Chester 5011
Chester 5011 Chester 5011
Dolma 4955
Dolma 4955 Dolma 4955
Orchid 5001
Orchid 5001 Orchid 5001
Shoshone 5003
Shoshone 5003 Shoshone 5003
Patrick 4504
Patrick 4504 Patrick 4504
Mandy 4999
Mandy 4999 Mandy 4999
Starla 4997
Starla 4997 Starla 4997
Ringo 4993
Ringo 4993 Ringo 4993

Senior dog resources

General information

The Senior Dogs Project website is the most comprehensive site dealing with everything about senior dogs. Health issues, diet, rescue, behavior, product links.

Thanks to for the top ten reasons to adopt a senior dog:


Older dogs are housetrained. You won’t have to go through the difficult stage(s) of teaching a puppy house manners and mopping/cleaning up after accidents.


Older dogs are not teething puppies, and won’t chew your shoes and furniture while growing up.


Older dogs can focus well because they’ve mellowed. Therefore, they learn quickly.


Older dogs have learned what “no” means. If they hadn’t learned it, they wouldn’t have gotten to be “older” dogs.


Older dogs settle in easily, because they’ve learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack.


Older dogs are good at giving love, once they get into their new, loving home. They are grateful for the second chance they’ve been given.


What You See Is What You Get: Unlike puppies, older dogs have grown into their shape and personality. Puppies can grow up to be quite different from what they seemed at first.


Older dogs are instant companions – ready for hiking, car trips, and other things you like to do.


Older dogs leave you time for yourself, because they don’t make the kinds of demands on your time and attention that puppies and young dogs do.


Older dogs let you get a good night’s sleep because they’re accustomed to human schedules and don’t generally need nighttime feedings, comforting, or bathroom breaks.

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How-to guide for new adopters

The first weeks after adopting a dog can be stressful for both you and your dog. And they are critical, because you are laying the foundation for your dog’s new life. This excellent guide from Maureen Backman, MS, Owner and Trainer of Mutt About Town is a how-to for new adopters, providing guidance for creating an environment for a successful transition, beginning before your bring your new dog home and continuing through those critical early days.

- You and Your New Dog: Navigating the First Weeks After Adopting a Dog (PDF: 10.2MB)

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Financial help for veterinary care

Please find below a list of organizations that may provide financial assistance to pet owners in need. Keep in mind that each organization is independent and has their own set of rules and guidelines. You will have to investigate each one separately to determine if you qualify for assistance. This list is to help you find financial assistance for your senior dog’s care.

Muttville is not associated with any of these organizations or responsible for any decisions that they make.

RedRover (formerly United Animal Nations) offers grants to rescue groups, good samaritans, small non-profit organizations and others to help them obtain lifesaving veterinary care for animals thorough the RedRover Relief Grants program. (

(Please note: RedRover also maintains a list of other financial assistance programs:

Help-A-Pet is a nonprofit organization which provides financial assistance to pet owners who are unable to afford the cost of veterinary services, medicine, or medical supplies for a sick or injured pet. (

To qualify, your annual income must be below $20,000 for an individual household or $40,000 for a family household (amount varies upon the number of dependents). Due to limited funding, financial assistance can only be provided once per pet.

Shadow’s Fund provides emergency medical care and quality of life improvement grants for individuals. (

Actors and Others for Animals is a southern California community based organization servicing the greater Los Angeles area and surrounding counties. Emergency Medical Assistance is only available to residents living in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange or Ventura counties. (

The Acme Foundation founders believe that a pet should not have to be euthanized because of lack of funds to treat a pet that would otherwise regain health, if provided with the necessary veterinary care. All proceeds go to qualifying recipients who apply for assistance at Clearlake Veterinary Clinic, serving Lake County, CA. (

Pet Samaritan Fund provides financial assistance to individuals unable to afford medical care for their pet(s). (

AAHA Helping Pets Fund (the Fund) is the benevolent arm of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Foundation, a nonprofit organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Fund is the funding source for financial assistance to veterinarians and pet owners in the United States and Canada. This document provides guidelines for those interested in seeking financial aid for veterinary care for sick or injured pets. (

Rose’s Fund for Animals will financially assist, to the best of their ability, pet owners and Good Samaritans who have an animal with a good prognosis for a healthy life, but are at a financial loss. (

(Please note: Rose’s Fund for Animals maintains a list of emergency/medical assistance for pet owners, too: Also, a state-specific page:

In Memory of Magic (IMOM) Due to the current economic crisis and decline in donations, IMOM presently accepts applications for life threatening emergencies only. (

The Senior Dogs Project maintains a list of general assistance resources, as well breed-specific and disease-specific funds. (

All Pets Wellness Foundation provides funds to care for sick and injured pets to owners who cannot afford it. (

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Special needs, hospice
Provides information and support for people with blind and visually impaired dogs
Many inventive items that are used to help dogs
Offers support for people that are dealing with a dying pet or a pet they have chosen to offer hospice for. Anthony J. Smith DVM
Offering compassionate end of life care and support for your pets in your own home
510 381 3389

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Grieving the death of a pet

Losing a beloved companion can be a devastating experience, often more so than people anticipate.

Dr. Betty J. Carmack has worked as a nurse in pet loss counseling since 1982. Her book, Grieving the Death of a Pet, provides help and guidance for people coping with the loss of a dear pet. Information about the book and how to buy it are available on her website, where she also provides some online guidance for getting through the difficult times.

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How to Run a Successful Foster-Based Rescue Organization

Click to watch Muttville present on this topic via a webcast hosted by Maddie’s Institute

Download the visual presentation:
- How to Run a Successful Foster-Based Rescue Organization (PDF: 35.7MB)

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Monthly Lecture Series: Senior Dog Health and Nutrition with Dr. Adam Piaseczny

We’re running monthly lectures at our headquarters on Senior Dog Health and Nutrition, hosted by Dr. Adam Piaseczny, owner and chief clinician of Healthy Pets Veterinary Hospital.

