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Is a dog year really the same as 7 human years?

It is commonly said that for every year that our dogs are alive, they have effectively aged as much as a human would in 7 years. This may seem like a strange concept to get your head around, however, there is some truth in this statement.

Dogs age at a completely different rate to their human owners. However, that said, the idea that their 1 year is the same as 7 of ours isn’t entirely true. If this theory was true then humans would, in theory be able to reproduce at the age of 7 and they would have a life expectancy of 150. So, with this in mind, how does their ageing work?

How does dog ageing work?

Dogs do age quicker than humans and this is particularly true during the first two years of their lives. Which is why a dog will be sexually mature at the age of 1. In smaller dogs this ageing rate is even quicker and they are known to age much quicker than the bigger breeds.

Whilst dogs will age much quicker earlier in their lives, they do seem to slow down as they age. When you think of it this way, you can find that working out their age, compared to your age is not always easy to do.

You need to take into account the size of your dog as this will impact their ageing rate. Here are some examples of how to work out your dog’s age compared to yours.

  • A small breed is already at the age of 15 within the first year of their life and when they reach the age of 5 they are nearing the ripe age of 36. 10 years for smaller breeds is 56 and as they reach the higher ages of 15 and 16 they are in their late 70s and early 80s.
  • A medium sized breed works much the same and there is only a year’s difference from smaller breeds up until age of 6 when they start to speed up. By age 10 they are actually the equivalent of being 60 years old and when they reach the age of 15, they are 83.
  • The larger dog breeds don’t age quite as quickly in their first few years; however at the age of 5 they are already hitting the 40 mark. This goes up even more when they are 10 with the age of 66 and as they age, this increases even more so. If a larger dog breed reaches the age of 16 (which doesn’t happen as often as smaller breeds) then they are 99.
  • Finally, we have giant breeds. These are somewhat the same as large breeds, however, when they are 10 they are already 78, which is why many giant dog breeds don’t have the same life expectancy as other breeds.

How can I make the most of the time that I have with my dog?

The last thing that you should do is spend the time that you do have with your dog worrying about how quickly they are ageing. Instead focus on the time that you do have with them.

Think about the fun things that you can do whilst they are alive and how to make the most of every second that they are a part of your life. After all, they may only be with you for 10 years or more, but you are with them for their entire lives.

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