In May 2023, we received emails from readers who wanted to know if a 31-year-old Portuguese dog named Bobi truly was the world's oldest dog ever recorded.
One of the messages asked, "Is Bobi REALLY the oldest dog? There's been debate that the pictures of young Bobi aren't the same dog. Some say they're stock photos. Who is Bobi and how old is he?!"
In February 2023, Guinness World Records was able to verify with two sources that Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, was the oldest living dog at 30 years old and also the oldest dog ever recorded:
Bobi's birth date has been confirmed by Serviço Medico-Veterinário do Município de Leiria (Veterinary Medical Service of the Municipality of Leiria), who registered Bobi in 1992.
His age has also been verified by SIAC, a pet database authorized by the Portuguese government and managed by the SNMV (Sindicato Nacional dos Médicos Veterinários; National Union of Veterinarians).
The information from Guinness said that Bobi was born on May 11, 1992, in the village of Conqueiros in Leiria, Portugal.
Bobi's owner, Leonel Costa, was eight years old when he was born. He told Guinness that he attributed the pup's long life to his "calm, peaceful environment," and the fact that he'd always been free to roam without chains or leashes, including the forests and farmland that surrounded the Costa's home.
One email that we received from a reader included a collage of four photos. The message read, "The newly claimed world's oldest dog story does not check out. Photos of the dog from 1999 are not the same dog as photos from 2022."
This photo collage was attached to an email from a reader.
According to Guinness, all four of these pictures showed Bobi. The two top photos that appeared to be old were dated to 1999. The bottom-left picture with Bobi and a cat named Ceguinho showed a date of 2022. The final photo with the person's hand petting Bobi with his ears going back was dated to 2016.
More details about Bobi are available in the February 2023 article on the Guinness website. A second story from May also documented that he was alive for his 31st birthday, an occasion that was said to have been expecting "more than 100 people" to attend.
Several months after this fact check was published, the world received word that Bobi had died. He passed away on Oct. 21, 2023, at the age of 31. The BBC cited a post on Dr. Karen Becker's verified Facebook page as its source for the news.
Becker previously posted about attending Bobi's 31st birthday party in May, providing further (and unfortunate) confirmation that this was not a death hoax and that he truly had passed away.
One commenter remarked, "My sympathy to his family. Such a special boy. Run free at the Rainbow Bridge."