Veterinarians have raised questions about whether or not it’s possible the oldest living dog ever, Bobi, who died at the age of 31 earlier this month, lived the equivalent of 200 human years.
The Guinness World Records said it’s investigating the claim of if the Portuguese mastiff truly lived to 31 years and 165 days, the Guardian reported Sunday.
Bobi, a 31-year-old dog confirmed by Guinness World Records as “the world’s oldest dog ever,” has died, his owner said.
Earlier this year, his owner told reporters that Bobi’s secret to a long life was good food, fresh air, lots of love, and never being on a leash. pic.twitter.com/XfEwxqgo1b
— ABC News (@ABC) October 23, 2023
Vets have raised doubts about the dog’s age. Although Bobi’s age was registered on the national pet database, it’s typically based on the self-certification of the owner, per the outlet. Genetic testing confirmed that Bobi was old but could not show his precise age.
“We’re aware of the questions around Bobi’s age and are looking into them,” a spokesperson for Guinness World Records told the Guardian.
“Not a single one of my veterinary colleagues believe Bobi was actually 31 years old,” said Danny Chambers, a vet and council member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
“This is the equivalent of a human living to over 200 years old which, given our current medical capabilities, is completely implausible,” he continued. He noted that extraordinary claims like this require concrete evidence.
“We are a science-based profession, so for the Guinness Book of Records to maintain their credibility and authority in the eyes of the veterinary profession, they really need to publish some irrefutable evidence,” Chambers said.
The Guinness World Records said Bobi was registered in 1992 with the Veterinary Medical Service of the Municipality of Leiria, who confirmed his date of birth. They also said SIAC, a Portuguese government-authorized pet database, verified Bobi’s age.
Chambers explained that owners often don’t know their dog’s exact age. Therefore, clinical records can be inaccurate. (RELATED: 21-Year-Old Chihuahua Breaks Record For ‘World’s Oldest Living Dog’).
Andrew Knight, emeritus professor of veterinary welfare, explained, “There have been some other very old dogs,” per the outlet. Knight believes it would be helpful to compare Bobi to the other oldest dogs on record to see if he’s an outlier.
Bobi belonged to the Costa Family and lived in the Portuguese village of Conquieros. Bobi was named the world’s oldest living dog and oldest dog ever by Guinness World Records on Feb. 2, 2023. His owners said Bobi’s mother lived to 18, and another one of the family’s dogs died at age 22.
Bobi’s diet consisted of only human food. Chambers added in his argument that Bobi’s was an example of an anti-pet-food claim. He explained some people believe “dog food is killing pets and that raw feeding is healthier,” per the Guardian.
Bobi’s death was announced by Dr. Karen Becker, a veterinarian who knew the dog well, “Despite outliving every dog in history, his 11,478 days on earth would never be enough, for those who loved him,” she wrote on Facebook.