Senior Dog Tips ~ How To Prolong Your Dog’s Life

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Our American Eskimo is 15 years young and still going strong.

In fact, he acts more and more like a cute cuddly puppy every day, rather than a crotchedy old canine these days.

Truth be told, we thought he would have left this world ages ago.

Here’s what we’ve done so far that got him to be 105 in dog years…


He’s never been sick, rarely pukes or poops out of order, and hasn’t had any health issues to speak of.

So any time he does get a case of doggie diarrhea or something, we can’t help but think, “This is it… Let’s prepare ourselves.”

Yet, it’s never happened!…

We continually ask ourselves, what have we done different that might have caused our dog to live so long beyond his projected “check-out” date?


Want To Make Sure Your Dog Lives To Be Over 100 In Dog Years?…

(At this rate, our dog, Jersey, just might achieve that in people years!)

Here are some of the things that we’ve done to keep our dog healthy and happy throughout his past 15 years of life.

Whether they’re unusual or not, I don’t know… You make the call.


Annual check-ups and vaccinations at the vet. (The only time he had to go to the vet that’s out-of-the-ordinary is the time he licked raw a spot on his toe. They called it a “hot spot”, but it’s the same toe that I trimmed the nail too short one time — he never had a problem with “hot spots” again.)


Monthly Heartgard heartworm preventative pills. Over the past 15 years, that’s added up to a pretty penny… something like: $350! (Whenever we lived in colder states, we took him off the Heartgard during the winter months.)


Infrequent — almost non-existent! — walks on the leash (Shame on us.)


Lots of fresh air & sunshine with plenty of room to run. (Fenced-in backyards are a lifesaver with pets.)


Frequent grooming… brushing and bathing. For a white dog, he’s always been a cinch to keep clean and fluffy.


A lifetime supply of Nutro Lamb & Rice (green bag) dog food — though we recently started mixing in some Nutro Senior (silver bag).


Alpo Snaps dog treats SEVERAL times a day (one after each trip “outside”, each morning wake-up, evening bedtime, and many times in between… positive reinforcement does wonders for a dog’s self-esteem!)


As a “luxury treat” when he’s REALLY good he gets a few pieces of Bil-Jac frozen dog food morsels (available from stores like Nashville Pet Products) — we keep a small supply in the fridge and dip into it whenever he’s gone above-and-beyond your “average” dog behavior.


Frequent car rides ever since Day One as a puppy. He’s always been content to just hang out in the back seat no matter if we’re going on a short trip to the store or a long trip (like the time we moved cross country from Texas to New York).


Let him swim!… in the ocean, in the backyard swimming pool, in the lake… water has always been a play toy for Jersey. He doesn’t like it in his eyes, but he’ll splash around in it for hours.


He likes to have something he’s “responsible” for — like bringing us the remote control or saying his prayers at night. Mental stimulation in the form of “tricks” keeps him active and alert.


We’ve routinely taken his photo… a lot! Perhaps that made him feel as if he was the center of attention? (…We have more “cute dog” photographs than most people have “cute baby” ones!)


So, aside from all that, we can’t explain why our dog has defied all odds and lived to the ripe old age of 15, while showing few signs of slowing down.

Then again… Maybe it was the fact that we turned his world upside down at the ripe old age of 13 when we introduced a tiny puppy into his world. Sometimes, Destin would completely terrorize him!

Today, that “tiny puppy” towers over old-man Jersey, and he’s taught the old white dog a thing or two about living life to the fullest and not taking life too seriously.


More About Jersey

  • Jersey’s Photo Album
  • Though he still acts like a puppy, his body is starting to show otherwise. He’s got cataracts real bad and cannot see at night, and he can’t hear for anything! We’ve resorted to clapping our hands loudly or banging noisy objects together to get his attention. That, in addition to our own version of “pet sign language”.
  • More About Our Dogs

Update On Jersey’s Life With Us

Shortly after this article was written, Jersey spent his last days with us. In addition to being mostly blind and mostly deaf, he never seemed content anymore, and the vet said he was also showing signs of doggie alzheimers.

While putting a beloved pet to sleep is never easy, I feel compelled to pass on this helpful piece of advice that our vet offered us, in hopes that it will made the decision and the process that much easier for others who might find themselves in a similar situation. She said:

“When you start having more bad days than good days in a given week, you’ll know it’s time.”

