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Those who love their pets tend to enjoy all animals. Our animal owners are no different. Check in on News-Herald staffers Robin Palmer and Cheryl Sadler as they share their own animal tales and announce upcoming events in Lake and Geauga counties.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Studies: Pets living longer these days, like us

If it seems like there are an awful lot of gray muzzles walking around, it's because there are.

About 40 percent of American dogs and cats qualify as "seniors," living longer than seven years - remember, that's about 50 in their years - according to USA Today.

The story predicts 18- to 20-year-old dogs and cats will become even more common in the next 10 years. MSNBC reports something similar today.

So what's making our furry friends live longer? Surgeries, pacemakers, nutrition and other medical advances, for one thing. For another, tips like the ones listed in both stories above make pet owners more responsible.

Knowledge of breeds with longevity also lets owners choose those with longer lives: Chihuahua, Toy Poodle, Miniature Dachshund, Tibetan Terrier and Pomeranian. Those with the shortest lives are the Irish Wolfhound, English Bulldog, Great Dane, Bernese Mountain Dog and Bullmastiff.

MSNBC adds that the Guinness Book of World Records lists the oldest cat as Grandpa Rexs, a Sphynx who was 34 when he "finally died" in 1998, and the oldest dog as 21-year-old Chanel, a Wirehaired Dachshund who died last month - though a 26-year-old terrier mix, Max, is alive and awaiting certification to steal the title.

It's a race to the finish.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

P.S. With a free minute, check out a few of the Fantastic Pets records on the Guinness Book's Web site. Imagine driving with Striker, the car-window-opening Border to gone in 11.34 seconds? No, thank you.


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