Check our Events pages for upcoming lectures and join us! We’ll post videos and handouts from past lectures here, as they become available.


Lecture 1. Homemade Diets for Pets
- Handout: The Best of Both Worlds: How to combine processed kibbles and canned products with freshly prepared foods to address changing nutritional needs of geriatric dogs. (PDF: 77KB)
- Video of the lecture

Lecture 2. Dental Disease
- Handout: Trouble with Teeth: Prevention and Treatment of Dental Disease (PDF: 103KB)
- Video of the lecture

Lecture 3. Itchy Butt, Ears & Paws: First Symptoms of Unhealthy Skin
- Handout: Ears, Feet and Anal Gland Problems: First Symptoms of Unhealthy Skin (PDF: 78KB)
- Video of the lecture

Lecture 4. Doggy Dining (Pet Nutrition) 101
- Handout: Pet Nutrition 101: Adding Fresh Foods and Home Made Diets (PDF: 90KB)
- Video of the lecture

Lecture 5. Let’s Talk About Cancer
- Handout: Cancer: An Enemy from Within (PDF: 112KB)
- Video of the lecture

Lecture 6. Doggone Pain! Pain Management for Dogs
- Handout: How to spot signs of pain and what to do about it (PDF: 102KB)
- Video of the lecture


Lecture 1. Introduction to Senior Dog Health Care and Nutrition
- Handout: Common Recurring Problems in Senior Pets (PDF: 5.4MB)

Lecture 2. Food Basics: What Makes A Nutritious Senior Dog Meal?
- Handout: Nutritional Approach to Managing a Geriatric Dog (PDF: 4.4MB)

Lecture 3. Weight Control and Arthritis
- Handout: Weight Management: How Can Diet Help to Take the Load Off Painful Joints (PDF: 3.6MB)

Lecture 4. Arthritis Management
- Handout: Arthritis: Everyone Eventually Gets It (PDF: 4.6MB)

Lecture 5. Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine for Senior Dogs
- Handout: Wind, Heat, Chi and Blood: Basic Concepts in Traditional Chinese Medicine (PDF: 105KB)
- Video of the lecture

Lecture 6. Liver and Spleen Health
- Handout: Trouble with Middle Burner: Liver and Spleen Disharmony (PDF: 103KB)
- Video of the lecture

Lecture 7. Homemade Diet Recipes
- Handout: Homemade Diet Recipes: General Guidelines and Recommendations (PDF: 81KB)
- Video of the lecture

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Videos: Pet Tips from Muttville's Vet Friends on KPIX

Every other Saturday, CBS/KPIX features pet tips from Muttville’s vet friends, such as Jena Valdez, Iliana Strubel, and others. Interviews filmed at Muttville’s headquarters. Founder Sherri Franklin is often also featured in the KPIX studio with one of Muttville’s senior mutts.

January 26, 2013: Exercising You and Your Dog

February 9, 2013: Foods to Keep Out of Reach From Your Dog

February 23, 2013: Why You Should Avoid Giving Leftovers to Your Dog

May 25, 2013: Understand Your Cat

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SF SPCA's Senior Dog Seminar: "How to Care for Your Aging Pet"

On 9/10/11, Sherri Franklin, Muttville’s Founder and Executive Director, was among the participants in SF SPCA’s Senior Dog Seminar: “How to Care for Your Aging Pet.” Here are some handouts and other resources from the seminar.

Sherri Franklin, Founder and Executive Director of Muttville: “Tips for Living with Your Senior Dog”

- Handout: Senior Dog Shopping Checklist (PDF: 987KB)

- A video of Sherri’s 28-minute presentation, discussing the shopping list items

Cathy Chen-Rennie, Owner and Head Swim Coach of The Rex Center: “Alternative Therapies and Exercise for Older Dogs”

- Handout: Alternative Therapies and Exercise for Older Dogs (PDF: 1.6MB)

Lisa Dossey, CTC: “Fun and Safe Ways to Exercise and Care for Your Aging Best Friends’ Body and Mind”

- Handout: Fun and Safe Ways to Exercise and Care for Your Aging Best Friends’ Body and Mind (PDF: 410KB)

- Presentation: Fun and Safe Ways to Exercise and Care for Your Aging Best Friends’ Body and Mind (PDF: 8.8MB)

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Top 20 Places to Take Your (Senior) Dog in the Bay Area

From Muttville’s contribution to SFGate’s #LoveLocal celebration:

Senior dogs don’t want to go just “anywhere”. They like soft sand for aged paws, flat lands that won’t ache the joints, and mellow spots where they won’t get run over by young pups! Seniors also enjoy the finer things in life – shopping, dining, wine country or a beautiful sunset.

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue’s mature mutts voted these 20 places as the best for senior dogs.

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Products we like

Belly bands

A belly band is a belt that holds a diaper pad for male dogs that become incontinent. The best ones we’ve found: Email Bev Halbach at or call her at 303 403 9292. She makes them to order!

Also, we always use the human incontinence pads rather than the ones at the pet store!

Joint supplements

Pan American Veterinary Corporation makes a superlative joint supplement for dogs with arthritis or other joint inflammation. Our dogs use it!

“Music to Comfort Your Elderly Canine”

Through a Dog’s Ear creates music specifically designed to calm and comfort your dog.

We especially like their “Music to Comfort Your Elderly Canine” and play it at our new headquarters to help relieve the stress anxiety some of our new arrivals may be experiencing.

Available both on CD and as an MP3.

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