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Some Factors Determining the Lifespan of Your Dog

Some Factors Determining the Lifespan of Your Dog

It’s true when they say “a dog is a man’s best friend,” however, this can also be said when referring to the connection between dogs and women, too. Everyone loves dogs, and we all know someone who either has or had one in the past. Owning a dog comes with major responsibilities that I’ve witnessed firsthand just being around them at my friend’s house. Additionally, losing a dog can be a huge emotional downer and can take a toll on your mental state for several months afterward. I asked my friend how much he spends on his dog a month, and he mentioned it varies depending on its food, medical bills, toys, etc; it’s hard to put a number on the total amount, but the cost can go up quickly.

Recently, another friend of mine lost his dog, and it was hard on him. After that loss, I wanted to find out which factors determined the lifespan of a dog. I did some research, and was able to put some factors together.

First, here’s a quick overview of dog’s age in human years:

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    Image Source: healthypets.mercola.com

    The Breed

    Just like your genetics make you prone to more health problems, the same can be said for pets. For example, some dog breeds are prone to certain health problems like dysplasia, spinal issues, respiratory problems, and cancer. Poor breeding can also lead to genetic defects which, over time, can have a major toll on the overall health of the dog. Many of these health problems are only seen as the dog matures, which increases medical bills substantially. Many owners can’t afford those bills, so are unable to provide the care their aging dogs need; this just makes it harder on the dog, and decreases their life expectancy.

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    If you do a quick search in Google, you can find a list of dogs who have a higher-than-normal life expectancy because of their breed. These dogs are known to have fewer health problems as long as the right nutrition, healthcare, and environment are provided.

    Nutrition

    If you feed your dog food that is high in fat and low in protein, then they can develop a heart problem just like humans can. Remember, “you are what you eat,” and this holds true for humans and pets because just like a poor diet while growing up affects the way we mature, the same can be said for dogs, too. For example, pets with a poor diet or receiving inadequate nutrition while young may develop a condition as they grow older; this will not only reduce their life span but the quality of life, too.

    Exercise

    It’s amazing how so much of this information relates to us humans. Make sure you take your dog out 2-3 times a day for a run or walk. This exercise keeps their cardiovascular activity high, which is great for the heart. Daily exercise is even more important for those dogs who have a pre-existing condition. Do a quick search in Google to find a list of great exercises you can put your dog through, or you can visit local bookstores to find actual guides on this subject.

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    Healthcare

    Frequent healthcare is important to your pet’s well-being. Owners spend thousands of dollars each year getting their dog the best healthcare possible. Think about it this way: imagine if your dog gets a small injury and you decide to neglect the right type of healthcare. This minor injury can become bigger, restricting daily activities the dog can perform; this means the dog can no longer exercise, which will affect their overall cardiovascular health.

    Grooming, cutting nails, and removing extra fur is all considered healthcare. By providing the right healthcare for your dog, you’ll also protect them from flea infestation which, unchecked, could become life-threatening.

    The Emotional Connection

    Having a personal connection with your dog is important for their mental state. Dogs who don’t have an emotional bond with their owners can become depressed, which lowers their overall activity. Dogs with lower activity levels and who are depressed tend to exercise and eat less. So, spend quality time with your dog; this will lower the chance of depression and increase mental stimulation, which is important for them to stay positive in their environment.

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    Featured photo credit: Greater Swiss Mountain Dog via dogtime.com

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    Last Updated on August 6, 2018

    10 Benefits of Deadlifts You Probably Never Knew

    10 Benefits of Deadlifts You Probably Never Knew

    The Deadlift. It is the quintessential weightlifting exercise. According to David Robson, a bodybuilder, personal trainer and contributor to Bodybuilding.com,

    “In my experience as an athlete, and based on the results witnessed by many of my personal training clients, the deadlift, if performed correctly, will build unparalleled mass while strengthening all the major muscles groups.

    Yes, many will argue that the squat is the King of Exercises, and will contribute to more strength and size gains than any other exercise.

    While it is true that the squat does rank as one of the best size builders (and on this basis alone should be included in everyone’s program), the deadlift, in my opinion, builds the upper and lower body like no other movement.”

    The deadlift is done by simply grasping your free-weight bar (with as many weights as you can feasibly – not comfortably – lift) and lifting up until your standing up with the bar hanging in front of you, arms extended.

    1. Increased Fat Burning

    Alwyn Cosgrove, a personal trainer and fitness author, recently wrote about a study where: “Overweight subjects were assigned to three groups: diet-only, diet plus aerobics, diet plus aerobics plus weights. The diet group lost 14.6 pounds of fat in 12 weeks. The aerobic group lost only one more pound (15.6 pounds) than the diet group (training was three times a week starting at 30 minutes and progressing to 50 minutes over the 12 weeks).

    The weight training group lost 21.1 pounds of fat (44% and 35% more than diet and aerobic only groups respectively). Basically, the addition of aerobic training didn’t result in any real world significant fat loss over dieting alone.”

    Lifting weights and resistance training will burn more fat than just dieting or dieting with cardio exercise alone.

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    2. Better Posture

    Deadlifting increases your core strength and adds to core stability, according to Robson. Deadlifting targets all of the muscles responsible for your posture and enables you to keep your back straighter during regular daily activities.

    3. More Muscles Worked

    The Deadlift works more muscles than any other exercise, including the squat. The lift engages all of the major muscle groups, according to exercise physiologist Kevin Farley. If you need to do one exercise, this is the one to do. The Deadlift works your lower and upper body, including your back muscles.

    4. Increased Real Life Lift

    When you do other lifting exercises, like a bench press, for example, you’re not doing anything you might really do in real life. When are you ever going to have the need to lay on your back and push something in the air — unless you’re giving your two-year-old “flying lessons.” The Deadlift develops the muscles you need to actually carry something, like a bucket of water, those heavy grocery bags or your neighbor’s dining room table.

    5. It’s Safe

    The Deadlift is one of the safest weightlifting exercises you can perform. You aren’t going to get pinned under the weight or have to worry about it pulling you over backwards. If you get into trouble, you can simply drop it…making for a loud bang, no doubt, but no damage. You also don’t have to have a spotter to perform this exercise.

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    6. Improved Grip Strength

    According to Outlaw Fitness:

    “Deadlifts are renowned for their ability to build massive amounts of grip strength, and for good reason. Your fingers are literally the only things connecting you to the weight of the bar. Your forearms have to work incredibly hard as you progress in weight to keep the bar from falling out of your hands. Subsequently your grip strength grows by leaps and bounds.”

    7. Increases Hormones

    Now don’t worry, these aren’t the hormones that will make you more emotional! Instead, by doing at least 8 to 10 repetitions of Deadlifts with significant weight, you can increase the amount of testosterone and growth hormone produced by your body.

    Testosterone increases muscle growth and improves muscle repair while growth hormone, which is produced by your pituitary gland, promotes tissue healing, bone strength, muscle growth and fat loss.

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    8. Cheap and Easy

    A lot of exercises require a lot of equipment, special shoes or whatever. Not the Deadlift. Just a bar with some weight. Pick it up. Simple. You can usually find freeweights and a bar at a thrift store – or being given away by a friend – making it even cheaper.

    9. Increased Cardio

    Believe it or not, doing 10 repetitions of Deadlifts will increase your cardiovascular ability. You might want to make sure you have somewhere to sit down when you’re done!

    10. Prevents Injury

    The Deadlift can help prevent injuries by increasing the strength of your muscles around critical tendons and ligaments. Supporting joints with strong muscles is crucial to preventing injury, especially in the hamstrings and lower back, according to Outlaw Fitness.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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