- Risk factors for a short
life in dogs.
1. No ID tag: Dogs without ID tags may be lost and never reunited
with their owners.
2. No Microchip: Lost dogs with microchips get a little extra care
should they ever run away and get hurt. They will be stabilized and treated by
veterinarians and given extra time for their owners to find them.
3. Dogs Allowed to Roam : I believe dogs with fenced in yards live
longer. Dogs allowed to roam and not on a leash are much more likely to die form being hit
by a car, poisoned, or shot and suffer other injuries.
4. Secondhand Smoke: Risk of lung problems and cancer is higher in dogs
routinely exposed to second hand smoke.
5. No Training : Dogs without training are much more
likely to get in to trouble. By not knowing when to "come", "leave it"
and "stay" can be life changing. I've seen a dog come when called rather than
chase another dog into the street...knowing that trick saved his life. I've also seen dogs
that "leave it" when they picked up a toxin - again, it saved their life.
6. Access to Trash: Dogs that are allowed access to trash can get into
things that can cause life-threatening conditions. Think of everything that you throw into
the garbage. What would happen if your dog ate it?
7. Feeding Elevated : There are risk factors that suggest that elevated
feeding can enhance the risk for a life-threatening disease called "Bloat".
8. Feeding Table Scraps: Dogs fed table scraps and human foods generally
don't have balanced diets and have a higher incidence of nutritional problems and diseases
such as pancreatitis.
9. No Vaccines: Dogs not given vaccines are at risk for multiple
preventable diseases such as parvovirus, leptosprirosis, kennel cough, distemper and more.
10. No heartworm prevention
: Heartworm disease is a very
common disease which can be prevented by giving routine monthly medication. It is often
lethal if left untreated.
11. Not Being Spayed or
Neutered: Dogs that are not
spayed are at higher risk for breast cancer as well as a potentially fatal uterine
infection called pyometra. Unaltered males are more likely to fight and escape the house
to roam - allowing them the opportunity to get hit by a car or shot.
12. No Check-ups: Dogs without routine check-ups can have problems
that can be preventable. Early diagnosis can cure many diseases.
13. No Emergency Plan : Owner that don't have any plan or
resources to pay for health problems is a common cause of early death. Very treatable
problems can lead to euthanasia because of lack of financial resources to treat those
problems. Problems as simple as a broken leg or infection have ended very sadly.
So what can you do? Vaccinate, spay and neuter your dog, microchip and
keep him or her on monthly flea and heartworm prevention medications. Keep a collar and ID
tag on your dog and keep him or her on a leash or in a fenced in yard. Keep your trash
cans covered and feed a high quality food. Train your dog basic commands and see your vet
for routine check-ups.
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