There is a common myth that one human year is equal to seven dog years, and practically all dog owners know it. No-one is sure where it first came from, but experts agree that the calculation requires some vital tweaking.

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Want to find out how old your pooch is in human years? It’s easy! Take a look below and learn how to calculate your dog’s human age accurately.

What are ‘dog years’?

According to the popular myth, every year a dog spends on the planet is equivalent to seven years of a human’s life. A one-year-old dog, for instance, would be equivalent to a seven-year-old child, whilst a ten-year-old dog, would be of the same age as a seventy-year-old.

However, while this calculation may apply to some dogs, it is inaccurate to suppose all breeds mature at the same rate.

Co-op’s pet insurance veterinarian, Matt Brash, told us the other key areas we should consider before calculating ‘dog years’:

“Pet welfare has improved over the last few decades; nutrition, housing and veterinary care are better than ever before, leading to our beloved chums enjoying longer, more fulfilled lives. A calculation which came into use over fifty years ago suddenly doesn’t carry much weight”.

Sizing it up

From dogs you can fit in your pocket to those who barely fit through the door, there are a myriad of different dogs around the world, each with their own unique set of characteristics. How large they are going to grow is one of them.

A Yorkshire Terrier, for instance, is unlikely to ever reach the glittering heights of a Great Dane. This is because small dogs generally grow slowly during their lifetime; large breeds, on the other hand, grow quickly in their first two years, before slowing down in later life.

Unfortunately, quick growth can result in several health problems for dogs: namely bone disease and some cancers. This is why large dogs tend to only live up to ten years, while small dogs typically live to be over 15 years old. However big or small, it may not be too late to insure your dog. Most providers will insure your dog for a new policy up to the age of 7.

A report by Banfield Pet Hospital found a direct correlation between the average size and weight of dog breeds and their life expectancy. The results showed dogs under 20 pounds typically lived to be 11 years or older, whereas those over 90 pounds only lived up to eight years.

How to convert ‘dog years’ accurately

Although the classic ‘dog years’ calculation is simple, its inaccuracy means results are a guess, at best. However, there are other ways to measure your dog’s human age – and it doesn’t involve difficult multiplications!

Pedigree’s Dog Age Calculator is a tool which considers the breed of a dog and its genetic make-up before calculating its age in ‘dog years’. The result should render a more accurate representation of your pet’s maturity. Want an answer right away? Try this alternative pet age calculator, below!

How old is your dog in human years? We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch on our Facebook and Twitter pages!