Fritz from Dogtopia Nashville

There is an old saying that one dog year is equal to seven human years. However, depending on your dog’s age, breed and size, that ratio may not actually be accurate. Here are some truths to help determine your dog’s correct age in human years so you can accurately tell if your pup is comparable to a teenager, a grown adult or a senior citizen.

They Grow Up So Fast!

All dogs, no matter the breed, will age similar to 15 human years in their first year of life. The state of their teeth will tell you a lot about your pup’s age as they will get all of their baby teeth at eight weeks old.   Over the next five months, they will start losing those teeth and by seven months old, they will have all of their adult teeth.

The Not-So-Terrible Twos

In your pup’s second year, no matter what their size or breed, they all continue to age at mostly the same rate. In your dog’s sophomore year, they will age a total of nine human years.  This means that after just two years, your pup is actually reaching his mid-20s!

Puberty Problems

Interestingly enough, smaller dog breeds will seem to grow out of their puppy stage earlier than larger dogs. However, for large dogs, aging will start to speed up after a while and they will end up reaching middle age sooner than smaller ones.

Feeling Fine at 40

In your dog’s fifth year is when their aging really starts to diverge slightly depending on their size. For smaller dogs weighing 20 pounds or less, their age at six human years is comparable to a 40-year-old adult. Dogs weighing between 21 and 50 pounds at six years old are closer to a 42-year-old human. Dogs any larger than 50 pounds are considered to be proportionate to a 45-year-old.

Senior Citizens

After their sixth year, dogs will continue to age anywhere from three to five years over one human year, depending on their size.  After nine human years, a large dog is equal to a 61-year-old, while it takes a small dog 11 human years to reaches that age.

Behind The Numbers

The reason for the myth of one human year equalling seven dog years is by simply dividing the average human’s lifespan by the average dog’s lifespan. But any numbers given with regard to how dogs age are just estimates.  Some breeds can live up to 18 years while others have an average life span of between 10-12 years.  Healthy food, regular check-ups and plenty of exercise for their mind and body will help keep your pup around well into their golden years.