How Old Is Your Dog? Dog Years to Human Years

1 year of your dog’s life is the same as 7 human years; we’re sure you’ve heard this before. But is it true? It’s time to explore the truth behind the dog years to human years theories and discover your dog's age in human years.

Not only is this a fun, interesting bit of information to learn about your pup, but understanding your dog’s age in human years means you can prioritise their health and give them a long, happy life.

Numerous factors can affect the speed at which your dog ages. Their breed, genetics and lifestyle are just a couple of examples which will affect their rate of ageing. Dogs are like humans in this sense, as if we live an inactive lifestyle, studies show we’re more at risk of certain health conditions, which may reduce our life expectancy.

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The History of Dog Years to Human Years

While most people are familiar with the 7 human years to 1 dog year theory, it’s unknown who originally invented the concept, as it’s not actually supported by practical evidence.

If you were to follow this idea, by the time your dog turns 10 years old they would be 70 in “human years”, which is very much the senior stage of their life.

At one point, this was the average life expectancy for both dogs and humans, and this may be where the original link came from. In more recent years, due to advances in healthcare, average life expectancy has increased, which means we can spend longer with our furry friends. Lucky us!

When Did We Start Comparing Dog Years to Human Years?

It’s believed that humans have been analysing the ways our canine friends age for many years, even as early as the mid-1200s. Evidence suggests that during this time, a group of artists working on designing the pavements within Westminster Abbey predicted their ideas for Judgement Day.

They inscribed their beliefs within their work, which detailed how dogs live to the age of 9 and humans live to the age of 81, following a 9:1 ratio.

So, How Old Is My Dog In Human Years?

Following the well-known theory that each year of your dog’s life is the same as approximately 7 human years, by the time your dog turns 2 they are supposedly equivalent to a teenager turning 14.

However, more reliable research suggests that the average dog is equivalent to 15 human years by their 1st birthday.

After your dog’s 1st birthday, their ageing starts to slow down, and by the 2nd year of their life, they’ll age by roughly 9 years. This means that a 2-year-old dog is closer to 24 in human years than 14.

However, after your dog’s 2nd birthday, their ageing slows down once more, and from this point, they age by approximately 5 years for each year that passes.

Using this logic is a much more realistic way to compare dog years to human years and work out your dog’s age. However, remember that other factors can impact the speed at which your pup ages too.

Do Smaller Dogs Live Longer?

The short answer to this question is, in fact, yes. Scientists don’t know the full reasoning as to why smaller sized dogs have a longer life expectancy than larger breeds but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest this is correct.

The breed of your dog will also have an impact on how quickly they age, and this can be linked to medical conditions they’re at higher risk of. Some experts believe smaller dogs experience fewer age-related problems in their younger years.

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Larger Dogs Tend to Age Faster

Although dogs age at a similar rate for the first few years of their lives, once larger dogs reach the age of 5, they begin to age at a much faster rate. This means larger dogs will begin to feel the effects of reaching their senior years much sooner.

As larger dogs age quicker than smaller dogs, they’re at a higher risk of experiencing unusual cell growth which may lead to them developing serious health problems, such as cancer.

Smaller dogs have a longer average life expectancy as they don’t often reach their “senior years” until they’re slightly older. As they’re ageing at a more natural rate, they do not suffer from the same risks that larger dogs do.

What Size is My Dog?

This may be obvious, depending on what type of dog you have, but generally speaking:

A small dog weighs under 20lbs.
A medium-sized dog may weigh anything between 21lbs - 50lbs.
For larger dogs, their weight ranges between 51lbs – 100lbs.
Very large dogs weigh over 100lbs. They will experience the fastest ageing and are therefore more at risk of developing health conditions.

What’s the Secret to a Long and Yappy Life?

Your dog’s health is so important for them to lead a long life by your side, so you must ensure that your dog has an active lifestyle and that you prioritise their mental and physical health needs. Dog supplements also help to provide your best pal with essential nutrients they need to take care of their everyday health.

When it comes to your dog’s weight, it’s believed that for every 4lbs of extra weight on your dog, their average life expectancy is reduced by one month, so it’s clear why exercise is vital to both your dog’s physical and mental wellbeing.

To keep on top of your dog’s exercise regime, we’ve got you covered with our excellent selection of dog walking essentials, including dog walking bags, as well as dog leads and dog collars.

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Stash your dog walking essentials away in this trusty (and very stylish) shoulder bag.

What Are Common Signs of Ageing in Dogs?

Older dogs will experience signs of yellowing and possibly decay. Make sure you take regular trips to the vet to prioritise your dog’s oral hygiene. You can even introduce toys which promote healthy teeth and gums.

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This Toothy Treat dog toy is a great way to help keep your dog’s teeth & gums healthy.

Colour of their fur
Is your dog’s fur starting to turn grey? This is a very common sign of ageing. Don’t worry though, grey is in fur-shion! Speaking of fur-shion, a personalised dog bandana is a fun way for your pup to strut in style.

When you’re playing fetch with your dog, do they struggle to find the ball? This may be a sign they’re suffering from poor eyesight. Find alternative ways to mentally stimulate your dog, such as our Eight-Shaped Tugger dog toy.

When you call your dog’s name or shout commands do you find they’re not as responsive as they used to be? They may be experiencing hearing loss. Again, this is a common sign of ageing.

A common sign of ageing is your dog losing control over the bladder.

Exercise needs
If your dog’s activity levels have started to decrease, this may be a sign of sore muscles or arthritis. Introduce positive reinforcement surrounding exercise with lots of praise, affection and some treats to spur your pup on, like these Post Workout dog treats.

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These dog treats are a yummy way to reward your dog’s accomplishments, whether big or small.

Another Year Older and Even More Pawsome

Have you learnt something new about your dog's age in human years? Maybe your dog is younger or older than you thought!

Now you know how to work out dog years to human years, you can understand your dog’s age better and how different lifestyle choices will affect them.

You may also have a better idea of certain health problems to watch out for and how dog supplements can help support your pooch’s wellbeing.

If you’re unsure of your dog’s age in general, we would advise you to consult your vet. They will be able to conduct a full examination of your dog and give you an accurate estimate of their age.

If you enjoyed finding out your dog’s age in human years, we think you’ll love our blog post that explores how much sleep dogs need – it may surprise you!

Is your dog’s birthday approaching? We would love to see you celebrating your pup’s special day and making a fuss of them! Don’t forget to tag our handle @yappy_com and use our hashtag #YappyPack.

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