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Website helps owners prepare as their dogs grow older

Kelly Jackson, former owner of a Shih tzu, Meeko, decided to leave her morning news show job after her dog's passing in order to develop a website to inform owners of steps they can take to increase the lifespan of their pets, CNN reports.

Many dog owners have a hard time coming to grips with their dogs' old age, but they must realize that their pets may require as much attention as an elderly person, Jackson told the source. Further examinations and additional veterinary visits are necessary in the latter stages of a dog's life.

According to the WebMD Pet Health Feature, a dog's life-expectancy depends on its weight. Steven N. Austad, PHD, a professor at the department of cellular and structural biology at the University of Texas Health Science Center, said similar to humans, female dogs generally live longer than males, and mixed-breeds live longer than pure breeds.

"All dogs are geriatric when they reach the double-digits, but we start having the senior dog conversation at seven for large-breed dogs," Dr. Arhonda Johnson, owner of The Ark Animal Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia told CNN.
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