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.
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
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”.
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
- 10 Secrets To Dogs Aging Gracefully
- Tips On Lowering Veterinary Bills & Pet Expenses
- Geriatrics & Prolonging The Life Of An Old Dog
- Senior Dog Care Tips: Things To Do Early!