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Dog Years to Human Years

Sujata Iyer Jul 29, 2020
Wondering what is the conversion of dog years to human years? Read this story. You'll finally get the answer you're looking for.
"He looked at me with those tawny eyes,
And knew instantly, the truth from the lies.
He had the wisdom of 25 seers combined,
After all, one year of his life was almost 15 years of mine.
No prizes for guessing what I'm talking about. Yes, it's probably the most confusing comparison that we've tried to understand. It's the dog years to human years ratio. If you're one of those who does not know that how many dog years equal human years, there's nothing to be ashamed of. You have enough company. So read ahead to know the right answer.

Factors Affecting the Ratio of Dog Years to Human Years

Many people (including me, until quite recently) are of the opinion that 1 dog year = 7 human years. Guess what? This is, in fact, wrong. Read ahead to know how a dog's age is actually calculated and what affects its age.
  • Size: The size and type of dog matters as far as its age is concerned. A small dog is likely to live longer than a larger dog. They live 1.5 times longer than large dogs.

  • Neutering: Dog neutering also affects how we compare the ratio. A neutered dog is less prone to prostate cancer, which in turn, increases its life expectancy.
  • Gender: On an average, female dogs live longer than male dogs. The life expectancy of female dogs is 1-3 years more than males.

  • Breed and Weight: Comparing dog years to human years by breed is another factor that affects the ratio. Some breeds have a longer life expectancy than others.
Light dogs of big breeds live longer than heavy dogs of a smaller breed. For example, an Affenpinscher (small, heavy breed) will live only for about 10-12 years, while a Doberman Pinscher (large, light weight) goes on to live for about 15-20 years.
  • Constitution & Living Conditions: Some dogs, just like humans, have a stronger & more resistant constitution. This has an effect on the life expectancy. Also, proper care like how & what it is fed, when and how it is cleaned, vaccinated, etc., play an important part in maintaining its health, preventing illnesses, & increasing the dog's life expectancy.

Why is 1 Dog Year ≠ 7 Human Years

Given below is a simple explanation of why the ratio of dog years to human years is not 1:7.

  • Dogs mature earlier than humans.
  • A dog matures, both physically and sexually within the first year of being born, as compared to almost 15 years of a human being (general life expectancy being 75

  • This means that it takes a dog 1/5th of the time that it takes a human to mature.
  • So, it's logical to say that the first year of the dog's life is equal to the first 15 years of the human being's (15/75 ).
  • And if we say so, then the remaining 14 years of the dog's life are equal to the remaining 60 years of the human being's life. Which then makes the dog years to human years conversion 14/60 which comes to around 1/4. This means that every remaining dog year is equal to 4 human years.
Thus, you can see how there is no way 1 dog year = 7 human years.

Dog Years to Human Years Chart

Dog Years      Human Years
1 Year             15 Years
2 Year             23 Years
3 Year             29 Years
4 Year             32 Years
5 Year             38 Years
6 Year             40 Years
7 Year             44 Years
8 Year             48 Years
9 Year             52 Years
10 Year           56 Years

*This chart has used the above-mentioned method and assumed the weight of the dog to be approximately 20 lbs.
This was one of the simplest ways to understand the relationship between dog years and human years. Remember, this method only takes into account the life span. For a more accurate calculation, other factors like the ones mentioned above should also be considered.