Dogs hold special places in owners' hearts, which makes their shorter life spans a difficult experience for many pet parents. While it's inevitable that your canine will begin to show signs of age as they pass the decade mark, veterinary researchers believe that prolonging life isn't entirely science fiction.
Philly.com reported that two recent studies indicate that certain changes
might extend your canine's life
. First,48 Labrador retriever puppies from seven different litters were divided into 24 pairs based on gender and weight at weaning. One canine from each set was randomly designated as the control, while the other was fed 25 percent less than his or her counterpart. The study ran from eight weeks old until the dogs' deaths. At 3 years old, all the dogs were switched off puppy food to an adult maintenance diet, and control dogs were fed an amount that would keep them at an ideal body weight.The pups who were fed 25 percent less lived almost two years longer
than those who were fed a "normal" amount. In addition, the calorie-restricted dogs developed fewer chronic diseases until much later in life.A second study was based off Parkinson's disease patients treated with L-deprenyl who experienced fewer symptoms and lived for much longer than other affected individuals. Scientists wanted to see if a similar effect would occur in dogs, so they paired 82 beagles together ranging in age from 2.8 to 16.4 years. One pooch was given a placebo and the other received L-deprenyl for more than two years. Eighty percent of the dogs given the drug lived until the end of the study compared to 39 percent who didn't.While these studies provide intriguing evidence to extending your dog's life, there may be alternative strategies to prolonging the time he spends by your side.Extend your canine's life
Cesar's Way recommended that pet parents properly maintain their dogs' teeth
, as decay is a very common health problem for canines. It not only affects their mouths, but also can cause infections throughout the body, specifically in the heart and kidneys. Owners can buy special kits, such as C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste
, to keep their pooches' teeth clean and healthy.Occasionally adding garlic to your dog's diet
can improve his heart health, K-9 Magazine explained. The herb has very beneficial effects and might go a long way in extending his life, but should be administered in small doses, as too much can make your dog sick. The source also recommended upping your canine's exercise, as obesity among pups is becoming a serious health issue. The extra weight can put considerable strain on the joints and shorten a dog's life.Lastly, bringing your pooch for regular checkups and vaccinations can help detect and prevent diseases early on. According to Cesar's Way, dogs should be brought to the veterinarian at least once a year when they're fully grown, and two to four times annually as puppies. These treatments can keep your canine happy and healthy for many years to come.To properly maintain their dogs' health, all owners should sign up for PetPlus
. A PetPlus
membership grants you easy access to hundreds of medications at discounted prices, as well as 25 percent off visits to more than 4,000 vets around the U.S. Join and start saving today!