How Long Do Dogs Live? What Can I Do To Help My Dog Live Longer?

How Long Do Dogs Live?

How Long Do Dogs Live?

One of the worst things in life is the death of a beloved dog. Dogs are like family members to most people and the thought of losing them is hard to come to terms with. There are some things that you can do as a dog owner to help ensure your dog has a long, healthy life.

A common question people ask is, “How long do dogs live?” Well that depends on what breed/size dog you have. Smaller breeds tend to live longer than larger breeds. The smaller breeds typically live to around 15 years old, medium and large breeds tend to live to 10 to 13 years old, and giant breeds typically live to only about 7 or 8 years old. A common belief is that one human year equals seven dog years and that is how to convert dog years to human years. That is a common misconception and simply not accurate.

There are some things that you can do to help your dog stay healthy and possibly live longer. One of the things to monitor is their weight. Like humans, weight plays an important factor in the health of the dog. Fat around the organs can make them work harder. Also, excess weight can put more strain on joints which can result in problems like arthritis and tears in the joint tissues. It is important to make sure that your dog stays in a healthy weight range. To help your dog lose excess weight, look for a good dog food that is formulated to help dogs lose weight. There will be a feeding guide on the bag that will tell you how much to feed your dog for weight loss or weight maintenance. Measure your dog’s food out each day so that you know how much they are eating. Also, do not feed table scraps. Instead, buy some low fat dog treats and only give them to your dog for special circumstances. You can also give them certain vegetables for treats such as baby carrots. Daily exercise is also recommended to help with weight loss and heart health.

Another thing that can be done is to spay or neuter your dog. Spaying and neutering can help reduce the risk for some diseases that dogs that are intact are more prone to. Spaying a female dog helps to prevent health problems such as pyometra and mammary tumors. Neutering a male dog helps to prevent testicular cancer among other things. Also, unneutered male dogs tend to roam and this may cause them to get hit by a car, get lost or stolen, or get in a fight with another dog over a female that is in heat.

Finally, give your dogs their best chance at out-living the average for their breed by following these few tips. Help keep them strong and healthy so you can both enjoy a long life together.

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Advocate for Dogs: The Pros and Cons

Advocate for Dogs

Advocate for Dogs

Advocate for Dogs (also sold as “Advantage Multi” and both manufactured by Bayer) is a topical product that is designed to prevent heartworms, fleas and other internal and external parasitic infestations in dogs. Just like any other product, there are pros and cons to Advocate. Before choosing which flea or heartworm product is right for your dog, you’ll have to examine the different aspects of the product and how it applies to you and your dog’s situation.

Bayer Advocate for dogs is a once-monthly topical treatment. The product is packaged in separate tubes that are pre-measured for the right amount to put on your dog each month depending on its weight. Advocate is a liquid and you have to put it on the skin of the dog for it to be effective. Advocate is the combination of moxidectin and imidacloprid.

The Pros of Advocate for Dogs

Advocate flea treatment for dogs combines two monthly products – flea treatment plus heartworm medicine for dogs, into one. Typically a dog owner would have to buy and administer two different products every month to accomplish the same thing as using Advocate. This allows for a potential for money savings and also less stress for the dog and owner.

In addition to heartworm prevention and also flea and lice treatment and infestation prevention, Advocate can also prevent and treat other parasites. The list of possibility includes lungworms, ear mites and demodex mites. Also, roundworms and hookworms which humans can catch if not prevented in dogs. Advocate also treats and prevents whipworms which can be difficult to get rid of if they infest the dog or dog’s environment. This is one of the biggest pros for this product – the ability to treat and prevent so many different internal and external parasites without having to administer several products to accomplish the same result.

