Knowing an estimate of your dog's age is important for a number of reasons. Knowing his age will help you to provide the best care possible – from food choices to exercise options. It's not uncommon to ask “How old is my dog?” But, it is virtually impossible to get an exact answer to this question.
Chances are, if you adopted your dog from a rescue or shelter, you know his approximate age. Veterinarians will examine the dog before adoption and make an estimated guess as to how old he is. Still, it's not an exact science.
Rescued pets don't usually come with a lot of information about their history. Knowing their age can help you decide what diet is best for them, how much exercise they will require, what type of supplements they need and how to provide proper veterinary care.
How Old Is My Dog?
5 ways of how to tell your dog's age
The first you should check when trying to answer the question how old is my dog is his teeth. Your dog's teeth are the best indicator of his age. Puppies are usually fairly easy to spot, but their teeth can tell you what stage of puppyhood your pooch is in. If your dog is an adult, his teeth can help you narrow down an approximate age.
Your dog's permanent teeth will come in at around 5 months of age. The back molars are the last to come in at around 5-7 months. If your dog has all of his permanent teeth, you'll know that he is not a young puppy.
At about 1 year of age, you will begin to notice bumps and ridges developing on the top of the front teeth. Between 3-4 years of age these bumps and ridges will be about 1/2 worn down. During this stage of life you will also notice tartar beginning to build up.
By the time your dog is 7 years old, the bumps and ridges on the top of his front teeth will be completely worn down. If the top of your dog's front teeth are flat, he is probably well into his adult years. Keep in mind that dogs who chew aggressively, have been abused or have dental health issues may have worn these bumps and ridges down earlier than the average dog.
Cracked or loose teeth can be another sign of aging. Just remember that these dental health problems could also be caused by poor nutrition, abuse or early onset dental disease.
Another sign that your dog is aging could be joint pain and mobility issues. These problems could also be due to an injury or health condition, so be sure to ave your dog evaluated by a veterinarian if you notice any discomfort.
Cloudy eyes are another sign of aging in dogs. If your dog's eyes look cloudy, he is likely a senior pooch. It could also mean he has cataracts or other eye problems, so be sure to mention this problem to your vet.
You may also be able to answer the question how old is my dog by looking at his coat. Lightening of the fur will occur as a dog ages. If you notice white or light fur around your dog's eyes, muzzle or chest area, it could be a sign that he is reaching the senior stage of life.
Lightening of the fur may also be the result of stress and anxiety in dogs. If you haven't already noticed, none of these suggestions are 100% accurate. The best thing that you can do is to observe your dog's behavior, evaluate his appearance and try to put all of the information together to form an educated guess of your dog's age.