Man’s best friend, the dog, stands by us through thick and thin. We enjoy taking our canine family members with us on outings, vacations, and just when we are out for a drive. Sadly, the experience is cut short due to the shorter life span of the dog. Different breeds tend to have a different life expectancy, based on breed size.
What Can Impact the Life Expectancy of Your Boxer?
Health plays an important role in life expectancy for animals and people alike. If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise, is overweight due to poor diet or is left to run off-leash and is at higher risk of an accident – these could all reduce the life-span of your dog.
Other things to consider are chronic health conditions that could be genetic, as well as issues that may develop due to a lifestyle that is sedentary or a poor diet alone. Dogs can develop diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, renal failure, retinal atrophy, and more. They can also be born with genetic problems such as epilepsy, heart defects, hip or joint problems, Cushing’s disease, and more.
As you can see, dogs can develop many of the same issues that humans can. They can also suffer from tick-borne illness, heartworms, anemia from fleas or other health issues, and have accidents that could be avoided with proper supervision.
If your dog is relatively healthy, you feed them well, care for them well and see to their needs, you could expect your boxer to live as long as 16 years at the most. An average for them is 12 to 14 years of age, and they are known for staying relatively active for the majority of their lives.
This is an issue that is more and more prevalent in dogs just as it has become in humans. Environmental factors likely play a role along with the foods that they eat. Some experts think that fertilizers and chemicals sprayed on lawns play a large role in the cancer epidemic that impacts dogs today.
As with humans, cancer treatment exists for dogs and it is far better than it was even ten short years ago. Some dogs beat cancer but it is a long, hard fight that an aging dog isn’t always up for. It is important to have a positive outlook but also stay grounded. Coordinate with your veterinarian and understand when it is time to let a suffering animal go. Your dog will fight, no doubt. They are loyal until the very end but the time sometimes arrives when you must tell them to let go and make the decision to help them pass.
Avoiding cancer is hard, but make sure that you don’t spray your lawn with chemicals, don’t feed your dog cheap foods that may contain toxins and are produced from other countries that avoid FDA inspections in this way. Don’t feed sugar, don’t feed them highly fatty foods, avoid items that are known toxic foods for dogs. With luck and vigilance, you may keep your dog with you for many years.
Learn the basics about flea treatment, heartworm prevention, the importance of vaccinations, and which ones are important in your region. Take care to keep your dog wormed on a regular basis so that his gut is healthy. Feed good food that has all the nutrition that he needs and if you have concerns about nutrition, do some research and ask your veterinarian to fill in the blanks for you.
Learn some basics of first aid. Ask your veterinarian what things you should have in the house for basic care concerns at home, such as diarrhea remedy, things you need to stop bleeding, which types of wraps and bandages don’t stick to fur, and keeping activated charcoal in the event of accidental poisoning. Don’t just have this stuff, know how to use it.
Even learning the Heimlich maneuver for dogs or how to do CPR on a dog could save your best friend’s life and there are courses to teach you these things. Veterinary technicians can also take the time to teach you these things if you ask. Preparation for emergencies often saves lives. Be prepared. Have an emergency plan for your pet in the event that you need to evacuate due to flood, fire, hurricane or take shelter from a tornado.
When traveling with your pet, keep their vaccination records with you, use a safety harness to buckle them into a seat belt in case of an accident and be prepared for how you would handle a car accident with them. What happens if you are transported to the hospital and your pet is left alone? Having tags on them and micro chipping them will ensure that they are transported to a shelter and held for you while you are being cared for. Often, volunteers will look after them with great care until you are able to collect them. Having the tags on them and a microchip are invaluable tools for ensuring their safety and longevity.
Don’t Skip Yearly Checks
Vet visits are important for catching early signs of health issues. A heart murmur that is caught early and treated with medication or monitored closely can help your dog live years longer. Being vaccinated for common diseases like distemper, canine coronavirus, parainfluenza, and rabies are all important to keep your dog’s immune system in the best condition to keep him alive. Don’t take these things lightly, and your boxer will likely be with you for at least 12 to 14 years of age and possibly longer.
Dawn Greer is a passionate blogger and animal rights activist. She is a pet lover, certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, pet nutritionist, and former veterinary technician. She continues her work while writing blogs for pet lovers around the globe.