Recently, the story of Toby Keith, a 21-year-old Chihuahua who is considered the largest dog in the world, went viral on social media. In a video of .’s Instagram profile Guinness World RecordsGisela Shore, owner, attributed the pet’s longevity to the fact that the dog “exercises regularly, has good genes, a diet of vegetables, rice and chicken and lives in a loving home.” So, just repeat the recipe and your pet will live longer?
for the vet, Carolina Janus, Toby Keith’s habits have contributed to his longevity, but every case is different. “The average life expectancy of cats is 12 to 18 years, dogs depend on size. Small dogs live longer than large dogs. The average lifespan of a species is 10 to 15 years. Because TobyKeith is small, their average lifespan is Expectations are longer indeed, but, yes, lack of exercise, irregular diets and unfavorable genetics affect the animal to live less,” he says.
Another factor that can contribute to increased or decreased life expectancy in pets is breed. “The idea that mutants live longer actually comes from a genetic problem. The vet explains that breeders breed pets from the same family, in order to ensure the traits and parameters of the breed, but this also brings about the possibility of ‘recessive’ genes that lead to disease.” Salwa Carolina Cattaneo.
What can you do to make your pet live longer?
Regardless of whether your pet achieves the Toby Kitty feat, the important thing, vets point out, is to ensure the animal’s good quality of life, which in turn affects its longevity.
“The more we ensure good daily management, with adequate food, baths with veterinary shampoo, the latest vaccinations and deworming and also a good routine practice, the more we work on the health of the pets and not just waiting for them to get sick to treat them,” stresses Salwa.
Below, see some tips that can help your pet live longer and, above all, better.
Choosing a good diet for your pet has a direct impact on the animal’s quality of life. Thus, in the opinion of Carolina, the ideal option would be to search for a veterinary nutritionist so that, based on information on how the animal lives and its health conditions, the professional can determine what and how much the pet can eat per day.
Just as it is important for humans, physical activity should also be part of a pet’s routine, which includes walks and games. The veterinary doctor Isabella Oliveira, which operates at startups in this sector, recommends 30 minutes of physical activity per day with the animals. However, the intensity of the exercise will depend on the age and limitations of each animal.
Elderly pets, with limited mobility, should do lighter exercises. A routine of walking and even playing games reduces stress and anxiety, increases endorphin levels, and can balance animals’ moods and emotions. In addition to helping with weight control and increasing the relationship between the teacher and his partner,” the professional notes.
Raising an animal in a clean environment and maintaining hygiene habits makes a huge difference to its well-being. This way, keep the pet in a dirt-free place, bathe it periodically, keep its nails, ears and teeth clean, and don’t forget to keep up with the latest flea and tick control technology.
Another important situation for pets to have a good quality of life is the regular visit to the vet. Follow-up vaccinations, exams and deworming make all the difference.
“The minimum recommended period of time for checkups is at least once a year for young dogs. From age 8, the frequency of visits should be increased, and they should take place every six months. This is because some serious illnesses may have a better prognosis if caught early.” Isabella explains.
The topic is still controversial, but experts point out that castration can reduce the chances of the emergence of various diseases in animals.
“Neutering performed before the first year of life reduces the chances of developing breast and prostate tumors by up to 95%, so it is important to neuter dogs and cats, if you do not intend to cross these animals. In females, for example, with each estrus, it decreases This percentage is significantly increased,” Salwa warns.