How Can You Tell How Old A Dog Is?

How Can You Tell How Old A Dog Is?

If you are a pet owner, you must have searched for the information about how you can tell how old your dog is.

The information you have found on the Internet probably isn’t scientifically correct, implying that there is no scientific proof or research based on that subject.

However, the following information can tell you what you can look for that can help you determinate the age of your dog:


Teeth can be one of the most tangible evidence for proving your dog’s age. Puppy teeth can begin to drop out at 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 are any puppy teeth left. This can be done by looking at your pet 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 on 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 an 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 a diet. When you feed your dog with soft food, like tinned or pouched, the tartar will get built up faster and will be more evident. Dry food, or kibble, will not let the same level of tartar formation.

If you have a habit to brush your dog’s teeth, 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 free of the usual formation of plague, and tartar. Large marrow bones should be avoided, especially if they have been cut lengthways because these can break and damage his teeth.

Hair Skin And Coat

Like humans, dogs can reveal their age through the hair and skin, or coat. Middle to old age can be determined with greying around the muzzle and the top of the head or eyebrows. This depends because some breeds 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 skin is losing elasticity, becoming dryer and losing muscle tone when it gets old. This is more evident when your dog does not take exercise regularly, or the diet quality is poor.


With eyes, you can notice lenticular sclerosis. It usually starts from six to eight years of age, depending on size and breed. This condition is usually mistaken for cataracts. Dogs get cataracts, but sclerosis is more common and can indicate a dog’s age.

General Abilities

One more thing that can help you to decide your dog’s age is its general health status or abilities.

  • If your dog is quite slow and sleeps more than it is awake, then it 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 habits to know how old it is. 

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