If you have a new dog or even an older dog, you might not know his or her exact age. There are ways to determine your pup’s age from vet visits to the condition of your pup.
How about human years? The old human years to dog years practice has been around for centuries.
The common methodology to determine your dogs’ age is that 1 dog year equals 7 human years.
Even though this theory has been around for a long time, the truth is that it is not that simple to figure out.
It’s easy to understand how this became the go-to-formula. After all, humans live to 70 and dogs live to about 10 years old.
Well, we all know that humans are living longer than 70 years now due to exercise, good health practices and advances in human health care.
And the same can be said of dogs. We are feeding them better and exercising them more often.
How Do You Calculate A Dog’s Age in Human Years?
The general guideline today through the American Veterinary Medical Association is more like this for a medium-sized dog:
Dog Age Formula
Year 1 of a dog’s life = 15 human years
Year 2 of a dog’s life = 9 human years
Year 3 and beyond = 4 human years
According to this formula, a 4 year old medium-sized dog is 32 years old (15 +9 +4 +4)
Why Use This Formula For the Dog Age Calculator?
While any formula is not that cut and dry to determine a dog’s age, there are so many factors to consider: the size, breed and overall health of the dog.
In general, larger dogs tend to have a shorter life span than smaller dogs.
Some larger dogs are even considered seniors at ages 5 or 6.
A 4 year old Great Dane is approximately 34 to 35 years old in human years.
Why Do Larger Dogs Age More Rapidly Than Smaller Dogs?
While most small mammals such as mice only live for a few years while larger mammals like elephants live 10 to 11 years old, this isn’t the case with dogs.
Larger dogs tend to age at a much faster pace than smaller dogs.
Scientists have determined that for every 4 pounds of body weight, a dog’s life expectancy is reduced by about one month.
There isn’t any hard evidence to back this up and the real reason large dogs’ age more quickly is really just theory.
It could be that larger dogs grow and age at a much more accelerated pace than smaller dogs.
This accelerated growth can cause a more abnormal cell growth which can lead to more illnesses that could be fatal, like cancer.
Studies are being conducted today to try to explain this phenomenon as well as ways to delay our dog’s aging process.
How To Calculate the Age of an Adopted Dog or Puppy
If you have adopted a puppy or young dog, you might not have any idea of your pup’s age.
The teeth can be very telling and can help determine your dog’s age. Of course, this depends if your dog had any dental care previously to adopting your pup.
Your vet can also help you determine your dog’s age based on your pup’s health, bone mobility and ease of gait.
How You Can Slow Down The Dog Aging Process
We, of course, want our dogs to live as long as they possibly can and be in great health.
You need to feed your dog a high-quality dog food that is full of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Exercise is equally important as we know in humans too. The more exercise we do the better it is for our bodies and longevity. And dogs are the same.
Keeping up with your annual vet visits can be really important too. A healthy dog will live a long time and who better than your vet to give you sound advice and give your dog his annual physical.
We don’t know what will happen in our dog’s lives and the best assurance is to have the financial ability to pay for whatever might occur with our dogs.
And pet insurance will do that. For a monthly payment that is very reasonable, you will always know that you can help your dog through any injury or illness and get your pup the right, high quality is.
And, not worry about the cost so you can focus on your pup.
Whatever your dog’s age, the most important thing is to keep your dog in the best health possible, and that makes you and your pup even happier.
If you want to see some other health conditions that might occur as your dog ages, our dog health primer can give you some insight.