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World’s oldest dog is celebrating his birthday with a 'very traditional' Portuguese party

Bobi the dog is an astounding 30 years old.
Bobi the dog is an astounding 30 years old. Copyright Guinness World Records
Copyright Guinness World Records
By Angela Symons
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Bobi's health was "a little damaged" after all the media attention he received but he is now feeling better, owner reveals.

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In February, a Portuguese pup smashed the record for the oldest dog ever. Now, he's celebrating his 31st birthday.

A big birthday party is planned for Bobi today, according to Guinness World Records. 

It will take place at his home in the rural Portuguese village of Conqueiros in Leiria, western Portugal, where he has lived his entire life.

Bobi 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 31 years 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.

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.

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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.

How did Bobi celebrate his 31st birthday?

Bobi’s owner, Leonel Costa, has planned a “very traditional” Portuguese party. It will take place on Saturday 13 May.

Local meats and fish will be served up to guests, with extra for Bobi.

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A dance troupe will also perform, with Bobi taking part in one of the dances.

“More than 100 people” are due to attend the party; many of them are flying in from foreign countries especially for the occasion, according to Guinness World Records.

How is Bobi coping with his newfound fame?

Since snatching the title of World's Oldest Dog, Bobi has been thrust into the spotlight.

“We’ve had a lot of journalists and people come from all over the world to take a picture with Bobi,” says owner Leonel.

“They’ve come from all over Europe, as well as the USA and even Japan.”

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Concerned about the stress this might be causing Bobi, Leonel took him to the vet for a check-up.

“There were a lot of pictures taken and he had to get up and down many times. It wasn’t easy for him,” he says. “His health was a little damaged, but now it’s better.”

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