If dog owners had only one wish in life, they’d wish to age happily and healthily alongside their loyal, furry friends. Each dog breed has its own lifespan that any owner should have an idea of to give their pooch the best, longest life possible.
We all love our noble, smart, and active Chessies and want them to live forever. But we have to accept the fact that they will not always be around, so the best thing we can do as Chessie owners is to learn about their lifespan and work on expanding it, which is what we’re going to discuss in this article.
With that being said, let’s get started!
How Long Do Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Live?
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers have an average lifespan of 10-13 years. But a Chessie can successfully reach 14 if you’re taking good care of them and giving them the love and attention they need.
This breed is prone to significant health problems such as canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and gastric torsion, as well as minor issues such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and hypothyroidism.
Chessies can also get affected by Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD), cerebellar abiotrophy, entropion, and elbow dysplasia. Your vet may suggest a thyroid, hip, and eye exam to make sure your Chessie doesn’t suffer from any of these health issues.
4 Things You Can Do to Help Your Chessie Live Longer
With the best of intentions, we always seek to give our loyal friends a healthy, long life. But there are many mistakes that pet owners make, shortening the life of their dogs.
So, if you want your pet to live to the fullest and have the longest life it could have, here’s what you have to do.
1. Diet is Everything
Your body is a temple, so is your Chessie’s!
If there’s one thing that could affect the health of any living being, it’s the diet and eating habits.
Dogs eat both plants and meat because they are omnivores, much like humans. So you want to ensure that you give your pooch all types of foods it needs (even if you’re a vegan yourself!).
First things first, it’s always better to opt for AAFCO-recognized foods because this indicates that the product or business is of a high standard. You want to also look for the top 3 ingredients listed on the label.
Make sure that it’s safe to give your dog these ingredients, as these are the key ingredients in the product.
It’s crucial that the ingredients for the meat products are not listed as ‘dog beef stew’ or ‘chicken dinner for dogs,’ for example.
These are only deceptive methods for getting us to feed our dogs meat, while in reality, the amount of meat in the food is significantly small and will not help your precious Chessie to lead a healthy, long life.
Finally, stay away from any products with hard-to-pronounce ingredients!
Aside from the diet, many pet owners are emotionally-driven and don’t resist overfeeding their dogs, thinking that they’re giving them the best life. Overfeeding your Chessie may give it a momentary pleasure, but the results of overfeeding can be fatal sometimes.
A study found that the instantaneous risk of death for dogs in normal body conditions was less than those in overweight body conditions throughout the age range studied.
If your Chessie is already obese and you don’t address this problem, it’ll be more likely to suffer from other illnesses or health issues, including arthritis. The heart, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints of your dog can all be affected and weakened by obesity.
Not to mention that hormones made by fat cells cause the body’s inflammation to increase, which causes your precious friend to feel more pain.
2. An Active Pup is A Healthy Pup!
Just like us humans, regular exercise makes our furry friends healthier.
In addition to a healthy diet, exercise is essential for extending Chessie’s life. Exercise has been shown to bump up endorphin production, reduce stress, and regulate emotions in both humans and canines.
Regular physical activity should be part and parcel of your Chessie’s daily routine, which will help your pup build a healthy muscle mass and maintain a healthy weight, and of course, bring a smile to its face!
So, you’re not just taking your dog out for a walk or playing with it outside for fun; it’s a serious duty that you have to fulfill as a Chessie parent!
3. Keep Your Pup’s Mouth Clean
It’s common for dogs to suffer from gum disease (periodontal disease), which happens when food particles and bacteria in their mouth combine and build plaque along the gum line.
While dental health problems may not seem serious, the accumulation of oral bacteria can eventually cause your dog to experience a variety of health issues, such as infections of the kidneys and heart valve issues.
Therefore, you should not skip brushing your pup’s teeth if you want to avoid these serious problems.
The finger brush works well for cleaning your dog’s teeth. But if you want to add more fun to this boring process, you can opt for chew bones and toys that help reduce plaque in your Chessie’s mouth.
The best method to ensure the dental health of your pooch is to schedule a professional cleaning session with your vet on an annual basis.
By taking good care of your Chessie’s dental health, you’re not only keeping it happy and healthy, but you are also keeping its mouth fresh and clean for those warm licks!
4. Never, Ever Skip Annual Check-Ups
We get that taking your dog to the vet each year may be a hassle, but it could end up saving its life. Check ups could have saved the lives of many dogs that their owners thought were fine and didn’t need a vet visit.
Having your Chessie checked by a veterinarian once or twice a year can expand its lifespan, even if it appears to be in good health. Time is the most important factor when it comes to your dog’s health. In certain instances, there isn’t much that vets can do once symptoms start to show.
So, you never want to skip any check-up, even if it’s a pain in the neck, because it may relieve the pain of your pooch and even save its life.
Our Chessies are the biggest blessing we have in life, and we’d do anything to see them happy and healthy.
While it’s difficult to accept the fact that their lifespan is much shorter than ours, we encourage you to accept that this is how nature works, and instead of fearing losing your Chessie, work on expanding its lifespan and filling its life with love and joy.