Ways To Help Your Dog Live Longer

Blueprints on The Oldest Dog in the World from Planet Paws on Vimeo.

If dogs had a flaw (which they don’t) their one flaw would be that they don’t live as long as we do. Scientists are working at trying to create pills that will help extend the lives of dogs, but they haven’t come up with one that works yet.

The video above is absolutely amazing. Maggie, who lived to be the world’s oldest dog at 30 years old, lived an extraordinarily ordinary life. She lived on a farm and ate natural foods, rarely visited the vet, and was rarely exposed to other dogs. Parasites like fleas were kept under control by daily dips in the water, which she loved! She drank farm fresh milk every day and ate the same foods the humans ate. It’s not a life that many of us in the big city can can give to our dogs, but there are parts of Maggie’s long healthy life that we can try to duplicate for our pups no matter where we live.

Reduce Stress & Help Your Dog Live A Stress Free Life

Sitting in the sand dunes watching the sea.

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Just like humans, dogs can get stressed out. Stress kills all living things. Some dogs are born very zen and chill, but no matter what kind of dog you have, there are things you can do to help reduce the stressful situations in your dog’s life. Find time to calmly relax with your dog. Take your dog out for walks in nature when you can, get away from the cars and chaos of the big city. I’ll be good for both you and your pup.

Engage Your Dog’s Mind Every Day

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

In the old days dogs had jobs. They usually lived on farms and they helped the family with their daily chores. In modern times our dogs don’t have much to do but lay around. We offer them toys and brain games but is this really going to truly stimulate their minds?

There are definitely ways to bond with your dog on a deeper level, and you should. But one of the best ways to engage your dog is to simply include them in your every day life. Running errands, doing chores, dropping the kids off at school in the morning, walking to the bus stop to meet the kids in the afternoon and helping out around the house in other ways can be one of the best ways to engage your pup’s mind. Cleaning out the garage? Call your pup out and talk to them, get them involved, show them what you’ve found, make them a part of whatever you are doing. That’s the kind of engagement that is going to have a lasting effect on your pup’s mental state.

Make Sure Your Dog Gets Exercise Every Day

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Dogs need exercise every day. This doesn’t mean they need 45 minutes of cardio and weight lifting. Walking is the best exercise you can give a dog. Walk your dog as long as you can and walk your pup every day. (Be careful on hot days to make sure your dog is kept cool and doesn’t overexert him or herself. Dehydration is a serious issue on hot days. When the weather heats up, it’s better to walk in the cool hours of the early morning or evening and make sure your dog always has access to fresh water.) But the important part is that you want your dog to be as active as possible for as many hours and minutes you can every day.

Be Sure Your Dog Has A Healthy Diet


Diet and nutrition is one of the most important parts of helping your dog live as long as possible. Many dog food brands are made with chemicals and preservatives that’s just not good. Some people feed their dogs raw food, and that’s one way to go. Other people are into feeding their dog natural foods. This means that they shop for their dog at the grocery store, just like the rest of the family, and create dishes for their dogs from the same ingredients they do everyone else in the family or feed their dog leftovers and table scraps. This goes against so much of what we have been taught in the western world but the evidence speaks for itself.┬áIf you look at the dogs out there who have lived the longest (like Maggie), they have been dogs who had a natural diet and ate pretty much what their human pack members ate, not processed kibble.

There are lots of recipes online if you want to get into feeding your dog a more natural diet. It costs about the same as the high end dog foods and is so much better for them than any kind of kibble dog food.

This is how I learned about the movement and the more I learn, and the more dog food recalls I see, the more convinced I have become that natural foods are the way to go. I still buy kibble but I’ve been also making my dogs fresh food and experimenting. I don’t have a large family and we don’t often have left overs so I have to prepare food for my dogs but I’m personally making the transition to a natural food diet and just wanted to share this info with you.

If you want to learn more about the fresh foods movement follow these folks on Facebook.

Rodney Habib

Planet Paws

Dr. Karen Becker

Truth About Pet Food

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