You love your furry friend. Most people see their dog as more than just a family pet but as an important member of their family. When asked, pet parents say that they would do anything to extend the life of their beloved pet, even just a few more years. However, when asked in the same breathe if they ever feed fido food from the table, they ashamedly admit that they have and frequently do.
Did you know that what you are feeding your dog has a dramatic impact on their lifespan?
Sure, at first a few table scraps under the table and some standard grocery store dog food seem like an appropriate diet for a canine. However, the reality is very different – vets and pet nutrition experts now believe that poor nutrition is what is causing many of the common dog health problems that cut their lifespan short.
Everything from canine diabetes, different types of cancer, heart disease, and digestive problems can all be traced back to the poor nutrition of the dog and what the owners are doing ( or are not doing ) to feed their pet.
Although, there are different reasons why the nutrient of the dog is causing the various health issues that they are suffering from, for the most part it can all be traced back to a lack of protein. Dogs need protein! They are primarily carnivorous animals after all. They need a diet that is meat based.
However, the grocery store dog food that you are feeding them is mostly composed of fillers and nonnutritious ingredients like corn. Additionally, brand name dog food brands will boast that they are supplemented with all sorts of vitamins.
The problem with this is when the nutrition is supplemented and not from natural sources it isn’t as easily absorbed by the body. There is also no guarantee that the vitamins and nutrient that is “being added” to the food is being done so in a way that is evenly distributed or is even going to be taken in by the dog.
The Types of Health Problems In Dogs That Are Caused By Poor Nutrient
Any expert will tell you that a “well-balanced diet” is what your dog needs – but for individuals who do not have an in-depth understanding of what a balanced diet for a canine is, this advice is just fruitless.
Instead, it is much easier for pet parents to understand some of the common health issues that dogs suffer from, because of poor nutrient. They should also be taking constant preventative action by providing their dog with good nutrient as many of these conditions are easier to prevent then they are to treat.
Just like with humans, as a dog ages, their energy level will decrease and so does their desire to stay physically active. However, again just like humans – if you do not push yourself to stay active and eat well your metabolism will catch up with you and you will become obese.
Nationwide obesity in aging dogs is a widespread issue. These dogs are not getting enough exercise but they are also not eating a diet that is appropriate for their caloric and nutrition needs.
Many well-loved house pets are especially vulnerable to canine obesity because their owners enjoy “treating” them. Table scraps, dog cookies and other treats make up these animals diets.
These situations are often psychologically complex, as the owner believes that they are loving their pet by providing them with plenty of tasty things to snack on. The reality however, is the opposite – by not exercising Fido and feeding him, what t is essentially doggy junk food, you are actually shortening
your best friend’s life.
Another condition that is becoming quite common in dogs is pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a condition that is caused by inflammation of the pancreas, and it prevents normal digestion.
The pancreas is a vital organ because it allows the dog’s body to break down fats and helps to regulate digestive hormones.
It is thought that pancreatitis in dogs is directly correlated with how much fat they are eating. Too much fat can cause their pancreas to go into overload and begin to fail.
Where are they getting all of this extra fat you may ask? Well again, the pet owner is responsible for this. If a dog has pancreatitis it is likely because somebody is giving them too many high-fat snacks or that they are getting into human foods that they should not have access to.
- Bladder Infections and Stones
Another condition that dogs have in common with their owners are bladder infections. Bladder infections can be caused by bacteria in the bladder caused by irregular digestion.
Bladder stones are directly correlated to mineral build up in the bladder forming literal “stones” that are incredibly painful to pass.
Elderly dogs are especially susceptible to these conditions because as they get older their bladder’s start to become less able to break down calcium and phosphorus. If the dog has a diet that is high in these minerals then they will likely develop bladder infections.
If your dog gets into something that they should not have, then they may get temporary diarrhea lasting a day to two while they pass the unhealthy food that has bothered their digestive system. However, if your dog frequently suffers from diarrhea to the point where the condition is chronic, then it very likely means that there is something going on with their digestion.
Long-term chronic untreated diarrhea can cut your dog’s life short. It will likely become dehydrated and experience other symptoms caused by dehydration. Your veterinarian can provide medication and special food that will help to lessen diarrhea and alleviate the dehydration symptoms. However, long-term a dog that has constant diarrhea will require a special modified diet that is carefully monitored.
