Alex Wolf (USA) was a sophomore at the University of Colorado when he, along with his two roommates, decided it would be fun to adopt a dog. After walking up and down the aisles of the dog pound at Boulder Humane Society, they landed on Gino, a two-year-old Chihuahua mix.
Little did Alex know that Gino would become the world’s oldest dog living 20 years later!
Aged 22 years 76 days at the time of writing, Gino (b. 24 September 2000) is over three months older than TobyKeith, who briefly retook the record title in October after the former oldest dog, Pebbles, sadly passed away aged 22 years 187 days.
“I was there when Gino was adopted [...]. Over the years Alex would inform me that Gino was surprisingly still alive.” – Jesse Terzi, Alex’s college roommate
After finishing his sophomore year of college, Alex took Gino to his parents’ house in Los Angeles, where Gino remained until Alex graduated. Alex is now 40 years old and has had Gino for half of his life.
“I've taken great care of him over the years and he is still in relatively very good shape… and really cute still which is surprising considering his age!” Alex said.
Gino has slowed down in his old age and now lives a life of leisure. He used to enjoy walking around the neighbourhood on his own, but his vision has gotten worse over the years, so Gino now likes to be rolled around in a wagon.
He also enjoys car rides, napping by the fireplace, and back scratches.
Throughout the years, Alex has “mixed up Gino’s diet a lot.”
Gino would often get bored of eating the same foods over and over, so Alex would always try to find ways to spice up Gino’s meals. He prepared a mix of soft and hard foods, as well as a variety of canned foods, and even sprinkles of human food.
More recently, Alex has switched to making Gino’s meals from scratch – boiled chicken and carrots with rice is one of Gino’s favourites. Due to some gastrointestinal issues, Gino also eats a special, renal-supporting dog food.
To drink, Alex makes Gino a very special concoction: goat's milk with sprinkled pumpkin powder and fish oil.
“He’s never had cleaner stool in his life,” Alex revealed.
According to Alex, Gino has always had a wise personality: “He’s always come across more human than dog.”
“Even at a young age, he felt like a wise old man.”
Health-wise, Gino is “generally doing well.” Despite going through some rough patches in the past few years, Gino has always responded well to medical treatment and bounced back to his usual self.
However, as an OAP (old-age pooch), Gino’s vision and hearing aren’t what they used to be. He also has a tumour in his adrenal gland which continues to be closely monitored.
There’s good news though – recently, Gino was taken to the vet and all his tests came back “passing with flying colors!”
Alex’s main piece of advice for raising a long-living dog is to “love them unconditionally and make sure they are always well cared for.”
“Keep them active, feed them well, show them lots of love. Give them back massages, scratch their favorite spots [...]. They deserve to be well cared for and treated like an extension of you.”
When Alex adopted Gino over 20 years ago, he never imagined that Gino would still be around all these years later.
“I’m so grateful for the journey we’ve had together through good times and bad. I look forward to however much time we have left together, which hopefully is a long, long time!” Alex said.
We at Guinness World Records echo that sentiment and hope Gino continues to live a happy and healthy life, with plenty more back scratches and rides around the neighbourhood!
If you can't get enough of Gino, check out his Instagram: @ginowolf.theoldestdogalive
Gino is certainly one of the oldest dogs we’ve ever come across, but he’s still a few years away from being the oldest dog ever. That record title belongs to an Australian cattle-dog named Bluey (1910-1939), who lived to be 29 years 5 months old.