The simple, everyday and inexpensive ways to help your pet live longer-PetsOnBoard.com

Pets are what they eatThe best things that dog owners can do to keep their pets healthy is go back to the basics — eat less and exercise more, said Kate Creevy, the lead veterinary officer for the University of Washington’s Dog Aging Project, a nationwide study of canine life and health. “Owners should choose a balanced, proven diet and then feed it in measured amounts that maintain a leaner-than-average body weight,” said Creevy. “And they should exercise their dogs daily, which is also a good way for folks to exercise themselves.”More from Modern Medicine:A Bill Gates-backed test that could help in Lyme disease epidemicA new technique produces a partly human pig embryoA video game takes on American obesityLean dogs live longer than dogs who are fat or of average weight, Creevy said. For most dogs, “ideal weight” means the owner can’t see the dog’s ribs but can feel them easily. A veterinarian can help by assigning a more specific body condition score, using a chart. Don’t forget doctor visitsVaccinations are also very important, especially for puppies that are being newly exposed to the environment and other dogs. Vaccinations are divided into “core” and “non-core.” Core vaccinations are those that every puppy or dog should receive, based on the following criteria:The disease is serious or life-threatening.Most dogs are at risk of being exposed to the disease.An effective vaccine exists.

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