- Heart Disease
The rate of which dogs are being diagnosed with heart disease is startling! This comes from a lifetime of unhealthy eating and a diet hide in sodium.
Vets and pet nutrition experts know that an older dog with heart disease has likely lived a life full of yummy “people food”.
It may also be directly correlated to years of eating, really cheap grocery store brand dog food that is preserved with sodium.
To prevent heart disease pet owners should be looking carefully at the sodium levels in the food that their dog is being fed. They should refrain from feeding the dog food that is considered to be unhealthy and high in salt and fat.
Once thought just to be a consequence of aging, we now know that arthritis is actually a much more complex condition and is directly associated with poor nutrition and not enough regular exercise.
Again, as your dog gets older their bodies nutritional needs change. They also lose their ability to break down and tolerate foods that are not good for them.
Joint inflammation caused by not getting the right balance of vitamins and proteins leads to arthritis later on in life. Once diagnosed arthritis is incurable, so life long prevention is essential. Feed your pet well, and take them for plenty of walks.
Switching to a premium dog food that is specially formulated for elderly pets will also help to manage and prevent arthritis once your pet reaches a certain age.
A cancer diagnosis from your veterinarian can be terrifying to face. Depending on the severity and when the cancer is caught, your dog’s life expectancy may dramatically impact.
Although more commonly found in older dogs, cancer can be discovered in a fur friend at any age.
Just like with a human, we don’t know what directly causes cancer but certain types of cancer do correlate directly with nutrition. For this reason, if you wish to prevent cancer then you need to be conscious of what you are feeding your dog. Yes, even if it means resisting his adorable begging eyes looking up at your from under the dinner table.
Doggy diabetes is a serious condition that often ends in the dog having to be put down or requiring medication for the entirety of his or her life.
Dogs that have diabetes tend to drink a lot of water, vomit frequently, suffers from other digestive problems and seem unusually tired and sleepy.
The treatment for diabetes in dogs is twice a day insulin injections and a diet high in fiber for management. However, long-term the prognosis for a dog with diabetes is not great.
Again, this disease is related directly to what your dog eats and how healthy they are to begin with. Diabetes prevention, in dogs, is all about diet management.
- Viruses and Other Infectious Sicknesses
Although, not directly caused by a poor diet – dogs who do not get enough nutrition may have a compromised immune system that makes them vulnerable to viruses and infections. Their bodies ability to fight off these illnesses may also be lessened if they are not properly fed and do no get the right amount of protein and vitamins in their diet.
Older dogs may even die from contracting common canine viruses or infections because their immune system absolutely cannot shake it off.
For this reason, pet owners should take life-long preventative action to assure that their dog gets what it needs and their immune systems are strong.
- Skin Problems and Comprised Fur
Lastly, if you see issues with your dog on the outside such as skin irritation, patchy fur, irregular shedding, skin tags or patchiness you can also assume that there is something not quite right on the inside as well.
Why, well skin and hair growth is directly related to nutrition and overall health.
Dogs that are healthy should have shiny, soft fur and clear skin.
Dogs that are ill and not getting the correct nutrition will show early signs externally.
When you notice changes or ongoing problems with your pets fur or skin, the best thing you can do is look for ways to improve his or her diet.
Stress may also be a factor as well as a lack of exercise. Doggy depression, is very real.
So, if you want to make sure that your dog is both physically well and mentally happy, make sure that you provide for them a high quality of life that includes feeding them great food and lots of pats on the head and belly rubs.
Conclusion: Is Your Dog Getting What They Need to Thrive?
If you truly love your family pet and you wish to protect it from poor health, illness and an early death then you need to be conscious of what you are feeding them.
It is that simple, cheap food and table scraps do not provide your beloved buddy with the nutritional balance that they require thriving.
Many of the common health problems that will cut your dog’s life short are directly related to their nutrient and the care that they get from their owner.
If you cannot imagine life without your fur companion, then the best thing that you can do is provide them with proper nutrition today, don’t wait until they have received a diagnosis. Long-term as your dog ages, health problems may emerge. However, the chances of your dog surviving, until their expected doggy years are used up, will be greatly improved if they are well cared for and fed nutritionally rich food that is high in protein.