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Good Old Dog: Expert Advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Happy, Healthy, and Comfortable
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Good Old Dog: Expert Advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Happy, Healthy, and Comfortable

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  315 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Our dogs are living longer than ever thanks to enormous advances in medical treatment and a highly evolved understanding of what they need to thrive. No one knows this better than the faculty of the Cummings Veterinary School at Tufts, who treat more than 8,000 older dogs annually. Their philosophy of caring for aging dogs combines empathy for each individual dog and owner ...more
Hardcover, 269 pages
Published November 22nd 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  315 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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Kelly H. (Maybedog)
What an impressive book about taking care of an aging dog! I put a hold on this book by accident, thinking it was an art book about old dogs. I flipped through it because it was there and I was pleasantly surprised. I have rescued and cared for elderly dogs most of my adult life and didn’t think there was much more I needed to know. I was wrong. There is quite a bit here that I was either unaware of or didn’t think about as in-depth as I should have. Further, they addressed issues that I think a ...more
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished this late at night while sitting up with my good old dog who was having some back troubles. This has solid advice, with some interesting facts about canine health I didn't know before. Recommended if you've got a senior pooch. ...more
Doug Goodman
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: research, dog-books
I was very lucky that my daughter brought this book home this afternoon. I have been reading through it this evening, and I can say that I really appreciate the information it is offering.
We have a "good old dog," though he is mostly an SOB. He is something like 14 years old, though, and has been in his twilight years for a while now.
This book helped because it talked about some of the typical ailments that older dogs are affected by, such as dental disease, laryngeal paralysis, diabetes, and c
Nov 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is probably the best book I've read all year. We have an almost 16 year old Lab mix, and we lost our greyhound at 12+ years of age back in April. I have been a Pet First Aid instructor and take a pretty active role in my dogs' health/wellbeing, trying to keep up with new procedures/technology, meds, etc. This book was informative, yet sensitive to the emotional aspects of taking care of an older dog; it was well-organized, interesting, and current. Easy to read, yet it didn't "dumb it down" ...more
Dec 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gone-to-the-dogs
Okay, so not the most cheerful read, but the book really delivers on its claim to provide realistic advice for taking care of an older dog. Thankfully, most of the more serious sections did not apply to our dear Schenley beagle who is now nearing his 14th year, but it did give me a lot of things to think about as well as numerous tips on how I can make him more comfortable and take better care of him as the years go on. I highly recommend for any dog owners.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helpful to put the panic aside that you might be missing something.
James Frederick
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is another book where I wish we could give half ratings. I would have given it 4.5, in that case. I rarely award five stars, but I did with this one because I learned a great deal about the care of older dogs, of which I have two.

This is not a feel good book, unfortunately, because much of the book is focused on what goes wrong with older dogs.

The one knock I had is that the chapters, particular the ones on disease, are very long. Clearly, the author loves his job and he is excited about
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it
This was required reading for one of my pet care certification classes. I have to say that while I learned some things, I expected a book used in a class to be a little more involved. Readers with little to no experience who are looking to learn something about elderly dog care will find something new here, but if you are a professional care provider, I'd say use it only as a general reference guide. ...more
Nathan Green
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great reference

Good Old Dogs is a good read for anyone with an aging dog. My dogs are 14, 12 and 1. Recently our 14 year old had dental surgery (she learned how to step on the lever that opens the lid of the trash can and ate some chicken bones resulting in a broken tooth- proving that old dogs can learn new tricks) and started having some other issues so I turned to this book to learn how to be a better mama to her in old age. It was very helpful!
T. Rose
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As the mom of a 15 year old Westie, this book is invaluable to me. I have never had a geriatric dog in my life. I did have a 22 year old cat, but this canine experience is very different for me. My little dog is deaf an blind now. It is a scary time for both of us. I am very grateful to have found such a great source of information to augment our veterinary support.
Mike Harris
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Got this book because my senior “little boy” was diagnosed with kidney disease. The information in here is very useful and should be of tremendous help in helping my “little boy” live out the best life he can. I highly recommend this book to anyone with a dog 8 years old or older, doubly if they have any type of disease like diabetes, heart diseases, or kidney disease.
Apr 22, 2018 marked it as gave-up-on
Shelves: nonfict, animals, doggies
I don't think this would be particularly helpful for an average dog owner. It explains surgeries and treatments probably costing thousands of dollars, while shrugging off the costs, but never really touching on things an average, not rich person could do to help their dog. ...more
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Easy read and good general information that is helpful for someone with an old pooch at home who is interested in making informed decisions about their health.
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I should not have read that last chapter. I went through a box of Kleenex while my 12 year old dog slept on the other end of the sofa.
Oct 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
I was very happy to have won this book through a First Reads giveaway. I was interested in this book because I have two old dogs, and I have lost two old dogs in the last couple of years. The book has chapters on diet, common medical conditions, protecting joints, fighting cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, the cost of vet care, dementia, changing the environment to suit the dog, emergency care, and end-of-life decisions. Since it is written by vets, it has a lot of good information on preve ...more
Kylie Holliman-Rivera
Good Old Dog by Nicholas Dodman

Rating: 4 Stars

As an owner of a dog walking company (IG: @firehydrantpetsittingco), a boss to a handful of employees, a service provider to over 100 clients, and a dog mom -- I feel like continuous education is a MUST.

