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Exercise and a diet fortified with vitamins, fruits and vegetables helped older dogs learn new tricks and kept them spry in an experiment that scientists said could teach humans a thing or two.

Beagles given either the fortified diet, regular exercise or both did much better in learning new tricks than dogs fed regular chow and allowed to lie around more, the researchers reported on Tuesday.
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[ January 20, 2005, 11:37 AM: Message edited by: Betsy Iole ]
 

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you can say that again!!! lotsa of time hunting is the best exercise for them.i have found a new dog food also.it's by Buckeye Nutrition, Pro Kennel Super Bits Formula.No corn,no BHA/BHT.30% protein 20% fat.same fomula as Pro Plan Performance and for a 40Lb bag it goes for 24.99.i was able to do some wheeling and dealing and now get it for $19.00 dollars a bag,BUT i have to buy 45 bags at a time.i sure hope the dogs are real hungry!!!!!
 

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This is an interesting thing--trying to apply the findings is harder...The piece on the article mentions a specific mix of food--can't remember all of it--seems like it was dried vegetable stuff. Is this in any food, or sold as a supplement? And how much exercise is exercise? I can't recall--was the original article cited in the news release?
 

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I pulled the paper, and the study was funded by Hill's, which has commercialized the supplemented feed used in the study. At least they acknowledge that behavioral enrichment (exercise, environmental and cognitive enrichment) appears to be as beneficial as the commercialized feed.
 

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Thanks Betsy, I just read the paper. It looks like they had federal funding from the institute on aging and the army--One of the investigators was a consultant for Hills, but I wouldn't be bothered too much about that, since that could mean alot of things.
The most interesting finding was the behavioral enrichment, which wasn't much--being housed with another dog, toys rotated every so often, and exercise for 15 minutes twice a week made such a big difference. We all can do most or some of that for our dogs--it's so minimal (well, except the second dog). The problem in generalizing, I would think is that the lives of the control group were probably so barren that it wasn't all that hard to get an improvement. However, if you buy into the findings at all, it sure argues for teaching your dog 'new tricks'--from Obedience, Agility, Rally, Tracking and funny parlor tricks throughout its life.
 

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Thanks for the summary, Sharon. I may start eating the supplemented feed myself. ;)
 
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That supplement and a couple of gallons of "Crème de la Mer" with it's patented "Miracle Broth" and I'll look a high school girl again, right?
 

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We'll be able to learn simple tricks, like discriminating between black and white, better than unsupplemented old ladies. Woo hoo.
 

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Skip the fancy feed (it sounded like they dumped half a health food store into the poor dogs' chow, anyway, and how good is that?) and go with the environmental enrichment condition--15 minutes of exercise twice a week, an assortment of new toys every other week (think about that! ) and a nice kennel mate ;) You'll be feeling so good you won't care if you can do simple discrimination tasks.
 

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Toys, yes. :D Exercise, no. :mad:

How's that for discrimination?
 

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And if the kennel mate was enriched with $$$$, I'd feel even better. ;)

Would you send me or post the link for the full article if either of you have it?
 
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