It’s a very commonly held belief, but is one dog year equal to seven human years?
Is one dog year equal to seven human years?
No, this is a myth and comparing the age of a dog to human years is actually a lot more involved than this and depends on a lot of factors such as the breed and weight of the individual dog.
The myth comes about because if you multiply the average lifespan of a dog by seven, the answer you get is roughly the average human lifespan.
But if you think about it, if one dog year was equal to seven human years, then a two year old dog would be the equivalent of a fourteen year old human.
And that just isn’t right. In fact, during the first year or two dogs mature very rapidly. So much so, in fact, that a one year old dog is as mature as a sixteen year old human. This is true physically, mentally and sexually.
After this, it’s true that each year of a dog’s life is roughly equal to somewhere between five and seven years of a human’s life. As mentioned earlier, though, this does depend on the type of dog. This is because smaller dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs.
Small dog breeds
The small dog breeds tend to live longest, and aren’t considered old until they reach the age of about fourteen or fifteen. So for small dogs, after the first couple of years of their life, you can consider each additional dog year to be about equal to five human years.
So a ten year old Pomeranian, for example, would be considered to be about sixty one in human years: sixteen human years for the first year of their life plus five years each for the other nine years.
Medium and large dog breeds
Medium and large sized breeds usually live for about twelve or fourteen years. For these dogs, you can consider each dog year to be equal to about six or seven human years after the first year, depending on the size of the breed.
So a ten year old Beagle would be considered to be about seventy in human years: sixteen human years for the first year plus six years each for the other nine years gives a human age of seventy.
Giant dog breeds
The giant dog breeds age more quickly than other sizes. Indeed, they’re considered to be old by the time they get to the age of about eight. For the giant breeds, you can consider each dog year to be equivalent to about seven human years.
So a ten year old Great Dane would be considered to be about seventy nine in human years: sixteen human years for the first year plus seven years each for the other nine years.