Thursday, August 24, 2017

Dog Longevity Part I: Survey Results

The first results of the Dog Longevity Survey part I are in. What do you think about them? Is that what you expected? Are you surprised? And what do you think are the correct answers?

I have to say the results are about exactly what I expected them to be, including those where there is the largest split. I will follow up with my thoughts on each of the subjects.


Q1 Weight management

Extremely important71.79%
Important28.21%
Somewhat important0.00%
Not important0.00%
I don't know0.00%
Other0.00%


Q2 Diet

Extremely important66.67%
Important30.77%
Somewhat important0.00%
Not important2.56%
I don't know0.00%
Other0.00%


Q3 Exercise


Extremely important58.97%
Important41.06%
Somewhat important0.00%
Not important0.00%
I don't know0.00%
Other0.00%


Q4 Mental stimulation


Extremely important69.23%
Important30.77%
Somewhat important0.00%
Not important0.00%
I don't know0.00%
Other0.00%


Q5 Dental health


Extremely important46.15%
Important46.15%
Somewhat important5.13%
Not important2.56%
I don't know0.00%
Other0.00%


Q6 Vaccination


Extremely important25.64%
Important38.46%
Somewhat important17.95%
Not important5.13%
I don't know2.56%
Other10.26%


Q7 Spay/Neuter

Extremely important41.03%
Important23.08%
Somewhat important15.38%
Not important10.26%
I don't know5.13%
Other0.00%


Q8 Parasite prevention and screening


Extremely important51.28%
Important35.90%
Somewhat important5.13%
Not important0.00%
I don't know2.56%
Other5.13%


Q9 Wellness exams


Extremely important53.85%
Important35.90%
Somewhat important5.13%
Not important2.56%
I don't know2.56%
Other0.00%


Q10 Disease and injury prevention


Extremely important74.36%
Important20.51%
Somewhat important2.56%
Not important0.00%
I don't know0.00%
Other2.56%


If you missed taking the survey, you can still take it here.

46 comments

  1. Weight management seems to be a big top among pet owners in general these days. I'm also concerned with a healthy diet.

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    1. Most people know how important weight management is, yet most dogs are still overweight ;-)

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  2. I was surprised about the results. I thought people would see dental health and vaccinations as key to longevity. I know there is some controversy to vaccinations, but I also know there would be a lot more deaths if we didn't have vaccines. I discuss them in detail with my vets and we monitor the girls very carefully.

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    Replies
    1. There is no one key to longevity, though dental health is one of the important aspects. Vaccinations are as well but it gets more complicated because too much is just as bad as too little.

      Delete
  3. I have to say I'm not too surprised with these results either, though it is interesting to look at. I know a lot of people don't get their pet's teeth cleaned or even go in for regular wellness exams/vaccinations. I know for vaccines, that has to do with the controversy that surrounds them. I'll be looking forward to your posts about each category.

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    Replies
    1. One thing that needs to be taken into consideration is that people who read blogs such as mine are more invested in their dog's well-being and learning how to keep them healthy than average.

      Delete
  4. I think weight management is something that so many pet owners struggle with. Chubby is cute, but obviously not GOOD for the pet!

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    Replies
    1. Way too many dogs are obese. Chubby is NOT cute at all. In fact, when people say that from certain age dogs start "looking old" - how much does that have to do with them being obese?

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  5. I definitely believe in vaccines, but sparingly. Interesting to see the results of what pet owners think is important. :) Thanks for this!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, vaccines are life-saving but too much does more harm than good.

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  6. The results are about what I expected except for dental health. It's important for their general health too! Mr. N just had his teeth cleaned so I'm all about it right now.

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    Replies
    1. It is one of the things poorly understood even among the more educated folks.

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  7. I am definitely surprised that Dental Health isn't seen as a more important key to longevity since it huge health issue especially for small dogs. Though, as you've said, there is no one key but a combination of all (I think I would have said extremely important on all of them). I did expect the variation of the vaccinations, since there is so much controversy, though I still believe in giving them the right vaccinations for the area you live. Harley ended up with Lyme when we lived in Rhode Island since I wasn't as aware at that time. Thankfully he recovered.

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    Replies
    1. The importance of dental health isn't well understood. Not only it affects quality of life but it can lead to systemic disease.

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  8. That's interesting. I would have thought diet, exercise, and vaccination would have ranked much higher as extremely important, even though all of these items absolutely impact longevity. Very interesting too that there's a 10% difference between weight management and diet, which go pretty hand in hand in my opinion. These results are really enlightening for what pet parents are thinking about when it comes to their pet's lifespan!

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    Replies
    1. Diet and weight management do correlate closely, though according to research, feeding less makes more difference than what is being fed.

