How Can You Tell How Old a Dog Is?

There are many different reasons you can look on the internet how to tell how old a dog is. If you have adopted a puppy, you don't need special efforts to know about the pup's age. But getting an older dog will require you to inquire about the age because of various health and physical issues. No matter what you have in mind, this piece of writing will let you know about all the indicators that will help you find out about your dog's age.

Older dogs have different requirements than young ones. For example, you need to provide them other food, unique exercise, and personalized bedding to prevent hip slippage and fractures. However, you can only help your canine buddy when you can tell how old the dog is and what actions can improve the health and increase your best buddy's life. Knowing about these indicators will help you calculate the age of your furry friend and take appropriate measures to provide ease and comfort to your dog in old age.

some dogs

How Old is Your Dog?


You can not tell about the dog's birthday by simply looking at the teeth, but still, they help you estimate the year of the older dogs and months of her puppies. In the first four weeks of their lives, the puppies will have no teeth at all. The humane society of the US elaborates that the chompers are the best indicators to know about the age of the puppies.

After the first month, you will witness the growth of small pointers. These small teeth are the signs that the dog has crossed the age of one month. And the second month of the puppy will reveal temporary sharp teeth. After that, permanent teeth will grow from four months that will stay pearly white until one year. Finally, the second year will show you the plaque and a little bit of wear at the back of the mouth.

The third year of the dog's life will take a toll, and you will see yellow teeth with visible plaque. The fifth-year comes with a lot of tartar with worn-down and less pointy teeth. But, on the other hand, the senior dogs will have tiny cracks and missing teeth to let you know that it is an old friend with special needs in diet and exercise.


The fur of the dog is also a good indicator of age. Just like humans, dogs also get grey hair as they grow old. Usually, the grey hair come in dogs at the age of 5 to 7 year (depending on their life expectancy). The grey hair will be visible on the muzzle, at the hunches, or the chest, and you won't have any difficulty finding them in senior dogs.

But there is a catch with the grey hair, which you must also keep in mind that, like humans, when dogs are under stress and anxiety, they will also get grey hair before the age of 5 or so. So compare the grey hair with teeth and other indicators to know about the exact age of your canine buddy.


Eyes help the dogs see, and they will also help you see the dog's age. The cloudy shade and discharge at the eyes is the sign that your dog has started getting older. Change in shine and the creation of clouds will start after or seven years in most dogs. But you must consult your vet regarding the discharge as it also could be a disease that could be taken care of by medication and care.

When dogs grow older, there are various cases that they lose their sight and ability to see because of the development of cataracts. You need to provide them special care in such a situation.


If your dog is getting aggressive and tries to attack people approaching them without any reason, this could be why the dog is losing hearing ability. When your dog is not following your commands and gets startled by approaching people, it means that the hearing ability is affected, and your dog has turned into the senior category. You must consult your vet and get them examined to know about the issue.

When dogs reach 8 to 10 years of age, all the abilities and senses start to diminish, and hearing is also one of them. Therefore, these senior dogs must be taken care of with caution and love to make them feel comfortable and relaxed.

Activity Levels

How to tell how old a dog is will not be difficult when dogs reach an older age. When dogs are young, you can tell it by the number of their activities and interest in everything around them. The losing interest in play, activities jumping, and going up and down from the stairs will let you know a senior in the house. The older dogs mostly don't bother changing stimuli in the environment because of decreasing senses and mobility due to old age.

You cannot tell about the age of younger pups and dogs, but the change in activity level will give you a clear cue about the last chapters in the lives of the dogs.

Muscles and Build

Puppies will have more enormous paws and round bones when you compare these areas with the other body parts. The energy in the body and muscles shape will provide you an insight into the early age in the pups. You don't need to be a veterinary geneticist to tell whether the animal is a pup or an adult. The real trick is getting to know about the age of the dog after the first three years. When the dog is young and middle-aged, the sleek bones with definite shape and visible muscles will show you the youth and power in the dog.

The decreased muscle tone, bony structure, or extra weight sign that the dog has become a grandpa, and now you need to take care of your friend more profoundly.

At What Age is My Dog Considered a Senior?

Until now, you have realized that the answer to the question: how to tell how old a dog is not that difficult as it seems. But the seniority in the dogs is according to their life expectancy. So the senior dogs are those who have entered the last quarter of the total age. The age of the dogs also depends on their size and breed.

When you have a Great Dane, you must be aware that this giant dog will leave you for good at the age of 8 or more. On the other hand, the Chihuahua can live double comparing Great Dane, with a life expectancy of 16 years. According to this life expectancy, the Great Dane will be called senior at the age of 6. And it will be called a senior dog after the age of 12, which is really impressive.

Young Senior Dog Indicators

  • Young dog indicators: At a young age, the dogs have clean teeth with bright clear eyes. The activity level is high, and you will have to provide them extra exercise to keep them busy. The younger dogs are more responsive to changing stimuli like moving objects, squirrels, and sharp sounds around. The sleek muscles and healthy bones will also tell you that the dog is young.
  • Senior dog indicators: As dogs grow older, there is dullness in their eyes with cloudy texture, and they also lose their hearing ability which you can tell when the dos don't follow your command. The lumps in the body are also indicators of old age; these lumps are not to worry about as they are a painless accumulation of fatty tissues. Finally, the withering yellowish teeth and lethargic attitude are enough to let you know about the arrival of seniority.

Dog Age Vs. Human Age

There is no simple formula for getting the comparison between human and dog's age. Not only the one-year dog and seven-year human formula. The age of the dogs varies according to the breed as their seniority. The larger breeds mature slower in the first year, but they become middle-aged in 4 to 5 years. And these breeds like Great Dane become senior after six and tend to live till 8 or 9 years.

The smaller or toy breeds have different ages and seniority structures. These dogs tend to live more than 12 to 16 years. This is because they mature earlier compared to the larger breeds, but their aging circle revolves slowly to keep them young until 10.

Age of dog

How to Take Care of an Older Dog at Home?

You need to take care of senior dogs with love and compassion. Provide them a soft and comfortable bed to prevent hip slippage or bone fracture. Offer them age-specific food that is easy to chew and digestible for sensitive stomachs. Ensure that the dog visits the vet more often, and you should also learn how to keep the dogs' minds busy from the vets.

Seniors the home and avoid using stairs with the dog as much as possible if they have visibility issues. Pay attention to the details and signs of disease or any other issue in the dogs, and consult your vet at once to address that issue.

Final Thoughts

How to tell how old a dog is not difficult at all. See their teeth and look for other signs like changing fur, decreased hearing, and visibility of the dogs to conclude the seniority. The teeth will tell about the puppy's age, and a middle-aged dog with preciseness and other signs like muscle and bone structure will let you know about the seniority. Then, provide food, medication, care, and affection to the dogs according to their age and make them live happy, healthy, and strong with extended life.

We hope this article equips you with the necessary know-how to best care for your dog. Got any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments down below.


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