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Oldest Living Pomeranian

The Oldest Living Pomeranian Dog


Up until now, there was an undocumented claim that among the survivors of the Titanic was a 22 year old Pom. This was, perhaps, the oldest Pom thought to have lived, though there was no concrete proof. There are some that claim of Poms that are 24 or 26, yet it is not documented as of now. Since many owners are curious about actual documented cases, we here at PetPom will start this off.  

Living into the 20's

Pomeranians typically live 12 to 16 years, which places this breed among some of the longest living dogs. With excellent care at home, regular veterinarian visits and with some luck in avoiding possible serious medical issues, a Pom can live well into his teens. 

According to the Guinness Book of World Records (that does not list the oldest Pomeranian), the oldest dog of any breed on record is an Australian Cattle dog that lived until the age of 29 years and 5 months. He lived from 1910 to 1939. So, this brings us to the question of, can a Pomeranian live into his twenties? The answer is a happy 'Yes'. And, you may be wondering just how old is the longest living Pomeranian? You're about to find out!
The Oldest Living Pomeranian on Record
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Coty Fountain
June 1, 1994 to February 14, 2016
One of the oldest living Pomeranians in the world with full documentation of his age is Coty, a 21 year old Pomeranian living in Florida, USA. He is owned by Bob and Kelly Fountain.

He is an AKC registered Pomeranian that was born on June 1, 1994. Update: Coty passed away on February 14, 2016 at the age of 21 years, 8 months, and 13 days.

At the time that we published this article, Coty was 21 years, 6 months and was in relatively good health and in good spirits. Though he had some age related conditions such as decreased hearing and some vision loss as well as other non-life threatening health issues, his vet stated that he was not in any pain or discomfort. 

As you read forward, please note that the article was written while Coty was here with us. We send our prayers for peace to his owners and Coty will always, and forever, be in our hearts. 

Below you can see documented proof via his AKC registration and his pedigree that each shows his date of birth.
Oldest Living Pomeranian
Coty, on his 21st birthday.
He is making a perfect shape of a heart!
Photo courtesy of Bob and Kelly Fountain
scanned copy of oldest Pomeranian AKC papers
Pedigree of longest living Pomeranian
Let's Learn More About this Pom!

We were introduced to Coty by his owners, Bob and Kelly Fountain, and Kelly was gracious enough to answer some questions about this incredible Pomeranian and how it is that he is going strong at the age of 21, as one of the oldest Pomeranians on record. 

Q & A

Hi, Kelly, thanks so much for introducing us to Coty and allowing readers to meet him. We have (a bit more than) a few questions about this Pomeranian that has lived over 2 decades, as we are sure readers are super curious: 

Q1: Many vets declare a Pom to be a senior at 8 or 9 years old. At what age did you start to think of Coty as being a senior?

A: I don’t think he started to act old until about 2011 he was 17 years old. Our vets always said he was senior and was getting senior screenings every year in December since he was 8 years old. 
Q2: Throughout the years that you've raised Coty, what has his exercise routine been like? Can you tell us about changes that you've made to his exercise as he's aged... at say 10 years old, then 15 and then 20 years old!
oldest Pomeranian ever, with family
The Fountain Family, 2012. 
From left to right: Bob, Chase, Coty (at 18 yrs. old) and Kelly.
Coty, 21 year old Pomeranian, in a suitcase
We guess that after living over two decades,  you know what you like and that is that!
Photo courtesy off Boby & Kelly Fountain
A: Coty was always a very active puppy and was a creature of habit. He demanded his schedule and on time too. He's always had a walk first thing in the morning when we got up. If you were late, he would lick your eyes open. His second time for exercise was when we got home from work. His third walk was before bed. We lived in Florida from his birth until December of 2004 so his walks were on flat terrain. 

We moved to California in December of 2004 and his walks changed to mountainous terrain. This took some getting used to but I really think it helped prolong his life. He has a very healthy heart.  

