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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I thought forum members might be interested in this. The University of Washington and Texas A & M are enrolling dogs in a dog aging project.

More information and a form for nominating your dog can be found by
searching for the "Dog Aging Project."

I think the website is being inundated with applications. It kept crashing before I was ultimately successful in enrolling Oscar.

Here is a CNN article about the project: https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/14/health/dog-aging-project-scn-trnd/index.html
 

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I followed the link and submitted my info.


Received this email;
Thank you for nominating your dog for the Dog Aging Project!

In the fall, you will receive an email that describes how to create a login for your unique profile in the Dog Aging Project portal. This portal will be your connection to canine health science and enable you to submit additional information about your dog's health, home life, diet, environment and lifestyle.

We greatly appreciate your participation and will look forward to communicating with you soon!Sincerely,
The Dog Aging Project

I guess it means my dog is in?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I followed the link and submitted my info.


Received this email;
Thank you for nominating your dog for the Dog Aging Project!

In the fall, you will receive an email that describes how to create a login for your unique profile in the Dog Aging Project portal. This portal will be your connection to canine health science and enable you to submit additional information about your dog's health, home life, diet, environment and lifestyle.

We greatly appreciate your participation and will look forward to communicating with you soon!Sincerely,
The Dog Aging Project

I guess it means my dog is in?
I'm not sure what it means. The information they ask for is pretty basic so it may be first registered and you're in until they reach 10K. Or, there may be follow up questions now that we have successfully registered. We shall see. Did you have any trouble with the website?
 

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I'm not sure what it means. The information they ask for is pretty basic so it may be first registered and your in until they reach 10K. Or, there may be follow up questions now that we have successfully registered. We shall see. Did you have any trouble with the website?
No trouble at all.
I would guess they will want detailed medical records, pedigree, daily activity, diet, etc.
 

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I gave them my info as well. You’d think they’d be looking at a young dogs, being that it was a 10yr study. I imagine they’d want a variety of breeds, sizes, and sexes. Hopefully we’ll all hear something back.
 

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Not necessarily. They may want some older dogs (past the normal life expectancy) to use as control groups for blood work, etc.
At the National last year both the cardiac researcher and the eye researcher asked to draw blood from my boy to use as control samples because he was almost 12 and still in apparent great health.
God willing, he'll be 13 in March. I nominated him, got their usual form email back, and we'll see what happens.

I gave them my info as well. You’d think they’d be looking at a young dogs, being that it was a 10yr study. I imagine they’d want a variety of breeds, sizes, and sexes. Hopefully we’ll all hear something back.
 

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Hotel4dogs, I didn’t think of that! That’s awesome news about your boys good health. You’re pup must have good genes and whatever you’re doing is apparently working! I’d definitely take any advice you had to offer. They did email me back today and it seems they’ve accepted Aidan to be in the study.
 

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Well, since you asked, pull up a cup of coffee, this is going to be long and rambling. :smile2:

I've had 3 Goldens. None shared any common ancestors at all, so although I'm sure genetics played a role in their longevity, they weren't related to each other.

My Tiny girl lived to 16 years, 8 months, never sick a day in her life. She was from a puppy mill, and pet store.
My Toby boy lived to a few days short of 14, he had all sorts of issues but lived a good, long life. He was from a back yard breeder, not a good hobby breeder.
My Tito monster is now 12 years, 8 months old and still goes out and upland hunts, plays ball, and acts like a young dog (except for being almost deaf). So far he's never been sick a day either. Never even had an ear infection. He's from a wonderful breeder.

So here's my take on why I've had such longevity in my dogs, not necessarily in order. This is NOT intended to be scientific, just what has worked for me.

1. LUCK
2. I exercise the heck out of my dogs. Daily. Every day. Without fail. No matter what. Lousy Chicago weather and all. People like to blame the supposed decline in dog lifespans on everything from food to vaccinations, but they don't bother to take a good long look at other lifestyle factors. Back in the day, dogs used to roam around the neighborhoods freely, run in packs with other neighborhood dogs, and get loads of good, solid aerobic exercise. Sadly, most dogs now only get to walk around the block a few times a day, if even that. Look to the world of human medicine for how important good aerobic exercise is to health and longevity, and it's easy enough to translate that to dog health. And most people don't realize that walking is NOT aerobic exercise for dogs. I'm not saying it's easy, just that it's important.
3. I keep my dogs lean. Again, look at research on humans, and extrapolate that to dogs. Not only that, I feed them a good quality, PROVEN food, made by a big company who has all of their food formulated by board certified veterinary nutritionists. The food has been successfully fed to many generations of dogs. I don't supplement the food. I don't feed more than a very tiny amount of people food as treats.
4. I vaccinate my dogs regularly, and provide appropriate protection (for the area) against parasites like fleas and ticks. More on vaccinations in a second...
5. My dogs live a chemical free life, both inside and outside the house. I don't use lawn chemicals, nor do I take them anyplace where they might have been used. Yep, my lawn is a mess of clover and weeds. So be it.
I have very little carpeting. I don't clean the hard floors with toxic cleaners. They drink purified, untreated water. We don't smoke.
6. Avoid fads of any kind, whether it's food, vaccinate/don't vaccinate, supplements, whatever.
7. This, I think, is a really big one. The biggest one. Again, not scientific, just my explanation of what has very apparently worked for us.
My dogs all have strong, well developed immune systems.
The immune system develops from exposure to small amounts of bacteria and viruses over time. During their lives, each of my dogs has been exposed to hundreds if not thousands of other dogs. They've gone all sorts of places, and been exposed to all sorts of things.
The same is true of vaccinations. There is absolutely no solid, peer reviewed scientific evidence that vaccinations cause cancer or autoimmune diseases. However, they DO cause, by definition, better developed immune systems. Perhaps an unintended consequence of "not stimulating the immune systems" (by not vaccinating) is not DEVELOPING the immune system? Dunno. But look at what's going on now with people using too much hand sanitizer, anticeptic cleaners, etc., and the mounting evidence that we're causing more problems than we are solving by not allowing children to develop good immune systems!
A good immune system is the key to health. Proper exercise, good nutrition, a strong immune system, and lots of luck.
Probably a whole lot more than you wanted to know.
FWIW, all of my cats have lived to close to 20, too.



