When we adopt a dog in a shelter, kennel or it has been directly picked up from the street, we must find out its age in order to determine what phase of its life it is in and, consequently, give it the necessary food and care. It is also very important to calculate the age of a dog to start a correct vaccination schedule, as you can see in this article: When to vaccinate my dog
On the other hand, there are many people who equate canine years with humans, multiplying by seven, so that if a dog is three years old it would be comparable to twenty-one human years … but this is not entirely correct, as we will see below .
We will explain how to know a dog’s age based on its teeth and other physical factors, as well as how to equate a dog’s age to human years with great precision.
Index of contents
- 1 How to Calculate the Age of a Dog by Eye
- 2 How to calculate the human years of a dog (equate)
How to Calculate the Age of a Dog by Eye
The safest way to know the approximate age of a dog is through its teeth, it evolves as the dog becomes more adult and has certain characteristics at each stage of its life.
So to determine a more or less correct age, we must look at the dog’s teeth and assess with these references:
- 2 to 3 weeks: They still don’t have any teeth
- 4 to 5 weeks: The temporary fangs start to come out (milk teeth )
- 5 to 6 weeks: Incisors and temporary premolars (baby teeth) begin to emerge
- 7 to 8 weeks: You have all temporary teeth (twenty-eight) and there will be no changes until four months
- 4 to 5 months: Temporary teeth begin to fall out and permanent teeth come out
- 6 to 8 months: You already have all the final teeth (forty-two) very white and shiny
- 2 to 4 years: Teeth start to get a little yellow and some tartar appears
- 5 to 9 years: The presence of tartar is more evident and the teeth are more yellowish
- 10 to 15 years: The presence of tartar is accentuated and teeth may be missing, its color is darker
Milk teeth are the first temporary teeth, which will later fall out naturally giving way to the final teeth.
Evaluating the dog’s general physical condition and muscle tone will also give us an idea of the approximate age it can be, especially at young ages.
The hair / coat is a good indication as well, the puppies instead of hair have a “fluff” very similar to that of the stuffed animals. A young dog will have soft, fine hair, while an adult dog will usually have coarser hair and sometimes with a few white spots near the muzzle.
How to calculate the human years of a dog (equate)
In a more or less habitual way, a multiplication by seven of the years of the dog has been made to equate it to human years. So if a dog is two years old, it could be said that it is similar to fourteen human years (2 x 7 = 14). But this formula is not entirely correct.
Not all dogs have the same life expectancy, small dogs live an average of 15 years while large dogs live an average of 10 years. Obviously all this is linked to the standard of living and health status of the same, the higher the quality of life, the greater the life expectancy.
So the correct thing would be to make a fair division, if we humans have an average life expectancy of eighty years of age, we must divide this figure by the real life expectancy of the dog. So for small dogs that live about fifteen years, we should use the multiple of 5.3 (80 divided by 15 = 5.3).
So if your dog is small breed, you must multiply its age by 5.3 to calculate its human age (match). If your dog is 5 years old it would be comparable to 26 and a half years in a human (5 x 5.3 = 26.5), if your dog is 2 years old it would be comparable to 10 and a half years in a human (2 x 5.3 = 10.6).
Large dogs have a slightly shorter life expectancy, an average of ten years. So if we divide the eighty years of human mean by the ten years of canine mean in large breeds, we should use the multiple of 8. (80 divided by 10 = 8).
If your large breed dog is two years old, it could equate to sixteen human years (2 x 8 = 16), if your dog is 5 years old it could equate to forty human years (5 x 8 = 40).
Although in reality, this equating dog years to human years is rather nonsense, since dogs have a very different evolutionary system than humans. To give you an idea, a one-year-old dog would be in the puberty phase in a human, with two or three years of age it would already be in the twenties of a human.
Although it is always funny to think, how many human years does our dog have to be able to make comparisons.
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