In November of 2011 we moved to North Carolina and his exercised continued until he broke his right hind leg in September of 2012. He was 18 years old. He was on his evening walk and we think that his foot got stuck in a hole in the grass.

Since then he still goes out for walks three times a day. We are back in Florida, but they are very different now. This past year he was diagnosed with vertigo and his walks are pretty short and very slow.
Q3: Are there any special foods that you feed Coty that you think may have worked to help him live such a long life? What are his favorite snacks now?

A: Coty got into some Advil in 2001 which lead to pancreatitis and has been on a restricted diet ever since. He has eaten Hill's Science Diet, Intestinal Diet from that point on.  This last year they came out with a low fat version and that is what he eats now. When he was a puppy he had Mother Hubbard treats. As he got older I tried to get him all natural treats. There are some blueberry treats that he just loves and they actually smell just like blueberries. He has also gotten baby carrots as treats because they are low in calories and still a little sweet. This year we had to stop giving him carrots because they were too hard for him to chew and were getting stuck in his teeth. 

He's been receiving Glucosamine supplements for the last 5 years. This past year his belly stopped agreeing with the chewy so I have switched to a powder supplement that I mix with his food daily.
Q4: What type of medical problems has your Pom had to deal with thus far?

A: Over the last 21 years I think he has had every health issue that is typical to Pomeranians.

Here is a rundown of his medical history:

June 1 1994 - Birth day.

Aug 1996 - Neutered.

Dec 1996 - Determined he was a vaccine reactor. He is allergic to one of the vaccines but we are not 100% sure which one so we titer all we can. (Editor's note: Titering is the method of testing the blood for antibody levels. If levels against a certain disease are high enough, boosters are not necessarily needed. This is thought to be an effective method by many vets to reduce the amount of inoculations that dogs need to receive, particularly in cases like this where the dog has some sort of allergic reaction, which can be quite dangerous and even life-threatening.)

Mar 1998 - He broke the large tooth on his left side. He had a root canal to save the tooth.

Aug 2001 - This was the Advil incident. Had he gotten into Tylenol he would not be alive.

May 2002 - Diagnosed with pancreatitis likely related to the Advil incident.

Oct 2002 - Microchipped. 

Mar 2003 - Surgery on his right hind knee for luxating patella.

Sep 2010 - Diagnosed with Atypical Cushings Disease. It went non symptomatic shortly after diagnosis so is untreated.

Sep 2011 - Problems with his back, Spondylosis at t1-t4. (Editor's note: This is a condition in which bones spurs grow along the spine, forming bridges between vertebrae. t1-t4 refers to the location on the spine where this has occurred. Symptoms include restricted movement, stiffness, limping, discomfort and/or sensitivity to touch. With treatment, many dogs can live normal lives; though in severe cases surgery needs to be performed.)

2011 - Started to lose his hearing.
Sep 2012 - Broke his right hind leg.

Oct 2012 - Had a plate put in his right hind leg.

Jan 2013 - Calcification problems in his right eye.

Mar 2013 - Debride his right cornea. (Editor's note: This is a type of treatment that 'polishes' the cornea to stimulate healing.)

Nov 2013 - His last dental cleaning.

Apr 2014 - He had a grand mal seizure (we now think it was caused from a toad).

Jun 2014 - Increased eye calcification and regular visits to eye specialist. He is mostly blind now, but handling it very well. 

2015 - Diagnosed with Vertigo.

Update: Feb 14, 2016 - Sadly, Coty passed at the age 21 years, 8 months, and 13 days.
Coty in a leg cast
Coty at the age of 18, with a cast on his little broken leg. He's amazing!
Photo courtesy of Bob & Kelly Fountain
Q5: It sounds like he's been through a lot and is such a trooper! We are sure that this is a combination of an enduring Pomeranian, loving owners and great veterinarians. Can you tell us the veterinarians that he's had over the years?

