How old is your dog? It’s a question many pet owners ask themselves. But how do you know the answer to that question? This blog post will discuss what an epigenetic clock study is, as well as how to calculate a dog’s age in human years and why it’s important.
We’ll also talk about common signs of aging in dogs and how to care for your old dog, and some tips on what you can do for your pup now so they live a long time.
The American Kennel Club has provided two simple methods using which you can calculate your dog’s age. One of them is a simple ready reckoner and the other involving a simple math. There is another method called the epigenetic clock study. You can also estimate your dog’s age by looking at its teeth, skin, eyes, activity etc.
Once you know your dog is aging, the way you care for your dog must change which will keep your dog comfortable. Things like giving your dog a balanced diet and ensuring that it gets its exercise etc. will help your dog live longer.
Dog Age Compared To Human Age
Dogs are known as “man’s best friend.” But just how much do we really know about them? Dogs have been by our sides for centuries, and yet there are still some things that continue to surprise us about these furry friends.
One common myth is that one human year is equivalent to seven dog years. But this has now been disproved by the University of California. However, there are some professionals who still believe that the seven year theory cannot be discredited completely. If you would like to know more, you can visit the American Kennel Club at the following link to read more.
The American Kennel Club Methods
For a lot of dog owners, calculating their pup’s age isn’t always simple. One birthday doesn’t necessarily mean one year has passed.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has created two ways to measure our furry friends’ ages. They have also provided a ready-made table where you can simply find your dog’s age. Let’s look at both.
For the 1st year of the dog add 15 human years.
For the 2nd year of the dog, add 9 human years
Then from the 3rd year onwards add 5 years per every year completed.
Just use the ready reckoner provided by the American Kennel Club. The following image is from the AKC page with a slight add on.
The Other Theory On Dog Age – The Epigenetic Clock Study
The Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, University of California, published a paper titled ‘Quantitative Translation of Dog-to-Human Aging by Conserved Remodeling of the DNA Methylome’.
This research is popularly known as the epigenetic clock study because it relies on the genetic transformation and study of the DNA changes in dogs and humans on a competitive basis. Since the study is in relation to age it is called epigenetic clock study.
The chief outcome of this research was that when dog DNA and human DNA were compared it was found that the way they aged did not move on a parallel straight-line basis when plotted on a graph. This was termed as a non-linear outcome between dogs and humans.
This research directly examined the veracity of the theory that 1 dog year is equal to 7 human years and then arrived at a method of calculating dog age in relation to human age taking into account the size of the dog, the breed of the dog, etc.
This research also took into account four categories that is, juvenile, adolescent, mature and senior while testing the DNA. Hence the accuracy of the formula is more trustworthy.
This research uses mathematical calculations and graphing to arrive at a method of calculating dog age. However, the same seems to be too complicated for a casual read.
The study was conducted by a group of researchers using dog and human blood samples. Persons from the Field of genetics, reproduction etc are all involved end the combined effort resulted in the arrival of a formula.
A new method of calculating the age of the dog in comparison to human years was arrived. The formula is 16 ln(dog_age) + 31. Pretty complicated right? I wished the authors had written a simpler paper too. !Lol!
Why Is Understanding My Dog’s Age Relevant?
Dogs age differently than humans and grow up a lot faster than humans. So it impacts the way we care for them. For example, when they are younger and have more energy, they need more food and exercise. But as they age it becomes more difficult for them to digest larger meals .
Older dogs may also suffer from arthritis which makes movement painful and sometimes impossible. They may need a special diet or even medicine to feel better!
Many dog owners have wondered at some point, “What is my dog’s age in human years?” This has always been a matter of curiosity.
So, if not anything the calculation may just quench your thirst for that knowledge. It also gives you a better perspective about your dog.
You might not think that it’s important to know your dog’s age, but there are many benefits to knowing. When you understand their age, it can help you determine if they’re at a healthy weight or if they may have any health concerns.
It can also be helpful when determining the type of food and nutritional requirements for your pup like higher or lower protein, vitamin requirements, etc.
Pro Tip: You can even look at procuring pet insurance which may be very helpful in covering veterinary bills. Here is a link where you can compare options. https://www.usnews.com/insurance/pet-insurance
How Do You Estimate A Dog’s Age?
You may think that you can’t tell how old a dog is just by looking at it, but that’s not true! You can estimate the age of a pup or dog by looking at its teeth.
By taking into account the wear and tear on their teeth, you can get a pretty good idea of how old they are. Here is a table to help you gauge the age.
Loose skin may seem like an odd topic to discuss when it comes to dogs, but as owners, we should be aware of the different stages of a dog’s life and what they entail.
Loose skin is one such physical marker that can indicate the age of a pup or dog. The more loose skin, the older the dog.
You can estimate the age of your pup or dog by looking at the grey hair it has. It isn’t an exact science, but it will give you a good idea. Older dogs will have more grey hair than younger ones.
So, if your furry friend is starting to go a little grey, you can assume that he or she is getting up there in age. But don’t worry – they’re probably still doing just fine!
While there is no foolproof way to know a dog’s exact age, there are some general rules of thumb that can help you out.
