Anyone who has had a dog pass away knows that it’s the hardest part of dog ownership. Most dogs live on average ten to fifteen years. However, some dogs live to be much older than that.
In fact, one dog has lived to be double that. Bluey the Australian cattle dog is the oldest recorded dog. Today we’re going to look at the story of Bluey, the world’s oldest dog.
Bluey – The World’s Oldest Dog
It’s almost hard to believe that a dog would live to be almost thirty, but that’s just what Bluey did. Bluey is officially the oldest dog ever recorded and verified. He lived to be 29 years and 5 months. This would make him 151 in dog years.
Bluey lived between 1910 and 1939. Not a lot is known about Bluey since it wasn’t very common to keep records for a dog back then. We do know that Bluey was a blue speckled Australian cattle dog and he was owned by Les and Esma Hall. We also know that his age was verified by Guinness World Records.
The Guinness World Records entry reads: “The greatest reliable age recorded for a dog is 29 years 5 months for an Australian cattle-dog named Bluey, owned by Les Hall of Rochester, Victoria, Australia. Bluey was obtained as a puppy in 1910 and worked among cattle and sheep for nearly 20 years before being put to sleep on 14 November 1939.”
Bluey continues to be a part of the Australian identity, and today, a famous children’s TV show with the same name has gained popularity worldwide.
Another Record-Breaking Australian Cattle Dog
While Bluey has been verified as the oldest dog to ever live, there have been many other claims to the title of the oldest dog. Oddly enough, the dog who is believed to be the oldest ever was also an Australian cattle dog mix. Chilla was born in 1952 and died in 1984. If this is true, she would be the oldest dog that ever lived. The 32-year-old mix was owned by David Gordon of Queensland, Australia.
Gordon said he was given Chilla at the age of ten to replace his first dog. During the 1950s Polio epidemic dogs were thought to spread the poliomyelitis virus. Unfortunately, many dogs were destroyed in the belief it would help slow the disease. Chilla replaced Gordon’s previous dog. Chilla was healthy and was said to only show her age until the last year of her life.
Because these two dogs claim to be the oldest dogs ever, it spurred a study on Australian cattle dogs. The study looked at 100 of the dogs and found that Australian cattle dogs do live longer than their similar-sized peers, but only by about one year. There is no reason why Chilla and Bluey would live as long as they did. But their longevity begs the question, what does make a dog live longer?
Longevity in Dogs
Several factors may influence a dog’s longevity. While we may not know exactly what will make a dog live longer, these are thought to influence a dog’s lifespan:
These three factors seem to have an impact on how long a dog might live.
You probably already know this about yourself. A poor diet can make you feel bad, while a good diet can seem to give you more energy or stamina. If you put good things into your body, you’ll get better results.
The same happens with any animal. Fresh, whole foods are the best thing for you or your dog. Dogs who live on a farm usually have better access to these foods. It’s easier to have a better diet and avoid poor quality food.
Most vets recommend giving your dog at least thirty minutes of exercise each day. That might just be a walk around the block or maybe a game of catch in the backyard.
Some dogs might need a lot more than that though. Dogs who live on farms can easily run miles each day. They might be following their owner around as they tend to crops, or they might actively be guarding a flock against predators. All this exercise keeps them in top shape and seems like it can help prolong life.
If you look at the ten oldest dogs, there are more males than females. It seems that male dogs might have an advantage when it comes to living longer. That said, the dogs who claim the top two spots are female. The idea that male dogs live longer than female dogs might be a wash.
It seems that a dog’s breed, color, or even region might not have a real effect on how old they can live to be. Some of the oldest dogs come from a variety of different countries. It goes to show that a dog’s long, healthy life is grounded in good decisions more than anything. Eating well and exercising are likely the best things we can do for our dogs and ourselves.