Tag Archives: Life expectancy

Calculating dog to human age How old are they really?

12 Jun


It always seems to me  like a dog ages in behavior/personality (capacity?) in the following way:

0 – 6 months upto a human 1 year old

6 months – 2 years – human toddler (2 – 4 years old)

2 years – 5 years human teenager

5 years – 9 years human adult

9 years on – human senior

 What have you found?


This is an excerpt that I found from an excellent and fun article.  Gayle did a nice job on this. 

By Gayle Hickman

Aging is much faster during a dog’s first two years but varies among breeds. Large breeds, while they mature quicker, tend to live shorter lives. By the time they reach 5 they are considered “senior” dogs. Medium-sized breeds take around seven years to reach the senior stage, while small and toy breeds do not become seniors until around 10.

Many veterinarians agree that a pretty good guess on the age of pets can be made using the following formula. Although still simple, it is much more accurate than the seven-year method.

Assume that a 1-year-old dog is equal to a 12-year-old human and a 2-year-old dog is equal to a 24-year old human. Then add four years for every year after that. (Example: A 4-year-old dog would be 32 in human years.)

Since this method takes into consideration the maturity rate at the beginning of a dog’s life and also the slowing of the aging process in his later years, Martha Smith, director of veterinary services at Boston’s Animal Rescue League, feels that this is the more accurate calculation formula. Here is a chart, for easy reference:


A dog’s average lifespan is around 12 or 13 years, but again, this varies widely by breed. The larger your dog is, the less time it will live. Female dogs tend to live a little longer.


Loosing your best friend

10 Jun

I wonder why dogs have such short lives compared to ours.  12 – 15 years on average is so short for our beloved family members.  I think it may be God‘s way of encouraging us to always have one in our home.  If their life span was too much longer, perhaps many folks wouldn’t be able to have them.  With the exception of having being very up in age (90 +)we can be more willing to commit to caring for a dog with confidence.  It is even more appealing to an elderly person to adopt an older dog.  The commitment is not as long-term , for obvious reasons, and they are much more calm – and trained.

That short life span has a clear down side.  The sorrow of their passing.  I have had 4 in my life that have passed.  2 of old age, one of disease, and one a tragic situation.  Each time, for me, the ability to live without a dog is shorter and shorter.  I have gone so far as to have multiple dogs at staggered ages to better ensure always having their companionship.

For me, in each case of a loss, the pain has been deep.  I know for many friends that is how it is for them as well.  I know I have cried for weeks after their passings.  I still mourn their loss now, even though years have passed.  Each one still holds their unique personalities that formed our relationship in my thoughts and memories.  I miss them very much, and would love to have them back. 

These great dogs of ours touch our lives in such a unique and special way.  I beleive only a special soul is meant to care for them.  God put that desire for loving a dog in most (but not all) of us.  He loves dogs as much as we do.  When God’s  hand is so obviously  involved you know that the impact on our lives is going to be great.  And it is.

I know some people have suffered so deeply from their loss, that they cannot bear to go through that pain again.  I understand that a lot.  I admire the bond they created with their canine companion. It is evidence to me that – that person is truly one of God’s good creations.   There is a different tenderness to the heart of a dog owner (and yes cat owners too).  The relationship with our dogs encompass a tremendous amount of trust, love, respect, dependability, support, and caring.  These qualities are very consistent throughout the years.  There is not one human relationship we have that holds that kind of stability.  When the pack looses a member there is a void.

I know when this sad time comes (expected or not) what we all go through.  The mourning is as intense and real for our pet/friend as it is for any family member.  I can still begin to cry when I think about my past dogs.  I have so much love in my heart for them even today.  Grieving is a process.  It phases back and forth and up and down.  As painful as it is, and how much we never want to go through that again.  But…eventually we realize there is so much to gain by giving it another go.

So for anyone who is hurting or missing their best buddy – may God Bless you and your family.  Take your time, heal your heart, and save that collar for a special day of remembering in the future.  The devine gift our dogs are.  Blessings and gifts from a loving God.