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How to Calculate Dog Years to Human Years!

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May 28, 2019

Most dog owners have heard that a dog year is equal to seven human years. This “rule” has been around since the 1950s, but the math isn’t that cut and dry! Many factors influence the conversion of dog years to human years. Larger dogs mature faster than small dogs, for example. So how can you calculate your pup’s age in human years?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

image with people and dogs comparing human years to dog years

Most dog owners have heard that a dog year is equal to seven human years. This “rule” has been around since the 1950s, but the math isn’t that cut and dry! Many factors influence the conversion of dog years to human years. Larger dogs mature faster than small dogs, for example. So how can you calculate your pup’s age in human years?

Table of Contents

Why We Need to Figure Out Dog Years to Human Years

Obviously, it’s interesting to see just how old a dog is in human years. But there is also a good practical reason related to a dog’s health for why you should do the math!

As dogs get older, they need more and more veterinary care. Sometimes, it can be hard for an owner to spot their dog’s sign of aging. But when you know how old Fido is in human years, deciding to go to the vet for a checkup is much easier. On top of that, at a certain age, you need to possibly add supplements to their diets, or change their food to a “senior” version.

Imagine that your Miniature Poodle is still very active and energetic. You may think they’re okay and don’t need to see the vet. But what if you find out that they are 60 in human years? Would you reconsider? Probably! Thus, looking after their health becomes easier if you know how old they are in human years.

If you have just adopted a dog or cat, you also probably want to know their age. Only a vet can tell you more or less how old your pet animal is based on their teeth as a sign of aging.

A Look at the Science: How Researchers Calculate Dog to Human Years

Many factors come into play when converting dog years to human years. Animal size and lifespan of the exact breed are important things to take into consideration.

As a general rule, the American Veterinary Medical Association calculates dog years to human years like this:

  • The first year of a medium-sized dog’s life is equivalent to fifteen in human years
  • Year two for a dog is more or less equivalent to nine human years
  • After that, each dog year is equivalent to five human years

As you see, it’s not as simple as 7 human years is equivalent to 1 dog year!

three brown dogs calculating dog years to human years

How Long Do Dogs Live?

Different sized dogs and dog breeds have different life spans. However, on average, it is safe to say that dogs live between 10 and 13 years.

Small Breeds: Small Dog Live the Longest

Scientists still don’t know why, but small breeds live the longest. Their maturity rate is much slower than larger dogs. It may also have something to do with how slowly they physically grow.

A small puppy will, on average, live to be 15 years of age, but there is a lot depending on their breed! Chihuahuas can live for as long as 17 years, while Pomeranians can live to be 15 years old.

Medium Sized Dogs: The Average Expected Lifespan of Medium Dog Breeds

Medium sized dogs can expect to live on average for 13 years full of happiness and joy. Just to give you something to go off of, a Boxer generally lives to be 12 and an Australian Shepherd can live for 15 years.

7 Years for Big Doggos? How Long Large Dog Breeds Live on Average

Giant breed dogs are the ones whose lifespan is shortest. Scientists believe it may have to do with how fast they grow physically, which can lead to cell division errors and, eventually, cancer.

But no matter what, big puppies can still live for 10 active years. Golden Retrievers can live to be 12 years old, while a dog like Akita lives for much longer until they’re around 15!

How to Calculate Dog Years: DIY Dog Age Calculator

You can come up with a simple, straightforward, dog years to human years age calculator at home.

For starters, take how long humans live for. The average lifespan of humans is 80.3 years of age for American senior citizens. Then, take the life expectancy of dogs, which is 13.

Now, divide 80.3 by 13. From here, we know that every dog year is equivalent to 6.18 human years! Keep in mind that this is a very rudimentary formula. It mostly works for older dogs, not for dogs in their first years of life.

jack russell with papers trying to be a dog years calculator

Dog Years Calculator: A Simple Equation?

The formula we just showed you isn’t perfect! It doesn’t take into account weight or breed, for example. But, if you’re in a pinch and just want to quickly calculate “more or less” how old your pup is, it will be good enough.

Much more accurate dog years to human years age calculator is the one developed by Pedigree. Enter your pup’s age in months or years, select their breed, and click “Calculate”!

A Dog Years Chart Is a Quick Search Away! Where to Find a Dog Years Converter Online?

There are some awesome dog years to human years charts online. The American Kennel Club (AKC) one is our favorite. It’s pretty, easy to use, and can be used compare the age of dogs of different sizes.

On the Flipside: How Old Am I in Dog Years?

What if you want to calculate how old you are in dog years? Besides satisfying curiosity, there isn’t a really good reason to do it. But, hey, it’s still fun!

Human to Dog Years: Calculating Human Years to Dog Years

The easiest-to-use formula is thinking that one human year equates to 0.16 dog years. So, multiply your age by 0.16 to know how old you are in dog years.

A person who is 10 would be 1.6 years old (or 18 months old) as a dog. Someone who is 75, on the other hand, is only 12 in dog years. It’s a fun way of feeling younger, isn’t it?

Dog Years in Human Years: How Old Is My Dog in Human Years?

The quickest and most hassle-free way of knowing your pup’s age in human years is to check the American Kennel Club chart.

But if you want the most precision possible, check the Pedigree age calculator. It will tell you how old your pup is based on their breed.

puppy, young dog and adult dog comparing dog to human years

Knowing a Dog Age in Human Years Is Important

Knowing a dog’s age in human years isn’t just fun. It is also useful and important. When compared to humans, dogs need just as much medical care in their senior years. Their internal organs don’t work as well, their muscles and joints get weaker, and they can develop serious diseases more easily.

Thus, in order to better their dog life, take them to the vet more regularly when they have hit human senior age. This way, you can make your pup live longer by offering them preventative care.

Common Questions on Dog Years

Why should I know my dog’s age in human years?

What dog breeds live the longest?

Can I calculate my age in dog years?

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