Another benefit to this product could be to those dogs that have allergies. Dogs that have dog food allergies are typically on a hypoallergenic dog food that has minimal ingredients to lessen the possibilities of the dog food containing an ingredient that the dog is allergic to. Some people don’t think of the monthly heartworm chewable pill containing ingredients that the dog may be allergic to. Heartworm medicine for dogs that is in the form of a chewable pill such as Heartgard or Interceptor contains ingredients such as beef flavoring that some sensitive dogs may be allergic to. When on a minimal diet, it is easy to overlook this type of thing and trigger the allergies without thinking about it. Since Advocate is a topical instead of an oral product, it has the potential to eliminate a possibility for an allergy problem.

Advocate can also be helpful to those who have dog that are picky eaters. Some dogs just don’t want to take the monthly heartworm pill. Advocate can be beneficial in this situation because it is a topical – on-the-skin, treatment instead of oral.

Cons to Using Advocate

One of the cons to using any medication is the potential for side-effects and a negative reaction to the product itself. Some dogs may develop irritation at the site of the application. On the other hand, there is also the possibility that, although rare, a hypersensitive dog can have a neurological reaction. It is important to take the time to discuss this and all medications with your veterinarian before administering them and to make yourself aware of any possible side effects and their symptoms.

Another downside is that you cannot buy Advocate for dogs without a prescription. Since this product contains the heartworm prevention medicine, it is dangerous to give this to your dog without a negative heartworm test. Therefore, you will have to get a prescription from your veterinarian before you can purchase Advocate online or elsewhere.

A third negative to this product is that although it protects against fleas, it does not protect against ticks. Dogs that live in rural areas or those places where ticks are more prevalent may be better off to use another product that includes tick prevention. Alternately, you could add a different product like a tick collar to prevent the ticks. Be sure to discuss adding any other product with your Vet in order to avoid any problems with multiple product combinations.

One final potential con to Advocate for dogs is the price of the product. Because Advocate is the combination of 2 major and several minor products, it will be higher in price than any one of them. However, when the prices of the 2 major products in it (flea and heartworm) are added together, Advocare will likely be much cheaper than if you were to purchase the other two products separately.

In summary, Advocate (or Advantage Multi) can be great for many dogs and not-so-great for others. It just depends on each individual dog and their unique situation. The best thing is to talk to your veterinarian to get advice and other dog owners to get reviews on what they think about using Advocate.

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Dog Food Allergies

Dog Food Allergies Dog Scratching

Dog Food Allergies Can Cause Itchy Ears & Skin

Many common health problems that dogs have can be traced back to allergies. Various ingredients in your dog’s food can cause allergies and make your dog not feel well. We’ll examine some of the symptoms of dog food allergies and what you can do to help give your dog some relief.

Common dog food allergies include allergies to grains, proteins, additives and fillers in the food. Cheap dog food is made up of fillers consisting of grains such as corn. Allergies to corn, wheat, soy and other grains are very common in dogs. Protein allergies are also common and list includes beef, lamb, eggs, fish, chicken and dairy products. When looking for the best dog food for dogs with allergies, examine the list of ingredients and choose dog food that doesn’t include cheap fillers. Dog food with oatmeal is a good alternative to corn. It is better for your dog and most dogs don’t have a problem with it. There are also all-natural dog food brands that only contain a few ingredients for the specific purpose of minimizing the chance of creating a problem with dog food allergies. Look for them at your pet store.

Dog food allergies symptoms can include a variety of things. The dog may develop chronic ear infections causing them to constantly scratch their ears and you may notice a brownish substance in the ear. Also, they may scratch the back of their elbows or other parts of their body when there is no indication of fleas. Plus, they may also lick and bite at their feet causing them to become red and irritated. In order to rule-out environmental allergies such as pollen or other inhalents, you’ll know that it is a food allergy if the symptoms occur during the winter or all-year-round instead of just during the spring when the pollen count is high.

