The 6 Oldest Dogs Ever Six Elderly Dogs Who Defied All the Odds

Old Dog with gray muzzle

A look at the oldest dogs ever on record, this article will show you that with proper care and a healthy diet, your dog could stay with you for much longer than you think. Check out these record-holding dogs' stories here.

While we can attempt to predict the average lifespan of a dog based on breed, every so often, a special pooch manages to shatter the odds by living well beyond its intended years. While hardly the norm, the dogs in this list have made a name for themselves as among the oldest dogs on record.


Born on August 9th, 1983, this Beagle, Dachshund, and Terrier mix made headlines earlier in 2013 by outliving all of his canine compatriots, making it to a whopping 29 years and 282 days of age, surpassing the previous title holder by just under 100 days. However, had old Max made it another few months, he would have been the first dog on record to make it to 30. So close!


The previous record holder, Bella, was a Labrador mix who lived to be 29 as well, although she held her title as the oldest dog for a brief 5 years until being dethroned by Max. A bone of contention, however, resides in the fact that the actual date of her birth is speculative, as she was adopted from the RSPCA at around three years of age. In contrast, the question of her actual birthday may not seem like a big deal, when the dog that surpassed her as the oldest dog did so in a matter of days, it can be a point worth making.


While the previous two cases (which happened within 5 years of one another) might make it seem like dogs living into their late 20s are a somewhat common occurrence, the fact that Bluey, a 29-year-old Australian Cattle Dog from 1939, still holds his spot at number three, proves that these long-lived pups are far from the norm.


Thought to be hitting his 29th birthday in January 2014, Minius is currently the oldest living dog on earth. A shelter mutt of unidentified origin, this old boy is closing in on the record, showing little sign of slowing down (although signs of age in dogs can crop up all at once). A small-time celebrity in his home country of Poland, if Minius does make it to the big 30, you can be sure that there will be a couple of kielbasa sausages waiting for him.


The original “oldest dog,” Lady, was a Poodle born in 1908 and made it all the way to 1937, making Lady a record-setting 28 years old. While her title wasn’t held long (being unseated by Bluey a mere two years later), Lady set the bar for dogs living to a ripe, old age.


A tiny but wizened Shih Tzu who is still with us, Smokey will be turning a staggering 28 years old at the beginning of 2014 and is looking like a serious contender for the title. Still sitting pretty in the number six spot, Smokey is a resident of St. Petersburg, Florida, where he, much like the other residents of the town, fails to recognize the signs of their age, reveling in his long daily walks and still displaying the vibrant personality of dogs 10 years younger. Perhaps there really is a fountain of youth!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are senior dog symptoms?

As dogs age, they often experience a range of physical and behavioral changes that may indicate they are entering their senior years. Some of the common symptoms of aging in dogs include changes in their coat and skin, decreased mobility and energy, increased sleepiness, changes in appetite, weight gain or loss, and decreased sensory perception. Additionally, senior dogs may experience health issues such as arthritis, dental problems, vision or hearing loss, cognitive decline, and urinary incontinence. It's important to monitor your dog's behavior and schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to ensure that any health issues are addressed promptly and that your senior dog receives the best possible care.

What age is considered old for a dog?

The age at which a dog is considered old varies depending on their breed and size. Generally, smaller dogs tend to have longer lifespans than larger dogs. As a general guideline, dogs are considered seniors when they reach around 7 years of age. However, some smaller breeds may not be considered seniors until they are closer to 10 years old, while larger breeds may be considered seniors at 5 or 6 years old. It's important to note that while age is a factor in determining a dog's senior status, other factors such as overall health, activity level, and lifestyle can also play a role.

What are the four common problems of older dogs?

As dogs age, they may experience a range of health issues and behavioral changes. While each dog is unique and may experience different issues, there are some common problems that older dogs often face. Joint problems are a common issue in older dogs, which can cause pain, stiffness, and decreased mobility. Joint problems can make it difficult for dogs to perform activities they once enjoyed, such as running or jumping. As dogs age, their teeth can become worn or damaged, leading to dental issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Dental problems can be painful and affect a dog's ability to eat, drink, and play. Like humans, dogs can experience cognitive decline as they age. This may manifest as confusion, disorientation, memory loss, and changes in behavior. Cognitive decline can affect a dog's quality of life and may require special care. Older dogs may experience changes in their vision or hearing, which can affect their ability to navigate their surroundings or respond to commands. Dogs with vision or hearing loss may require extra attention and care to ensure their safety and well-being.

What should I do for my senior dog?

As your dog enters their senior years, it may require special care and attention to ensure its health and well-being. Regular veterinary visits can help detect and address health issues early on before they become more serious. Older dogs may have different nutritional needs than younger dogs, so it's important to feed your senior dog a healthy, balanced diet that meets their specific needs. While older dogs may not be as active as they once were, regular exercise can help keep them healthy and improve their mobility. Senior dogs may benefit from a comfortable, cushioned bed and easy access to food, water, and other necessities. Older dogs may experience changes in behavior or mobility, so it's important to be patient and understanding as they adjust to their changing needs. Depending on your dog's specific health needs, your veterinarian may recommend supplements or medication to help manage health issues such as joint problems or cognitive decline. Finally, spending quality time with your senior dog can help keep them happy and engaged and strengthen your bond with them.

What are the signs a dog needs to be put down?

Deciding when to put a dog down is a difficult decision, and it's important to seek guidance from a veterinarian who can provide professional advice tailored to the individual situation. That being said, some signs that may indicate it's time to consider euthanasia include chronic, severe pain that cannot be managed with medication or other treatments, incontinence or loss of control of bodily functions, difficulty breathing or constant coughing, loss of mobility or inability to stand, walk, or move without assistance, chronic debilitating illness or disease that greatly impacts the dog's quality of life, lack of interest in food or water, or difficulty eating or drinking, and severe behavioral changes such as aggression, fear, or extreme anxiety. It's essential to remember that every dog is unique, and the decision to euthanize should be made with care and compassion.

More on Old Dogs

Training an Older Dog
How Old Is My Dog?
10 Must-Ask Questions at Senior Dog Vet Visits
The Annual Vet Visit Cost: What To Expect
8 Things You Didn't Know About How To Talk To Your Dog

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