One way to estimate how old a pup or dog is, is by looking at their eyes – more specifically, at the cloudiness in their eyes. Older dogs tend to have cloudy eyes whilst younger dogs have clear eyes. Poor eyesight is another indication.
The stiffness in their body can actually be used as an estimate of how old they are. As animals age, their cartilage breaks down which causes the joints to fuse together.
This makes it much harder for them to move around easily and puts a lot more stress on their muscles.
Have you been noticing that your pooch isn’t as active as it used to be? Maybe it’s slowing down and doesn’t seem to have the same energy it used to.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Older dogs do show signs of decreased activity.
If you want to know how old your dog is, the best way is to take them in for a veterinary examination. It’s not always easy to tell.
If you want to know how old your dog is, the best way is to take them in for a veterinary examination. The veterinarian can even get a bone exam done.
Did You Know? – Smaller Dogs Live Longer?
If you are thinking about getting a dog, it might be worth looking at the size of your living space first. New research has found that smaller dogs live longer than larger breeds.
Scientists have been baffled for decades as to why small dogs live longer than big dogs. Multiple opinions have been rendered on this aspect and a consensus is yet to be arrived at on this aspect.
However it is universally agreed that smaller dogs do live longer than larger dogs.
How To Care For Older Dogs?
Your old dog may seem like he’s doing just fine, but it’s important to get him checked out by the vet regularly.
Many health problems that occur in older dogs can be treated if caught early enough, so make sure you bring your furry friend in for a check-up at least once a year.
Older dogs often experience joint pain, vision and hearing loss, and bladder or kidney problems, so the vet will be able to prescribe medication or treatment to help keep your dog happy and healthy until his golden years.
Change The Diet:
Do you have an older dog? Have you noticed their appetite has decreased or they are not eating as much as they used to? This is common in old dogs.
As we age, our bodies produce less natural enzymes that help us digest food which can lead to weight loss and other health issues. Your senior dog needs to maintain a healthy weight because it provides them with more energy!
Luckily, there are some easy things you can do at home to make sure your older dog stays happy and healthy. You may need to switch their diet based on your vet’s advice.
Older dogs are often overlooked because people assume they are healthy, but as time goes on, their needs change. They may need some supplements meant for older dogs to make sure they stay happy and healthy.
For example, Omega 3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in joints and improve mobility. Glucosamine helps maintain joint health which is especially important as a dog ages.
Keep Them Warm:
Older dogs need to be kept warm. But how do you keep your old dog warm without using a bulky, expensive heating pad? There are some simple ways to make your older dog warmer this winter.
The first thing you can do is find out if your dog has any allergies or sensitivities to fabrics by trying different bedding materials like fleece blankets and sheets.
Tips To Help Your Dog Live Longer
Provide A Balanced Diet:
You wouldn’t feed your child an unhealthy diet, so why would you do that to your dog? Dogs have different dietary needs based on their breed.
Feeding your dog a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to keep them happy and healthy since it provides your dog with all the nutrients required for its body.
Ensure Regular Exercise:
You’ve heard it before, your dog needs exercise. But what does that really mean? It means they need to be taken on walks or hikes at least once a day to get the body moving and the brain stimulated.
They also need some form of playtime in their crate, backyard, or living room every single day! Playtime can be as simple as tossing around a ball for 30 minutes or playing fetch with them for 15-20 minutes.
Regular exercise helps the dog’s overall agility and helps them digest their food too.
Dental Care & Hygiene:
Dogs are notorious for having bad breath. But did you know that it can actually indicate a much bigger problem? Dental care and hygiene is extremely important for dogs, and not just for their breath.
Poor dental health can lead to other health problems, including liver and heart disease. So make sure to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and give them chewy treats to keep their teeth healthy! Your dog will thank you for it!
Many dog owners wonder what they can do to keep their pup healthy and happy. One of the most important things you can do is to regularly deworm your pet. The reason for this is that it helps prevent tapeworms, which could otherwise cause vomiting, weight loss and diarrhea.
It also prevents roundworms, which may cause poor appetite, lethargy and diarrhea as well as other worms that may live in a dog’s intestine without causing any symptoms at all!
Keep Flea & Tick Free:
Fleas and ticks are not only annoying to the dog but to the owner as well. These pesky bugs bring disease and infection too. Plus, it’s a lot of work to get rid of them. Keep the dog well-groomed and healthy and ensure they are flea and tick free.
Pro Tip: Do consult your vet before using any product on your own since they can be very harmful.
Vaccinate on Time:
Dogs are beloved members of many families, and it’s important to keep them healthy and vaccinated so they can live long, happy lives.
Some dog owners may be hesitant to vaccinate their furry friends, but doing so is one of the best things you can do for their health.
This will prevent your dog from contracting any fatal diseases or even falling sick.
Dog age to human age conversion is no longer the 7:1 formula. Research on this aspect is ongoing and it is now universally accepted that a lot of aspects play a role in calculating the age of the dog in terms of human years.
Until new research establishes a more stable, reliable and different method for determining canine life expectancy, the present calculations will prevail.
Knowing that your dog is aging will help you provide age specific care and keeping your pet with you for longer time to come. Which of the calculations did you try? Do let me know.