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Aging Lessons
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According to Waters, the critical choices owners make for their pets involve diet, vaccinations, ovary removal, the use of lawn chemicals and more. In fact, based on human-twin studies, he attributes only 30 percent of age-related health issues to genetics alone, meaning about 70 percent of longevity is attributable to non-genetic factors. “Exactly how long each individual lives is not genetically carved in stone,” Waters says. “When it comes to longevity, the lifestyle decisions we make really matter.”

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Sheila Pell is a journalist and contributor to The Bark.

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