How Long Do Dogs Live? How To Increase Your Dog’s Lifespan

How Long Do Dogs Live? How To Increase Your Dog’s Lifespan

How Long Do Dogs Live?

Dogs are part of out families and hold a special place in our hearts. Understanding their lifespan is an important part for responsible dog parenting. While the lifespan of dogs can vary significantly based on various factors, it’s essential to provide them with the best care throughout their lives.

Factors Affecting Dog Lifespan

Genetic factors wield considerable influence over the duration of a canine’s life. Additionally, factors such as size, breed, diet, exercise, and regular veterinary care can impact how long a dog lives. Larger breeds tend to have shorter lifespans compared to smaller breeds, and certain breeds are genetically predisposed to specific health conditions that can affect longevity.

Average Lifespan of Dogs

Typically, the lifespan of dogs ranges from approximately a decade to fifteen years.However, this can vary widely depending on factors like breed, size, and overall health. Some smaller breeds can live well into their teens, while larger breeds may have a shorter lifespan, typically around 8 to 12 years.

Longest Living Dog Breeds

Numerous breeds of dogs are recognized for their remarkable endurance over time.Breeds such as the Chihuahua, Dachshund, and Beagle are often among the longest-living dogs. These breeds tend to be small to medium-sized and are generally healthier with fewer genetic predispositions to serious health issues.

Shortest Living Dog Breeds

Conversely, some breeds have shorter lifespans due to genetic factors or health issues. Breeds such as the Great Dane, Saint Bernard, and Mastiff are examples of larger breeds that typically have shorter lifespans. Additionally, brachycephalic breeds like the Bulldog and Pug may face respiratory issues that can impact their longevity. 

If you are interested in rare breeds check this article: 7 most rare breeds

Ways to Increase Dog Lifespan

While genetics play a significant role, there are steps dog parents can take to help increase their dog’s lifespan. Providing a balanced diet, regular structured exercise, building resiliency, proper veterinary care, and preventive measures such as vaccinations and parasite control can all contribute to a longer, healthier life for dogs.

Quality of Life vs. Quantity of Life

While extending a dog’s lifespan is important, it’s equally crucial to prioritize their quality of life. Ensuring they are happy, mentally stimulated, and free from pain or discomfort is essential for their overall well-being. Quality of life should always be balanced with efforts to prolong lifespan. Well behaved dogs have access to more fun activities like  Off leash adventures where they enjoy freedom and enrichment in their lives.

Emotional Awareness and Mindfulness

Behavior Training and Emotional Training Regulation (ETR) can impact in a very positive way both the quantity and quality of your dog’s life. Dogs that are reactive, aggressive, fearful, anxious, insecure, overexcited or have obesessive breed traits leave less happy lives and usually shorter lives too. 

Signs of Aging in Dogs

As dogs age, they may exhibit various signs indicating they are entering their senior years. These can include graying hair, decreased mobility, changes in appetite, and alterations in behavior. Regular veterinary check-ups can help identify and address age-related health issues early on.

Caring for Senior Dogs

Senior dogs require special care and attention to maintain their health and comfort. This may involve adjusting their diet to accommodate changing nutritional needs, providing supplements for joint health, and ensuring they have a comfortable environment tailored to their age-related needs. You can find more info here at RSPCA caring for older dogs.

Emotional Human Aspects of Pet Lifespan

The bond between a pet and their owner is a special and deeply emotional connection. As dogs age, it’s natural for pet owners to experience feelings of sadness and grief as they confront the inevitable loss of their beloved companion. Finding ways to cope with this loss and honoring the memory of a cherished pet is an important part of the grieving process.

FAQs About Dog Lifespan

  • What constitutes the typical lifespan of a mongrel dog? Mixed-breed dogs generally live between 10 to 15 years, depending on various factors such as size and overall health.
  • Do smaller dogs live longer than larger dogs?  Generally, smaller dog breeds tend to live longer than larger breeds, although individual factors such as genetics and overall health also play a significant role.
  • What are some signs that my dog is entering old age? Signs of aging in dogs can include graying hair, decreased mobility, changes in appetite, and alterations in behavior.
  • How can I cope with the loss of a beloved pet?    Coping with the loss of a pet can be challenging, but finding support through friends, family, or pet loss support groups, and creating a lasting memorial for your pet can help in the grieving process.

