The world’s oldest dog, a Portuguese mastiff named Bobi, died at age 31 on Saturday, his veterinarian announced on social media.
“Despite outliving every dog in history, his 11,478 days on earth would never be enough, for those who loved him,” Dr. Karen Becker wrote in a tribute to Bobi posted on Facebook.
In February of this year, Bobi was recognized by the Guinness World Records as both the world’s oldest living dog and the oldest dog ever. His age was verified by SIAC, a pet database authorized by the Portuguese government, according to Guinness World Records.
The previous record holder was Bluey, an Australian cattle dog, who died in 1939 at the age of 29, BBC News reported.
Bobi beats the odds
Bobi lived his whole life on a farm in Portugal with his owner Leonel Costa. But Bobi was never expected to live that long.
In fact, Costa’s parents, who said they had too many pets at the time Bobi was born, had tried to put him down when he was a puppy.
“Unfortunately, at that time it was considered normal by older people … to bury the animals in a hole so that they would not survive,” Costa told Guinness World Records.
They took the litter to be put down but accidentally left Bobi behind. Costa, who was 8 years old at the time, found Bobi and took care of him in secret. By the time his parents found out, they said Bobi was too old to be put down and let Costa keep the dog.
The secret to Bobi’s long life
Costa told Becker that the secret to Bobi’s long life was “Good nutrition, constant contact with nature, freedom to discover his environment, consistent veterinary care, and love. Bobi knows he’s deeply loved.”
Bobi only ate human food, soaked in water to remove any seasonings.
“What we ate, they ate too,” Costa told Guinness World Records. Bobi was also never tied up or leashed and was free to wander the farm where he lived.