4 Tips for Increasing Your German Shepherd’s Life
When you see a little puppy running around, the last thing you want to think of is your German Shepherd’s life
expectancy. After all, these dogs – both young and old – are active, intelligent dogs. It’s hard to think of your
German Shepherd’s life span when you look at him, but it’s an important subject to deal with.
The average German Shepherd life expectancy is 10-13 years; some may live a little longer. If you want to
increase your German Shepherd’s life span, there are several things you can start doing today to help your
companion live longer, like:
1. Make sure that he gets plenty of exercise
You probably know that exercise helps humans fight off serious things like heart disease, cancer, and premature
aging. Well, exercise has the same effect on your German Shepherd’s life expectancy! The more quality exercise you
can give your dog, the better he will be in the long run.
In fact, letting a German Shepherd get inactive and bored is a surefire way to turn him into an aggressive or
antisocial dog. And, of course, the last thing you want is to make your German Shepherd unhappy!
Devote time every day to see that your German Shepherd gets a full physical and mental workout. A brisk walk, a
game of fetch in the park, or a run around the track can all be the perfect high-energy workout your dog needs. In
the process, you won’t just be helping each other stay healthy – you’ll also have fun!
2. Focus on obedience training early
The healthiest, happiest German Shepherds are the ones who know what to do with all of their strength,
intelligence, and energy. By getting your German Shepherd trained early in life, you can provide him with
discipline and socialization lessons that he can take with him forever.
Obedience training may not seem as important to your German Shepherd’s life span as other factors, but recent
research says otherwise. In fact, a 2010 study at the Université de Sherbrooke in Canada found that more obedient
dogs tend to live longer than other dogs their size.
3. Keep your German Shepherd on a healthy diet
It might be tempting to share your table goodies with your best friend, but it’s not good for him. No dog can
afford to be overweight, but for German Shepherds, it’s an even more serious threat. Because German Shepherds have
a tendency to develop arthritis and hip and elbow dysplasia, the lighter you can keep your dog on his feet, the
better. There is a simple way to see if your German Shepherd is heavier than he should be. Lightly push on his
side. If you can feel his ribs, he’s at a healthy weight.
When it comes to the very best German Shepherd diet, your veterinarian can help you come up with the perfect
balance. Your vet may tell you to feed your German Shepherd food that is geared specifically for larger breeds. As
your German Shepherd starts to get older, your vet may recommend putting him on a low-calorie diet, or one that
favors certain nutrients.
4. Make sure your German Shepherd’s nails stay trim
It may not seem like a major tool in your quest to increase your German Shepherd’s life expectancy, but it’s
important. Overgrown nails can lead to foot and joint problems. For a dog as big and as active as the German
Shepherd, any extra strain is a bad thing.
Above all else, if you want to increase your German Shepherd’s life span, keep a close eye on him. These dogs
love to work, and they are easy to please – so they have a tendency to “play through pain”. These dogs won’t come
whining to you when there’s a problem, so it’s up to you to keep an eye out for anything that doesn’t seem quite
Do German Shepherds Shed? You Bet?
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How to Train a German Shepherd – 4 Tips for Doing It the Right
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