As a dog owner, you have probably heard the rule of thumb that one dog year is equivalent to seven human years. Calculating your furbaby’s age shows to be more involved that one may have realized.
The truth reveals the 7-year multiplication rule is FALSE and that the math is not that simple.
Dogs mature a lot faster than humans do in the early growth years. In fact, the first year of a pup equals about 15 human years.
Dogs are the most diverse mammal species on the planet. They can vary in weight from 6 lb. to 200 lb. When fully grown, dogs possess a widely differing body shapes and hair types.
This also means that there is a lot of variation among breeds in terms of life expectancy.
Size and Breed Matters
Depending on the size and breed of dog, the lifespan can be shorter or longer. Typically, smaller dogs live longer than larger dogs however smaller dogs mature faster in the first few years of their life. On the other hand, a large dog ages slower in the beginning, but is reaching middle-age when the dog is only five years old. Tiny or toy breeds don’t become “seniors” until about ten years.
Since dogs age faster in the first two years, they can reach sexual maturity after one year for reproduction.
See the graph below to determine the age of your canine, depending on the dog’s weight.
Exactly How Old Is My Dog???
The chart given above is a guideline. There are other factors also that play critical role in dictating your dog’s longevity such as genetics, breed, health issues and the treatments undergone.
Helpful Clues When Estimating Your Dog’s Age
If you’ve adopted a puppy or dog but don’t know their history, you may not know the dog’s age. Although the birth date may be unknown, you can still guess the age from helpful clues.
Teeth should give you a rough idea of the canine’s age. These guidelines will vary from dog to dog, and depend on the type of dental care in their life.
By eight weeks: All the baby teeth are present.
By seven months: All permanent teeth are in and are white and clean.
By 1-2 years: The teeth look duller and the back teeth may have some yellowing.
By 3-5 years: All teeth may have tartar buildup and some tooth wear.
By 5-10 years: Teeth show more wear and signs of disease.
By 10-15 years: Teeth are worn, and heavy tartar buildup is likely. Some teeth may be missing.
Your vet can also guess her age based on a complete physical exam or tests that look at bones, joints, muscles, and internal organs. Senior dogs might show the following signs of aging.
Gray hair. It starts around the muzzle then spreads to other areas of the face, head, and body.
How To Reduce Canine Aging Complications?
Have you heard of LifeVantage Canine Health? This daily supplement helps your dog fight the causes of aging. The formulated includes five herbal Nrf2-activiating ingredients, collagen, and omega-3 fatty acids proven to:
Reduce oxidative stress
Support brain, heart and eye functions
Support normal joint function, mobility, and flexibility
Support cognitive function
Reducing oxidative stress in dogs may reduce many of the disorders associated with aging in canines, which are all common problems that profoundly affect their quality of life. These symptoms include disorientation, decreased social interaction, loss of prior house-training, sleep disturbance and decreased mobility.
The combined active ingredients in LifeVantage Canine Health may provide dogs with the opportunity to be more active and involved in everyday life and family activities.
Reader – Is your dog older or younger than you thought?