How old is my dog in human years?
This is a common question asked by many dog owners and the common answer that seems to be quoted is that our dogs are 7 times older than the equivalent human years. So if your dog is a one year old they they are 7 in human years. They may well be close in their level of attention span, but physically they are way more advanced. Think about it, at one year of age a female dog may have already given birth to a litter of puppies which would be completely unlike a person. 7 years is just the general rule and in reality the comparison changes at various stages of your dog’s life as well as other factors such as the dog’s final adult size.
How fast do puppies mature compared to people?
A puppy matures at about 12 times faster than a human baby on average and the fastest rate of growth occurs in the first few weeks where puppies will double then triple their weight at birth and then slow down as they get older. This rapid growth requires special nutrition and the best form of this is obviously mum’s milk. A mother’s milk will change to meet the needs of her maturing litter perfectly and it is our job as owners to make sure that we provide them with optimal nutrition to meet their needs as they continue to mature once they leave mum.
What is the difference in maturity between different sized breeds?
Smaller dog breeds will mature physically and often mentally as well, in a shorter length of time than larger breeds and as a general rule, the bigger the final size of the dog breed, the longer they will take to mature. A toy Cavoodle will reach it’s mature size by about 10 to 11 months old while a Standard Groodle may need to be about 1.5 years old before they reach their mature size.
Unfortunately, the larger breeds tend to get older at a much more rapid pace than their smaller cousins to the point that they usually have shorter life spans overall and have a higher incidence of heart disease. Fortunately though the larger designer breeds do have a slight advantage over traditional breeds and tend to live longer and healthier lives. The reasons for this are not exactly clear but a greater genetic variation that leads to hybrid vigour are believed to play a role, but it may also be that a slightly different demographic of owners may also play a part.
The following charts give a rough guide for a comparison of dog years to human years for both small breeds and large breeds
Small dog breeds of about 10kg or less
|Dogs age||Human Years|
Large dog breeds of 25kg or more
|Dogs age||Human Years|
It’s important to remember that these tables and advice is general only and there are always differences between individual dogs. The best person to consult in regards to your pet’s stage of life is your veterinarian.