffer from chronic painful arthritis.

Arthritis for example has been shown to reduce a dog’s lifespan by up to 20 percent that’s over 2 years working with our average life expectancy of 11 years.

So what should you feed your dog?

Dogs do not process food like you and me do, if your dog ate one ounce of cheddar cheese for example, that would be equivalent to you eating one and a half hamburgers.

People food, if not limited in your dog’s diet can be a grave source of danger to your dog and could easily result in your dog gaining excess weight that would then prove very hard to shed.

Kibble or dry food is an easy and inexpensive solution to people food. Found commonly as small pellets of food it is easy to serve and is very nutrient dense.

As a result it is also very easy to feed your dog too much dry food, a risk that increases his carbohydrate intake and increase his chances of suffering from dehydration.

Be sure to ensure your dog is properly hydrated if his or her diet involves a high amount of kibble intake.

Canned food and Raw diets are also a proper alternative to people food that will go a long way in ensuring your furry friend stays within the limits of healthy body weight and enjoys a long and high quality life.

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2. Neutering and Spaying

50 percent of female dogs who contract breast cancer die.

Spaying your female dog before the beginning of her sexual maturity results in a drastic decrease in her chances of developing breast cancer.

Studies have shown that even amongst humans eunuchs live around fourteen to nineteen years longer than non-castrated males.

Neutering and Spaying to make your dog live longer

Spayed and neutered according to a 40,000 dogs study by the University of Georgia live about a year and a half longer than their intact counterparts.

Whether this was due to the fact that, spayed and neutered dogs were less likely to die from infectious disease and trauma or that spaying and neutering reduces the risk of certain cancers from developing in your pup is yet to be conclusively determined but the jury is out on longevity of life.

Spaying and neutering will help your dog live longer besides the other added benefits like less roaming and reduced howling in female dogs in heat.

3. Proper Dental Care

I know, I know like your 2 year old your furry friend is probably not a huge fan of getting his teeth brushed everyday. Over time the temptation to just give in and let your canine buddy be can become almost irresistible.

Gum disease or Periodontitis is a huge problem in dogs (affecting at least 85 percent of dogs 5 years and older), left unchecked it may result in bone and tooth loss. Easy tell-tale signs include:

  • Stinky breath.
  • Red swollen or bleeding gums.
  • Yellow loose teeth.
  • Rapid weight and appetite loss due to difficulty in feeding such as in chewing bones.

clean dogs teeth without toothbrush

Plaque is an invisible film that forms on the teeth together with mineral deposits referred to as dental calculus if your dog’s teeth are not properly and regularly cleaned. They result in bad breath, painful inflammation of the gums and in extreme cases even tooth loss.

But what really makes periodontal disease scary is its link with increased chances of heart disease in your dog.

Bacteria from the mouth is constantly seeping into your dog’s bloodstream and is commonly found to settle in the arteries surrounding your pup’s heart leading to increased risk of heart disease and infections in other bodily organs such as the kidneys.

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What to do:

Be sure to brush your dog’s teeth regularly in order to remove plaque that forms after feeding him or her. Specially formulated toothpaste for dogs and the finger brush would work just great for this.

Regular professional dental cleaning by your vet will help reduce the plaque formed on your dog’s gum line and reduce the risk of developing Periodontitis.

Chew toys and treats treated with enzymes help reduce the formation of mineral deposits on your dog’s teeth, though this should not be confused as taking the place of regular, avid brushing of your dog’s teeth.

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4. Regular Check-Ups

Like in humans, disease is the most common cause of death in dogs.

What’s sad though is that majority of these diseases causing death could easily have been prevented if detected and treated early.

Like any dog owner would attest, simply being a dog lover does not make you adept at diagnosing problems your furry friend is likely suffering from.

common dog health issues

Before you scoff at another “lazy” dog owner remember that most dog owners only discover the apparent discomfort in their dogs once it is a little too late.

Majority of the frantic cases you see at the vet could have been properly treated at times even prevented with early detection.

Bi-annual regular checkups are the healthiest, most caring gift you could give your dog.

Allowing him or her the chance, at least twice a year, to be examined and assessed by a registered and trained veterinarian will provide your dog with the chance to receive any care or treatment he may need that you may not even be aware of.

5. The Embark Dog Dna Test Kit

I know, i know, you’re probably thinking…”what’s the embark dog dna test kit?” and “what’s it got to do with making my dog live longer?”

Hang tight! and let me explain.

The embark dog dna test kit is a scientifically approved dna testing kit with over 200,000 genetic markers that will screen your dog in order to determine its breed history and genetic markup.

Why is that important you ask?

Certain breeds are more predisposed to certain illnesses and with the embark dog dna test kit you can now find out all that information with one simple swab of your dog’s cheek.

Let’s face it, taking your dog to the vet can at times be an expensive and arduous affair, the time it takes before your pup can stay still, the anxiety and fear that comes with it all.

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While the embark dog dna test kit will not completely replace your vet, the kit will help save you some of that consultation fee money by identifying potential health risks likely to or affect(ing) your dog based on his or her genetic makeup and breed history.

Prevention in dogs is way better than cure and the embark dog dna test kit will be the first step in helping you do just that with one simple swab of your dog’s cheek.

The swab is wrapped in a prepaid envelope purchased together with the kit and mailed out to the founder’s scientific labs where your dogs breed history, genetic makeup and overall physical health will be assessed and analysed against a database of over 200,000 genetic markers and a detailed report sent back to you in just a few weeks!

You can then use this report on your next trip to the vet as solid, scientifically backed reference of your dog’s health status and don’t forget that potentially huge saving in consultation fees.

For more information please be sure to check out the embark dog dna test kit.



Passionate lover of dogs and proud owner of a friendly, mischievous and energetic golden retriever named Beethoven! I’m incredibly excited to share my experiences on how best to care for your beloved pet. The more we know, the happier we and our canine friends will be!

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