Bobi Is the World's Oldest Dog Ever at 30 Years Old
A Portuguese dog named Bobi is the new oldest dog ever, smashing an 84-year-old record at 30 years old.
Guinness World Records verified his exact age—30 years, 266 days—on Feb. 1. He set the records for both oldest living dog and oldest dog ever. The previous oldest dog ever, Australian cattle dog Bluey (not that one), lived to be 29 years and 5 months old.
That record had stood since 1939.
"I never thought of registering Bobi to break the record because fortunately our animals have always lasted for many years," his owner, Leonel Costa, told Guinness.
It's a bit of a miracle Bobi even made it to 1 year old, let alone 30. Bobi was one of four male Rafeiro do Alentejo puppies, but Costa's parents had decided they couldn't care for any additional dogs. They collected the puppies to dispose of them—a normal practice at the time, according to Costa—though they forgot Bobi.
He'd hid in the outbuilding at the Costa home in Conqueiros, Portugal, and his mother dog had returned again and again to care for him. Costa and his brothers found Bobi but kept his presence a secret at first. Of course, their parents eventually found out, but Bobi was too old to be thrown away.
"I confess that when they found out that we already knew, they screamed a lot and punished us, but it was worth it and for a good reason!" Costa told Guinness.
That was 30 years ago, when Costa was 8. Since then, Bobi has enjoyed a quiet life in the village. He's never been put on a leash or chain, and his diet consists of what his humans eat. (This is OK for Bobi, but it's probably not good for your dog.)
As he's gotten older, Bobi doesn't roam around the nearby forest or farmland as much as he used to, according to Guinness. His eyesight has suffered, too, and he takes longer rests, including after meals or in front of the fire. Getting old is no fun, but the fire sounds great!
"We have regular [vet] appointments with him and the exams have always shown that he is doing well for his advanced age," Costa says.
The average lifespan for a Rafeiro do Alentejo—a livestock guardian dog native to Portugal—is 12 to 14 years, according to the American Kennel Club. But Bobi's mother, Gira, lived to 18, and another dog belonging to the Costas, Chicote, made it to 22.
Guiness consulted the Veterinary Medical Service of the Municipality of Leiria to verify Bobi's age, and they confirmed his birthdate: May 11, 1992—about two years before I was born.
"Bobi is special because looking at him is like remembering the people who were part of our family and unfortunately are no longer here, like my father, my brother, or my grandparents who have already left this world," Costa told Guinness. "Bobi represents those generations."
Welp, great, now I gotta get in the car and drive three hours to my parents' house so I can hug my dog.