Animals, like us, humans, also age and do so faster than we do. What are the most noticeable signs of the passage of time? How can I know how old a dog is if I don't know exactly when he was born? This question is very common in adopted animals.
In ExpertAnimal we want to help you so that you can answer this question for yourself, without having to resort to a veterinarian. There are very noticeable signs that let us know how to know the age of a dog and here we will tell you.
Does a dog year equal 7 human years?
For years, many people tried to find out the age of the dog in human years, however, it is not a reliable source to determine the degree of old age of the dog and it is not useful to know its age if we do not know it.
What happens if we want to celebrate his birthday but we don't know what number to put on the cake? It is common for us to find it hard to know the exact age and, sometimes we err thinking that, having gray hair, the dog exceeds 6 years. Not all races age in the same way, but there is one detail that can never lie to us. Do you know what we are talking about?
How to know the age of a puppy
We will start highlighting that they are teeth will reveal age of our dog. However, in the case of puppies it is even more important to know their age, more even than in adults, since depending on that we will know if they should drink milk or if they already eat solid food. It is best to open your mouth, but there are other data that will help us:
- From 7 to 15 days of life: At this stage the puppies do not have teeth. They are guided by tactile stimuli since they have eyes and ears still closed. They have at this stage several reflex or involuntary responses, pure stimulus. We will have the suction reflex that, when they bring something to their lips, they will take it and press as if it were a breast to obtain their food. In the case of perineal reflex, it would be the mother in charge of activating it by licking, but we can give it a little tap in the anus to see it close and open without problems and, the excavation reflex where they push any surface looking for the warmth of their mother and their breasts.
- From 15 to 21 days of life: Upper incisors (6 are) and fangs (2 are) of milk. In small races they usually take longer. At this stage they open their eyes and ears. The reflections disappear and they are already walking, seeking to make mischief and their food. They will still drink milk but the teeth that have not yet appeared appear.
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How to know the age of an adult dog
- From the year and a half of life to two and a half years: We can see a wear or scratch of lower central incisors, which will begin to show a more square shape.
- From 3 to four and a half years: We will appreciate that the lower 6 incisors will become square, mainly due to wear.
- From 5 to 6 years of life: the wear of the upper incisors due to scratching will be evident, ours is in the years before old age.
- From 6 years of life: there will be a greater wear of all the teeth, there is more tartar and the fangs also become more square than pointed. They can also lose pieces, but it will depend on the feeding of our dog and the lifestyle he leads. From this moment the dog prepares to enter its old age stage, which begins at 7 years of age.
If, despite reading this article, you still do not know how to identify the age of your dog, either adult or puppy, do not hesitate to go to your veterinarian of trust
If you want to read more articles similar to How to know the age of a dog?, we recommend that you enter our What you need to know section.
Check your teeth
The most reliable way to estimate how old my dog was was by examining his teeth.. Puppies up to five weeks of age probably do not have teeth, while those between five and eight weeks will have sharp temporary teeth like needles.
Your puppy will begin to have permanent teeth around three or four months of age and these will remain white, bright and clean until the first year. Afterwards, your teeth may begin to show some wear. At first, you will see spots and plaque just at the back of the mouth.
Around three years, most of your teeth will be slightly yellowish and will have visible plaque. Dogs around five years of age tend to have abundant tartar, less pointed or even slightly worn teeth and an increased risk of dental disease. And dogs older than 10 years will often have loose, cracked or missing teeth.
How old is my dog according to his fur
Similar to humans, most dogs will start to get a little gray when they age. Between 7 and 10 years of age, your dog is likely to develop some gray or white on the muzzle, chest or hips.
But nevertheless, the early appearance of gray fur is not necessarily a sign of aging and, in reality, it can be the result of stress or anxiety, as in humans.
How old is my dog looking at his eyes
The eyes are another place where your dog can show his age. As a dog ages, its eyes may begin to cloud or develop some secretion. This is a normal part of the aging process, which begins to appear when a dog is between six and eight years old.
But nevertheless, It is a good idea to talk with your veterinarian to make sure the change is not affecting your pet's eyesight or causing discomfort.. Some dogs will lose their vision completely or develop cataracts as they age.
How to calculate the real age of a dog
It is easy to determine the biological age, when we have the dog's records or if we have it since I was a puppy. However, if we do not have such information there are other ways to calculate your age, such as: the study of some physical characteristics.
With the following steps, it is possible to calculate the real age of the dogs:
Pay attention to your hearing
Vision is not the only sense that can change with aging. Younger dogs generally have a very acute hearing. But you may notice that an older dog has trouble hearing when you approach or to answer your call. The veterinarian can verify hearing loss and help you take care of a dog that can no longer hear.
Inspect the denture
It is necessary to establish at what stage the teeth are. Normally, puppies develop all baby teeth when they are eight weeks old, while when they are between six and seven months old, they will have developed all definitive teeth (which are characterized by being longer), these will help calculate the real age of the puppy.
If the dog has all definitive, clean and white teeth, you may have about a year and a half or two.
