Friday, September 28, 2007

Is it true that one year of a dog's life is equivalent to seven human years?

Veterinarian Gary Wilkes says 'dog years' are based on comparing canine and human lifespans.

But he says it's not as simple as seven-to-one.

"As a general rule for dogs, we count the first two years as being 24. So the first year they're 12 years old, the second they're 24," he said. "Then after that, add 4 years for each year of our lives."

So how can you help your pet live healthier for longer?

12 year old dogs Jessie and Annie have been part of Denny Van-Valkenburgh's family for 12 years. As they run around the yard with seemingly endless energy, it's tough to tell the pair is approaching 70 in dog years.

Denny says keeping a couple of old dogs more like wonderdogs took a few simple steps.

"Blood checked once a year, like a human, a little checkup," he said. "Make sure their teeth stay clean."

Dr. Wilkes says one of the most important ways to prolong your pets life is a good diet. So he says avoid bargain foods, and even look for foods that match your pet's age, or medical condition."

"Both of these dogs have a low fat food they use called id, it keeps them healthy," Denny advised.

He says the extra care cost a few extra bones . . . but he says it's worth it.

"We love the dogs and you know what, they've never said a bad thing about us, and we like that," he said. "They're very sweet."

NBC Augasta

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