How old is your dog human?

Another research confirms that multiplying by seven is wrong


How is the dog’s age calculated in human years? Previous studies had already highlighted the difficulties in creating a generic equation as the two species age at different rates and it is therefore difficult to compare them. Further confirmation comes from a review published in the Veterinary Science journal and conducted by the University of Nottingham which identifies different age groups.


If you live with a dog you have probably asked yourself: “How do you calculate the age of a dog in human years?” In fact, it is now known that the old method based on the multiplication of the dog’s years by seven has no real scientific basis and therefore cannot be considered valid. Various scientific researches have therefore tried to give an alternative answer to this fateful question but the comparison between canine and human age is difficult to demonstrate precisely because the two species age at different rates, as we had already explained in a previous article. Recently, however, a study, published in the journal Veterinary Science and conducted by the University of Nottingham, has put together all the latest scientific discoveries in this regard, revealing that the dog reaches maturity around 24 months, becomes “senior” from 7 years onwards. and elderly around 12 and also confirming that the equation is actually difficult to determine.


Researchers: There is no generic equation


Researchers have suggested that the outdated method of multiplying by seven probably stems from the fact that a dog’s life expectancy is seven times less than that of a human, which does not mean that one dog year equals seven humans . In fact, it is not easy to determine the precise age of the dog by comparing it to ours: this in fact depends on various factors such as the breed, the cognitive and behavioral traits of the individual. Then the dog matures faster than our species, which makes it even more difficult to formulate a precise equation. To give “guidelines”, however, the researchers have identified different age groups that can be very useful to support educational programs in order to give people the right information about the behavioral changes that the dog will have during aging.


Different age groups


From the review it emerges that, overall, a dog reaches adolescence around six months, maturity around two years and becomes elderly around seven. However, this is not true for everyone: Great Danes, for example, generally have a life expectancy that does not exceed six years, but the rate of aging is similar to that of other dogs. In fact, there is no evidence that shorter-lived breeds age differently, but instead simply die earlier, suggests researcher Naomi Harvey author of the review. On the other hand, they reach maturity around 24 months, which correspond to about 25 human years, while they become “senior” from seven years onwards. The real “geriatic age” comes around 12 years and it is from this moment on that we need to be more careful because various health problems could arise.

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