What You Should Know About “Dog Years”
Have you ever heard that one year of a dog’s life equals seven human years? This popular concept has been around since the 1950s, but it’s not entirely correct. In reality, the pace of their development changes over their lifetime, and it varies from dog to dog based on their size and other factors.
Instead of a generic formula, the American Veterinary Medical Association uses these general guidelines when considering the rate of aging for a medium-sized dog:
- Year one: approximately 15 human years
- Year two: about nine human years
- Year three and beyond: around five human years (per dog year)
Fortunately, it can be easier for dog owners to determine their dog’s age in human years using this handy table. Still, this information only takes you so far.
While it’s tempting to think of your dog’s age in human years, it’s actually more beneficial to think of their different life stages. These periods typically fall into four categories:
- Puppy: ends between 6-18 months
- Adolescents: begins between 6-18 months
- Adulthood: starts between 1-3 years
- Senior: begins between 6-10 years
Each life stage has specific care requirements, from nutrition and physical activity to medical attention and vaccinations. So, focusing on these categories can ensure you always meet your dog’s needs, regardless of their age in human years.