Tuesday, 27 December 2011

How to Determine a Dog's Age in Human Years

Determine a Dog's Age in Human Years

It has always been commonly believed that each year of a dog's life is equivalent to seven in human years. However, this isn't exactly accurate, since a one-year-old dog can give birth, whereas a seven-year-old child cannot. And how would you explain the world's oldest living dog on record making it to 29? (That would be 203 in human years!) Then, of course, there's your 11-year-old dog that sure seems frisky for 77. That is why veterinarians have determined that 77 is the "new 60" and have come up with a more accurate way to calculate a dog's age in human years. The following steps will show you how.



Things You'll Need

  • A calculator (depending on how good at math you are)
    • 1
      If a dog is a year old, that is the equivalent of 15 in human years (not seven as we always thought).
    • 2
      When a dog reaches the age of two, he is already approximately 24 in human years (not 14 as commonly believed). But not to worry, read on.
    • 3
      Add four years to every year after age two. For example, a three-year-old dog is equivalent to 28 in human years; a four-year-old is 32, a five-year-old, 36, a six-year-old, 40--and so on.
    • 4
      Take the dog's size into consideration, since smaller dogs generally have longer life spans than larger dogs, with toy breeds tending to live the longest and giant breeds, the shortest. For example, according to the above method, a six-year-old dog is considered 40 in human years, when in fact a larger dog may actually be closer to 42. However, veterinarians consider this a good general chart to follow for all dogs.

Tips & Warnings

  • The average canine life span is about 12 years, but varies by breed.
  • Most dogs are considered seniors when they reach the age of seven, however it's generally a year or two older for toy or smaller breeds and a year or two younger when a giant breed becomes a senior.
  • A border collie in Britain lived to be 27 on a vegan diet, although there is no conclusive evidence that a vegan diet will make a dog live longer.

By Melissa Maroff, eHow Contributor
How to Determine a Dog's Age in Human Years

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