Seven dog years ≠ one human year

How old is that doggy in the window?

It’s common knowledge that dogs age faster than human beings, but according to a recently published article in Business Insider, the rule of seven dog years to one human year is far from accurate.

“If humans actually aged seven times slower than dogs, then many of us would be able to reproduce at age seven and live to be 150 years old. Obviously, that’s not the case,” writes Jessica Orwig.

The truth behind the way dogs age is actually based on the fact that unlike humans, dogs age more quickly at the beginning of their lives — usually during their first two years, and slower toward the end of their lives. This is why dogs are able to reproduce after only one year of being born.

However, according to the article, calculating the age of your dog in human years is more difficult that you might expect and is generally based on the size of your dog because smaller breeds tend to live longer than larger breeds.

The chart located here breaks down how to calculate your dog’s age in human years based on the correct size category: small (20 pounds or less), medium (21-50 pounds), large (51-90 pounds), or giant (over 90 pounds).

While tracking down the origins of where the “seven year dog myth” originated has proven difficult, one of the earliest examples similar to this belief was found in an inscription at Westminster Abbey that dates back to the year 1268 and calculates that one human year is equivalent to nine dog years.

As stated in the article, a veterinarian at Kansas State University told The Wall Street Journal that the seven year rule is thought be more recent and could just be a marketing ploy that encourages owners to bring in their pets to the vet at least once a year.

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