How old is my dog?

It was said in order to find the age of your dog, multiply the dogs age by seven. Turns out the calculation is not that simple. It is a common misconception that every human year amounts to 7 dog years. This was originally calculated to suit the statistics that dogs typically live 10 years and humans live about 70 years. But clearly that is not always the case.

How do you calculate the age of your dog?

Since dogs age differently, and more quickly than humans, it may be complex to calculate the exact age of your dog. However, there are general guidelines that predict the approximate age.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association,

  • The first year of a dogs life typically amounts to 15 years.
  • The second year of the dogs life counts for 9 human years.
  • After the third year, a dog ages 5 years for every human year.

It is clear that within the first two years of your dog’s life, growth is substantial. After about the third year, the aging becomes more consistent as the years progress.

Dog Age Chart

There are several factors that play into how old a dog is. The breed, size and lifestyle are all important when determining the age of a dog. Check the chart below for a general understand on how old your dog is when compared to human years.

Small dogs are generally considered senior around the age of 7. Whereas, larger dogs typically have shorter spans of life and are considered senior at the age of 5 or 6. However, this does not mean that your senior dog does not have plenty of years left once they reach that mark. Not only does breed and size matter when determining the age of your dog. Lifestyle also has an effect on the health and longevity of your pet.

If you have a senior dog and need more canine health information, click on that articles below:

Related article: Senior Dog Food: Nutritional Information

Related Article: Senior Dog Care: Common Health Problems

How To Tell If Your Dog Is A Senior

If you have adopted a puppy or older dog and do not know their age for sure, there are physical attributes that give clues on how old your dog is.

Examining teeth:

  • 8 Weeks: Baby teeth are showing and are grown in
  • 1-2 years: Teeth are mostly white, some yellowing on back teeth may be apparent
  • 3-5 years: Teeth may have some tartar buildup and tooth decay may begin
  • 5-10 years: Wear and tear of teeth and tartar buildup is obvious on teeth.
  • 10-15 years: Tartar buildup is most likely severe and some teeth may be missing.

It is important to note that dental hygiene and care is important when preventing dental disease, such as periodontitis. Daily brushing, chews and dental treats are helpful in preventing tartar buildup throughout the years.

Related article: Dog Teeth: Common Dental Problems

Other helpful ways of physically determining the age of a dog may include:

  • Gray hair: Usually begins around the muzzle and may extend throughout other areas of the face and body.
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Loose skin
  • Stiff body and legs

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