A: Sure, since moving back to Florida, we're back with the same vet that he had as a new puppy:

1994-2004 - Tim Lassett, North Bay Animal Hospital (AAHA Certified), Tampa FL
2004-2007 - not worth mentioning
2008 – 2011 - Kevin Ashbran, Newport Harbor Animal Hospital (AAHA  Certified), Costa Mesa CA
2012 – Current - Tim Lassett, North Bay Animal Hospital (AAHA  Certified), Tampa FL

Q6: We always preach that dental care plays such an important role in extending life span. Can you let us know if you have stayed on top of that and if you think that this has played a role in him being in his 20's?

Teeth cleaning is one of the main reasons he is still alive. The bacteria in their mouths gets into their organs and starts to slowly kill them. I will admit that I did not brush his teeth as much as I could have but I did manage to get his teeth cleaned professionally every year since 1998 – 2012.  
Pomeranian over 15 years old
After he broke his leg I have worked with my vet to determine if he can handle the anesthesia and if I should use it on his teeth or wait for a medical emergency. He is due for a teeth cleaning right now but he has vertigo and that is accelerated when you put them under anesthesia. I will be making a choice shortly on his next and maybe final cleaning.

Q7: How many hours per day does Coty sleep? And where does he sleep (in his own bed or with you)?

Coty has always slept with us in the bed until the last couple of years. He almost always slept on his back with his feet in the air. When he lost most of his eye sight, he was no longer comfortable being up. So in 2013 he decided he liked to sleep in the bathroom on the tile floor. Since his 21st birthday he sleeps about 20 hours a day.
Q8: Can you share any tips with the readers regarding your 'secret' for having what just may be the oldest living Pomeranian on record?

Exercise, annual teeth cleanings, a healthy diet, a neurotic mommy, and lots and lots of love.
Pomeranian for blog
"Woof, rufff, rrrr...grrr... UMPHF!"

Translation: "Tweets for treats...? ... or share for... ahh... a pear??? 
Well, you get the gist! Show me some love & share this site before you read on."
Oldest official Pomeranian sitting a raft
'back in the day' when Coty was 12 years old.
Q9: Can you tell us about Coty's personality? What traits has he always had and how have things changed?

He is a really smart dog. He learned new tricks and performed them for anyone with a cookie until he was 17. Our vet in California would show his colleagues his tricks on our visits. I always brought extra blueberry treats and carrots. 

He's always been very protective and a herder, not content until everyone is in the same room. When he was younger we had friends that said he smiled at them. 

He also loved to get on a raft and float around in the pool. We had to be very careful to remember to remove “his” float from the pool because he would just get on it when you weren’t looking.
Update: Coty passed away on February 14, 2016 (Valentine's Day) at the age of 21 years, 8 months, and 13 days. We thank Bob & Kelly for allowing us to get to know this amazing Pomeranian... And Coty will always, and forever, be in our hearts.
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We're proud to announce that we were asked by aKutya, the Official Kennel Club of Belgium, to allow them to run this story. They were excited to put it into print for their 100th Anniversary magazine!

This does indeed make Coty an international star! A huge thanks goes out to aKutya for allowing PetPom to be part of such an important milestone for them.  And big thanks to Coty's owners.

Finally, a huge hug goes out to this amazing Pomeranian, who has stolen our hearts. Update: Coty has passed at the age of 21 years, 8 months, and 13 days. Born June 1, 1994, passed February 14, 2016. May he be safe in the arms of the angels until he is reunited with his family. 
What is your Pom's animal sign? And what does that mean?

Have fun in our newest section, Pomeranian Chinese Zodiacs.
See how your Pom's year of birth can give you insight into his/her core personality & traits.
Do You Have a Pomeranian Older than 21?

If you have a Pom and believe him or her to be the longest living Pomeranian and have documented proof of his/her age, we'd love to hear from you. We understand that some of you may not have paperwork, may have misplaced it or you may have a rescue whose age is approximate. However, for this section (since we are taking the process of documenting this very seriously), scanned copies of registration papers and pedigree will be needed. If you have this, please send us an email to introduce yourself and your Pom.  
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