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Grey Matters Blog celebrates senior dogs and provides a resource for the people who care for them. It draws upon the wealth of knowledge and experience with senior dogs offered by The Grey Muzzle Organization community. Our contributors will share articles on senior dog care, as well as relevant news, success stories from our grantee organizations, and more. 

Saying A Dog's Name Once: The Science Behind a Dog's Name

Up close brown cattle dog
Why do we name our dogs? Seems a bit of an odd question doesn’t it. But when we try to answer it, we struggle to come up with an answer any more detailed than, “so they come back when I call!” What do you use your own name for? Identification mostly. Imagine the confusion in a waiting room without names! This also applies to dogs. We use a dog’s name to identify them, in the Veterinarians office, in the grooming salon, in daycare; and to get them to come back to us in the park. So, if their name is actually a vitally important part of their life (like ours), why do we sometimes have dogs that appear to have no concept of their name?

Car Safety and Your Senior Dog

Zoe buckled up
It is the height of summer travel season, and pets are part of the family, so many may be hitting the road, but thousands of animals are injured or die each in car accidents. The cost of a properly fitting seat belt or harness is nothing compared to the cost of your pet not wearing one. A 50-lbs. dog, traveling 30 mph, will feel like nine 170-lbs. men pushed him against a brick wall if he is thrown during a motor vehicle accident (that’s “ruff”ly 1,500 lbs. of force)! Thinking back on our high school physics class -- a body in motion stays in motion until acted upon by an outside force. This...

Stand by Me: Caring for Your Aging or Ailing Dog by Ellen L. Bassuk M.D.

Stand by Me book cover
Stand by Me is a pioneering new book for dog owners who hope to extend the life of their beloved pet, rather than turning to euthanasia before it may be necessary. Stand by Me reflects the growing movement to provide supportive care to elderly and ailing dogs, and to hold off on putting them down while there is still opportunity for a good quality of life. This easy-to-use guide provides pet owners with advice from experts on home care for older and sick dogs. Topics including feeding, walking, hygiene, and daily care are succinctly and straightforwardly addressed, including how to make...

Annie’s Saga: Heartworm Disease By Denise Fleck, The Pet Safety Crusader™

Vizla dog Annie
Affectionate, gentle, energetic and built for long days in the field. Vizslas are known to be an athletic breed - eager and graceful trotters possessing great stamina and making them ideal jogging or biking companions. Picture Annie : a Heartworm positive two-year-old Vizsla who is currently on restricted activity during treatment.

Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog by Dave Barry

Front cover book shot of Lessons from Lucy by Dave Barry
A special introduction from the author: Lessons From Lucy is about my dog, Lucy, and the things she has taught me. Lucy and I are both getting on in years — I’m 71, and she’s 11 — but while I’ve tended to become crotchety, Lucy has somehow managed to remain playful and happy, even joyful. So I decided to try to figure out how she does it, and to see if I could improve my own happiness by doing the things Lucy does, except for drinking from the toilet.

Senior Dog Ownership: Health Benefits for Humans

Grey muzzled dog in person's lap
This is a guest post on the Grey Matters Blog and not written by anyone affiliated with Grey Muzzle. We allow guest contributors from time to time in order to provide our supporters with a wide range of topics pertaining to senior dogs. Those of use that have a senior dog in our lives already know that they add to our quality of life in many ways: loyal companionship, unconditional love, and a calming energy. However, the benefits go beyond making each day better. Our canine companions can improve both our physical and mental health . This article will look at some of the research behind the...

Is Your Dog Distracting You As You Drive? Here's What to Do

Brown dog hanging his head out a car window
This is a guest post on the Grey Matters Blog and not written by anyone affiliated with Grey Muzzle. We allow guest contributors from time to time in order to provide our supporters with a wide range of topics pertaining to senior dogs. You’ve likely seen enough terrifying stats, commercials, and warnings about texting while driving that you broke that habit and now drive hands-free. What about other distractions, though? While it may be fun to have your dog entertain you as you drive, it’s unsafe for you, your pet, and the other drivers on the road. There’s even a proposed bill that could...

Keeping Your Senior Dog Safe on Planes & in Airports By Denise Fleck, The Pet Safety Crusader™

Adult beagle in a crate
Recently, a member of The Grey Muzzle family, encountered two separate instances of dogs fighting while travelling. According to our Vice-President Jessica Rothfuss: One fight occurred on the plane during boarding while the other happened in the airport. A small dog had a carrier but was not really in it as it was unzipped. The dog barked and carried on whenever it saw another dog and got into a fight with a larger leashed dog. The on-board fight also occurred with an on- leash dog. It was unclear if any of the canines were emotional support as none were wearing vests or any ID to indicate...

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