Dog food allergies treatment involves avoiding the food(s) that are causing the allergies. The only way to accurately find out which foods are causing the problems is to do a food trial. A food trial is bascially choosing a protein and a carbohydrate source that your dog has not eaten before and feeding that to your dog for at least 12 weeks. If the symptoms have disappeared or have been greatly reduced, then you can conclude that your dog has food allergies. The important thing to note about doing a food trial is that the dog must only be given the protein and carbohydrate and nothing else such as treats, human food, eatable dog bones, etc. Short term treatment for allergies can be achieved by administering steroids, antihistamines, etc.

Although allergies are most likely the cause of most common ailments mentioned, there may also be other reasons why your dog is having the same symptoms. In order to rule out other causes such as sarcoptic mange, bacterial infections or parasites, it is important for your dog to be examined by your veterinarian.

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Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

Why do Dogs Eat Poop?As humans, the act of dogs eating poop totally disgusts us. We ask ourselves, Why do dogs eat poop? What could they possibly be thinking? There are a few reasons that dogs engage in such vile behavior. Let’s examine some common questions:

Why do dogs eat other dogs poop? Dogs often eat other dogs poop because they are lacking in something. Either they aren’t getting enough food or enough nutrients in their diet. Since feces from another dog can sometimes smell like dog food, they will ingest it to make up for their hungar or lack of nutrients from their own food. This gives them instant satisfaction and therefore makes it a difficult act to break. There is a product called Forbid that can be given to dogs that will make the poop not as appetizing. A few other things you can try is putting a small amount of hot sauce or lemon juice on the poop to discourage consumption.

Why do dogs eat cat poop? Dogs that eat cat poop are also likely suffering from some lack of nutrient or enough food. Some dogs just develop a taste for “kitty crunchies” so prevent access to the litter box to put a stop to this unwanted behavior.

Why do dogs eat their own poop? Some dogs may eat their own poop out of anxiety, stress or boredom. If the dog is crated for long periods of time, he may eat his poop to try to keep his kennel clean. Try to get him out of his crate often for potty breaks, exercise and interaction.

If none of these seem to discourage the poop-eating behavior, you may want to take a visit to your veterinarian to rule out other problems such as parasites. Parasites can rid the body of essential nutrients and thus can cause a dog to feel the need to replace those nutrients by eating poop.

The most important things to do to stop this problem, is to feed your dog adequate amounts of high-quality dog food, give them plenty of time to potty and exercise throughout the day, prevent access to the cat litter box and have them checked out by your vet.

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Heartworm Medicine for Dogs: A Few Questions Answered

Heartgard is one brand of Heartworm Medicine for Dogs

Heartgard is one of several brands of Heartworm Medicine for Dogs

Most dog owners know that it is important to give their dogs monthly heartworm medicine. Dogs can get very sick and even die from heartworms so it is imperative that you know what to do to prevent heartworms in your dog.

Some people ask, “Do all dogs need heartworm medicine”? The answer is yes. Any dog can get heartworms. Heartworms result from a simple mosquito bite and if your dog is not on a preventative then it can get heartworms.

“What if you miss a few doses of heartworm preventative medicine”? If you miss even just one dose of the medication, then you must contact your vet to have your dog tested for heartworms. If you give your dog a heartworm pill and he/she is positive for heartworms, then the dog could die as a result. You also need to have a yearly heartworm test performed by your vet to confirm a negative result.

“Where can I buy cheap heartworm medicine for dogs?” Normally it is more convenient and easier to buy your dog medicines from your local vet, but if you buy your medicine online, you can sometimes save some money. You are not supposed to be able to buy heartworm medicine for dogs without prescription from a vet so all online pet pharmacies are supposed to require that you get the prescription before you can purchase the medicine. Some vets will charge you a fee just to get the prescription, so you will have to factor that into the cost when comparison shopping online. Just make sure you purchase it from a reputable website.

Finally, the most important things to remember about your dogs and the prevention of heartworms is that you must get them tested annually and you must give them their heartworm medicine every month. If you do both of these things, you shouldn’t have to worry about the heartbreaking loss of a pet due to heartworms.

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