How Old Is My Dog, Really?
For decades the common calculation used to determine a dog’s age has been…
1 Dog Year x 7 Human Years = “My Dog’s Age”
I recently learned that this is not very accurate!
Apparently many veterinarians believe that, in general, dogs tend to mature quickly in their first 2 years of life and slow down after that. Thus, a more accurate calculation may be 10 ½ years for the first 2 years and 4 years for each additional year thereafter.
Furthermore, while individual breeds have typical life expectancies there are a multitude of other factors that contribute to how long your best friend will be in your life…
- Size – Smaller dogs tend to live 1½ to 2 times longer than larger dogs.
- Mixed breeds tend to live longer because they may not be as prone to problems associated with pure breeds.
- Gender – – female dogs tend to live 1 to 2 years longer than male dogs of the same breed.
- Weight – A dog that is kept at the proper weight will tend to live longer than one who is either under or overweight.
- Diet – a dog who is feed a well-balanced, high quality food is more likely to live a healthier and longer life.
- Neutering – A neutered dog will typically outlive his intact relatives. This is because the neutered dog’s body is not subject to the problems that the reproductive hormones can cause.
- Exercise – the proper amount of exercise, tailored to the dogs size, age and abilities also has an impact.
So, while I believed my very first best friend, Happy Von Birthenberg (a beautiful German Shepherd puppy received on my 2nd birthday), was 98 when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge she was actually 119! WOW!
I was lucky to have Happy in my life well into my teen years and, while I have had numerous 4 legged best friends since Happy was my first and favorite! It actually warms my heart to know that with the love and care she received she lived well past 100!
No matter what age or how long they are with you be sure to enjoy every day you have with them!