What is a ‘Pet Year’?
Dogs and cats age more rapidly than humans. At one time or another we’ve all heard the expression ‘dog years’, but most of us are unaware of how the relative age and weight of our pets is calculated by veterinarians and others in the pet health field.
For cats, one human year is roughly equal to 6 - 7 cat years.
For dogs, it’s slightly more complicated, as size and weight also has an impact. Generally, the heavier and larger the dog, the more swiftly they age.
Our Dog and Cat Age Calculator
To help you determine the relative age of your pet, we’ve created this Cat & Dog Age Calculator chart for quick reference.
Table courtesy of Fred L. Metzger, DVM, DABVP
Pets and aging
Why does it matter how old our pets are? It’s important to keep in mind that as our pets age, we need to make changes in their nutrition, exercise habits, and even their sleep patterns to help them stay healthy and happy.
As pets age they also become more prone to disease and along with this, more likely to develop common conditions associated with their species and breed. It follows that as a responsible pet owner, when you’re knowledgeable about your dog or cat’s breed and age, the easier it is to prevent and watch for symptoms of decline before they become serious.
Not sure of your pet’s age?
If you adopted or rescued your pet and aren’t exactly sure of their real age, veterinary professionals have a variety of means they can use to estimate this. As always, you should consider consulting your veterinarian and clinic staff for help with calculating your pet’s age, their predisposition to certain diseases, and for healthy aging care and tips for your pet.
Insuring older pets
Pet insurance premiums are calculated using 4 factors: species, age, breed and postal code. Like with humans, as our pets age they are more at risk for developing certain conditions. Pet insurance coverage is available and still very viable for aging and senior pets, but it’s always better to insure them earlier to ensure they can get the most comprehensive coverage, with the lowest possible premiums and deductibles.