Five Top Tips to Increase Pet Longevity
- Feed the highest quality, human-grade food you can afford. That may mean making your own raw or cooked meals or buying pre-made diets. Poor quality food may contain GMO's, potato alkaloids, heavy metals, carcinogenic preservatives, or mold toxins. Avoid feeding heavily processed treats filled with wheat, soy, food dye, sugar, and preservatives. Feed whole-food, healthy treats.
- Maintain good dental health. Most dogs and cats have periodontal disease by age 3 which can lead to liver, kidney, and heart disease. Daily brushing is the best prevention for dental disease.
- Avoid the use of chemicals for parasite prevention when possible. Most chemicals used for flea and tick prevention are neurotoxins which can result in seizures, tremors, and death. Instead, use natural essential oils, diatomaceous earth, and nematodes for prevention. The need for heartworm prevention will depend on exposure level and geographic location.
- Vaccinate cautiously. Over-vaccination causes immune system dysfunction, often leading to chronic inflammatory diseases. Titers (blood tests) can tell you whether your pet already has immunity and may not need a booster vaccine. Injection-site cancers are not uncommon.
- Have a wellness-exam performed by your veterinarian twice a year, or more. Routine laboratory testing should be undertaken to evaluate organ function and parasite-infestation. Early detection offers the opportunity to make diet and supplement changes before diseases become chronic. Routine tests should include CBC, Chemistry panel, thyroid testing, urinalysis, and stool sample.