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Aging Signs: When is a Dog a "Senior"?

 
Like people, dogs are individual in the way they age. Certain breeds, mixed breeds, and, in general, smaller dogs tend to live longer. A small dog of less than 20 pounds might not seem to show any signs of age until she is 12 or so. A 50-pound dog won't seem old until about 10. Larger dogs begin to show their age at 8 or 9.

 

It's encouraging that the average lifespan for dogs has increased from 7 years in the 1930's to more than 12 years today. With the right care, it's not uncommon for dogs to live to 14 or 15 these days. Using established guidelines to determine when your dog might qualify as a senior will help you to understand changes in behavior or to anticipate a change in health status. On the basis of your knowledge, you will be better able to identify and approach health problems in an early stage, when they may be more easily treated. Following is a table to give you an idea of the relationship between a dog's age and a human's. Note that the weight of the dog is related to his age in human years:

 

A Dog's Age in Human Years

Age Up to 20 lbs 21-50 lbs 51-90 lbs Over 90 lbs
5 36 37 40 42
6 40 42 45 49
7 44 47 50 56
8 48 51 55 64
9 52 56 61 71
10 56 60 66 78
11 60 65 72 86
12 64 69 77 93
13 68 74 82 101
14 72 78 88 108
15 76 83 93 115
16 80 87 99 123
17 84 92 104 Red numbers =
senior
Blue numbers =
geriatric
18 88 96 109
19 92 101 115
20 96 105 120
Chart developed by Dr. Fred L. Metzger, DVM, State College, PA. 

 
Tufts University published the following guidelines for defining a senior dog: " The point at which a dog qualifies as 'aged' varies. Veterinarians generally consider small dogs to be senior citizens at about 12 years of age, while large dogs reach the senior stage at 6 to 8 years of age. This roughly corresponds to the 55-plus category in people."

 

 

 

 

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DISCLAIMER
The information contained in this site has been compiled from numerous studies, research papers and journals for the purpose of offering consumers and professionals information about our health and nutrition products. None of the information herein should be construed as a claim for cure, treatment or prevention of any disease. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. All matters regarding physical health should be referred to your own health care provider or other medical professional. The statements in this web site regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be reproduced in any manner for the public or private use without the written permission of KALA Health, Inc., except in the case of quotes embodied in critical articles or reviews. Entire site copyright 2002-2007.

 

This site was last updated on November 29, 2011