Comparing One Year of a Dog to Seven Years of a Human Is a Myth

Most of us have this long thought-to-be-true idea that one dog year equals to seven human years. So, if you have a two-year-old puppy at home, it is already 14 years old when compared to humans. Therefore, if you have a ten-year-old dog at home, it is supposed to be basically a 70-year-old grandpa. However, these calculations are not accurate according to expert findings.

Direct Correlation Doesn’t Work 
The team of scientists from San Diego University in California came up with a new technique that doesn’t use the direct correlation between the dog’s age and the human’s age and it shows that dogs age much faster than people early on in their lives and then the process gradually slows down. The research also showed certain connections between human and dog development. For example, it showed that approximately a seven-week-old puppy is as old as a baby of nine months. 

DNA-based Research
The whole research was based on the molecular changes on the surface of DNA in a sample of 104 Labradors from the age of 0 to 16 years. Thanks to that they found out that molecular changes, the so-called process of methylation, influence the expression of certain genes. During their lives, dogs go through “shutting down” of certain genes they no longer need or their bodies fix genes in which mutations occur. 

Common Milestones for Dogs and People
Both people and dogs share the processes of shutting down or fixing the genes as well as they also have some similar physical life milestones, such as the replacement of teeth, the onset of puberty or sexual maturity. However, the time when these occur is different. 

Aging Is Fastest until One Year of Age
The whole research also came up with a formula that can help to determine the age of every dog. It means that a one-year-old puppy is on a similar level as a 31-year-old human. The human equivalent of a two-year-old dog is 42 years, and a three-year-old puppy is approximately as old as a 49-year-old human. This pattern makes it clear that the aging of dogs gradually slows down. At this rate, a 7-year-old dog can be compared to a 62-year-old human. 

The following table shows the age of a dog and its equivalent in human years:

1 dog year  31 human years
2 dog years  42 human years
3 dog years  49 human years
4 dog years  53 human years
5 dog years  57 human years
6 dog years  60 human years
7 dog years  62 human years

Researchers also introduced a formula that can be used to for further calculations. However, it’s not as simple as the previously used one with direct correlation. The human years of a dog can be calculated as six times the natural logarithm of a real age of a dog increased by the constant of 31. 

Related articles

Cat on a leash: How to do it?

Cats love fresh air. At least most of them do. However, not all of them have the opportunity to enjoy freedom in nature. Especially cats living in cities spend a lot of time indoors without the opportunity to run freely. That is why cat owners may...

Interactive toys for dogs

It is a well-known fact that every dog likes to play. However, not all dog owners use the option of interactive toys. These toys, in addition to being fun and an outlet for energy, also offer the possibility of development. They have a positive effect...

Dog hygiene: Proper dog care

Our pets are often members of our families, so it goes without saying that we want to give them the same privileges and comforts as anyone else. Although we couldn’t imagine it in the beginning, our canine companions follow us everywhere. On the...

CBD Products: When can they be beneficial?

We usually want only the best for our pets. That is why we often look for ways to improve their quality of life and make sure to support their health as much as possible. We feed them with the best on the market, include regular walks and activities...

Dogdartbee: When a disc is thrown at a target

In this next part of our series dedicated to dogfrisbee, an activity where the dog is thrown a disc, which he then catches and brings back, we focus on the discipline of Dogdartbee. This discipline comes from the Netherlands and its main essence is...

Felinotherapy – When Cats Heal

Like dogs, even cats may have therapeutic effects on patients. This treatment method is called felinotherapy and is suitable for both chronically ill patients, who may need help with coping, and those who suffer from long-term stress. Cats can bring...

Choosing a puppy: What to consider?

Sharing a home with a puppy is a great joy as well as worry. Especially if you have no previous experience with a dog or other domestic animal. Before getting a puppy, you should take into account a number of things, think about them carefully and...