How to know the age of an abandoned dog
When you adopt an abandoned dog or pick up a stray dog from the open, it is very common to ask how old you are. Although sometimes we are surprised by their very human behavior, so far, no dog can talk to give us the answer, so we must look at their physical characteristics to try to give a rough answer.
If you have just adopted a dog and you wonder how to know the age of an abandoned dog, in the next ONsalus article we will explain how to do it by observing his teeth and other physical features of the dog.
How to calculate a dog's age: teeth
Sometimes we find a stray dog that we do not know and we wonder how to know his age. At first glance, we are able to recognize if it is a puppy or an adult dog, but how to recognize the intermediate ages of a dog? To do this, the study of teeth can be a fundamental tool, since over the years and the wear and tear produced by its use we can determine in an approximate way how old a dog is.
The puppy's teeth according to age
Until after two weeks the puppies do not start to get their teeth, which means that if the dog does not have teeth, it does not exceed two weeks. First, the upper fangs begin to emerge followed by the lower ones, between the third and fourth week of life the incisors grow. From there and until he is four months old the puppy sees how the rest of the teeth grows. Of course, this first denture is milk and it is from 4 months of life when the final starts to come out. This whole process can be extended until the year, therefore, if you do not have complete definitive teeth, it means that the dog is not yet a year old.
The teeth of the adult dog according to age
Towards two years of age the first signs of wear in the canine teeth begin to appear. This is especially noticeable in the fangs and grindstones, which are no longer so sharp. It should be noted that at that age it is still not very noticeable if you are not a professional.
By the fourth year of life that wear is much clearer, both in the wear of the incisors, and in the loss of white color typical of young dogs, the pieces become a more yellow tone. It should be noted that color is not a 100% reliable sign either, since depending on the feeding of the dog it can be very variable: there are 2-year-old dogs with yellow teeth and 4-year-old dogs with white teeth.
To summarize, below we explain the dental features of dogs depending on the age of the dog:
- Around the year : the teeth are white and sharp.
- Towards two years : of a more yellowish tone, especially near the gums. It is also more worn.
- Between 3 and 5 years : There are symptoms of tartar accumulation, for example, with dark spots on the pieces.
- Between 6 and 8 years : tartar is already evident, as well as tooth wear. The teeth lose their natural shine.
- After 8 years : it is likely that some teeth are missing.
How to know the age of a stray dog
Beyond the denture, there are other features and physical characteristics that can give us an idea of how old a dog can be. As we have already mentioned, these indicators are not exact science and, basically, they give us an approximation, but together they can give us a pretty accurate photograph. Here we explain what you should keep in mind to know the age of a dog :
- The level of activity : generally, puppies and adult dogs have a quite different way of behaving. Also, when dogs are elderly they also change the way they behave and the level of activity they need. So, if they have a very active and regalón surely it is a dog under 2 years and as the years go by, especially from 8, it becomes less active.
- Gray hair on face and snout : they do not usually appear until they are 6 years old and, normally, they do it after 8.
- Loss of tone : the muscles of dogs, like humans, lose vigor over the years. This is especially noticeable in the bellows, which become more flaccid and hanging. However, depending on the breed and the dog in particular, it may change.
- Bone degeneration : with age there are different conditions in the bones of the dog that can indicate us at what stage of life is. For example, if you observe the characteristic parrot's beak in the column, a dog with more than 8 years old is probably treated. The same happens with dogs with osteoarthritis.
- Visual health : there are certain conditions in the dog's eyes that can guide us about the age of the dog. Opaque eyes, that is, degenerative cataracts, is a problem that usually appears after 8 years.
It should be mentioned that most of these physical traits are only applicable to assess the age of a healthy dog with normal aging. For example, in the case of congenital cataracts, they can occur at any age and not past the 8. The same happens with certain bone problems, which may come from birth.
How many human years does my dog have
For a long time we have heard that 1 year of the dog's life equals 7 human years . The reality is that this is not true, since although dogs have a less life expectancy than people, the equivalence is not in the aforementioned 7 years. In addition, there are many other variables that must be taken into account, because not all dogs live the same years. For example, depending on race or size they have a higher or lower hope.
Similarly, the aging of dogs is not the same throughout their lives, they do not age as quickly during the first 5 months of life as after 4 years. To know more about the human age of dogs, we invite you to read the following article where we explain how to calculate the age of the dog in human years.