Saturday, February 13, 2016

Extending Your Dog's Life

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The oldest dog on record lived to be about 28 years old.  Sleuth the Reporter Dog is nowhere near that age, but he does want to let you know about ways to keep your pet with you longer.  The Veterinary News Network helped Sleuth dig up these facts on aging.

1) Aging is a process that begins with damage to cells and becomes apparent as the body is unable to keep up with the repairs.   Aging causes decline in function and appearance.

2) About 30% of aging changes are genetic in nature, but more often the changes are due to the pet’s lifestyle and environment.

3) The Free Radical Theory of Aging states that molecules with unpaired electrons cause damage to cells, leading to a loss of functionality and, eventually, death.

4) Some scientists believe that antioxidants can help slow aging.   Antioxidants stop or prevent the damage caused by free radicals.

5) Fruits and vegetables contain high levels of antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C, and E or beta carotene.

6) Other scientists believe that caloric restriction is a better way to slow the aging process.   Studies have shown that many species benefit from limiting their intake of calories.  Dog studies showed that some dogs lived about 2 years longer on a reduced calorie diet.

7) Sadly, there is no magic bullet to stop aging in our pets.  But, the good news is that veterinary science continues to investigate new ideas to keep our pets around longer.

8) As pet owners, we should provide a good diet, plenty of exercise and regular visits to the veterinarian for our pets.  It’s the best way to keep your pet looking and feeling young.

9) Regular visits to your veterinarian can help find small issues before they turn into big problems.   Consider seeing your veterinarian at least twice annually.

10) Be sure to bookmark and as your sources of up-to-date and accurate pet health information.