If you are a big pet owner, you must have, for one time, searched for the information of how you can tell how old your dog is. The information you might probably glimpse on the Internet is not scientifically correct, implying there is no scientific proof or research. The answers you find out are not totally the same. However, the following information can tell you what you can look for and some implication for the age of your dog.
Teeth can be one of the most tangible evidence for proving your dog’s age. When dogs start out their lives, puppy teeth can begin to drop out approximately 18 weeks. After around six months, all these teeth will be replaced by adult teeth. Therefore, you can check your dog’s age by seeing if there is any puppy teeth left. This can be done by looking at his chewing habit to relieve the itch and the pain as the adult teeth set and settle into the gums.
Another sign should be tartar build-up his teeth. From twenty to twenty-four months, tartar seems to form around the molars instead of the canines. By five years of age, this tartar will get clearer and begin to have impact on the canines’ base.
When your dog turns into the middle age, the incisors begin to wear down.
How to Determine Your Dog’s Age Through His Teeth?
The second thing you can think of to determine your dog’s age is his diet. When you feed your dog with soft food, like tinned or pouched, the tartar will get built up faster and will be clearer. Dry food, or kibble, should not let the same level of tartar formation, just if it is not softened down with warm water.
If you have a habit of brush your dog’s teeth, maybe with canine toothbrushes and toothpaste, tartar can be staved off. Dogs can scrape off the tartar under sedation for other operations. If you feed him with raw food, especially raw and meaty bones that they can gnaw on, it can keep teeth quite free of the normal formation of plague, and tartar. Lar marrow bones should be avoided. This is especially true if they have been cut length ways, because these can break and damage his teeth, like carnassials.
Hair Skin and Coat
Like humans, dogs can reveal their age through the hair and skin, or coat. Middle to old age can be forecasted with greying round the muzzle and the top of his head or eyebrows. This can be not totally true for some breeds of dogs because they can grow grey sooner. For reddish, yellow, and gold colored dogs, the top of their head and muzzle often turn white in the middle age.
For skin, elasticity can be a sign. You can notice your dog’s losing elasticity and becoming dryer, and losing muscle tone when he gets old. This is more evident when your dog does not take exercise regularly, or the diet quality might be poor. The coat can get coarser and drier with no sheen of health and youth.
With eyes, you can notice lenticular sclerosis. It usually starts from six to eight years of age, variously with size and breed. This condition is usually mistaken for cataracts. Dogs get cataracts but sclerosis is much more popular and can indicate a dog’s age.
The initial onset of it can be distinguished by thin lines across the lens of the eyes. About eight, it will become a slight grey, white or bluish tinge. It is good to know that this has no impact on the vision until the dog is very old.
One more thing to notice to decide your dog’s age is about his general health status, or abilities.
- If your dog is quite slow and he sleeps more than he is awakes, then he might be in the late middle or old age.
- Dogs past their middle age and coming to the old age often have a bad odor that does not seem to fade away even with washing.
- The ability to jump, stiffness, and joint pain can also show that your dog is at old age.
- Deteriorated hearing in the later years can also be a sign even though your dog’s sense of smell seems not to change at all.
As mentioned before, these indicators are not 100% exact in terms of science. The problem is that you can notice your dog’s behavior and habit to know how old he is. One useful tip for you, if you are not a scientist, is that you can try different indicators to conclude how old your dog is.