How old is my dog in dog years?

A common misconception about owning a dog is that in order to calculate age in dog years is to multiply their age in human years by 7. It’s actually a little more complex than that. Too bad we can’t just ask them their age, although the adage that you should never ask a lady their age may also apply to dogs. Overall, all dogs are different in their own ways and their size can be a determining factor in calculating age. Dogs mature rapidly in their first few years much faster than humans – which is why they get to immediately retire to a life of lounging.

In order to properly calculate your dog’s age, you need to categorize your dog between small, medium and large. Small dogs are generally 20 lbs. or less, this includes dogs like Miniature Pinschers and most Terrier breeds. Medium-sized breeds such as Schnauzers and Beagles are about 21-50 lbs. The final category is large dogs like Great Danes who weigh more than 50 lbs. These categories help determine your dog’s age because size will dictate the speed of maturity. Small dogs tend to mature faster than large dogs. This explains why a young Great Dane like Scooby Doo would rather raid a fridge for cake than figure out who’s haunting Old Man Jenkins’ house. The breed also dictates when they enter their golden years, large dogs channel their inner Bea Arthur after 5 – 6 years, and small dogs start their Angela Lansbury state-of-mind between 10 – 15 years old.

Small (20 lbs. or Less)

  • 1 dog year is 15 human years
  • 5 dog years is 36 human years
  • 10 dog years is 56 human years
  • 15 dog years is 76 human years

Medium (21-50 lbs.)

  • 1 dog year is 15 human years
  • 5 dog years is 36 human years
  • 10 dog years is 60 human years
  • 15 dog years is 83 human years

Large (more than 50 lbs.)

  • 1 dog year is 14 human years
  • 5 dog years is 36 human years
  • 10 dog years is 66 human years
  • 15 dog years is 93 human years

If you find yourself with little to no information about your dog’s birth, another way to determine their age is through their teeth. If you’ve noticed that your dog has the cleanest white teeth you’ve ever seen, chances are they’re younger than a year old. Dull teeth and mild yellowing indicates they’re 1-2 years old while tartar build up and wear means they’re 3-5 years old. Teeth are a great indicator of age, but they’re not the only one. Your veterinarian will use your dog’s teeth and other factors to determine age. From eyes and greying hair to loose skin and stiff joints, they’ll be able to analyze all facets of the dog to properly identify age. Knowing a dog’s age lets you plan out appropriate diet plans, reevaluate the feeding schedules and provide the necessary exercise and care. Done properly you can help your dog age gracefully like Diane Keaton and George Clooney. And, isn’t that what we all want?

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