All About Your Senior Dog

Follow these tips to make the most of Sadie's golden years.

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When Dixie and Louis Pravettone's 16 1/2-year-old Miniature Pinscher, Cujo, began bumping into furniture in their home in Tulare, Calif., they had his eyes examined. Cujo had lost some sight, according to their veterinarian, but the Pravettones quickly addressed the problem by leaving lights on in the kitchen where Cujo's food and water bowls are and installing floodlights in the yard so he can see where he's going at night.

Not all older dogs experience the kind of vision loss that Cujo has. In fact, "some older dogs still act and look like puppies," says Joseph Bartges, DVM, professor of medicine and nutrition at University of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville. Breed, size, and individual genetic makeup all factor into the aging process, along with good nutrition, clean and comfortable living conditions, regular exercise, quality relationships, and veterinary attention. While your own dog may still seem young well into his senior years, at some point most dogs confront some aging challenges. 

Want to read the full story? Pick up the August 2008 issue of DOG FANCY today, or subscribe to get 12 months of articles just like this.

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