At 30 years, Portuguese dog Bobi named world’s oldest by Guinness
A 30-year-old dog from Portugal has been named the world's oldest by the Guinness World Records.
Bobi, the "one of a kind" purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, was 30 years 266 days old as of 1 February 2023, when he was awarded the title.
The Portuguese pooch was born on a family-run farm in the village of Conqueiros in the Leiria district in 1992 and continues to live with the same family. He will turn 31 years old on 11 May this year.
Bobi has broken a nearly century-old record of the oldest dog ever, previously held by an Australian cattle-dog named Bluey, who lived to be 29 years and 5 months old.
His age has been verified by the Portuguese government's pet database, which is managed by the National Union of Veterinarians, the Guinness World Records said.
While Bobi is presently being celebrated for his grand old age, his early life wasn’t rosy.
He was born as one of four male pups in an outbuilding where the Costa family stored wood. Due to a large number of animals already present on the farm, the family decided to put down the newborn pups.
However, Bobi escaped.
"My father was a hunter, and we always had many dogs," said Leonel Costa, who was eight years old at the time.
"Unfortunately, at that time it was considered normal by older people who could not have more animals at home […] to bury the animals in a hole so that they would not survive,” he added.
Mr Costa and his brother kept Bobi's existence a secret from the family till he was eventually discovered by the elders. “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."
Bobi has been with the family since, eating human food but without the seasoning. "What we ate, they ate too,” Mr Costa said, adding that he believes that his food habits contributed greatly to the canine's longevity.
"Between a can of animal food or a piece of meat, Bobi doesn't hesitate and chooses our food."
Bobi has lived a healthy life so far except for a scare in 2018 when he was hospitalised after collapsing due to breathing difficulty but managed to pull through.
“We have regular [vet] appointments with him and the exams have always shown that he is doing well for his advanced age,” Mr Costa said, adding that a "calm and peaceful environment" where he lives in could have added some more years to the dog's life.
Bobi's mother, Gira, lived to the age of 18, and another one of the Costa family dogs, Chicote, lived to be 22, the book of world records said.
Last month, Guinness named Spike, a chihuahua from Camden, Ohio, as he world’s oldest living dog at the age of 23.