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When is My Dog Eligible for a Doggie-AARP Card?

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Just before I turned 50 years old I started getting solicitations to join AARP.  That’s how I knew I was entering my senior years of life.  But there is no Doggie-AARP (that I know of), so how do we know when our pooches are considered “old dogs”?  At some point we begin to witness them slowing down but most of us ignore that until it can’t be denied any longer. Maybe his muzzle starts to turn gray. Or she lays around more than she used to. Those are certainly signs, but there is also some data to help us know when our best buds are becoming senior citizens.

The general rule of thumb is the last 25% of your dog’s life is considered his senior years. Since different breeds have different lifespan expectations, the year your dog enters old age depends on his breed.  Below is a chart of the 10 most popular breeds of dog (according to AKC) their average lifespan and the point when they’d be eligible for a Doggie-AARP card, courtesy of OldDogCareGuide.com.

Old Age Chart For Dogs

Remember though, these are only averages.  Just like some people live much longer than the average life expectancy for their generation. My Golden Retriever, Jake, according to this chart, lived three years beyond the average life expectancy of his breed.  I still think he went into his senior years when he was about nine years old, though.  He just had a few more “golden” years. (pun intended.)

What’s your experience been?  Do you have an old dog? Is it one of the breeds mentioned above?  How does her behavior correspond with the stats?  Or if you have breed that’s not on the list and you know it’s average life span, please share that with our readers below.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar Of Mike Hummel

    Mike Hummel


    I have a 15 year old Keeshond/Samoyed mix (with a few added ingredients!). She has remained incredibly and healthy all the years, but her latest physical showed some signs of future kidney trouble, so I’m very worried. She looks and feels great, though, as far as I can tell. She’s definitely less sharp in the watchdog department (hearing may be starting to fade) and a little more quirky (goes after our kids’ food openly–never used to do that) and barks for seemingly no reason, but still agile and does a 30-40 minute walk without tiring, so we’ve been very lucky.

    I hope I get three more years with her–my kids love her and losing her would break everyone’s hearts.

    I should just add that she is one of the most unusual looking dogs I’ve ever seen (I’ve been told this by groomers, vets, strangers, people driving by who stop dead in the street and ask about her)–she looks much like a wolf, with a wild black and white swirly pattern. And to top it off, I found her as a puppy, living under my neighbor’s car. She’s been a wonderful, mysterious, always gentle, and usually fun companion. She made my dog-phobic wife and her mother dog persons.

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