You bet dog years are real! But if you thought all you had to do was multiply human years by 7, we have news for you: That’s the old way of doing things.
This week, we share the new and improved way to compute your dog’s age. Plus, why it all matters. So, dust off your scientific calculator from those high school days. We have a feeling you will need it! 😉
Why are we so emotionally invested in dog years?
Because dogs are more than just furry companions.
They are a source of laughter, joy, and the warmest “welcome home” greeting—even if you have only been away for 5 minutes!
Doggies are solid emotional support. Reliable fitness buddies. With you through thick and thin, never judging, just loving unconditionally.
And in a perfect world, our fur babies would live forever.
Our fixation with lifespan is probably why "how old is my dog" gets over 33,100 searches per month. That’s wild! Clearly, we're downright curious about our dog's canine age.
Age is but a number—yet it matters
Interest aside, we need dog years to make the right decisions and provide our much-loved pets with age-appropriate care.
After all, age influences everything from nutrition to vet care and even the tools and accessories we need at home for elderly pets to age comfortably.
How to calculate dog years (and why dog years are different than human years)
Admittedly, the “times 7” approach is easier to use and remember. But it has a flaw: It fails to factor in dogs’ developmental spurt during their formative years.
Namely, the first year of a dog’s life converts to the first 12-15 years of our human lives. The second year comes out to around 9 to 10 human years.
So, scrap the former “1 human year = 7 dog years” equation. Scientists have developed a new formula to (more accurately) calculate a dog’s age. It goes like this: 16ln(dog age) + 31 = human age.
That means a 3-year-old dog is around 49 in dog years (not 21), and a 6-year-old dog is actually 60 (not 42). Huge difference, right?! Bet that brings a tear (or ten) to your eyes...
Top tips for doggy longevity
Sadly, there's no magic potion for eternal life, so you have to go about this the old-fashioned way: Lifestyle management.
Tip #1: Regular vet visits
Scheduled vaccinations are a given. Equally, routine vet visits help you detect, treat, and slow down common conditions that come with age. Most importantly, it can help you prevent certain illnesses entirely.
Tip #2: Weight management
We're all guilty of sneaking an extra liver softie Fido's way. I mean, for many of us, food is love. But that does not mean you should indulge your pet until he is overweight or obese. Doing so can shorten your buddy's life by a whopping 2 years!
Here's what we recommend instead:
- Choose high-quality dog food.
- Stick to vet-recommended meal sizes for your breed. (Check feeding guidelines on the back panel of your preferred brand of dog food for more information.)
- Allow snacks but only in moderation.
- Make sure your dog gets enough exercise.
Tip 3#: Good oral hygiene
Without proper dental care, Fido can develop painful gum and dental diseases. Plus: Ever-present mouth bacteria can eventually enter your pet's bloodstream leading to heart, kidney, and liver disease.
Tip #4: Keep a clean environment
This tip needs no explanation. A clean environment is a healthy environment. Fortunately, we've got you covered on this front. Check out our full range of pet-safe cleaning products for a spick-and-span home.
Tip #5: Lifelong supervision
Last but not least, keep a watchful eye over your dog. Some causes of premature death—road mishaps, household toxins, and dog park accidents—are preventable.