Pusuke, the world's oldest living dog noted by the Guinness Book of Records, died on Monday at age 26 in his home in Japan.
The median life expectancy for a dog is 12.8 years, according to Bruce Fogle, a doctor of veterinary medicine. Pusuke lived more than twice this, but how did his owner achieve such astounding longevity?
His owner, 42-year-old housewife Yumiko Shinohara from Sakura, Tochigi Prefecture told the Mainichi Daily News Pusuke received lots of love and slept with her every night. Shinohara also told MSN India that he exercised daily, going for walks twice a day at morning and night, occasionally snacked and had two meals daily.
Truth Dive also reported that Shinohara gave Pusuke, a mix of midget Shiba and an unidentified mixed-breed, vitamins twice daily.
Pusuke died on Dec. 5 in Sakura, Tochigi Prefecture at 26-years-and-nine-months-old.
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Shinohara said that Pusuke had been acting normally, eating regularly and going for evening walks. All of a sudden, on Monday morning, he lost his appetite and could not breathe.
Shinohara said Pusuke died peacefully five minutes upon her return from afternoon errands, while she rubbed his head, the Mainichi Daily News reported.
I think (Pusuke) waited for me to come home,'' told the Shimotsuke Shimbun, according to Sky News. It was at least good for him to pass away at home, not at hospital.
I'm so sad. I would like to tell him that I appreciate he lived a long, healthy life.
Pusuke was certified as the world's oldest living dog by Guinness last December using vaccination records from his date of birth in 1985 at the home of one of Shinohara's relatives while she was still in high school, MSN India reported.
Pusuke took the place of a 28-year-old Beagle named Butch who died in 2003.
According to PetVR, Pusuke almost lost his shot at Guinness fame when he was struck by a car in 2008 and ruptured his internal organs. However, the 28-pound dog underwent surgery and continued life as a record-breaking elder canine and guard dog to Yumiko Shinohara.
Most pet owners only dream of this extent of longevity for their beloved pets. Often times, larger dogs die before small dogs and mixed breeds die before pure bred canines. No matter what the circumstance, excellent pet care will bring longevity.
While there is no guarantee that following these steps will up the longevity of a dog, here are some tips to maximize a long, healthy lfie with your canine.
1. Exercise Regularly
According to the owner of the world's oldest dog, Pusuke exercised regularly. She reportedly took him on walks twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.
2. Monitor Weight
According to WebMD, dogs that weigh less often times live longer than heavy dogs. Keep an eye on your dog's weight, the same way you do for yourself, and make sure it doesn't eat too much or too frequently. For a list of healthy weights for individual breeds and how to determine if a dog is an ideal weight, check out this article from The Daily Puppy.
3. Get Frequent Checkups
Similar to humans, dogs need yearly checkups at the veterinarian, too. Also if anything seems out of the ordinary, such as fainting, vomiting or other abnormal events, a pet owner should alert their vet immediately,
Pusuke's owner gave him vitamins twice daily, which she believes contributed to his amazing longevity. Other blogs say reducing glucose levels radically increases longevity (A reporter at IBTimes concurred, adding Glucosamine turned her ill 7-year-old german shepherd Elvis into a puppy again.)
The Beatles once said, All you need is love, and the same applies for pets. Shinohara said she loved her dog, as he frequently slept in the same bed as her. A good scratch on the head frequently clearly pays off.