What is dog age in relation to a human's age? Is one year of a dog's life equal to seven human years? That's what most of us who have grown up with dogs has been told. Does that make sense - a dog that's one is really seven in human years; a dog that's two is 14, and a dog that's three is 21?
Well, not really. Think about this. A dog is capable of reproducing at around one year of age, but a seven year old child is far from sexually mature. Veterinarians and other animal experts have come up with much more realistic comparisons between human and dog years. There is no single method accepted, just agreement that the 7 to 1 ratio that we've believed is not accurate.
Let's extrapolate what we started above.
The 1 dog year to 7 human years method:
One method for figuring a dog's age suggests that the first two years equal 10.5 years each, then 4 dog years per human year for each year thereafter.
Let's look at a dog's age using this method.
Using the 1 year to 7 in human years method, the dog would be 35.
Using the 1 year to 7 in human years method, the dog's age would be 70; that's a big discrepancy!
Using the 1 year to 7 in human years method, the dog's age would be 105; another big difference.
Using the 1 to 7 year method, the dog would be 140! Not many dogs live to 20, but I don't know any people that live to 140!
This method is more accurate but still does not account for size and breed, which is significant when figuring a dog's age.
Use the Dog/Human Age Converter to calculate your dog's age in human years and your age in dog years!
Some animal experts simply group dog age into categories: infant, toddler, child, adolescent, young adult, adult, middle-aged, elderly, and geriatric. What's important to remember is that as your dog ages, his body will change, and just like you and me, your dog's exercise and eating requirements may change. And, sadly, just like humans, when dogs age, their bodies may not function as well. Aches and pains, including arthritis may set in. He may show signs of slowing physically. He may need to eat less in order to maintain his ideal weight. Eye problems may occur, including worsening vision. Your dog's medical care will change. So be prepared to spend a little extra at the vet!
But after all the years of love and companionship you've received from your loyal dog, if you have to spend a little extra because of your dog's age to keep him healthy and comfortable, isn't he worth it?