You’ve probably heard the saying, “1 year for Fido equals 7 years for you,” if you own a dog. Actually, the arithmetic isn’t that easy. In the beginning, dogs mature more quickly than we do. Your furry friend’s first year of existence is therefore equivalent to around 15 human years.
Breed and size are also important. Although smaller dogs may grow more swiftly in their early years of life, bigger dogs often have longer lives overall. A large puppy could age more slowly at initially but be approaching middle age by the time it is five. Prior to the age of 10, tiny and toy breeds do not reach “senior” status. On both criteria, medium-sized dogs fall somewhere in the center.
Clues to Look For
You could not be aware of the age of a puppy or dog you’ve acquired if you don’t know their past. You can make a guess about someone’s age even if you don’t know their birthdate.
You should be able to estimate their age based on their teeth. These recommendations will differ from dog to dog and depend on the type of dental treatment (if any) they received prior to coming to live with you.
- By 8 weeks: All baby teeth are in.
- By 7 months: All permanent teeth are in and are white and clean.
- By 1-2 years: Teeth are duller and the back teeth may have some yellowing.
- By 3-5 years: All teeth may have tartar buildup and some tooth wear.
- By 5-10 years: Teeth show more wear and signs of disease.
- By 10-15 years: Teeth are worn, and heavy tartar buildup is likely. Some teeth may be missing.
A thorough physical examination or tests that look at bones, joints, muscles, and internal organs can also help your veterinarian estimate your pet’s age. Senior dogs may exhibit some distinct aging symptoms.
- Cloudy eyes
- Gray hair. It starts around the muzzle then spreads to other areas of the face, head, and body.
- Loose skin
- Stiff legs