World’s oldest dog narrowly escaped death as a puppy, owner reveals
A Portuguese pup has smashed the record for the oldest dog ever.
Bobi has lived his entire life in the rural village of Conqueiros, in Leiria, western Portugal, according to Guinness World Records.
He is a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, a Portuguese breed of livestock guardian dog.
How old is the world’s oldest dog?
Bobi was born on 11 May 1992, making him 30 years and 268 days old, in human years.
He has smashed the record for the oldest living dog, who, until recently, was thought to be 23-year-old Spike, a chihuahua living in Ohio, USA.
Spike was awarded the title just two weeks ago. Then, Guinness World Records received evidence of the much older Bobi, who not only stole Spike’s title but earned recognition as the oldest dog ever.
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The previous record was held by Bluey, an Australian cattle dog who died in 1939 at the age of 29 years and five months.
Dogs typically only live for 10 to 13 human years. The world's oldest cat is 26 years old.
Bobi’s age has been verified by his vet and a pet database authorised by the Portuguese government.
Who owns the world’s oldest dog?
Bobi has been owned by the Costa family since he was born in an outhouse where they stored wood in 1992.
One of his owners Leonel Costa, now aged 38, was eight at the time.
His father decided that they could not keep Bobi and his three brothers, and planned to bury them so they would not survive.
When Leonel’s father took the puppies to their sad fate, he didn’t realise he had left one behind. It was only when they noticed the puppies’ mother, Gira, kept returning to the outbuilding that they realised one had evaded Leonel’s father.
Leonel and his brothers decided to keep Bobi as their secret, knowing that as soon as the puppy opened his eyes, their father would no longer bury it.
Despite facing punishment when their plan was discovered by their parents, the boys succeeded in their mission and Bobi became part of the family.
How did Bobi live to be so old?
Leonel puts Bobi’s astounding longevity down to the “calm, peaceful environment” he lives in “far from the cities”, according to Guinness World Records.
He has always been fed the same food his human owners ate - soaked in water to remove any seasonings - rather than dog food. He drinks about a litre of water a day, according to his owners.
Bobi has never been chained up or put on a leash. Instead, he has been free to roam the forests and farmland surrounding the Costa family’s house.
Now in his old age, his eyesight is failing and he sticks closer to home, hanging out with the family’s cats in the back garden.
Bobi’s mother Gira lived to 18 years old.