Would you like to know how old your dog is in human years? For a long time, there was a very simple formula for this. But that is no longer true, according to the latest findings.
That’s why we have to rethink something. Scientists found that converting dog years to human years depends on several factors.
One reason is that dogs age at different rates. Each breed of dog has a different life expectancy. That’s why you need to include height, breed, and weight in the conversion.
How Do You Count Dog Years?
Different dogs have different life expectancies. Dog breeds also age at different rates.
- This is how small dogs live up to 15 years. These include Dachshunds, Jack Russell, and Pomeranians. The Chihuahua even has a life expectancy of up to 17 years.
- On the other hand, if you look at large breeds, the situation is quite different. Some only live to be six to nine or ten years old. Examples are the Great Dane, the Bernese Mountain Dog, Saint Bernard, and the Irish Wolfhound.
Of course, you can’t generalize these numbers. For a blessed dog age, however, other factors are crucial. The actual life expectancy of your dog depends on the diet, how it is kept, and, of course, on genetic factors.
Old Rule of Thumb: Why is a Year 7 Dog Years?
Until a few years ago, this rule of thumb applied when calculating the age of a dog :
Dog years * 7 = human years
Multiply your dog’s age by the number seven. Then you have the age of your animal.
One human year is equivalent to seven dog years. This simple formula has been true for a long time.
In the literature, this simple rule is often dismissed as too trivial. Finally, modern formulas tend to work with natural logarithm and offset parameters. However, the 7-year formula still works quite well, as you can see in the table below.
However, on closer inspection, it is actually about formulating a mathematical relationship between two lifespans. That is why we would now like to show you the current status of scientific research.
How Much is 1 Year in Dog Years?
So let’s assume that the 7-year rule of thumb has now been disproved or at least outdated.
Another theory is that the first two years of a small dog’s life are about 28 human years. A medium-sized dog is around 26 years old. And the large breeds you can convert at about 22 years old at the same age.
The later average weight of the adult four-legged friend is decisive here. Based on the weight class, dogs are divided into three categories:
- Dogs up to 15 kg
The first two dog years correspond to 28 years
- Dogs between 15 kg and 45 kg
The first two years of life correspond to 26 human years
- Dogs over 45 kg
The first two dog years correspond to 22 years
For further calculations, multiply your dog’s age by a factor of 4.3 to 13.4. Whereby this factor changes according to height and weight. Now that sounds pretty complicated. But here the following table will help you to read the exact age.
From this table, you can see that simple formulas are not enough to convert your dog’s age into human years.
How Old is My Dog According to Research?
Why small dogs get older than large ones has fascinated scientists for a long time. Researchers from the University of Göttingen took a closer look at the topic. To do this, they examined around 50,000 dogs. These belonged to 74 different dog breeds, from Chihuahuas to Great Danes.
The conclusion of the researchers is: Large dogs do not age earlier than smaller dogs. Rather, their aging process is much faster. Why this is so could be related to cell division.
A separate research project was even set up for this purpose in the USA. The Dog Aging Project examines the aging of dogs from a wide variety of scientific perspectives.
I find the approach of the researchers very interesting in that they want to better understand the aging process in humans through dogs. Dogs are particularly interesting here because pets live very closely with humans.
Also, dogs are mammals too. And because of their close relationship with us humans, they are exposed to the same environmental conditions and possible toxins as we are.
Here is a table showing the life expectancy of all dog breeds.
How Long Do Other Animals Live?
It’s still not really clear. But the researchers are not giving up. If you look around in the animal kingdom, this effect can be seen in many species of mammals.
It is particularly noticeable in horses. The little pony can sometimes live to be over 40 years old. Large horse breeds, on the other hand, only live to be 20 to 30 years old.
Again, the effect cannot be recognized across species. Because elephants have a much longer life expectancy than mice.
So much for the theory. We have implemented the three explanatory models of science in the following calculator.
Dog Years Calculator
You can use the calculator to convert dog years to human years. Just enter the dog’s age in years. You can then easily read the corresponding age in human years.
Convert Dog Years to Human Years
how old is your dog For dogs up to 15 kg, age in human years or dog from 15 to 45 kg, age in human years dogs from 45 kg, age in human yearsComparison: Age in human years with 7-year rule
To give you a better feeling for the different calculation methods, the calculator even displays all three results:
- Calculation by weight factor and size
- 7-year rule
- X plus 4, 6, or 9 rule
When Does a Dog Hit Puberty?
Let’s take a closer look at the development of the dog. Here everything works the other way around. Small breeds mature much earlier than large dogs. Large breeds are very slow growers and are effective late developers.
Dog breeds such as St. Bernard, the Newfoundland, or the Irish wolfhound are only fully grown at around 18 months. Small dogs like the Chihuahua, on the other hand, already reach their final size at around six to nine months. Bitches can then already be in heat.
In principle, however, it doesn’t matter how old your pet is in human years. It is important that your dog is healthy. And that he feels good in old age. A beautiful dog life is a basis for healthy aging. You can contribute a great deal to this.
Contribution of Feed For The Senior
Species-appropriate food is important for a long and healthy dog life. This is the easiest way to help your dog grow old healthily. Your dog needs a balanced diet. You must adapt this to his activity and age.
Mixing the right amount of protein, fats, and carbohydrates is sometimes a challenge. High-quality complete feeds are ideal for giving your dog a healthy diet.
For some animals, however, BARF is a better alternative than ready-made feed. Because the raw meat feeding is based on the original diet of the predecessor of our domestic dogs.
The Right Movement For Every Dog
In addition to nutrition, exercise is of great importance for health. You have to use your animal to its full potential. And according to his race. This means that your dog should exercise in a manner appropriate to its nature.
Greyhounds are sprinters. They are not suitable for walking next to a bicycle for a long time. Saint Bernards are not happy on the agility course. And the pug will not cut a fine figure as a jogging companion.
The Newfoundland, for example, is not a great walker. And certainly not a runner. But give him the opportunity to swim, make the most of him.
Mental Strain in Old Age
In addition to physical exercise, every dog needs mental exercise. This is almost as important as physical activity.
As your dog gets older, it needs more attention. That’s how it is with humans. And you should also take this into account with your four-legged partner.
Moderate exercise, a change in diet, and regular check-ups with your vet will help your pet as it ages. However, do not forget about the intellectual activity.
Old dogs can be exhausting. They act a little strange sometimes. You may not see or hear as well. And they may seem demotivated.
The better you know your pet, the better you can help them as they age. This is how you recognize small ailments in good time. Like an old person, your old dog deserves loving care from you.
By the way, the oldest dog in the world was an Australian Cattle Dog. He was 29 years and five months old. That’s the equivalent of around 180 human years. This landed him in the Guinness Book of Records.