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3 Reasons Dogs Die Young & How To Prevent It

3 Reasons Dogs Die Young & How To Prevent It

Now more than ever we are concerned with keeping our pets healthy, but there still seem to be so many problems that cause us to lose them sooner than we should. Some of the most common causes of death in young dogs may not be entirely preventable, but we can do our best to minimize the risks. Below you’ll find three conditions to look out for as well as how to keep them at bay.

1. Cancer

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We know, the scary “C” word. The fact is, one in four dogs will be diagnosed with cancer. While it most commonly affects dogs over the age of 10, it does seem to be happening sooner and sooner in our pets. Recent studies offer theories as to what may be increasing the incidence of canine cancer including:

Toxins & Chemicals

Low quality dog foods are loaded with ingredients that may actually contribute to illness in our pets. Healthy eating is becoming more popular as owners switch to higher quality ingredients. Making sure your pup gets optimal nutrition is essential in keeping him thriving.

Over-Vaccination

It was long thought that annual vaccines were beneficial to pets, but studies are starting to show quite the contrary. Minimal vaccination protocols are cropping up left and right from veterinarians with a more holistic approach – and with good reason. These studies are showing vaccines to be more of a damaging toxin than a protective aide. If you haven’t looked into minimal vaccination protocols, it might be time to do so.

Read also: Top 10 medication prescribed for dogs

2. Congenital Disease

When most owners think of congenital diseases, they think of hip and elbow dysplasia. While these disorders are detrimental and very common, they are not the worst of the genetic disorders that can be passed down. Genetic diseases affect every organ system in the body, and only some have a known cause. Some of the more common ones are:

  • Von Willebrand Disease – an inherited bleeding disorder that limits the ability for blood to clot
  • Degenerative Myelopathy – deterioration of the spinal cord that causes progressive loss of function in the body
  • Megaesophagus – dilation of the esophagus that prohibits food from being swallowed and digested
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency – atrophy of part of the pancreas that leads the dog to slowly waste away
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy – deterioration of the retinal cells in the eye, causing blindness

There are many, many more genetic disorders found in dogs. The best way to avoid these conditions is to select breeding pairs that have been genetically tested to be clear of the disease. Luckily, there are DNA tests that can tell us whether or not our breeding dogs are carriers of certain genetic disorders. This helps eradicate the diseases in our beloved breeds.

Contrary to popular belief, studies have shown that mixed breed dogs are not at any less risk for these disorders.

Read also: How to identify the best food for your dog

3. Trauma/Injury

This is the most common cause of death in young dogs. Accidents happen, and we can only do so much to avoid them. Certain accidents, such as hit-by-car or dog fights, can be prevented by containing your dog, keeping him on a leash, and being able to properly read dog behavior. Others can be brought on by obesity and lack of exercise.

Keep your dogs safe from accidental injuries by:

  • Using a crate or doggy seatbelt in the car
  • Avoiding dog parks where fights can break out
  • Keeping your dog on a leash AT ALL TIMES when outdoors
  • Making sure they cannot escape the house or yard

There is only so much we can do in terms of keeping our pets safe and healthy, but we can make tiny steps to improve their chances. Keep your pup at a healthy weight with a nutritious diet and adequate; avoid toxin and chemical exposure; and take steps to prevent common accidents and injuries.

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