Critter Culture
10 Factors That Affect Your Dog's Life
DogsHealth

10 Factors That Affect Your Dog's Life

Critter Culture Staff
Updated Jan 17, 2023

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Pups need plenty of exercise, mental stimulation, and proper care to stay healthy and happy. However, if you're not providing everything your dog needs, it can lead to many problems, including a shorter life span.

1

Not feeding them a nutritious diet

A low angle view of a cute adorable 7 week old yellow Labrador Retriever puppy eating from a dog dish that is sitting on hardwood floor with a white colored wall in the background Stefan Cristian Cioata/ Getty Images

To live a long healthy life, your dog needs to eat a diet packed with the right vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids. Without these key nutrients, your dog will be more susceptible to developing health problems that can shorten their life.

One key mistake is feeding your dog human food, which generally lacks the ingredients dogs need and can even be toxic. For example, chocolate is poisonous to dogs and can cause death. Also, feeding your dog table scraps can lead to obesity, which shortens their life expectancy.

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2

Under-exercising them

Trail running in Big Sky with dogs Jordan Siemens/ getty Images

Exercise is crucial for keeping your dog physically and mentally healthy, and just like humans, dogs need to stay active. Without enough runs around the park, dogs can become obese, putting them at risk of health problems, including diabetes, joint pain, and cancer.

Movement is essential for keeping your dog's mind sharp. A lack of vigorous playtime can lead to boredom, which can cause destructive behaviors in your pup, like chewing and digging.

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3

Not taking them for their check-ups

Veterinarian attaching an IV drip to a golden retriever at a vet clinic Ron Levine/ Getty Images

Regular vet visits are important for catching problems before they can do serious damage. You can treat many health problems successfully if you catch them early enough. If you wait too long to take your dog to the vet, the issue may have progressed to a point where it is much more difficult (or even impossible) to treat successfully.

In addition, regular vet visits will help your vet get to know your dog, which can help spot hard-to-detect illnesses and injuries.

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4

Ignoring their mental health

Sad dog, sad dog face, Bernese Mountain Dog Jena Ardell/ Getty Images

Dogs can experience mental health challenges such as depression which a lack of exercise, boredom, and separation anxiety can exacerbate. If left untreated, these problems can lead to severe consequences, such as your dog refusing to eat. Pay attention to your dog's state of mind and seek professional help if you notice any changes in its behavior.

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5

Not socializing them properly

Horizontal image of three dogs playing in a green field in a sunny afternoon Stefan Cristian Cioata/ Getty Images

As a puppy, your dog needs to be adequately socialized, meaning it's important to expose your dog to various people, places, and experiences so that they become comfortable with them. If you keep your dog isolated, they may become fearful or anxious around new people or situations, leading to aggression. Socialization is also important to help your dog learn how to behave appropriately around other dogs.

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6

Neglecting their training needs

 young man about to give his golden retriever dog a treat after their walk. PamelaJoeMcFarlane/ Getty Images

Proper training is essential for keeping your dog safe and well-behaved. Without it, your pup may develop bad habits such as barking excessively, jumping on people, or chewing on furniture. Additionally, if you let your dog misbehave, they may not listen to you in emergencies

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7

Keeping them under-stimulated

Labrador retriever dogs looking at camera while they are chewing a rope toy in backyard Stefan Cristian Cioata/ Getty Images

Dogs need mental stimulation to avoid boredom and keep their minds sharp. You can provide this stimulation in several ways, such as through training, puzzles, and interactive toys. For example, some toys can be filled with treats, keeping your dog occupied for hours on end. Other ideas for keeping your dog's mind active include playing fetch, teaching your dog tricks, and going for walks in new places.

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8

Not paying them enough affection

Young woman hugging dog on living room sofa Ling Jin/Getty Images

Dogs are social animals and need love and affection from their owners. If they don't receive enough attention, they may become withdrawn or depressed. Additionally, they may start acting out. Canines that don't get enough pats, belly rubs, and scratches may start barking excessively or chewing on furniture. If you think your dog is craving more love, try spending more time with them.

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9

Being lax about dangers and health risks

Low angle view of a small dog being walked by two young brothers in a park. Christopher Hopefitch/ Getty Images

Dogs can be exposed to a number of dangers and health risks, such as car accidents, poisonous plants, and diseases. It's important to take steps to protect your dog from these risks. You should keep them on a leash when you're outdoors, make sure they're up-to-date on their vaccinations, and avoid letting them eat anything off the ground.

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10

Not paying much attention to their environment

Brown Dog Sleeping In Pet Bed At Home Haha Bestimmt / EyeEm/ Getty Images

Dogs need a safe and secure environment to feel comfortable and happy. Keep your home free of hazards, such as cords, sharp objects, and poisonous plants. Additionally, you have to provide them with a comfortable place to sleep, plenty of toys, and chew bones to keep them occupied.

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