Ask LH: Is a Dog Year Really Equivalent to 7 Human Years?

Ask LH: Is a Dog Year Really Equivalent to 7 Human Years?

Do you know your pup’s age in ‘dog years’? You might think you do, but here’s where you’re wrong.

You know: supposedly, a dog is seven pooch years old on its first birthday and all that? Well, as it turns out, that figure isn’t really accurate at all, and it’s thrown even further out of whack when you realise that all dog breeds age at different rates. So, if you want to figure out your pooch’s actual age in dog years, here’s how to do it.

It’s fundamentally hard to find an equivalent between dog years and human years as our life cycles and biology differ considerably. Dogs reach sexual maturity at around one year old, for example, so already, the seven-year equivalence doesn’t make sense, but even if you move that up to 13 or 14, it still doesn’t quite fit the model.

[referenced url=”” thumb=”×231.jpg” title=”How To Choose The Right Dog For Your Lifestyle” excerpt=”There comes a point in your life when you reach the natural conclusion that the only thing missing is an animal. It often happens after you leave your childhood pets behind when moving out from the family home, have a stable job and living arrangements and a moderately healthy social life. While everything else seems to be going great, you’re left with a puppy-shaped hole in your heart.”]

Does a human year equal seven dog years?

Compared to humans, pups age quicker at the start of their lives, and then slower towards the end of their lives, so it takes some more complex maths to figure out a conversion from human years to dog years.

If you can’t be bothered to figure it out yourself, here’s a chart from Business Insider that’ll help you figure out exactly how old your dog actually is. And yes – the higher numbers at the bottom of the table really drive home the difference in lifespan between small dogs and large ones.

Small dogs are classified as 9.5kg or less, medium are 9.6kg-22kg, large are 23kg-40kg, and giant pups are over 41kg.

Interestingly enough, ‘dog years’ has been a concept for far longer than you’d think, with a text from 1268 saying that a human year was roughly equal to nine pooch years. A different figure, but turns out they were still wrong about it back then, too.

So, your one-year-old dog? Actually, a naughty teenager. Have fun with that!

Now that you know your pup’s real age, you might have to stockpile a few extra candles for the next doggy birthday you celebrate.

If you’ve got a burning question that you need answering, send them to us and we will answer it! Your question could be featured on the next Ask Lifehacker.

This story has been updated since its original publication.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


6 responses to “Ask LH: Is a Dog Year Really Equivalent to 7 Human Years?”

Leave a Reply