Do dog years really tell your dog’s age? |

Do dog years really tell your dog’s age?

By Kathleen Williams-Miller

Watson here and according to the latest scientific findings it’s a misconception that one human year is equal to seven dog years. There is some logic to this myth, because people observed that with optimal care an average-sized dog would live one-seventh as long as its human owner. However, the truth is more complicated.

Using the American Animal Hospital Association Canine Life Stages Guidelines, veterinarians divided dogs into six categories: puppy, junior, adult, mature, senior, and geriatric. Life stages are a more practical way to think about aging, because it’s based on development stages instead of the number of years.

The breed of your dog and size are the most important contributors to life expectancy. Other factors include nutrition, weight, and health care. Because not all dogs are the same size, they age differently. Your dog’s size — be it small, medium, large, or giant — directly affects its life expectancy.

Human doctors already treat their patients according to life stages. An adult isn’t treated the same as a baby and this approach helps doctors tailor treatment to a patient’s particular life stage. The same is true for dogs. Treating a dog in their specific life stage allows the vet to hone in on stage specific treatments for your BFF.

The life stages are:

Puppy- 0-0.5 months- Birth to sexual maturity

Junior- 0.5-0.75 months- Reproductively mature, still growing

Adult- 0.75-6.5 years- Finished growing, structurally and sexually mature

Mature- 6.5-9.75 years- From middle to last 25 percent of expected lifespan.

Senior- 9.75-13 years- Last 25 percent of life expectance

Geriatric- over 13- Beyond life span expectancy

Actually, this doesn’t answer the question to how old your dog is, but it can provide a rough comparison of the stage of life your BFF is at. Looking at this chart and looking at my pet parents, I’m figuring we are at about the same stage. We are at the big “S” (Senior), but let’s just pretend it stands for super. I’m sure we can all agree on that!

XOXO Watson


We are still searching for someone with a big truck 52” (that can be loaded from a dock) who is willing to pick up food from Chewy’s. If you are that person, give us a call at 775-423-7500

Items for the CAPS annual garage sale. Call 775-423-7500 to have us pick up items.

Aluminum cans. If you have cans to pick up, give us a call (775-423-7500), and we will come get them. You can also drop them off at CAPS.


Eric Powell for always thinking of CAPS and donating dog food. All tails are wagging for you!

Jacob Currier for adopting Xena, a long-term resident who has been at CAPS since 2015. You are absolutely purrfect!

The wonderful person who adopted Luke. A big pooch smooch to you!


CAPS is open, by appointment only, for adoptions, SNAPS, and food pantry. We cannot accept volunteers until further notice. Call 775-423-7500.


August Pet Holiday: Black Cat Appreciation Day is Aug.17.

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CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, NV 89407. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. CAPS’ email address is Please visit the CAPS website ( and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likeable.

CAPS is open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kathleen Williams-Miller is a CAPS volunteer. Contact me at