Canine Longevity

canine longevity


To Keep Your Dog Healthy for a Long and Happy Life
See your vet regularly without financial worry with

Longevity involves every aspect of a dogs health. It's customary definition is term denoting the length or duration of the life of an animal or plant, often used to indicate an unusually long life.

Sadly, man's best friend has been cheated in the area of life expectancy much as man has been. A variety of factors contribute to this including, diet, genetics, stress and environment to name a few.

Customary beliefs that dogs live relatively short lives of 10-15 years are contradicted by research and evidence produced by many worthy veterinary studies.

Did you know ? 

Wolves can live up to seventeen years in the wild  and up to twenty years living in captivity


In a study done at the Veterinary School at the University of Pennsylvania in the early 1980's, dogs were classified as Geriatric at 5 Years of Age. Eighty percent of the dogs tested showed degeneration of the vital organs such as their liver and kidneys.

Today, many alternatives exist to help solve many health related and longevity issues facing our beloved dogs. Homeopathic veterinarians have opened new doors to  a healthier and longer life.  A good article explaining the roots and value of homeopathy for all dogs can be read by clicking here

Let's examine a few areas where changes in lifestyle and care can add years to our furry pals lives.

Diet- This topic has been covered  in our discussion of nutritionand is one of the most important factors that we can control and add to dog longevity

Exercise- Combined with adequate rest and proper grooming, this no cost approach is a wonderful and natural longevity enhancer.

Regular exercise stimulates muscles and increases circulation. The body takes in more oxygen flushing toxins and aiding digestion

Rest- A clean and quiet place to sleep is vitally important to dogs.  Whether you make a bed of blankets or buy one in a store, a place to call home is essential to any dog. Under no condition would I ever condone that dogs sleep outdoors.

Doghouses and backyards where they are virtual prisoners and frequently chained are nothing more than cruel imprisonment and selfish on the part of any owner. This is my opinion and if you disagree, that's your right. Just don't try to change my mind. I have witnessed the consequences when dogs live outdoors.

Every aspect of their well being suffers. Grooming , hygiene, diet, the lack of personal interaction and being part of a family indoors is enough to condemn this approach. If you don't want a dog enough to house him/her indoors with your family, don't get one!

Grooming- Regular brushings and baths will help your dog stay free from secretions and toxins. Regular brushing helps control fleas, ticks and foxtails. Be sure to examine your dog's eyes, ears mouth and private parts for any unusual and unwanted guests or problems.

Control Fleas to Stay Healthy

Fleas can cause terrible sickness in dogs. In fact, one of our Chihuahua's was found as a stray so flea bitten and encrusted in blood that he was close to death from fleas and starvation. In some ways he was being eaten alive.

The best approach is to use a non-toxic flea controls. (Beware of many flea control products that are toxic as be a poison itself. Insist on natural no toxic and herbal products) Flea collars, sprays, powders, and shampoos are often loaded with pesticides according to Kings County Animal Services

A few examples are-

  • Regular bath with natural flea control shampoo

  • Keep carpets and floors clean

  • Wash dog bedding weekly

  • Use a flea comb for added flea control in addition to brushing

  • Herbal flea powders and collars

A Healthy Environment

For dogs to thrive a healthy and clean home is essential...and it's good for us too !

Here's a few tips for Keeping your Home Dog Healthy

  • Vacuum frequently-Dr. Jeffrey Levy DVM, PCH  suggests placing a mothball in the bag to aid in killing the larvae.

  • Allow sunshine in or let your dog out for short, supervised intervals

  • Use non toxic chemicals indoors

  • Grow houseplants-to help help filter the air

  • Keep dogs away from poisonous plants and fruits

  • Take precautions against gas leaks

  • Make sure your hands are clean when you pet or handle your dog

  • Keep dogs away from busy streets 

  • Keep dogs indoors during high pollution days

  • Don't allow your dog to drink from puddles

  • Avoid overexposure to sun and x-rays

  • Beware of pesticides- these have been known to cause cancer in dogs

  • Keep antifreeze out of reach- this can cause serious illness and death

Poison Plant Dangers

Certain plants have been known to be poisonous to dogs who eat or sniff them

A few of these include:

  • oleander

  • castor bean

  • jimsonweed

  • morning glory

  • chokecherry and others

A more complete list of plants poisonous to dogscan be found here.

Drinking Water-- Tap water often contains fluoride which can cause dental problems, kidney and bladder problems. arthritis, joint pain, stomach disorders, and asthma to name a few . Give your dog bottled or distilled water to drink.

Dr. Pitcairn's recommends:

  • Feed organic foods ;

  • Brush and bathe your dog often to remove toxic particles from fur

  • Ventilate your home to reduce indoor air pollution;

        Dr. Pitcairn suggests :

  • Don't carry your dog in the back of a pick up truck;

For more insight see Dr. Pitcairn's  Natural Heath for Dogs and Cats

Emotional Well Being

Dogs react to stressful environments in a negative way much like their human companions.

Sudden changes in the home such as an new baby, loss of a family member or the addition of a new pet can be disruptive. Other causes could be spending more time away or on a trip, redecorating the house, or any shift in the regular living pattern

Keep an eye out for any changes in behavior. If your dog is reacting negatively, eating less, becoming less active or experiencing lethargy you may want to spend more time bonding , exercising with and enjoying time with your dog to help him through this emotional crisis

To read more about the causes and cures of dog stress see Bob Fritz's article from Animal Performance Research Labs Don't Stress Out Over Canine Stress 

Dental Health

Oral and dental health is critical to the well being of your dog impacting his entire physiology, behavior and immune system. Proper dental care can add years to your dogs life as it protects him from disease and degenerative problems.

According to the American Veterinary Dental College, your dog may need dental care if you notice:

  • Bad breath.

  • Loose teeth or teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar.

  • Your pet shies away from you when you touch the mouth area.

  • Drooling or dropping food from the mouth.

  • Bleeding from the mouth.

  • Loss of appetite or loss of weight

Gum disease and oral health disorders may affect organs such as the kidneys, liver and heart if left untreated.If you think your pet needs dental care, the College recommends that you make an appointment with your veterinarian.

For more insight on K-9 health see Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, by Richard Pitcairn, DVM, PhD

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