There are always things out there to learn! I love it when I find employees, clients, and other pet lovers that are just as fascinated as I am with how dogs and cats function, react, behave, etc..

In this book, Good Old Dog: Expert Advice for Keepin
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This took me some time to read as I was rather busy for a time... however, I have to admit this could get a little bit (a tiny little bit) dry.

I bought this book because of the dog topic, and also because I have 2 aging dogs: Bido at 13ish and Menina at 8ish. Both were taken in as strays so I don't really know if that is their age or not. Besides, I've had numerous other dogs before them, so in truth, I was already rather, I wouldn't say knowledgeable, but, perhaps sympathetic is the word.

In any
Kelly Lynn Thomas
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, science
Reading this book wasn't easy, exactly, although it's written in a very straight-forward, clear manner. The book covers all the common ailments of senior dogs and what the possible treatments are, and I found it to be very informative (though not all encompassing). What makes it hard to read is thinking about your own old dog and whatever ailments she might have--and facing up to the reality that she will not be with you forever. But I am an advocate for "good" deaths rather than fearful, misera ...more
Aug 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Posted at

Probably you already know that I'm a veterinary student but I am also a dog owner. Cotton is ten years old and lately he have been sick.

I have experienced the worry and sadness you feel when your beloved pet is sick. And sometimes I have to help people understand their old pets, and teach them how to take better care of them and not be afraid to go with them to the vet. We want the best for your pet.

Personally, I liked a lot this book, and think
Feb 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Good overall book on older dogs health issues. Major plus: it explains the health issues in non-veterinary language, or where necessary, brief but good explanations to educate readers. It could've actually had a lot more info, though that would've made it a lot longer; as it is, it's a pretty easy read and relatively short. Another drawback was that the writers/editors didn't do anything useful in terms of providing monetary figures---a survey of vet hospitals and clinics on the cost of the vari ...more
Lora Covrett
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I think anyone with a dog of any age should read this book. I bought it because I had a 14 year old dog that I wanted to help. The story near the end of the book is nearly identical to our story - carrying around our old dog until he could not stand long enough to go to the bathroom. I kept hoping he would slip away in his sleep but this book spells it out in black and white -- your dog is not likely to die in his sleep. You will have to make the end-of-life decisions. This book prepares you for ...more
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all dog owners
Shelves: informational
As the owner of a good old dog, and a couple more good old dogs to be, this is an excellent resource on the aging of your best friend. The truth about the care of older canines and the veterinary care available to them, rather than the myths and hype surrounding their aging is very interesting. From their nutritional needs to available treatments to preparing for end of life, this book covers it all. Light on the technical jargon, but solid on information, easy to read. My opinion is that this i ...more
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Some of this book was simply hard to read because it made me teary, but overall it was very useful. I'm not sure I agree with all of the food and supplement information--a weight chart courtesy of Nestle Purina caused me to frown and take nutritional information with a pound of salt--but I was able to come up with a list of questions to ask. There's also a checklist to track your "good old dog"'s behavior on a regular basis, which I wish we'd had a year ago. It always helps to be armed with info ...more
Nov 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I have a lab who is 11 years old (12 in April). I am so excited to read this book!

While not all of the information in this book applied to my dog, as of yet, it was a great read and a great resource for the future. I particularly enjoyed reading the parts of the book that currently apply to my dog, heart disease and arthritis. This is definitely a book that I will keep on my bookshelf as a reference for the future! Great information!!!

Dec 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nf-dogs
This is a really good book if you want to have a reference for the problems of aging dogs and if you don't start worrying too much about your old friend.

The book covers information that is difficult to find anywhere else as well as going fairly in depth about the major issues old dogs face. It isn't too depressing, even giving hope for good quality life extension with proper treatment of diseases.
Laurie Johnson
Dec 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I began reading this about 6 months ago for guidance on helping Jake. I finally finished the really difficult but helpful chapters at the end yesterday. This book was very informative and covered a wide range of points of view on vet care for dogs. It is reassuring for anyone who considers their dog family instead of a pet as it gives peace of mind to know you are doing the right thing in the saddest of times.
Audrey Custer
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pets
This is a wonderful book that deals gently and compassionately with man's best friend's golden years. Explaining scary things like diabetes, congestive heart failure, and other potential health problems for older dogs in a matter-of-fact way (and explaining that they aren't a death sentence) is a terrific approach. I recommend this book to anyone who has an older companion dog, and it has a permanent place on my bookshelf. ...more
Jan 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2011
like the weight chart that showed the view of the dog from above and the side and what owuld be considered overweight/under/just right. Also liked the "how old is your dog" chart that focused on breed size + years. My dog is 64!
worth glancing through. Some issues may directly impact you if you have an older dog.
Jeff Narucki
May 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Pretty much exactly the advice that I received from the vet on taking care of my aging dog. The excellent index makes this extremely easy to find the specific information that I was looking for. Listen to your pet and take them to the vet when something is off kilter, but this book will help you make a better educated decision on what might be going on with it.
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals, non-fiction
Very informative for those with elderly dogs (or even those with youngsters!). Packed full with information that can help you better their quality of life. Info includes diet, symptoms of certain medical ailments, diagnoses, treatment options, and much more. It also has a great chapter on euthanasia that every dog owner should read to better understand when it is the right time.
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