A Human Year is Equal to Seven Dog Years
Dogs certainly don't live as long as we do, so this one might seem like it makes sense, at first. But just like some of the other doggie myths on our list, the truth behind this one is a lot more complicated than a simple 7:1 ratio.
Some people back up the idea of ‘dog years' by pointing out that in their first year, puppies develop about the same amount as humans do in their first 13 years, but even that's not really consistent. Dogs gain most of their adult size in the first year, but humans don't develop into physical adulthood by the time they are 13. Even if we just look at learning and emotional development, humans develop at a different rate to dogs, but they also tend to develop differently after that stage.
The other important point is that smaller dogs generally live much longer than big dogs. Really big breeds are considered ‘seniors' by the time they're 5-7 years old, but little toy breeds are not in that geriatric age category until 9-10 years old. It can be charming to think of dogs as part of the family, and in many senses, they are, but the reality is, dogs make awesome dogs, but they make poor human beings! Treat each member of your family as an individual, including the dogs and things will go much smoother than trying to figure out how many years to mark off on their birthday each year!
To keep your dog living a long and healthy life, 3 or 5 or 7 years for every one of yours, or even more, check out the next myth on our list…