For us, that time had come. We had noticed significant changes in Jersey’s life during his last 2 years, but those last 2 weeks were all-consuming. Not to mention the fact that he no longer played with toys, and he didn’t even enjoy bones anymore. He couldn’t go out on walks, since he couldn’t see where he was going. Even car rides had lost their excitement.

To Jersey: You and I spent 15 of the best years of my life together! You were the most non-demanding and easy-going dog I’ve ever met in my life. Thank you for all the good times.

More Ways To Prolong Your Dog’s Life

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I like to help Dog Parents find unique ways to do things that will save time & money -- so I write about "outside the box" Dog Tips and Dog Hacks that most wouldn't think of. I’m a lifelong dog owner -- currently have 2 mixed breed Golden Aussies that we found abandoned on the side of the road as puppies. I've always trained my own dogs and help friends train theirs, as well. Professionally, I worked at a vet and have several friends who are veterinarians -- whom I consult with regularly. (And just because I love animals so much, I also worked at a Zoo for awhile!) I've been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started... and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). My daily motivation is to help first-time dog owners be better prepared from the first day your new puppy enters your home. I like to help dog owners understand what's 'normal' and what you can expect in terms of living with and training your dog -- how to get through the ups & downs of potty training, chewing, teaching commands, getting your dog to listen, and everything else that takes place during that hectic first year! When I'm not training, walking, grooming, or making homemade treats for my dogs, you will find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I've written over 600 articles for dog owners on this site! Many of them have upwards of 200K shares.

6 thoughts on “Senior Dog Tips ~ How To Prolong Your Dog’s Life

  1. ya know i had my dog for 15 years and he looked great my doctor said when they stop wagging there tail and stop drinking water they are not having fun then its time to go, but when my doc said i had about 2 weeks left i went and took him every where with me i even took him inside apple bees to eat i pretended i was blind lol but it worked. and we had a blast i let him have cheeze burgers all the stuff i wpould never let him do i let him do whatever he wanted before we said good bye

  2. I love it! Our Eskie is 15 and we’re always concerned with how much time he has left. His name is Mike and we live in MA so he has a cooler climate for 7-8 months of the year.

    Over the past 3 months we’ve noticed an uptick in medical issues. He got an auto immune disease which we first thought was lymes. After tons of meds and rest, he actually survived and as far as we can tell, fully recovered although the vet gave him a 50/50 chance at the time. Also, his kidneys are a little fatty as is normal with older dogs and eskimos in general.

    Today though Mike had his first seizure that we know of and it may be due to a small brain tumor. I really hope that isn’t the case and this is a one time thing, but the thought of our dog suffering is so devastating to me. He is really old, life expectancy is 13 years for american eskimos so I know we are truly blessed to have been able to enjoy him for as long as we have. I hope Jersey continues to to be a happy dog as eskies are amazing. I can’t picture myself owning any other type of dog but I’m weary of getting another as the medical issues that they are said to be prone to are so expensive to treat.

    1. Awe… I’m glad you’ve had a great 15 years so far with your eskie, Sam! Sounds like you’re making the most of his life right now. That’s what we did too. We got another dog after our eskie Jersey died, and even though he’s a Labrador, expensive medical issues arose (torn ACL – about $4,000 when all was said and done). I can’t imagine my life without a dog. Definitely worth the money for all the unconditional love, companionship, and joy they bring to your life.

      1. Thanks for the reply! I’m so sorry to hear about Jersey, I hope he/she went out peacefully with family. Mike has not had any other issues and still wags that little tail of his whenever any of us approach him. I agree with your sentiment about having a dog, really can’t put a price on what they offer us humans. Still enjoying every day like it’s the last!

        Take care,

  3. We had “Snowflake”an American Eskimo Spitz that lived to be 18. When they are around that long they are your child. She was 18lbs. Her last year of her life she had back hip problems and couldn’t walk very well. We probably should have put her to sleep a year earlier… She was a great dog! She loved me to fix her bacon and eggs. She never stopped eating. And fed her bacon and eggs the day we put her to sleep. Great breed and great dog!

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