There is a lot of discussion about how to translate dog years to people years. Generally speaking, dogs live 12 to 18 years. It’s not possible to just multiply their age by a factor to get the human equivalent because there are some factors to consider.
First, pure breed dogs tend to have a much higher chance of disease because of in-breeding. Second, early life experience is important. Pets who were on the street when they were pups, or neglected, might age much faster than dogs who were properly looked after. Third, very large dogs tend to age faster than small and medium-sized dogs.
Having said that, when small and medium dogs celebrate their first birthday, they are considered teenagers around 15 years old in human years. When they are eight years old, they’re like 50-year-old humans. When they are 14 years old, they are like 70-year-old humans.
Medium and large dogs are like 15-year-olds on their first birthday. When they are six or seven years old, they’re like 50-year-old humans. When they are nine or 10 years old, they are like 70-year-old humans.
To compare: At 16 years old, a small dog is considered to be 80, a medium dog 87, a large dog 99 and a vary large dog 123.
Depending on your pet’s size and age, therefore, a sensible plan is to start going for six-monthly checkups when your pet is six to eight years old. Talk to your vet about:
> Teeth – adjust diet where necessary.
> Hips and bones – check for issues like arthritis.
> Energy levels – adjust your exercise plan accordingly.
> “Older” eye issues, like cataracts.
> Hearing – Does your pet seem slow to react?
Talk to your vet to see if grooming can prevent health issues like ear and eye infections or stiff bones and chills.
And always watch out for changes in eating and drinking habits.