As veterinarians we often get asked the question “Does a dog really age 7 years for every one human year?” This is a popular theory but not really accurate.
The fact is that dogs age very rapidly during the first two years of their life. In fact by 2 years of age, they have matured to a level equal to a 24 year old human. Beyond that point, different breeds age at different rates.
The general rule is that the larger the dog the more rapidly they age. For example a Great Dane is often considered to be a “senior” by the time it is 5 years old. In contrast, a Chihuahua is still in his prime at 8 years old.
It is kind of fun and informative to have an understanding of your “furry friends” stage in life. The chart below gives a general guideline for estimating your dogs age: