By Dr. Marty Becker
Real age of your pet is...Q. I've read that "one year equals seven" isn't true anymore for dogs. What's the new guideline? And how do you figure out how old a cat is?
A. The old "dog years" formula (one year of a dog's life is equal to seven years of human life) never really worked for any dog, based on a comparison of the general lifespan of humans vs. dogs. Cats age at a more predictable rate than dogs do, mostly because we don't see the range of size and body types we do in dogs, but the 1-to-7 formula doesn't work for them either.
See Also: Why Does My Cat... Not Show Her Age?
Consider two 10-year-old dogs, a Great Dane and a Chihuahua. Under the 1-equals-7 formula, they'd both be considered the equivalent of a 70-year-old person. And while that's probably not too far off the mark for the Great Dane (10 years for a Dane is indeed near the outer edge of life expectancy), the Chihuahua is likely still acting middle-aged.
But even the Great Dane didn'tRead More »from How Old is My Pet in People Years? Probably Not the Age You Think