How Do You Calculate Dog Years To Human Years?
No math necessary 🐕
Have you ever wondered how to calculate dog years to human years? It’s a fun exercise that explores a deeper topic — the lifespan of your dog.
And while it’s not the most uplifting topic, it’s still important to consider when bringing a new dog into your family.
So, exactly what kind of math do you have to do to figure out how old your dog is in human years? While experts once thought you needed to simply multiply your dog’s age by seven to get your answer, recent research says that model could use an update.
As it turns out, dogs and humans age at different rates throughout their lives. Read on to find out more.
What's the latest on calculating dog years to human years?
While no one’s really sure where the “multiply by seven” myth came from, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine discovered that humans and dogs don’t age at the same rate over our lifespans — so making a linear comparison like the 1:7 years rule-of-thumb just doesn’t make sense.
According to UC San Diego School of Medicine’s chart, when dogs are young, they age rapidly compared to humans. Then, by age 7, a dog’s aging slows. For example, a 1-year-old dog is similar to a 30-year-old human, and a 4-year-old dog is similar to a 52-year-old human.
Research will continue as scientists agree that understanding a dog’s aging process plays an important role in how vets diagnose and treat pups.
"It’s so important for pet owners to realize that pets do age at different rates than we do, and it makes keeping up-to-date on their health that much more important," Dr. Hunter Finn told Buzzfeed. "I can’t tell you how many times I need to justify the importance of yearly checkups and lab work to make sure their pet is indeed healthy."
What is the average lifespan for different types of dogs?
According to a recent study by researchers in the United Kingdom, the lifespan of most dogs is around 11 years old.
Large dogs age faster than smaller dogs, and as a result, they’re more likely to experience cancer and other age-related illnesses sooner. Small dogs can live into their late teens, while big dogs are often quite old at 10. The dog breeds with the shortest lifespans are:
What factors affect longevity in dogs?
There are some common health conditions that older dogs may experience that can affect how long they live. If you have a small dog, these ailments can show up in their teens, while larger breeds might start to experience these health issues around 6 or 7 years of age.
- General health — Factors like size, sex and neuter status can impact lifespan.
- Hearing and vision loss — While this can be a common problem for older dogs, many do pretty well as long as they’re still living in a familiar setting. This familiarity can help them make their way around objects and through rooms from memory when they can’t hear or see very well.
- Hip problems — Mainly associated with large-breed dogs, many dogs with joint issues can experience improvement through supportive joint supplements and altered exercise plans.
- Heart problems — A risk for all dog breeds, heart conditions can be tough to treat. There are medications that can help your dog be more comfortable, so close monitoring from your vet will be important.
- Obesity — Usually an issue that can be avoided, most elderly dogs should be put on the proper diet to prevent damage to their joints and stress on their heart. Obesity is common but avoidable.
- Cancer — Unfortunately, many dog breeds are prone to cancer once they reach a certain age. Cancer can respond to treatment in some instances, but it’s usually hard to treat in dogs.
Ultimately, even though dogs do age faster than humans, you can help give them the best life possible with lots of love, a healthy diet, and plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
When figuring out your dog’s age in human years, just remember: Age is just a number. And what does count is every moment you get to spend with your pup.