Senior Dog

Understanding how dogs age

Many of us celebrate our pets’ birthdays — but have you ever wondered what their equivalent age is in human years?

Happy dog & Owner

The most common rule that people use is to simply multiply their age by seven. So a one-year-old puppy is thought to be like a seven-year-old child, and an 11-year-old dog is like a 77-year-old senior citizen.

In reality, it’s more complicated than that and depends partly on their size and breed, Princeton University explains.

Big dogs tend to age the fastest — maybe 10 times faster than humans — while smaller breeds may live to be 20 years old, with their “dog years” about five times human years.

Princeton researchers are leading the genetics work for a long-term project, founded in 2018, which is studying tens of thousands of dogs over the course of their lives to develop a full picture of dog health and ageing.

Amongst other things, the researchers will look at 300 of the oldest dogs in the cohort to see if they can identify the keys to their longevity.

“One part of the project that I am super excited about is a ‘super-centenarian’ study, comparing the DNA of exceptionally long-lived dogs to dogs that live to the average age for their breed,” said Princeton geneticist Joshua Akey. “This is the first study of its kind in dogs (to my knowledge), and I think it’s a clever way of trying to find genetic differences that contribute to exceptional longevity.”

At Petwise we specialise in providing cover for older pets, with no upper joining age limit on our policies. Senior dog insurance will help you ensure that you can give your four-legged friend the care they deserve, right through to their golden years.