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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.
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.