How This 19-Year-Old Dog’s Morning Routine Helps Keep Him Young at Heart

A pet owner has revealed how her 19-year-old dog is able to stay young at heart.

Bryce the dog has been a part of Kristen from North Carolina’s life since the day she brought him home as a 6-week-old puppy.

“My friends and I got puppies from the same litter so Bryce grew up with his brother and sister,” Kristen told Newsweek.

Nearly two decades on and the senior pup is still going strong and keeping busy. “Bryce loves to sunbathe, walk around the house and eat his favorite treats,” Kristen said. “Meal time is his absolute favorite: chicken & cheese.”

The reason why some dogs live for longer than others can be down to a number of factors. One recent study published in the journal Evolution, Medicine & Public Health, saw researchers collect comprehensive survey data from 21,410 dogs. The results pointed to the importance of social interaction.

“Having those strong social connections and social companions is important,” Brianah McCoy, one of the study’s lead authors, explained. “Overall, it’s good for your dog to have social support around, in the form of other people and other dogs. Dogs are social animals, just like us, so they benefit from being around others.”

Though Bryce might not be able to get out as much as he once did, his longevity may well be down to the focused love and support Kristen provides. Asked about the secret to his long life, she said: “As simple as it may sound, making sure he knows he is loved and cared about is key. I give him praise for the smallest things such as walking, finishing all his food, going potty, etc. This gives him a sense of accomplishment and thus motivation.”

Kristen also credit’s Bryce’s daily routine as being key, explaining that he “thrives on” the structure she provides. “His daily routine includes waking up around 9 a.m, going potty, his eye drops, breakfast, walk time for one to three hours, then he rests and throughout the day will sleep and walk around as he wishes,” she said. “He does walk time again at night after dinner. Then he goes to bed around 10 p.m. where he excitedly awaits his bedtime treats.”

Kristen provided a glimpse of how Bryce begins each day in a video posted to her TikTok channel kristennotstewart. It shows how important an active and focused lifestyle can be for a dog.

That’s not to say that Bryce’s elderly status is not without its challenges and Kristen admits she has had to gear herself to “expect the unexpected” with her dog.

“Bryce is overall healthy for his age but he has had some scares, where even a year ago he was unable to walk due to a spinal injury,” she said. “He rehabbed back to regaining full leg function in two months. As with humans, as we get older we almost revert back to the same care needs as infancy. Dogs are the same.”

Though she acknowledges that Bryce needs “more attention and tender love” than most dogs, she has never seen it as a burden. “It’s worth every bit of it and I wouldn’t change it for anything,” she said.

Ultimately, she hopes the videos she shares of Bryce inspires others “to give their pets the same love and commitment no matter their age.”

“They deserve it,” she added. “Age is just a number after all.”

Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet you want to share? Send them to with some details about your best friend, and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.

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This story was originally published December 17, 2023, 2:00 PM.

source: star-telegram

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