Raising Your Paws - Your Pet Parent Resource

How to Tell Your Dog’s Age in Human Years. (Blog #77)

Published: 10/05/2020
two older dogs standing beside each other

We like to compare our pets ages to ours – wondering how old they would be in human years. Forget the old information  – every one year of your dog or cats life, is equivlent to 7 of ours. That is very outdated. Currently, the newer estimate for cats is at one year, they would be 15 in human years and by 2 years old, they would be 24. Then for each additional year of their life, count another 4 years. So a 4 year old cat is like a 32 year old human. (at 2 they are 24 then add 8 years for the other 2 years of their life.)

For dogs,  there is brand new, scientific, research that was just published this July, 2020 that offers a new formula for more accurately comparing  a dog’s age to a human’s age.   In this weeks episode of Raising Your Paws podcast, I explain some of the details of the study and who conducted the research. You can listen below.  If you want to know more about the study, links to the articles that were my sources are also below.

As promised in the show, here is the graph that was created by the study.

To calculate your dog’s age in “human years” based on epigenetics, find the dog’s age along the bottom axis and trace your finger straight up until you reach the red curve. Then trace your finger straight over to the left to find the corresponding human age. Credit: Cell Press

Kindof cute that they used photos of the actor, Tom Hanks, for the human comparison.  The research was done with only Labrador Retrievers, and since its’ known that some dog breeds live longer than others, additional study’s will be conducted with other dogs, to see if the results hold up, but the researchers are predicting that this graph, in all likelihood, will apply to all dogs.

Happy cats are those that learn new things.

 A good way to do this is by training them and Clicker Training is the best way to accomplish this.  Also in the episode below, I explain that you can increase the positive mental welfare of your feline, by using clicker training to teach them new things. I mentioned that I would offer a list of some of the things you can teach your cat using this method.

From Karen Pryor’s booklet, “Clicker Training for Cats, here are some of the behaviors that are useful for kitty to learn.

To reliably come when called.

To walk on a leash outdoors.

To permit grooming and handling without a struggle.

To stop mewing and twining around your legs while you’re cooking.

I highly recommend this short and clear instruction book by Karen Pryor and she writes about many other skills cats can master such as running agility courses, doing tricks just for fun and following cues, like “stay” and “down.”

Let me know if you have trained your cat to do special things or when you start clicker training, how it is going. Let’s begin a discussion in the comment section below.

Resources for this blog:


 “How Old is Your Dog In Human Years? Scientists Develop Better Method than Multiply by 7″ By Heather Buschman, Phd. 

Study Finds a Dog Year Doesn’t Equal 7 Human Years, Makes Graph to Learn Your Dog’s True Age, by Kelli Bender.

Getting Started: Clicker Training For Cats, by Karen Pryor.