Pets Living Longer

by | Interesting |

Veterinarians all over North America have been noticing a trend in the lifespan of pets. While the rule of thumb that smaller dogs live longer than larger dogs still stands, large breeds that typically lived to seven or nine years old are now reaching their early teens. Cats are also reaching benchmarks in life expectancy, such as a Sphynx cat in Texas who was 34 years old when he died in 1998.

While improved nutrition and advances in pet medical care are causes for life expectancy, owners are also becoming more educated when it comes to diet and exercise and that results in healthier pets. In addition, a better educated owner will usually be able to notice problems at an earlier stage leading to earlier and better targeted treatment plans.Particular breeds also may have an edge, such as the Siamese and Abyssinian cats which may live until their late teens or even early 20’s.

Keeping your pet healthy and trim will also increase his or her lifespan, and pets that are on the lean side can live up to two years longer than their chubby counterparts. Talk to your veterinarian about the best choice of food for your pet, beginning when they are a puppy. There are now breed specific foods that are tailored to the type of dog or cat as well as a variety of foods designed for each lifestage (age) of your pet. To keep your pet mentally fit as well as physically in shape, interact with your dog or cat on a daily basis. It is great for their emotional health and will keep their minds sharp, especially as they get older. Be sure to play with, groom and spend some quality time with your pet every day.

While pets are following the trend of longer lifespans, just like their human companions, through proper nutrition, exercise and socialization we can keep them healthy and happy throughout their entire lives.

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