Older Miniature SchnauzerIf you have a dog, you’ve likely heard the old rule: 1 year for your dog equals 7 people years. At the time this rule was adopted and accepted as a general truth (around the 1950’s), people did live to be about 70 years of age, and dogs lived to be about 10 years, statistically speaking. We now know that the 7:1 ratio is not that simple; So before you can get an answer to your question, “How old is my dog in human years?” certain other factors need to be considered.

First of all, a dog’s puppy hood zooms by much more quickly than a human’s childhood, so by age 1, your canine companion is already a teenager. And aren’t we so glad they don’t go through the same unruly, sullen stages that human teenagers do! It’s true that larger breeds tend to age more quickly than medium or small breeds, but all breeds are typically considered to be 15 human years old at the end of their first year.

The way dogs age varies according to their size which is of course determined by breed (or many breeds, in the case of Heinz 57 mutts). Small or toy breeds often live up to 16 years, medium and large breed dogs usually to 10 to 13 years, and some giant breeds, such as  mastiffs or Irish wolfhounds, live to 7 or 8 years.Irish Wolfhound Standing Next to a Toy Poodle

So back to our original question, How Old Is My Dog In Human Years? The AVMA ( American Veterinary Medical Association) has come up with a sort of formula for calculating dog years to human years, but it is based on a medium-sized dog, which would be 21 to 50 lbs. of body weight:

  1.  At the end of the dog’s first year of life, he or she would be considered to be the equivalent of 15 human years.
  2.  Add 9 more human years to that dog’s second year of life, to make a total of 24 human years at canine age 2.
  3.  After that, each year of this dog’s life would be equal to adding 5 more human years.

WebMD also has a chart where you can closely figure how old your dog is in human years. This chart takes into account small, medium and large breeds: small being 20 lbs. or less, medium dogs, 21 to 50 lbs., and large dogs 50 lbs. and over.

Pedigree also has a Dog Age Calculator website that calculates your dog’s age for you after you type in age and breed. The only thing I don’t like about this is that it only allows you to choose purebred dogs. Of course those of us who own Heinz 57 breeds don’t really know what all is in their genetic makeup, but sometimes we can hazard a pretty close guess.

Black Spaniel Plying in the RiverMy dog Toni was a sort of spaniel mix with some chow mixed in I think,  judging by her hair coat. She weighed 26 lbs. and lived to be 18 years old. I used the Dog Age Calculator and when I chose “cocker spaniel”, it said she was 88; Then I chose “chow chow” and it calculated 105. I suppose I’ll choose an age somewhere in the middle and say she was 96. Happy Trails!