How to Calculate Your Dog’s Age

How many candles were on your dog’s birthday cake last year? If you assume the conventional wisdom that one dog year equals seven human years, you’re not alone. As dog owners, most of us are guilty of perpetuating this oversimplified view of how our pups mature. Though it’s common knowledge that dogs develop faster than humans, you may not know that calculating your dog’s age is more complex than knowing your elementary times tables. For example, the first few years of your dog’s life are explosive when it comes to how quickly your dog matures. Therefore, when your pup celebrated her first birthday, she was closer to 15 in human years as opposed to seven.

Beyond the first few years, factors like size and breed come into play when determining your pup’s age in dog years. Smaller dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs, though mature more rapidly early on. Larger dogs take a little bit longer to reach maturity, but are often considered “senior” around the age of five. Small dogs achieve senior status at the age of 10, and medium sized dogs fall somewhere in between in terms of development and lifespan.

To get a better understanding of how old your pup is in dog years, take a look at the chart below courtesy of Harbour Cities Veterinary Hospital.

Small dog = 20 pounds or less Medium dog = 21-50 pounds Large dog = More than 50 pounds 


If you’re like many dog owners, you were probably underestimating the maturity level of your pup before examining the chart above. Regardless of your dog’s age, socialization and exercise are crucial for maintaining your pup’s mental and physical well-being. Taking your furry companion to dog daycare is a great way to expose your pup to other humans and animals in a safe, controlled environment. Are you surprised at your pup’s age in dog years? Share your findings with us on The Doggy Dojo Facebook page!

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