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How old is your pet really?

 | August 30, 2012

For many years, we all calculated our cat’s and dog’s ages in human years by multiplying it by a comfortable seven. However experts are now saying this formula is terribly outdated and severely inaccurate. Below is a more realistic formula that best represents the true age of your pet in human years.


First of all, the size and breed of your dog greatly influences the rate in which he ages. For instance, a small dog matures more quickly in his first few years while a large dog matures at a more slow and steady pace.

In that case, small and toy breeds like the Shih Tzu and Miniature Pincher are considered seniors only when they hit 10 years of age while the Saint Bernard or Great Dane reach senior citizen status at the tender age of five. Medium-sized breeds like the Dachshund, are somewhere in the middle in terms of maturation and life span.

Since dogs mature so much faster than us humans, they are all of 21 years old in human years when they are only two. Thereafter they age by just four (and not seven) human years for every canine year.

Interestingly, dogs under 13 kg live the longest, gliding into their teens with apparent ease. Unfortunately dogs over 45 kg have the shortest life spans, reaching old age by just six years old.

The formula:

Subtract 2 from your dog’s age, multiply by 4 and add 21.

That would make my 15-year old Dachshund 73 in human years and not 15 x 7, an unbearably old and very unlikely 105-year old.


Cat lovers will be pleased to know their feline friends can live quite long. According to the 2010 edition of the Guinness World Records, Crème Puff is the oldest ever cat, leaving this world at 38 years old.

If your cat is an indoor-only resident, she could live well into her 20s provided she has no health issues. Outdoor cats however do not fare so well having an average life span of just five years or less.

Many of us assumed it was correct to calculate a cat’s age in human years by multiplying it by seven. However like dogs, cats too age rapidly during their first two years of life.

Here is a more accurate formula to determine your cat’s human age…

The formula:

First cat year = 15 human years
Second cat year = 9 years
Each subsequent year = 4 years

That would make a 16-year old cat a more believable 80 in human years old and not 16 x 7 = 112 years old.





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