Conclusion

Understanding the lifespan of dogs and the factors that influence it is essential for responsible pet ownership. By providing proper care, attention, and love throughout their lives, pet owners can ensure that their canine companions live happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

© Gabriel Riesco, Pawmos Dog Training LLC |   All Rights Reserved February 2023

Why Do Dogs Bury Bones? You’d Be Surprised

Why Do Dogs Bury Bones? You’d Be Surprised

Dogs never cease to amaze us with their fascinating behaviors. Among these actions, the act of burying bones has captivated dog parents for generations. Have you ever found yourself wondering why your pup diligently digs a hole in the backyard or carefully stashes their prized possessions in the garden? Let’s go over the secrets behind this instinctive dog behavior, tracing its roots back to the wild ancestors of our beloved pups.

1. Why They Do It: Instincts from the Wild

Understanding this behavior takes us into little evolutionary journey. Domestic dogs share a common ancestry with wolves, and the practice of burying bones can be traced back to their wild instincts. In the wild, wolves buried surplus food to shield it from scavengers and create reserves for leaner times. This survival instinct has been passed down through generations, with specific breeds, such as Basset Hounds, Dachshunds, and Terriers, displaying a heightened inclination to bury toys and food due to their historical roles in digging for underground prey.

Moreover, dogs exhibit a hoarding mentality, a reflection of their pack instincts. Burying bones becomes a way for them to secure resources within their family “pack,” even if that pack comprises their human companions. Scent marking, another layer of this behavior, allows dogs to leave their mark on buried treasures, creating a connection through their acute sense of smell. In essence, your dog may be engaging in a complex dance of survival instincts and pack behavior when burying bones.

Additionally, dogs might resort to burying bones as a stress-relief mechanism during times of change, excitement, or anxiety. Just as humans save leftovers for later, dogs may bury bones for a future, more suitable time to enjoy their tasty treats.

2. When You Should Be Concerned

Now that we’ve uncover the mystery behind why dogs bury bones, let’s get into effective strategies to manage this behavior, especially when it seems like your garden is transforming into a doggy excavation site. The concept of resource abundance plays a crucial role here. Mimicking the natural ebb and flow of resources in the wild can help curb excessive burying tendencies.

Instead of giving more toys to keep them busy, limit the number of toys or bones available to your dog at any given time, providing just one or two and rotating them weekly. This not only prevents an overflow of resources but also stimulates your dog’s curiosity, preventing boredom. Timing is also crucial; avoid giving your dog a bone immediately after a meal when their stomach is full, as they are more likely to bury bones when resources are in surplus. Engaging in interactive play fosters a stronger bond and reinforces the idea that resources are shared, discouraging hoarding behavior.

Consider the breed-specific tendencies related to digging. Breeds originally bred for digging may display more confidence in burying behavior. Understanding these breed nuances can further aid in managing your dog’s natural instincts.

3. What to Do About It: Should You Worry?

While burying things is a natural and instinctive behavior, considering potential concerns and taking proactive measures is essential for a harmonious household.

Potential Concerns:

a. Paw and Nail Injuries: Digging in areas with a rigid substrate can lead to abrasions and discomfort for your furry friend.

b. Indoor Damages: Burying behavior may extend indoors, resulting in damage to items like pet beds and couch cushions.

c. Stress for Both: Constant worry about belongings and disapproval can create stress for both pet parents and their dogs.

What to Do:

a. Do NOT Create a Designated Digging Area: Do NOT redirect your dog’s instincts by providing a designated digging spot in your backyard filled with loose soil or sand if you don’t want to encourage that behavior or if your dog starts obsessing about it. 

b. Understanding Breed-Specific Behavior: Recognize that certain breeds are more inclined to bury items and tailor your approach accordingly. 

c. Work the breed out: If your dog’s breed encourages this behavior and you have a family dog, work on behavior training to start working the obsessive side of the breed out of your dog.. Certain breeds are prone to obsessions. Have in mind that breed was created by humans not by nature

d. Implement Behavior Training: Help your dog regulate compulsive behaviors by teaching self control and self management.

e. Supervision and Management: Keep an eye on your dog, intervening when needed and reinforcing boundaries. 

