Dog Years vs Human Years: What Does it Mean?

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Are you wondering about your dog age in human years? Or are you trying to figure out what the real answer to “how old is my dog?” is. Either way, you’re bound to have heard that this can be calculated by multiplying your dog’s age by 7. However, this isn’t as cut-and-clear as we once believed. 

Is your mind blown? Ours sure were when we found out that the trusty multiplication wasn’t an accurate way to work out dog years to human years! 

The facts are that, like our cats, a dog’s age is more accurate when we look at it in stages. Our pawsome pooches grow in intervals with some years expanding over the 7-year mark. It’s also vital to take into consideration your dog’s breed and weight range.

Who knew that it looking at dog years vs human years could be so complicated! Don’t put your paws up in a fuss; we’ll take you through everything there is to know. 

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Dog Years to Human Years: The Easy Method

The most common way to calculate your pooch’s age is to take 1 of their years and multiple it by 7.  This go-to method was created out of the assumption that dogs generally live to about 10 while humans live to 70 hence the 1:7 ratio.  

However, due to various breeds and sizes, our doggos age at various rates. Larger furry friends tend to need extra care and attention with higher levels of arthritis and weight control. For this reason, they’re generally considered seniors when they’re 5-6 years old. In human years, this would be 35 - 42 years old. On the flip side, smaller doggos are considered senior at 7 years old or at 49 human years. Far from senior, wouldn’t you think? 

As you can see, not only do dogs’ age vary from breed to breed, but it also depends on their general health. While multiplying their age by 7 can give you a rough guideline, converting dog years to human years may require a little more homework. 

How Old is My Dog, Really? 

It’s time to rethink your dog’s age. With recent research underway, it was discovered that dogs age faster at first and then only taper into the equivalent of hooman middle age only after a few years. As we said, this is why it’s better to look at your doggo’s age in stages rather than age milestones. 

According to New Scientist, there’s a new formula to calculate dog years to human years. In their findings, they cited that the first year of your pup’s life is the equivalent to 15 hooman ones! From 2 years old, we see a slower progression in hooman standards. 

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This new formula looks a little something like this: 

human_age = 16 ln(dog_age) + 31.

Now not all of us are mathematicians, so what does this mean? Good question! In the most basic of terms, this formula provides an accurate graph representation of the chemical changes that fluctuate throughout both hooman and doggo lives. By matching these fluctuations, researchers were able to convert the physiological dog years vs human years. 

Here’s the best news, to work out your dog age in human years, you won’t have to pull out your calculator either! There are plenty of websites and apps that do the thinking work for you. This particular dog age calculator allows you to input your doggo’s breed and calendar age into it. Then, your doggo’s “real” age is quickly revealed! 

Why Does Understanding Dog Age in Human Years Matter? 

Working out how old our furry friends are isn’t just a fun way to see where they would be in relation to our hooman lives, but it can also act as an indicator of your care routine. 

Being a pet owner comes with many roles and responsibilities - one of them being senior dog care. Caring for older dogs is a crucial element of being a good fur-parent. As our doggos grow older, they’ll need to rely on us more and more. Understanding their age and ailments can help act as a guide through this process. 

With that in mind, the best way to navigate your dog’s care routine is by consulting the specialists. Your vet will be able to determine if your pooch is showing signs of arthritis, behavioral changes, or any other aging symptoms. No matter your dog’s size or age, you should always put their best paw forward. 

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Now that we can settle the dogs years vs human years debate, it’s time to put our calculations to good use! Whether you’re embarking on the teenage territory or approaching your pooch’s golden years, we hope that they’re filled with doggy love. 

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