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London shelter's oldest dog reaches 133 in canine years

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 Senior dogs like Blackie are becoming more common thanks to better diets and veterinary care according to experts. (The Daily Mail)

In many parts of Canada, humans celebrate their newfound "age of majority status" at the age of 19. Blackie the shelter dog, on the other hand, is looking forward to a comfortable retirement.

At 133 (in canine years), staff at the Battersea Dogs and Cats home in South London say that the mixed-breed pooch is the oldest they've housed in their entire 152-year history.

"Blackie's owners assured us he is 19, and we can't find any record of an older dog ever arriving at Battersea," said Philip Heron, Operations Manager at the shelter, to the Daily Mail. "A 15, 16 or 17 year old dog isn't such a rare sight in our kennels, but a 19 year old is a real record-breaker for Battersea."

Blackie arrived at the famous shelter in August when his owners could no longer care for him, said Heron.

Despite his geriatric status, they greying pooch is in excellent heath and has energy to spare.

Staff say that he loves playing with toys, going for walks, and bounding up and down the shelter's halls.

So what's his secret to living a long and vital life? Green tea? Vitamin shots?

"We believe dogs and cats are living longer than they might have done a decade ago," said Heron. "People are feeding their pets better diets, which definitely helps. Going back 10 years, dogs used to arrive who ate their owner's leftover cereal for breakfast, whereas now they can enjoy tailored hypo-allergenic diets."

He also credits better veterinary care for the increase in pet life expectancy he's observed.

Blackie's profile on the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home shows that he has been adopted or "rehomed" since the DailyMail's piece was published.

Have you ever had a dog or cat live into their late teens or beyond? Share your stories below.

Tags: POV

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