Is One Dog Year Equal to Seven Human Years? (STG Facts of the Day)

The age-old adage that one dog year equals seven human

years derives from the simple mathematical division of the

average human lifespan by the average canine lifespan

It’s true that dogs do age much faster than humans

because of their higher metabolic rate; generally speaking,

the larger the mammal, the slower the metabolism and the

longer the life However, it’s now generally accepted that the

seven-to-one rule of thumb for a dog’s “realistic” age is inaccurate;

for instance, it’s not uncommon for dogs to live to

the age of fifteen, but very few humans live to 105

It’s believed that the seven-year rule should not be

applied proportionally, and that, while it might be appropriate

for the middle section of a dog’s life, the beginning or

final developmental phases cannot be correlated to those of

a human A dog tends to be fully sized and sexually mature

at the age of one, but the same cannot be said of a human of

seven A more accurate method of calculating a dog’s “realistic”

age is to allocate twenty-one years for the first year

(i e , when dog and human both reach adulthood) and then

four years for every additional year.

The size and breed of a dog are also factors that impact

on how fast it ages Larger dogs age the fastest, so even the

above rule cannot be applied to all breeds of dogs In fact,

the older the dog, the more accurate the seven-to-one ratio

becomes Roughly, a large ten-year-old dog is considered to

be seventy-eight, whereas a small ten-year-old dog would

be fifty-six

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