Sometimes it is necessary to independently determine the age of the pet. For example, you took a pet from an undocumented shelter or picked up a stray dog off the street. And that’s where the question about the exact age arises. But are there any reliable signs to define the age of dogs? Let’s find out!
1. Why it is important to know your dog’s age?
Knowing the dog’s age will allow:
- Choose the right care and approach for the pet;
- Do not miss the puppy’s breeding and socialization period;
- Know the time needed for timely vaccination;
- Determine the best mating period for the bitch;
- Sterilize the animal in time.
2. Dog age x human age
Are you wondering how old your four-legged friend is, translated to human age?
To get the human age equivalent of a pet, you just need to multiply it by 7 or 6.
Compare: dogs come of age at two years old, when people need to be 18 years old for that. At 18 months, the dog will feel as refreshed and happy as a person at 20.
It’s impossible to compare human and canine (or feline) ages with 100% objectivity, so we settle for those calculations which are quite realistic.
3. Determine the age of the puppy
Figuring out how old a puppy is is not as difficult as an adult dog.
- A newborn puppy has its eyes closed and there are no teeth. The puppy still does not walk and most of the time he sleeps.
- The puppy just wheezes softly to get his mother’s attention. With the help of touch, he finds his mother’s nipples, he only feeds on breast milk. It will stay that way until about 2-3 weeks of life.
- After the first few weeks, the puppy’s eyes gradually open, but he still cannot see fully. Gradually, he distinguishes between sounds and smells.
- From the first month of life, the puppy begins to walk and learn about the world around him.
- The exact age of a month to a year can be determined by the condition of your teeth.
- Up to 2 months, the animal only has baby teeth. From the second month of life onwards, baby teeth are replaced by molars.
- Before 1 year, the dog must have fully formed molars. Puppies begin puberty between 6 and 12 months.
- Large and medium breed dogs stop growing at this age. Large breed puppies continue to develop up to 2 years of age. From the age of two, the animal is considered an adult.
Pet age – eyes
The dog remains blind for up to 10-20 days of life. Before the first month, eyes must open.
The turbid, blue-gray color remains for up to one month. Eye clarity is inherent in dogs from one month onwards. It’s worth paying attention to the dog’s eyes.
In the first days of life, the dog does not hear anything. The puppy will begin to recognize the first sounds only from the second week of life and to hear fully around the 1st month. As the puppy grows, the ears grow.
Pet age – weight
Obviously, the weight of a small puppy will be different from that of an adult dog. There are approximate weight tables for small and large breeds of all ages.
For large and medium-sized breeds, other parameters are presented. By knowing how much a dog of a particular breed must weigh at maturity, you can find out if he has reached canine adulthood.
You need to be especially careful with giant races as their dimensions develop very quickly.
4. Determining the age of the adult dog
It is more difficult to know exactly how old a dog lives after the age of three. The fact is, a dog’s age is mostly read by its teeth. After formation of all molars, the animal does not undergo changes for a long time.
The dog fully develops during the second year of life. A dog that has reached not only sexual maturity but also behavioral maturity is considered fully mature.
An adult dog is distinguished from a puppy by an attitude change in behavior towards others.
Pet age – By weight
Determining the dog’s years, based on coat type, is the last thing to do. Its state is influenced by the care of the animal, the health in general, the breed.
Even a young dog can have a very thick or gray coat if not bathed for a long time.
At six months, dogs begin their first moult. Take a closer look at the dog’s face, usually gray hairs appear there.
Pet’s heat and age
Female dogs reach puberty much earlier than males. At the age of 6-8 months, females begin their first heat. If you notice an animal in heat, it means that it is definitely older than 8 months. It is important to monitor her all this time and avoid an early pregnancy.
Only a female that has reached 18 months of age is suitable for breeding . It is also recommended that males be bred only after they reach the age of two years.
When is a dog considered elderly?
The dog can be considered old when it reaches the age of seven. Characteristic signs that the dog has aged:
- The animal is less active, sleeps a lot, does not want to walk for a long time;
- Gray hair on the face appears on the pet when it reaches the age of 6-7 years;
- Hearing and visual impairment;
- Partial deafness;
- Temperament changes, animal slows down;
- Decreased appetite;
- There is no sex drive and desire to play and meet other dogs.
In people, muscles weaken with age. The same happens with animals, the older the dog, the weaker its muscles become. The muscle tone decreases, the skin loses its former elasticity.
In a young animal, muscles can be felt even with light touch. A young dog will play and play more, and an older pet will not show any agility and enthusiasm since the strength is no longer the same.