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How Old Is Your Dog

How old is your dog, and how long have you had it? Did you get it as a puppy or was it an older rescue animal? Are you an older person and did you perhaps get an older animals because of your thoughts about mortality. Whichever it is, you will have experienced the enormous pleasure that the animal can bring. And you will have also experienced the enormous pleasure that you can bring to your dog.

When we ask how old a dog is, we think in years. But in a psychological sense, dogs vary, as we know. Of course, they get wiser as they get older, but some seem to be born wise, and some are anything but.

Thinking back to when the two of you met, you probably remember the smell of its fur, the look in its eyes. Unless you got an older rescue animal, then you may remember training it as a puppy, the look in its face, the happiness it gave you and the easy pleasure that you gave it.

Birthday card - Dog with text, 'Happy Birthday - you're 190 in dog years'

I’ve heard older people say they wouldn’t want a puppy because they wouldn’t want their pet to outlive them. They mean they are worried that their pet won’t be able to find another owner who will care for it as much the do

But then equally, the dog could find another owner who is terrific, and thinking otherwise is just worrying about something that might never happen. So why wouldn’t an older person get a puppy if they want to enjoy the dog’s young years?

The Dog Birthday Card

The card says “You’re 190 in dog years.” And you may be wondering how many human years that represents. Well, like all things in life it turns out to be a bit more complex than just divide by seven. That’s something that you may have heard some people say. I certainly have.

Dogs mature quickly, more quickly than humans. By the time a dog is one year old, it is as mature as a human in his or her mid-teenage years. And then it starts slowing down, so that by a certain age the dog is going to be equivalent to a middle-aged human. How long that is depends on the size of the dog.

The Bigger The Dog, The More Quickly It Matures

Big dogs mature more quickly than small dogs, which seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? So if we take a big dog as our benchmark, a human in their mid twenties would be roughly equivalent to 190 in dog years.

If you were to get a puppy of the small dog variety today, it would be 11 years old in 2030. In dog years for a small dog that would be equivalent to a sixty-year old man, and for a big dog that would be equivalent to an eighty-year old man.

How Long Do Dogs Live

A large dog has a heart rate of about 75 beats per minutes and about 670 million heartbeats in a lifetime. Small dogs have a heart rate of about 100 beats per minute and about 530 million heartbeats in a lifetime.

So small dogs live about 10 years on average, and large dogs live about 17 years.

The lifetime heartbeats of most creatures is somewhere between half a billion and a billion heartbeats. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a chicken or a whale, except the bigger the animal the nearer it is to the top end of that range.

The exceptions are monkeys and humans. Monkeys have about one-and-a-half billion heartbeats in a lifetime, and humans are ‘off the Richter scale’ as they say – with two-and-a-quarter billion heartbeats.

Who Is That Dog In The Greeting Card

The dog in the card belonged to someone who lived a few streets away from us in Edinburgh. I would see the man passing, and think what a cute dog it was. So one day I asked whether we could meet up and I would take a photograph for a card, and that’s what happened.

Those little stiff-legged cute dogs appeal to me now (they didn’t always), and millions of others, of course. There’s Snowy, from The Adventures of Tintin. And there’s the terrier owned by the principal character in the The Thin Man films that were based on the The Thin Man novel by Dashiell Hammett. Then of course, there is Eddie, the Jack Russell in the Frasier TV series. They all share the characteristic of being as smart as a whip, and that’s part of their appeal. In some ways they seem more human than some humans.

That’s A Wrap

If you like the card at the top of this article, it’s called Dog Years, and you can get to the card by clicking on Dog Years here, or by clicking the card at the top of this article. Either will get you to the page where you can buy it if it takes your fancy.

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