What’s your dog’s age in human years?
We bet you’re curious about what’s your dog’s human age, and like most of us you just multiply his age by 7. This traditional way of doing it is old fashioned. There is a reason that shows it’s the wrong way of calculating our dog’s age. If we calculated our dog’s age by multiplying by 7 it would mean that at age one, age 7 in human years, he would start his fertile age, since dogs start their fertile age at 1. And we know that humans don’t start their fertile years that young.
Establishing the exact formula that corresponds to the age between dogs and humans is not possible. For example, dogs from different breeds don’t live the same amount of years, all dogs are different, like humans. Having a formula that is the closest to the truth can be useful when it comes for us to organize our life in relation to our dog, his needs and ours.
Even though the formula 7×1 has an unknown origin and little scientific proof, it’s the most popular way of doing the calculation. Some say that the formula became popular due to a marketing strategy created to encourage veterinarian visits; this way dog owners would worry about how fast time went by in regards of their dog’s life.
In the past few years other formulas have appeared, being more logical by considering the dog’s evolution during his first years of life. This way one dog year would be equal to sixteen of human years, which is when reproductive years usually start. There is an important variable which is the dog’s size. Smaller size breeds tend to have a longer life span than larger dog breeds. When a large dog is 4 years old a small dog is 3 years old.
Recently, studies done by University of Georgia have incorporated a new variant: breed. If breed is included in the calculation, the formula gets more complicated. For example, analyzing two small sized dog breeds: a Chihuahua and a Beagle, at 4 years old, the Chihuahua would be 34.7 years old, while the Beagle would be 35.4. (Chihuahua: two first years = 12.5, after the third year 4.87 must be added each year. Beagle: two first years = 12.5, after the third year = 5.20 years must be added.
At this point you may feel confused trying to add up the numbers and missing the old formula 7×1. To make it easier there is a table below to help you understand, which is based on size. How old is you dog? What do you think of this formula?