How old is my dog according to his muscles
You could also discover your friend's age by observing his muscle tone and body shape.. Puppies tend to have soft, rounded bodies with little muscle tone. They are also likely to have legs and ears that seem too large.
Young and middle-aged dogs that are in good health tend to have some visible muscles and an elegant and defined shape. An older dog may have a decrease in muscle tone, carry a little more weight or begin to become a bit bony.
Evaluate the state of the teeth
From the first two years of life, most dogs will begin to have a certain yellowish tone on the posterior teeth, and the accumulated tartar will begin to be evident after this.
Many dogs usually start to show a wear on the incisors (front teeth) around three and five years, this wear will gradually increase with the aging of the dog.
An excessive accumulation of tartar and possible evidence of gingivitis (inflamed and red gums) will probably appear at five years. Generally the loss of denture It will reveal that the dog has reached maturity and it will be necessary to take it to the veterinarian for proper dental care.
However, it should be borne in mind that factors such as genetics, race, dental care history and use, could affect their appearance.
Mobility and activity level
If your dog is younger, it is likely to move easily and be anxious to play or chase. As they age they become less energetic and often begin to have difficulty climbing up or down stairs, jumping or running.
Older dogs may also show less interest in play and prefer a nap on the couch instead of running in the park. Monitor your dog's activity level and look for signs of stiffness or limited joint mobility.
Evaluate the size and growth of the dog
If the dog continues to grow, it means that it is not yet more than two years old, all this according to the race size.
Most small dogs usually reach their full size when they are approximately one year old, however, large dogs, especially giant breeds, take about two years to reach their maximum size.
Evaluate muscle tone
Young dogs have more muscle because of their physical activity, while older dogs are slightly fatter or bony because they have less activity.
Likewise, if the dog shows more rigidity when moving, means that you are getting older and therefore you are older.
How to calculate age in puppies and young dogs
Denture is undoubtedly the best way to know the approximate age of a dog without the help of a veterinarian, since in fact veterinarians also use these same techniques to specify the age of dogs.
If our dog is a puppy and still has no teeth in his mouth, it means that his age is between one day and fifteen days old. During this cycle they do not have teeth since they are in the process of formation.
From the fifteen days to the month of life, the puppies develop the incisors and the fangs. The incisors are the small teeth that form between the upper and lower fangs. If the puppy only has these teeth, we know that his age does not exceed the month of life.
From the first time of life to the third month of life, our puppy will develop all his milk teeth. They are characterized by being very thin and also weak, since they are teeth without roots. Colloquially they are known as needle teeth, because due to their thinness and how sharp they are, small needles can be stuck in our hands (when we play with our dog).
From three to eight months of life our dog will begin to pull the milk teeth, replacing them with their final teeth. These are stronger, bigger and harder, and their color will be much whiter and brighter.
From the eight months of life to the twelve months of life the dog will have completely made all the transition from milk teeth to definitive, wearing a perfect denture and without wear.
As you see, calculate the age of a dog Young or puppy is very simple if you look at your teeth. It is impossible to determine an exact age but we can get very close.
How to know if our dog is adult or elderly
Specifying the age of an adult dog is more complex than when it comes to a young dog or puppy, but we can get a good idea also based on its teeth, wear and other physical aspects of the dog.
Dogs that have one to three years of life show a perfect denture but with slight wear on their incisors (the incisors are the teeth that are between the fangs). Your incisors will gradually wear down until they acquire a smoother shape, without appearing as sharp.
From three years of life to six years of life the wear of the incisors becomes much more noticeable, acquiring a more square shape. The fangs also begin to wear out by acquiring a more rounded and less sharp shape, although this does not mean that they are weak.
After six years of age, his teeth will wear down considerably, losing some teeth or showing the appearance of tartar if the dog is being fed with feed (commercial food, croquettes). We will also appreciate spots on the truffle (the truffle is the dog's nose) and obvious signs of old age.
Other signs that can help us calculate age
Not all dogs have the same life expectancy since while small breeds have a half-life of fifteen years, large breeds barely have a hope of eleven years of life. This does not mean that they can not live longer, there have been cases of large dog breeds that have reached even twenty years of life.
However, it does mean that large breed dogs age faster than small breed dogs. So the following symptoms will always be more noticeable in large breed dogs than in small breed dogs, even if they are the same age.
- Appearance of gray hair: Dogs over six years old begin to show gray hair on their snouts, turning their white hair over the years. However, small breeds begin to show gray hair later, from the age of eight normally.
- Hair shine It is losing over the years, which also involves the appearance of gray hair in the rest of the head and body.
- Dog's energy It is waning with the passing of the years, while when they are puppies and young they are very energetic and playful, when they become adults and enter old age they prefer to walk quietly and not have too much hustle.
- The appearance of diseases as the osteoarthritis in dogs It usually occurs in elderly dogs, whose joints have>
With all the information provided you can get a clear idea of how old your dog is, in order to give him all the attention and care he deserves.
Don't forget the genetics
While these methods might help me calculate how old my dog is, not all dogs age the same way. Depending on your breed, medical history, diet and activity level, your dog may show signs of early aging or stay "awake" in its last years.