Are you the proud owner of an adorable dog? Perhaps you have a cute little lapdog that loves nothing more than to cuddle up on your knee all day long? Then again, you may have an energetic Labrador who loves to cover at least 10-kilometer laps of your garden a day or a bouncy Boxer (actually, they tend to think they are lapdogs too!) Whatever breed of darling dog you have chosen as your companion, you may wonder how their age calculates in terms of human years? We all know that dogs don’t tend to live as long as humans do, but at what point in their life do they become ‘teenagers, ‘middle-aged’ and the likes? Let’s find out?
It’s Not as Simple As The Rule Of 7
Hang on a moment, and you may be thinking, isn’t it just a matter of multiplying by 7? There is indeed a general rule that seems to exist in dogs that says that one year in a dog’s life is equal to 7 years in human terms. However, it isn’t quite as simple as that. Why do we say so?
What Factors Come Into Play When Calculating A Dog’s Age In Human Years?
Dogs mature more quickly at the start of their life than humans do. This impacts how we calculate their age in humans’ terms, especially their first year of life. You can use an online dog age calculator to calculate your dog’s age. You just need to enter a few variables to know your dog’s age. As well as, two other factors contribute significantly when carrying out our calculations. The first one is the size and weight of the dog, and the second is the breed.
How Does The Size And Weight Of The Dog Affect How We Calculate Their Age In Human Years?
Dogs that are smaller tend to live longer than breeds that are large. However, they mature more quickly in their first few years. This is in contrast to a puppy that will grow into a large breed dog. They tend to be later to mature; however, their life expectancy is shorter. This is likely why some large breed dogs (shall we mention the bouncy Boxer again?) owners can often feel like they are puppies for most of their lives!
Toy breed dogs and tiny breeds are often not viewed as reaching middle age until they are around the 10-year mark. On the other hand, those large breed pups we mentioned earlier are at a middle-age point from as early as 5 years of age.
What Does The First Year Of A Dog’s Life Represent?
For all breeds, from toy breeds to large dogs, the first year of their life tends to be viewed as 15 years in human terms. Yes, you are going to go through the ‘terrible two’s and the ‘teenage years’ all in the space of 12 months!
At the end of their second year, most dogs could be viewed as 24 in human years, at the end of their third year around 28, and at the end of their fourth year around 32 in human years.
Once a dog gets past those first few years of its life, things start to change. A small dog weighing less than 20 pounds would be calculated at 44 years in human years when they reach the end of their 6th year. On the other hand, a large breed dog that weighs over 50 pounds would be viewed as being 50 years in human years. This contrast continues as the dog ages. Let’s take a look at the dog as it reaches 10 years. The small breed would be viewed as 56 years in human terms. However, the large breed dog is now 66 years. By the time we get to 15 years, the gap has widened significantly, and a small breed dog is still at a good 76 years, perhaps plenty of life left in them; however, the large breed dog (if still alive) is now at 93 years in human years.
What Do I Do If I Don’t Know My Dog’s Age?
If you have had your dog from a puppy, then you will know their age. However, if you acquired your darling pooch later on in their life, you may not know their actual age. Looking at their teeth can give you a good indication. Here is what to look for:
All teeth are present and look white and clean – Likely your dog is under 1 year of age
Teeth are all present but look a little dull, and there may be some yellowing at the back – Likely, your dog is between 1 and 2 years of age.
There are some tooth wear and tartar build-up – Likely your dog is between 3 and 5 years of age.
Teeth show significant wear – Likely, your dog is between 5 and 10 years of age.
Teeth are very worn, and heavy tartar build-up is present; some teeth may be missing – Likely, your dog is over 10 years of age.
The Bottom Line On Calculating Your Dog’s Age In Human Terms
Knowing how old your dog is in human terms can be a fun thing to do and help you know what point they are in their lives. However, it doesn’t matter how old your dog is when it comes to loving them; always make sure that you give them all of the love, care, and attention they deserve!