I'm a big animal lover and saw an interesting article on Yahoo the other day that listed 5 ways to help your pet live longer. I thought this was a common sense list but I'm not so sure it is for most pet owners, as I've seen too many people not adhering to these simple guidelines. 

My wife and I have a beloved dog who is in the last stages of life and although it's quite sad, we both know that we have given him a long, happy life. Remember these 5 simple things and you can do the same for your best friend. This was Yahoo's list:

  1. Keep Them Indoors. This one's more for cats. Indoor cats live 12 to 15 years on average, while outdoor cats live 2 to 5 (due to such worries as cars, other animals, diseases, and poisonous plants).
  2. Watch Their Weight. Obesity in dogs and cats causes the same problems it does in people (high blood pressure, diabetes, joint pain, etc.). What I see too much of is people feeding their dogs people food (NOT GOOD PEOPLE). Certain foods are alright for your dog, like whole grains and vegetables, but don't put your leftover dinner plate down for them every night (their digestive system can't handle it and this will most certainly decrease their life).
  3. Take them to the Vet at least once a year. Pets should have a yearly check-up, just like us. Older pets should see the vet every six months (Vets can spot health issues most of us can't).   
  4. Brush Their Teeth. I'll admit, I should be better with this one (and will be after reading this). Bad teeth can reduce a pet's lifespan by 2 to 4 years. If your pet develops gum disease, the bacteria can move through their bloodstream and cause even bigger problems.
  5. Have Them Spayed or Neutered. Having your pet spayed or neutered will protect them from certain types of reproductive cancer, including cancer in the prostate and the ovaries.