How to Help Your Dog Live Longer

Dogs are part of our family.  Heck, they may be the BEST part of our family.  The problem is that they just don't live as long as they should. 

There ARE things that you can do to help your dog live longer.  We’ve gathered a collection of five tactics—research-backed, vet-approved—on how to help your dog live longer. We’ll also provide some steps you can take today, so let’s get started.

How long do dogs live?

 On average, dogs live around 10–13 years, but many different factors play into this, including size and genetics.

In general, the larger the dog the shorter the lifespan.  Large breeds are more prone to crippling arthritis and spinal issues, and are unfortunately also more likely to run into cancer.   Smaller dogs are more prone to run into heart problems as they age.

A pet's environment can affect their lifespan, as well. For example, if you have a brachycephalic dog, like a Frenchie or bulldog, you should consider how their respiratory problems may affect their comfort and lifespan. These dogs are not well suited to hotter areas in the US, because they are not as effective at panting to reduce body temp.  Ditto for Arctic breeds like Huskies and Malamutes, because these breeds are prone to autoimmune diseases triggered by UV radiation.

How to help your dog live longer: 6 key methods


Reduce aging from inflammation (inflamm-aging)

“Inflamm-aging” is a simple way of describing premature aging that can be caused by inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a key feature of aging and is one of the key causes of deteriorating health and death in elderly people and dogs. That means that reducing inflammation is one of the smartest ways to look after your dog’s health and help increase their lifespan. 

What exactly should you be on the lookout for, then?

For dogs under 20 pounds, dental disease is the most common source of inflammation. This can only be solved by anesthetic dentals with radiographs of every tooth, which should be done at least annually. 

For dogs over 20 pounds, arthritis is often the main culprit. There are plenty of ways to help with this: minimizing jumping and steps as much as possible, avoiding slippery surfaces like tile and hardwood, and keeping your pet's weight down. You might also investigate powerful supplements such as Longevity Plus, which contains anti-inflammatory ingredients like curcumin and Boswellia, and Transcend, which contains the potent UC-II proven to be highly effective in minimizing inflammation in arthritic joints.

For all pets, allergic disease is also a common source of inflammation.  We have another blog post on the care of allergic pets, so read up on it there.

Keep their weight down

Nearly 56% of all dogs are overweight, and pet obesity can lead to some pretty serious health issues that can affect their longevity. The truth is that every extra pound of weight on a dog increases their odds of developing arthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. There’s even some evidence linking dog obesity to certain kinds of cancer. That means maintaining proper diet and exercise is essential.

One thing you should understand:  The feeding directions on pet foods ALWAYS overestimate the amount of food your pets should get.  Heck, they're in the business of selling MORE food, so don't pay any attention to them.

There are different schools of thought on how many meals to feed your pet.  From a true longevity perspective, fasting is the ONLY dietary path to increasing longevity.  While humans sometimes voluntarily fast for hours to days, it is more difficult to explain that to our dogs.   Strictly for longevity, once daily feeding is likely the best compromise.  However, many dogs.... and many health conditions.... mandate more frequent meals.  I'm a 2x daily guy for my pets.

Dental Care

We have a whole blog post devoted just to dental care.  If you have a small dog or cat, reading this blog may add over a year to your pet's life. 

Here's the bottom line to your pet's dental care:

Don’t over-vaccinate your pet

While vaccinating your pet annually can seem like a smart thing to do, it’s possible you could be vaccinating them too much. While it used to be common wisdom to vaccinate yearly, much has changed in veterinary medicine since then. Today, many vaccines are only actually needed every three years, and vaccinating them more than necessary can cause issues for your pet.

What kind of issues? Well, over-vaccinating your pet over-stimulates their immune system, which lcan worsen allergic disease and can even increase the odds of immune cancers like lymphoma and mast cell tumors.

To be clear, vaccines are still super important for your pet and should be part of any healthcare plan for them. However, you and your vet should choose vaccines based strictly on your pet's health and exposure risks... not just because they are a dog.

Choose the right supplements

Supplements can be a great help to your dog’s wellness plan, but unfortunately, there’s a lot of nonsense and unverified information about supplements floating around online. Luckily, HPLL’s Dr. Kevin Toman is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in treating pets like yours,  and recommends each of these supplements personally. 

These are supplements proven both in study and practice for your pet:


  • Longevity Plus: This is a special blend of proprietary CurcuWin Ultra (which is absorbed over 100x better than regular curcumin), Ashwagandha, and Boswellia that all work together to help pets reduce inflammation, allergies, and pain. These ingredients are also proven to both reduce the risk of, and treat, many forms of cancer.
  • VisBiome: This is a probiotic with eight different strains of live bacteria. It can help get rid of loose stools and maintain proper gut flora, making your pet healthier and happier. Plus, the GI microbiome influences the immune system a great deal, and VisBiome can help regulate it.
  • Transcend: This is an undenatured type II collagen (UC-II) supplement that has been proven one of the most effective ways to reduce pain and inflammation in arthritic joints.... for both humans and pets.

    Is rapamycin right for your pet?

    Rapamycin is a prescription drug that may have the power to extend your pet’s life. Originally developed to help human transplant recipients fight organ rejection, science has proven that rapamycin has many benefits to help increase longevity in every species studied to date... including our dogs. 

    The documented benefits of rapamycin include...

    • Reducing cancer risk:  rapamycin fights many forms of cancer, including lymphoma, mast cell tumors, and hemangiosarcoma.
    • Improving cardiac function, even in pets with cardiomyopathy. 
    • Reducing inflammation 
    • Helping patients with chronic kidney disease.
    • Reducing periodontal disease
    • Heck, it even helps geriatric hearing loss

    The best part? The drug has no adverse side effects in dogs, making it an incredibly safe treatment (though we’ve seen some mild GI upset in about 3% of cases as a pet's GI tract adapts to its new friend).

    As the only online source of rapamycin for your pet, we are happy to send it your way either with your local vet's prescription or with a Concierge Consult with Dr. Kevin,

    Helping pets live longer is what we do. Check out our longevity products!


    At HPLL, our mission is simple -- to help your pet live a longer and happier life. Dr. Kevin's decades of experience in veterinary clinics gives you a great opportunity to support healthy aging in your dog.

    Our longevity supplements are all guaranteed to be properly sourced with pure ingredients to make sure you get the highest quality possible for your pet. Whether you want to reduce inflammation or help your dog in their journey cancer, we have something that can help. Shop our array of longevity products today.