I recently came across this wonderful little article about how to extend your dog’s life from the American Kennel Club. Some of these are common sense and seem obvious but serve as a great reminder that your dog’s life is in YOUR hands. Keep your pets safe so they live a long and healthy life.

1. Dream Big

Pick a dog that you truly want to live with – for a long time. Much like a marriage, this is the dog you are going to spend a period of your life with. Mismatched humans and dogs can be stressful and devastating. 

2. Be Picky

If you decide to go to a breeder, choose one with an impeccable reputation for healthy puppies. Ask a LOT of questions about how to care for the puppy. If you decide to rescue a dog, also ask a lot of questions. The rescue may not know a lot about the history of the dog, but can help with current vaccine status, temperament and current health checks. The American Kennel Club has put together a list of what to ask before bringing home a dog. Click HERE. 

3. Lock Down

Check your surroundings at home – inside and out. Ask yourself, “How many ways can my puppy kill himself here?” Look for things that can fall, dangle or chewed. Everything can pose danger, even for an adult dog.  

4.  Teach Red-Light Commands

Young puppies are information sponges so use this period to ingrain life-saving commands—come, leave it, and an automatic sit or down. These commands can save your pet’s life when running into a dangerous street or going near a pool if he/she can’t swim.

5. Become a Nutrition Nerd

This is where Hungry Hound can help. Stop in anytime to learn more about healthy, balanced diets. High-quality diets are essential for maintaining your dog’s health for a long time. The American Kennel Club suggests (and so do we) not only reading labels on food, but also reading your dog. Digestive issues, smelly dogs, dull coat and gas can all be indicators that his diet isn’t agreeing with him. 

6. Be Rude

“Awww, he’s so cute. Can I kiss his little nose?” No. 

“Can I give her a piece of my sandwich?” Nope. 

“Don’t you want to try this new procedure?” Not a chance. 

Protect your dog from all of this unsolicited affection and advice by learning to say “No!” It’ll be the easiest part about being a pet owner. You know what’s best for him. Don’t ever let someone pressure you into making a bad decision. 

7. Keep Your Nose on the News

With the internet at the tips of our fingers on phones, laptops, tablets, it’s easy to educate yourself on all things dog. Current recalls, scientific studies and more. Hungry Hound will keep you updated on the latest and greatest regarding nutrition, recalls and more. Like us on Facebook. Better yet, Like us and Like some of our pages, you’ll have a plethora of articles, tips and general information regarding your furry-friend.  

8.  Prepare for the Worst

Accidents happen and knowing how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a dog or how to tie a tourniquet can mean the difference between life and death.  Watch online videos, read articles, educate yourself BEFORE the worst happens.

9. Stuff a Cash Cushion

Medical care costs money, so consider buying health insurance for your dog or having a credit card for unforeseen medical costs.

10.  Soothe Your Senior

Old dogs can be sweet and calm, but they can also be cranky, lose control of their bodily functions and go blind or deaf. We have plenty of supplements that can help with achy joints and boosting their immune systems. Consider holistic practices like chiropractic or acupuncture for your senior dog.