How To Tell A Dog’s Age
September 20, 2023
Having an estimate of your pup’s age is important so that you can understand their dietary needs, healthcare and even how much exercise they should be having.
When you purchase a puppy, you generally know a dog’s age but with many dogs coming from rescues, it can be a little more difficult to know how old they are.
Your vet can examine your dog’s teeth to give you an approximate age. In puppies it’s more accurate, but once adult teeth have come in your vet can only base their estimates on wear and staining. This can vary greatly, depending on previous dental care, diet and even what chew toys your pup likes!
Just like people, dogs also turn grey as they age although this can vary but it will give you an indication that your dog is becoming a senior. This will usually start around 6 -7 years of age.
As a dog ages, the lenses in their eyes become cloudy or blueish, which is normal. Even young dogs can develop cataracts, making the eye appear cloudy or white, which can make this method a little unreliable.
Older dogs have walked a lot of miles and their pads become hardened and darker as they age and the nails may also become brittle. Aging dogs often begin to lose muscle tone with their spine appearing more prominent. Middle aged dogs may develop fat pads over the lower back area
If you are really wanting a more exact age for your pup, you can explore DNA testing. A laboratory will be able to measure the length of your dog’s DNA and be able to tell you (almost) exactly how old your pup is.
It’s difficult to be completely sure of the ages of dogs between 2-8 years as some dogs mature faster but if you aren’t sure of your dog’s needs, speak to your vet who will be able to make health care recommendations for you.