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Your dog's age in human years?

Facts & Tips
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Written by Karin Lundgren

Licensed Veterinary Nurse

I have been working for the last 10 years doing what I love - making sure our pets, especially cats and dogs, are healthy and happy. After graduating from SLU, in 2013, I have worked in both larger animal hospitals and smaller clinics, with anaesthesia, dentistry and nutrition.

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Our dogs are becoming an increasingly natural extension of the family and it is common for us as pet parents to be curious about our dog's age in human years. For a veterinarian, on the other hand, it is very important to be able to give the right recommendations and advice.

Can you really "translate" your dog's age?

There are different methods for calculating a dog's age in human years, which obviously give somewhat varying answers. However, everyone agrees that a dog's age cannot be directly equated with human years, and should thus be seen more as an estimate. How you want to use the conversion and which source you want to go for is up to you. If nothing else, it might be a reason to celebrate your dog's birthday several times each year!

Methods for calculating dog years

The most common method of translating a dog's year into human years is to count the dog's first year as 14 human years and then 7 human years for each dog year. For example, a dog of 1 year is 14 years old in human years,, a dog of 3 years is 28 years old in human years and a dog of 8 years is 63 years old in human years.

There is also research that points to other methods of calculations. For example, some scientists believe that chemical modifications of DNA over a lifetime create what is called an epigenetic clock, which can be compared to a biological clock. The formula used to determine a dog's age will then be: 16 * ln (dog's age) + 31. This means that a 1-year-old dog is 31 years old, a 3-year-old dog is 48.6 years old and an 8-year-old dog is 64.3 years in human years.

Use whatever method you prefer - but remember that it's mostly for fun!