When trying to compare your dog’s age to human age, it’s one year in a dog’s life equals seven human years, right? Not so fast there, you!
The American Veterinary Medical Association breaks it down a little differently. They say at the end of a dog’s first year of life, s/he is the equivalent of a human teenager, about 15 years. In the second year, growth and development slows down a bit, adding about nine human years to take your dog to early adulthood, about the equivalent of a 24-year old person. Beyond that, every calendar year adds about five human years’ worth of aging.
Keep in mind that extra large dogs age extra quickly. Age-related problems generally start to occur at about 5 – 6 calendar years for large dogs and at about 7 calendar years for smaller dogs.
The American Kennel Club has produced this handy dandy chart to help you calculate your dog’s age in human equivalents.
For the more technical, scientifically-minded among us, there’s a more complicated way to calculate your dog’s years in human equivalency. According to a 2019 study done at the University of California San Diego, you can calculate human years by taking the natural logarithm of your dog’s age, multiplying it by 16, then adding 31. (I won’t even pretend I remember how to do logs, but here’s a calculator to help you out.) You should be aware that the study included only Labrador Retrievers, and it is known that different breeds age differently. I also wonder if this holds true for younger dogs. For my two-year olds, this formula would make them the equivalent of 42-year old humans. I think that’s a little high, so I’m taking this with a grain of salt. (I’m not old enough to have middle-aged “children”!)
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!