Hotel4dogs, I didn’t think of that! That’s awesome news about your boys good health. You’re pup must have good genes and whatever you’re doing is apparently working! I’d definitely take any advice you had to offer. They did email me back today and it seems they’ve accepted Aidan to be in the study.
 

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I'm inclined to think that your number one point IS the number one point: luck. My first golden Autumn came from a backyard breeder and she lived to be 15 1/2. Only problems she ever had was hot spots after a romp in the horse pasture or breaking out if I ever tried to switch shampoos on her; and she went deaf at some point after turning 12 (we don't know exactly when as my other golden April kinda became her "hearing" dog and so her deafness wasn't apparent until I got married and took April with me.) April just passed about 3 weeks ago from hemangiosarcoma but until then was never sick a day in her life-not even a hotspot. She was only 8 1/2. She came from an excellent breeder. Both girls got TONS of off leash exercise all year round(even in Illinois,lol!) since we lived in the country-April in particular loved to go horse riding with us anywhere from 8-15 miles (plus all her extra loops and circles!). Both were fed high quality food and always kept at a lean weight. Both had regular vaccinations and flea, tick and heartworm prevention. Both were exposed to 100's of other dogs-especially after I became a groomer and they came to work with me, but also from 4-H years and obedience. About the only difference is Autumn was spayed at 6 months, April was spayed at 2 1/2. Basically, cancer SUCKS and it doesn't matter how much you do right, if your dog is going to get cancer, its going to get cancer. We can only do the best we can do.
 
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It all comes down to luck. I have an almost 14 yo Labrador who I’m positive is likely inbred because she’s nuts. Do I think that’s the key? Probably not lol. And it’s pure luck I think she is alive. We’ve changed diet recently and her little bit of hip arthritis seems better. And she’s more alert. I’ve lost labs at 5 years and 8 years. I treated them no differently than my almost 14 yo lab. All ate the same stuff. All lived same place. Had a golden die of cancer 18 months ago three months shy of 11. It’s luck, in my opinion. I’ve said since my lab was 1...this dog will live to 15 because she’s an oxe. We’ve had a battle with vestibular but she’s old and it’s apparently common around the age of 9 but it happened 4 months ago at 13.5. She had Lyme disease. I don’t think there’s really anything to attribute it to but luck.
 

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Well luck could certainly be a factor. Genetics has to come into play. And I would not dismiss factors in our environment whether that be exposure to toxins, vaccinations, pest control, diet etc. It's the nature/nurture conversation. Seems to me that we can attribute a little bit to both. If this study can help to sort out any of this with results based on properly controlled scientific inquiry, then we will all benefit from it.
 

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Yes, there is a reason I listed luck first, and in all capital letters!
 

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Thanks for the advice! You listed a lot of things I’ve never thought of! I’m going to start implementing some of the things you mentioned. I’ve been keeping him lean and he gets exercise on most days, but I need to up that a bit more..its been so cold and rainy here. It makes me feel a little better about him being from a backyard breeder. I didn’t research before I got him and thought if they had papers all was good. Hopefully we’ll be one of the lucky ones.
 

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I think luck is a big part of it, too. I had a super fit, healthy girl - not an ounce of fat on her, exercised every day of her life, all recommended vet care and more through her years, healthy diet, never a major issue (except ear infections), healthiest dog ever... until she wasn't. It was like she fell off a cliff. She got cancer at 12 and died 8 weeks later. same thing happened to one of the Goldens in our hunt training group. Super healthy and fit - 8 years old - got hemangiosarcoma in her heart and died within days of the first signs (she collapsed at training). It's devastating - and even more so when it feels so inexplicable.

There is so much we DON'T know about health and longevity - in both humans and dogs. But it's so interesting to see all of the medical research that is intersecting with veterinary research.
 
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