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  9. Thank you for sharing the results of your survey. All of these factors combined are so important to me. I look forward to Part 2 of your survey results!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still need more people to participate in the part 2 before I can post meaningful results.

      Delete
  10. Eye opening results. Personally I would have liked to see everyone marking spay/neuter as extremely important, but I'm not surprised by the ratings. All in all in an ideal world everything would have been rated extremely important, but it seems like most pet parents are doing a pretty good job wouldn't you say?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spay/neuter is one of the most controversial subjects, along with vaccination.

      Delete
  11. Weight management and diet go hand in hand, and definitely go a long way in ensuring their longevity. Thanks for the detailed study and results.

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    Replies
    1. They are closely related though according to research it seems that feeding less (weight management) is more important than the type of food used.

      Delete
  12. Very interesting study! A few things stand out to me. First, I find the variance for vaccination and spay/neuter interesting. Those are two issues that seem to generate a lot of discussion generally so I'm not terribly surprised your results were all over the place. The other one I thought was interesting was mental stimulation. I know several people with dogs that never take them on walks, don't give them structured training, and feel as though food and a little play indoors is all the dog needs. My guess is those friends would also rank mental stimulation as very important. I look forward to seeing the conclusion of this and your thoughts in the future!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vaccination and spay/neuter are far from clear-cut.

      Delete
  13. Who says that weight management, diet and wellness exams are not important?? Ummm...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nobody said that about weight management, actually. But does make you stop and thing, doesn't it?

      Delete
  14. The vaccinations were surprising and yet not. I know there is a lot of controversy even between veterinarians. Yet I did not realize just how little emphasis was put on vaccinations for health and longevity.

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    Replies
    1. The problem is that some people believe that vaccines are "killing" dogs. Though it can happen. But used properly they do save lives.

      Delete
  15. We have to manage our dog's weight every autum. The is a persimmon tree in the yard and she loves them!

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  16. I think the split on vaccinations reflects where we are as a society. People get nervous about vaccine quantities and ingredients. We live in a world where we don't know who to trust to look out for most of us, let alone our pets. Combine this distrust of institutions with a high rate of scientific illiteracy and people don't know if the sky really is blue and whether or not this is good for us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, there is a large divide on many subjects. On the other hand, over-vaccination absolutely is a problem.

      Delete
  17. Weight is a key issue in these plentiful times. Our cats gain weight in winter but pend a lot of time in the garden in summer so lose a lot them

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it is. Though I can't help but wonder whether it's the amount or the type of food that is to blame.

      Delete
  18. A healthy diet and sound nutrition is so important to a dog's (and a human's) longevity - this is such an interesting post. We are going to study it and share with our readers!

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    Replies
    1. Indeed. If only there was a consensus on what a sound diet is ;-)

      Delete
  19. Great survey Jana! I have to say, I'm a bit surprised to see mental stimulation get a higher score than exercise! I'm a little sad that spay/neuter didn't get a higher scale in terms of importance but perhaps that could be due to some recipients considering professional breeders? Very interesting survey! Thanks for sharing the results.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the spay/neuter is quite controversial. Though as of now I feel it's not a question whether to spay or not but when. But even that might change and we might eventually find out that we ought to leave our dogs intact. Dr. Karen Becker was elaborating on the issue comparing European dogs to American ones.

      The "split" on mental stimulation and exercise is kind of funny because exercise is the best means of mental stimulation for dogs. I loved Dr. Stanley Coren's article on that.

      Delete
  20. I am not surprised that weight management is so important, just as it is with humans, because obesity is such a problem and because weight can affect joints, heart etc. I guess diet and exercise are part of that. Dental is important too.

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    Replies
    1. I find it sad that we, as a whole, can't follow through even with things we agree on.

      Delete
  21. I look forward to reading the in depth explanations in the weeks to come! I'd love to see a short answer section so people could explain why they chose their answers.

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    Replies
    1. Ah, great idea on the answer question. I could add it next time, though I think the more "work" you ask of people the less likely they're going to do it.

      Delete
  22. This is a very interesting survey! It's pretty much in line with what I expected. For us the big thing we need to work on is dental health. No one likes brushing teeth or getting their teeth brushed, so we don't do it nearly as often as we should.
    -Jessica from Beagles & Bargains

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a popular thing to do, true. We've been brushing daily for a long time now; our dogs put up with it figuring it's the price to pay for being as spoiled as they are.

      I find you get the best results from daily brushing combined with raw meaty bones.

      Delete
  23. Interesting results. I'm sure you'll be expanding on your findings in future posts. I am surprised by the dental health portion and the spay/neuter question. Thank you for sharing!

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  24. I was encouraged by some of the results, but quite dismayed about the spay/neuter results. Looked like about 30% of respondents weren't really concerned or didn't know......? Still kind of high.

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