In conclusion the mystery behind why dogs bury bones lies in their deep-rooted instincts inherited from their wild ancestors.

While this behavior is natural and instinctive, it’s crucial for pet parents to be aware of potential concerns and take proactive measures for a harmonious household. Paw and nail injuries, indoor damages, and stress for both the pet and owner are important factors to take into considerations. Managing this behavior involves a thoughtful approach, considering breed-specific tendencies, resource abundance, interactive play and behavior training if needed.

Effective strategies, such as limiting the number of toys, understanding breed nuances, and engaging in behavior training, can help strike a good balance.

© Gabriel Riesco, Pawmos Dog Training LLC |   All Rights Reserved Dec 2023

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass? Understanding Your Dog’s Craving

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass? Understanding Your Dog’s Craving

Dog parents like me have likely observed their pups grazing on grass at some point, leaving many to wonder why dogs engage in this behavior. While it may seem peculiar, dogs eating grass is a common behavior, and researchers and veterinarians have proposed several explanations for this quirky habit.

Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass:

  • Digestive Aid:  One theory suggests that dogs eat grass as a means to induce vomiting. In the wild, dogs may consume plant material to help purge indigestible matter from their stomachs. Grass, with its fibrous texture, may act as an irritant and trigger vomiting, in order to remove unwanted substances.
  • Nutritional Deficiency:  Some experts propose that dogs may eat grass due to nutritional deficiencies in their diets. If a dog lacks certain vitamins  or minerals, they might instinctively seek out alternative sources in the form of vegetation. However, it’s crucial to note that modern dog diets are carefully formulated to meet nutritional requirements, making this explanation less likely.
  • Instinctual Behavior:  Eating grass could be an instinctual behavior inherited from the dog’s wild ancestors. Wolves and other wild canines have been observed eating plants.  This behavior may have been carried on to domesticated dogs.

  • Boredom or Anxiety: Dogs, like humans, can resort to certain behaviors out of boredom or anxiety. If a dog is left alone for extended periods of time and lacks mental control, it may turn to eating grass as a form of entertainment or self-soothing.

  • Taste and Texture: Some dogs simply enjoy the taste or texture of grass. Dogs use their mouths to explore the world, and the different textures of grass may be appealing to them. This is especially true for puppies, who are known to explore the world through mouthing.

  • Natural Laxative: Grass contains a significant amount of fiber, and ingesting it may act as a natural laxative for dogs. In some cases, dogs may consume grass to help alleviate constipation or other digestive issues.

Is Eating Grass Bad for Dogs?

The act of eating grass itself is not inherently harmful to dogs. In fact, many dogs consume grass without experiencing any adverse effects. However, there are concerns about the potential ingestion of pesticides or chemicals present on the grass, which could be harmful to dogs.

Effects of Eating Grass on Dogs:

While most dogs can tolerate eating grass without consequences, there is a risk of gastrointestinal upset if the grass is treated with chemicals. Signs of distress may include vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy.

How Can I Stop My Dog from Eating Grass?

If you’re concerned about your dog’s grass-eating habits, consider these strategies:

  • Ensure a Balanced Diet: Make sure your dog is on a well-balanced diet to address any potential nutritional deficiencies.

  • Provide Mental and Physical structured activities : Engage your dog in regular structured activities where he or she has to practice self control. This way your dog will be tired and  content instead of getting restless, bored and anxiuos. Note that unstructured games or activities can lead to restlessness and more anxiety. 

  • Choose Safe Grass Areas: If your dog enjoys grazing, ensure they do so in areas free of pesticides or harmful chemicals.

Is Eating Grass Instinctual or a Psychological/Physical Need?

While the exact reason dogs eat grass remains a subject of debate, it likely involves a combination of instinctual behavior, exploration, and potential physical or psychological needs. Dogs may eat grass for various reasons, and the motivation behind this behavior can vary from one individual to another.

When Should I Call the Vet?

If your dog exhibits signs of distress such as persistent vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or if you suspect they have ingested toxic substances from the grass, it’s crucial to contact your veterinarian promptly. A professional can assess the situation and provide appropriate guidance based on your dog’s specific circumstances.

