There are many reasons why it’s important to know a dog’s age. From the type of diet he should be eating, to what type of behavior to expect, and to determine if he is suffering a health problem or is simply getting older and slowing down.
While it’s quite easy to tell a puppy from an adult dog, many fully grown dogs look a lot alike whether they’re 3 or 13. Fortunately, since our pups can’t speak up and tell us what year they were born, there are a few simple ways to make a close estimate of a dog’s age.
Examine the Dog’s Teeth
Checking your dog’s teeth is the most common (and easiest) way to know how old he is. Normally, dogs develop all of their permanent teeth when they are about 7 months old.
1. If your pooch’s teeth are all clean and white, it is possible that he is about 1 year of age or younger.
2. Once you see a yellowish discoloration at the back of his teeth, your pooch may be about a year or two.
3. When a minimal tartar build-up is present and if some of his teeth wear off, he may already be about 3 to 5.
4. If your dog shows a more extensive amount of wear, as well as tartar presence on his teeth, then he may likely be anywhere between the age of 5 to 10.
5. Heavy tartar accumulation, severe wear, and missing teeth may suggest that your pooch is more than 10 years old, and may likely need older dog vet care.
Looking at the Other Indicators
There are other signs that may give you an idea how old your dog is, too. These include his behavior as well as his other physical characteristics.
1. Study the dog’s nose. If he has been developing white hair around his snout and whiskers, then he’s likely to be 7 years old and up.
2. Check his eyes. As dogs age, their eyes sometimes become slightly opaque. If the dog’s eyes appear cloudy (or just not bright and clear) chances are, he’s an older pooch.
3. Finally, evaluate the dog’s behavior. Some common signs of old age would include stretching more often, avoiding going upstairs, and a lowered level of interest when it comes to playing.
While none of these indicators are an exact science in and of themselves, comparing several factors will help you come to a fairly accurate conclusion about your dog’s age. With a good guess at his age, you’ll be able to give him the proper level of attention and care.