Dad is keen on feeding Me and Abbey the right sort of food and to ensure that we are getting regular daily exercise. I started out in life on special puppy food diet that was blended to give me all the extra nutrients needed for a fast growing dog. Then when I was three, dad put me on what he calls regular food - with no preservatives or additives. It seems that I will be on this diet until I am about seven and then he will change my diet again. We all get a cod liver oil tablet everyday. We all have a target weight and fitness level and our diet is adjusted to maintain the weight target. We all get wormed twice a year.
Dad put Abbie who is now 12 on to what he calls a senior blend. Reduced protein with no preservatives or additives. Ab's is still very sprightly, she can run as fast as me, but maybe not as far. Dad says she has good joints, good teeth (her teeth are cleaned once a week) and has good general health.
Jasper the cat was 29 years old. He had been kept on a controlled diet all his life. (with the exception of the odd rodent) The vet said at his last check-up that his heart, liver and kidney function are very good for a cat of his age. Jaspers only problem was with his thyroid and some mild arthritis. However, he took his medication ever day and he looked good on it. Jasper was on a diet that was formulated for his needs. As for Jaspers exercise regime, it was based around waking just in time to eat. We all miss him now and he still has a place in our hearts.
Dad often uses the phrase "old girl" when talking to me or Abbey, this started me thinking about who is the oldest dog in the world. Dad says longevity in a dog depends on the right kind of food and exercise.
Dogs aged over fifteen who are fed a good diet are quite common. Dogs aged over twenty are un-common but not unknown. Dogs aged over twenty five are exceptional. But dad says age is not everything. It is quality of life that is most important. So being old is not as important as being old and being fit at the same time. Extreme old age should be regarded as an uncharacteristic exception rather than as indicators of common longevity for all dogs. Being old and being fit should also be combined with being bright alert and interactive. So dad likes to play games with us and to get us to do little tasks on command.
The Guinness Book of World Records say:-
The most recent record for the Worlds oldest dog was held by Butch, a 28-year-old from America who died in 2003. The oldest dog ever was Bluey, a sheepdog from Australia, who lived to 29 years.