While grass consumption is a common behavior in dogs, understanding the underlying reasons can help pet owners make informed decisions about their dog’s well-being. Monitoring the environment, ensuring a balanced diet, and seeking veterinary advice when necessary are key components of responsible dog ownership.

© Gabriel Riesco, Pawmos Dog Training LLC |   All Rights Reserved December 2023

Is Sleeping with Your Dog a Good Idea?    Navigating the Debate on Sharing Your Bed with Your Dog

Is Sleeping with Your Dog a Good Idea? Navigating the Debate on Sharing Your Bed with Your Dog

As the sun sets and the day winds down, many dog parents face a nightly dilemma – to invite their four-legged companions into the bed or not. The discussion surrounding co-sleeping with dogs has evolved into a nuanced debate, with pet parents weighing the pros and cons of this age-old practice.questions like: Is it good for my dog to sleep in my bed? Is it good for my kids to sleep with our pup? Is it good for me? 

In this discussion, we’ll dissect the intricacies of sleeping with your pup, considering the health implications for both humans and dogs, evaluating the potential benefits and drawbacks, and examining scenarios where co-sleeping might not be a good idea.

Is it Healthy for Me to Sleep with My Dog?

The emotional bond between humans and their dogs is undeniable, and for many, the idea of sharing a bed is a testament to that connection. Research suggests that having a pet in the bedroom, particularly a dog, can positively impact sleep quality. The companionship and sense of security provided by a canine bedmate can reduce stress and anxiety, promoting a more restful night’s sleep.

Nevertheless, the debate persists as some argue that co-sleeping with dogs may lead to disturbances in sleep patterns. Dogs, creatures of routine, may wake up during the night or shift around, potentially disrupting their owner’s sleep. Additionally, concerns about allergies arise, as dogs can introduce allergens into the bed, which may affect individuals with allergies or asthma.

Is it Healthy for Dogs to Sleep in Our Beds?

Dogs, being descendants of pack animals, often crave closeness with their human family members. The practice of sleeping in close proximity can deepen the bond between pets and their owners. However, considerations such as the size and breed of the dog become crucial factors. Larger dogs might occupy more space, potentially causing discomfort for both the dog and their human bedmate. Striking a balance between companionship and the dog’s need for undisturbed sleep is paramount.

Pros and Cons for Humans:

Pros:

  • Comfort and Companionship: The warmth and presence of a dog can provide a sense of comfort and companionship.
  • Stress Reduction: Studies have linked the presence of a dog to reduced stress levels and improved mental well-being.
  • Warmth: Dogs’ body heat contributes to a cozy sleeping environment, especially during colder nights.

Cons:

  • Disturbed Sleep: Dogs may move around or wake up during the night, potentially disrupting the owner’s sleep.
  • Allergies: Allergens from dogs, such as dander, may be a concern for individuals with allergies or asthma.
  • Space Issues: Larger dogs may take up a significant portion of the bed, leading to discomfort for the owner.

Pros and Cons for Dogs:

Pros:

  • Bonding: Co-sleeping can strengthen the emotional bond between dogs and their owners.
  • Comfort: Dogs often find solace in being close to their human companions.
  • Security: Sleeping with their owners can make dogs feel more secure and reduce anxiety.

Cons:

  • Space Constraints: Dogs may have limited space to move around, affecting their comfort.
  • Disrupted Sleep: Human movements or restless sleepers can disturb a dog’s sleep.
  • Allergens: Dogs may be exposed to allergens present in the human bed, affecting their health.

Some of Us Should not sleep with our dogs

While the benefits of co-sleeping with dogs are evident, certain situations call for caution or abstaining from this practice.

Breathing Issues:

Individuals with respiratory conditions, such as sleep apnea or snoring, may find that a dog’s presence exacerbates these issues. In such cases, maintaining a separate sleeping space for the dog is advisable to ensure the owner’s respiratory health.

Some Dogs with Behavioral Issues Should Not Join the Family Bed:

Co-sleeping with dogs can be a delightful experience, fostering a sense of companionship and warmth. However, the decision to welcome your canine companion into your bed should be guided by considerations that go beyond mere comfort. One crucial factor to assess is the behavior of the dog, as it can significantly impact the co-sleeping dynamic.

