This week, a rural village in Leiria, Portugal, is celebrating an extraordinary milestone as Bobi, recognized as the world’s oldest dog, turns 31. Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, has not only earned the distinction of being the oldest living canine but also the oldest dog ever recorded, according to Guinness World Records.
The record-setting dog, who enjoys human food and daily naps, is set to mark his birthday in grand fashion with a traditional Portuguese party hosted by his owner, Leonel Costa. The celebration, scheduled for Saturday, will accommodate over 100 guests, some of whom are traveling internationally to be part of the historic event.
The festivities will include a traditional Portuguese feast with an emphasis on local meats and fish, with extra helpings reserved for the birthday boy. A local dance troupe is also slated to perform, with Bobi participating in one of the dances, a testament to his enduring spirit and vitality.
Bobi was born on May 11, 1992, a fact confirmed by the Serviço Medico-Veterinário do Município de Leiria, which registered Bobi in 1992. His age was also verified by SIAC, a pet database authorized by the Portuguese government and managed by the National Union of Veterinarians (SNMV).
Since being recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest dog in February, Bobi has attracted a great deal of global attention. “We’ve had a lot of journalists and people come from all over the world to take a picture with Bobi,” said Costa, who has cared for Bobi since he was a child of 8 years old.
While the attention has brought joy, it has also raised some concerns for Costa, who noted that the increasing frequency of visitors and photo opportunities were causing physical and mental stress to Bobi. Costa recently took Bobi to the vet due to these concerns. He stated, “There were a lot of pictures taken, and he had to get up and down many times. It wasn’t easy for him.”
Costa credits a “calm, peaceful environment” as a contributing factor to Bobi’s remarkable longevity. Despite some decline in his eyesight and mobility, Bobi remains in good health, according to Costa. “His health was a little damaged, but now it’s better,” he added.
Bobi’s mother, Gira, who lived until 18, was another testament to the longevity seen in Costa’s canine family. However, Costa confessed that he could never have predicted that a dog of his would surpass 30 years.
Reflecting on the significance of Bobi’s extraordinary lifespan, Costa said, “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.”
Bobi’s story brings a new chapter to canine longevity, setting a record that might stand for some time. His life serves as a testament to the enduring bond between humans and their pets, and his 31st birthday is a celebration of this special relationship.