Help Your Dog Live Longer In Five Easy Steps
By Jan Rasmusen
Wish your sweet dog could live forever? Well, forever might be a stretch, but you can often add years to a dog’s life just by taking a more holistic approach to your canine companion’s care.
Even small changes can make a huge difference and can even save you money. I modified my own dogs’ care after two years of research and interviews with top experts taught me that many dog care “truths” are really myths, outdated information or commercial propaganda.
Want your dog to live the long, healthy life he or she deserves? Try these five easy steps:
Step 1: Think Fridge, Not Cupboard
Commercial pet food is fast food. It can legally contain “4-D” meat (from dead, dying, diseased and disabled animals) as well as corn contaminated with high levels of pesticide. And did you know “complete and balanced” means minimum, not optimum, nutrition? Dogs given a balanced diet of wholesome fresh foods have the best chance for longevity. If you can keep yourself healthy, you can easily learn how to feed your dog for optimum health.
Step 2: Help Your Dog Chill
Stress kills, and your dog may be under more stress than you realize. Loneliness, confinement, insufficient exercise, obesity, impure water, excessive noise, extreme temperatures and tormenting by family members (human and otherwise) are all possible sources of killer stress. Because of their shorter life spans, dogs succumb to the effects of stress much faster than we do.
Step 3: Just Say No!
Resist the urge to suppress disease symptoms with drugs. Though some problems may require pharmacological intervention, many can be resolved – even cured – with improved nutrition and environmental changes – without dangerous side effects. If you do decide to go the “drug route,” personally check out medications. Countless dogs have died from popular “cures.”
Step 4: Get Smart about Shots
Most of us over-vaccinate our dogs. We give the wrong shots and revaccinate too often. The result can be autoimmune dysfunction, allergies, organ damage and even death. Did you know your adult dog may already have lifetime immunity to the most important diseases and that there’s a simple way to confirm it?
Step 5: Stave Off Cancer
Canine cancer is epidemic, and not just in older dogs. Because some cancers are linked to toxins, select safe floor and carpet cleaners, herbicides and fertilizers. Products unsafe for children are unsafe for dogs. Spay or neuter your dog and schedule a vet exam and blood test yearly–twice yearly for older dogs. Wash pollutants off your dog’s feet after walks on public lawns and grimy roads. Always investigate sores that don’t heal, lumps and swelling, unexplained lameness or weight loss, bleeding from orifices, and other mysterious physical or behavioral changes.
How long, and how well, your dog lives is largely up to you. A little education coupled with timely action can give your dog the best shot at a safe and healthy life!
About the Author: Jan Rasmusen is the author of Scared Poopless: The Straight Scoop on Dog Care, 2006 Ben Franklin Award Winner for the “Best Health Book” of any kind the first animal care book to ever win the Health category of this prestigious national award. Go to http://www.dogs4dogs.com for more information.