For starters, Dogs with behavioral problems, such as aggression or possessiveness, may not be suitable bedmates. Co-sleeping can reinforce dominant behavior in some dogs, potentially leading to conflicts and safety concerns. On top[ of that some dogs will bite when they get startled or woken up from a deep sleep without any warning. 

Puppies, despite their undeniable cuteness, might not be the ideal bedfellows in the initial stages of their development. While they undoubtedly crave the warmth and security of being close to their human family, allowing them into the bed too early might contribute to the development of separation anxiety. Puppies, like human infants, need to learn independence and establish a routine that includes periods of separation to avoid potential attachment issues. A separate sleeping area, perhaps a cozy crate, can provide them with a secure space while still being close to their human companions.

Beyond the realm of puppyhood, certain dogs may exhibit behavioral issues that make co-sleeping less than ideal. Dogs with anxiety or separation anxiety issues, for instance, might not thrive in the family bed environment. While the instinct to seek comfort from their owners is strong, dogs with anxiety-related challenges may benefit from a structured routine that includes crate training. A well-designed crate can become a safe haven, offering a retreat for the dog to cope with their anxiety and establish a sense of security.

Co-sleeping can inadvertently reinforce certain behaviors, and for dogs with anxiety, the close proximity to their owners might exacerbate rather than alleviate their distress. Crate training, when approached with positive reinforcement and patience, can provide these dogs with a designated space where they feel secure, reducing anxiety and promoting better overall mental well-being.

As you can see the decision to allow your dog into your bed is a multifaceted one. Puppies, with their boundless energy and need for structure, may benefit from a separate sleeping space to foster independence and prevent separation anxiety. Similarly, dogs with anxiety or separation anxiety issues may find solace in a well-designed crate, offering them a retreat that aids in managing their emotional challenges. As responsible pet parents, it is our duty to recognize and address the unique needs of our pups, ensuring that the sleeping arrangement contributes positively to their overall well-being.

In the grand scheme of things the choice to sleep with your dog is deeply personal and dependent on various factors, including lifestyle, preferences, and the needs of both the owner and the dog. Whether you decide to snuggle up with your dog or designate separate sleeping spaces, the key is to prioritize the well-being of both human and canine sleep partners. In the ever-evolving debate of sleeping with your dog, acknowledging the uniqueness of your case and the above mentioned factors is key to create and foster a harmonious coexistence, both day and night.

© Gabriel Riesco, Pawmos Dog Training LLC |   All Rights Reserved December 2023

Labradoodle Breed

Labradoodle Breed

Labradoodles are one of the most common breeds for families and for good reason.  A Labradoodle is a crossbreed between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. This mixed breed dog is known for its intelligence, playful personality, and affectionate nature. They can also be high energy type of dogs , so both obedience training and behavior training is highly recommended since most of these dogs are first choice for families with kids. 

Labradoodles are also known for being low-shedding and hypoallergenic, making them a popular choice for people with allergies. 

Because Labradoodles are a relatively new breed, there is some variation in their appearance and temperament. Some Labradoodles may have more characteristics of a Labrador Retriever, while others may take after the Poodle more.

One of the most appealing aspects of the Labradoodle breed is their intelligence. Both Labradors and Poodles are known for their smarts, and Labradoodles inherit this trait from their parents. This makes them easy to train and a great choice for families with children.

In addition to their intelligence, Labradoodles are also known for their playful and affectionate nature. They are happy-go-lucky dogs that love to be around people and are known for their friendly demeanor. Having said that any dog breed can develop behavioral issues, so don’t take it for granted that your labradoodle does not require any training. They can also be a handful.  

When it comes to grooming, Labradoodles may require regular brushing and haircuts to keep their coat looking its best. They are low-shedding and hypoallergenic, but they may still require regular grooming to maintain their coat and prevent matting.

Overall, Labradoodles are a wonderful breed that make great companions for families with children. They are intelligent, playful, and affectionate, and their low-shedding and hypoallergenic coats make them a great choice for people with allergies.

  © Gabriel Riesco, Pawmos Dog Training LLC |   All Rights Reserved September 2023