About 37% to 47% of households own a dog. When you have a dog as a pet, it is not uncommon to treat them like a member of the family. As a dog owner, you want to believe that you treat your dog well and your pet is in good hands. Unfortunately, many dog owners are harming their dog without even knowing it. The last thing you want is to shorten your dog's lifespan unintentionally. In an effort to ensure your dog lives a happy and healthy life, here are some ways you could be harming your dog without knowing it.
Gaining Too Much Weight
Just like you have a certain weight guideline, your pet does as well. Allowing your pet to gain too much weight can actually shorten their lifespan. It is important to talk to your veterinarian about what the proper weight for your dog is. Many dog owners have no idea how much their dog should weigh. In fact, 53% of dogs were overweight in 2014, according to a study conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Feeding your dog table scraps can be detrimental to your dog's diet. Not only does it repel them from their dog food that contains vital nutrients, but it can cause them to eat unhealthy foods that contain too much fat.
Skipping Vet Checkups
One of the worst things you can do for your dog is skip their regular vet checkups. Experts suggest having your dog checked out annually as long as their are under the age of ten. Once they reach ten years old, you should have them checked biannually. While your dog may look and act normal, there could be an underlying problem that you don't know about. Your vet is experienced at looking for problem signs that could be clues to something brewing with your dog's health. Contact a company like Capitol Animal Clinic for more information.
Exposing Your Dog to Cigarette Smoke
Just like humans, dogs can be affected by secondhand smoke. If you or a family member is smoking, you want to do it away from anyone, including pets. Secondhand smoke has been linked to a variety of health issues, including respiratory disease and cancer. Long-nosed dogs had a 250% increase in risk of nasal cancer when exposed to tobacco use. The best way to prevent this is to make sure your dog is not in the same room. If possible, you want to go outside if you must smoke.