How Can I Help My Dog Live Longer, Naturally?

by Gary Le Mon

These 7 Questions May Hold The Answer

Older dog

Responsible dog lovers ask, how can I help my dog live longer, naturally? 

Is dog longevity something I can actually do anything about? And if so, what, exactly?

As American writer Agnes Turnbull pointed out, “Dogs' lives are too short … their only fault, really.”

So what exactly are the action steps we can take, starting today, to give our best friends a leg up on longevity and good health? Since most dogs have limited vocabularies, we need to be on high alert for non-verbal signs that tell us he or she is no longer in the pink of health. Here are seven key questions to ask.

1. How Active Is My Dog?

Just like a young toddler, a healthy dog is active, curious, and passionately interested in the world. If your dog stops reacting to sights and sounds – or if she no longer jumps for joy when you say her favorite words and phrases or jingle the car keys – there may be something wrong. Figuring out exactly what’s wrong is a tougher job since lethargy is symptomatic of a wide variety of diseases that affect dog lifespan.

Your vet can do blood work to help reveal biological or metabolic clues. Don't hesitate to take doggy in for a check-up if her loss of vitality extends past two or three days. Only after proper diagnosis can you explore your options for moving forward with treatment. Sometimes the only treatment needed is more activity.

2. How Is My Dog’s Dental Health?

One of the most effective actions I can take to help my dog live longer is to provide good dog dental care. This includes removing tartar and plaque for dog teeth whitening, disinfecting gingivitis, and controlling harmful oral bacteria for the big payoff – eliminating bad dog breath.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, at three to five years of age, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of oral disease. Veterinary dentistry is a popular choice for check-ups, teeth cleaning under anesthesia, extractions, and treating oral diseases. In between visits, the all-natural herbal home remedy for lifelong dog dental care is a safe and effective, non-alcoholic dog dental spray, heartily recommended by holistic veterinarians. 

3. Is My Dog Gaining Or Losing Weight Rapidly?

After the adventures of puppyhood are outgrown, your dog's weight should level off. Some pet parents like to weigh their buddies once a month; others feel confident eyeballing it. Whatever method you use, make sure you don't let too much flab – or not enough flab – go unchecked.

Rapid weight gain or loss is not a good sign and often announces the arrival of a serious underlying condition. Cancer in dogs, for example, is usually accompanied by a condition known as cachexia, the wasting away of body fat and muscle tissue. On the other hand, sudden weight gain is often associated with diseases such as Cushing’s disease in dogs or canine diabetes. Here again, a professional diagnosis is essential before proceeding with treatment options.

4. How Is My Dog’s Breathing?

Dogs are natural yogis, breathing deeply and effortlessly when in peak condition. After exercise or in hot weather, they'll pant like a freight train. But if you notice your dog panting all the time, or if he seems to be having trouble breathing, take it as a strong warning signal. Persistent coughing or unusually noisy breathing may indicate canine infectious tracheobronchitis, or kennel cough. This highly contagious disease can infect an entire kennel population within a few hours. Diagnosis, isolation and treatment are urgent. 

5. Does My Dog Have Healthy Eyes?

A normal dog in good health will have clear, bright eyes with no coloration or discharge. If you see redness, mucus, or cloudiness, you must attend to it right away as untreated eye infections can lead to blindness.

But don't jump the gun. Some prescription medications and eye drops worsen the problem if used incorrectly. When it comes to your dog's eye care, always get a diagnosis first. For natural dog eye care, including specific treatment for cataracts in dogs and cats, many holistic vets recommend an antioxidant-dense herbal extract you simply add to wet or dry food.

6. Is My Dog Eating Well?

Most young- to middle-aged dogs relate to dog food like a teenage boy relates to a cheeseburger. It's normal for your dog to act like he's been starved for a week when you finally put down the bowl. It's also normal for him to beg for more even after being fed. So don't cave in to those sad doggy eyes! (I know it’s hard. I’m the worst caver since Neanderthal)

But in order to really help my dog live longer and healthier, I know canine longevity is not only about dog food, vitamins and minerals. Complete nutrition in dogs and cats must include daily essential herbs that animals in the wild consume as and when nature directs. Without access to these herbal nutrients, our domestic dogs and cats miss out on an essential and often overlooked cofactor in holistic, natural dog health.

7. How Is My Dog Eliminating?

As responsible dog lovers, you and I always scoop up our dog's poop, right? And as advocates for natural dog health inside and out, we’re sure to notice if doggy's stool looks unusual in any way. Blood spots, runny poo, or dog diarrhea are all symptoms of various diseases, some of them quite serious.

Pay attention to your dog's urine as well. Normal urine should be clear and flow easily without signs of discomfort. If a dog urinary tract infection is diagnosed, there’s a safe and effective herbal remedy for that, too.

If you make a habit of asking yourself these questions as well as the central question - How can I help my dog live longer, naturally? - any problems with your dog's health won't go unchecked.  Most canine disorders are easily diagnosed and treated, especially if caught and treated early on. With good care and attention, our dogs will enjoy natural good health and longevity.

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