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Bobi: Investigating the Claims about the World’s Oldest Dog

Bobi, the world's oldest dog
@Jorge Jeronimo/AP

In the world of pet enthusiasts and animal lovers, the story of Bobi, the Portuguese mastiff, has captured the collective imagination. His purported age of 31 years and 165 days has left everyone astonished. This remarkable achievement would indeed be a world record, but skepticism has crept in, raising questions about the authenticity of this astounding claim. In this comprehensive article, we delve into the intriguing case of Bobi, examining the evidence, opinions, and controversies surrounding his age, as Guinness World Records initiates an investigation into this extraordinary tale.

The Unprecedented Age of Bobi

Bobi’s remarkable lifespan of 31 years is unprecedented in the annals of canine history. While dogs are known for their loyalty and companionship, few have the privilege of reaching such an advanced age. Bobi’s journey to becoming the world’s oldest dog was nothing short of extraordinary, and it garnered immense attention and admiration.

Skepticism in the Canine World

However, as is often the case with extraordinary claims, skepticism has reared its head. Veterinarians and experts have raised doubts about the feasibility of a dog living for 31 years, equivalent to approximately 200 human years. Many have questioned the authenticity of Bobi’s age, and they have legitimate concerns.

Examining the Evidence

One of the key factors fueling skepticism is the visual evidence from 1999, showing Bobi with different colored paws compared to the dog that passed away in Portugal on 21st October. This inconsistency has sparked widespread speculation, with many wondering if there might be more to this story than meets the eye.

Additionally, concerns have been raised about how Bobi’s age was determined. Typically, a dog’s age is registered on the national pet database based on owner self-certification, which can be prone to inaccuracies. While genetic testing confirmed that Bobi was old, it fell short of providing a precise age, leaving room for further questions.

Guinness World Records Takes Action

In response to the growing skepticism, the Guinness World Records, the ultimate authority on world records, has decided to investigate the claims surrounding Bobi’s age. This move is pivotal in shedding light on the authenticity of this extraordinary story. Guinness World Records has long been the gold standard for recognizing and verifying remarkable achievements.

Voices of the Veterinary Community

The opinions of veterinary experts carry significant weight in this debate. Danny Chambers, a respected veterinarian and council member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, has pointed out that the claim of Bobi living to 31 years is the equivalent of a human living to over 200 years—an astonishing and biologically challenging assertion. He emphasizes the need for concrete, irrefutable evidence to substantiate such an extraordinary claim.

Chambers also notes that Bobi’s case has been seized upon by those advocating for raw feeding for pets. This group believes that commercial dog food is detrimental to pets’ health and that a diet based on raw, natural ingredients is superior. Bobi’s diet of human food aligns with this perspective, adding another layer of complexity to the story.

The Complexity of Determining a Dog’s Age

Age determination in dogs is not always straightforward. Vets often encounter challenges when trying to ascertain a dog’s exact age, especially if the dog has been rehomed. In such cases, clinical records may not accurately reflect the dog’s true age. Moreover, some pet owners choose to replace a deceased pet with a new one, which can further complicate age verification.

Historical Context

While the age of 31 years seems extraordinary, it’s important to consider historical precedents. Andrew Knight, an emeritus professor of veterinary welfare, points out that throughout history, there have been reports of other very old dogs. It would be beneficial to compare Bobi’s age with that of other exceptionally old dogs.

Bobi’s Place in History

Bobi’s journey to becoming the world’s oldest dog was nothing short of remarkable. He claimed this title after dethroning Spike, the chihuahua from Ohio, who lived to the age of 23 years and seven days before his passing in 2022. The oldest recorded dog in history, Australia’s Bluey, lived to be 29 years and five months old.

Bobi’s owners, the Costa family, believe that their dog’s remarkable genes played a crucial role in his exceptional longevity. Bobi’s mother lived to the age of 18, and another dog in the Costa family reached the age of 22, showcasing the influence of genetics on a dog’s lifespan.


The Remarkable Journey of Bobi

Bobi’s story began when Leonel Costa, at the tender age of eight, rescued the Portuguese mastiff from being put down by his parents, who believed they had too many animals. Despite the initial secrecy, Bobi soon became an integral part of the Costa family, and his journey towards becoming the world’s oldest dog began.

Bobi lived his entire life in the picturesque village of Conqueiros, near Portugal’s west coast. Costa attributes Bobi’s remarkable longevity to his diet and the freedom he enjoyed, roaming in a calm and peaceful environment without a lead.

Bobi Oldest Dog In World


The remarkable tale of Bobi, the Portuguese mastiff, has captivated the world’s attention. His extraordinary age of 31 years and 165 days is a testament to the incredible bond between humans and their pets. Yet, skepticism and questions about the authenticity of this claim have emerged, prompting an investigation by Guinness World Records. As we await the results of this inquiry, the debate surrounding Bobi’s age highlights the need for concrete evidence.

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