If you own a dog, you should know that dogs age faster than you do!
Generally, the life expectancy of a large dog such as Great Dane and Bullmastiff is up to 8 years, whereas smaller breeds such as Chihuahuas and Shih Tzu can have a lifespan of up to 15 years.
So you can expect the average lifespan of a dog to be around 12 years.
But why do dogs age so fast?
Is it due to the commercial foods that they are eating nowadays or are there other explanations for that?
In this post, I’ll share with you some reasons as to why your dog ages faster than you.
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Dogs Naturally Grows Up Faster Than Humans
It is simply because of how their bodies work. The process of aging in dogs is different from humans.
Due to a dog’s much faster metabolism than that of a human, their body ages much more rapidly.
As a result, their aging process works at a different rate when compared to humans by year.
Recall the time when your baby starts growing teeth, it will be when he is around 6 months old.
For puppies, they will have their teething as young as 3 weeks old.
That explains why, when your dog reaches his middle age, your baby could just be in his childhood!
Hence, your dog will reach his senior stage (when he is 10 years old) much faster than a human.
This is also why, when you are away from your dog for 3 hours, he sees that you have been missing for almost a day.
This is because a day for your dog is only 3.5 hours of your time.
Do Dogs Really Age 7 Times Faster Than Humans?
Yes. This is generally true. A dog’s biology is very different from a human’s biology.
It is common for a dog’s biology to be 7 times older than a human.
A dog that is 7 years old is equivalent to a human who is 49 years old in biological terms.
So if the average life expectancy of a dog is 12 years old, which means, in biological terms, a dog can live up to an age of 84 years old in human age.
That’s considered longevity to me!
Of course, there are going to be some variations on a dog’s lifespan, depending on the breed and health of the dog.
The rate of aging for any individual dog varies considerably based on their genetics and lifestyle.
This is why some dogs can live up to 20 years when their “usual” lifespan typically ends at the age of 12-15.
There are things you can do to slow down the aging process in your dog, and extend his “golden years.”
These include the foods you give him, the vet care you provide for him, the exercise he gets, and the love and attention you lavish on him.
In most cases, diet and exercise have a much larger impact on longevity than genetics.
Feed him with high quality diet. Your dog needs a certain amount of protein in his diet to maintain his wellness. However, too much protein can be bad for him.
Specifically, it can cause him to become obese, which is a leading cause of early death in dogs.
In fact, excess weight in an adult dog can be even more dangerous to his long – term health than being fat when he is still young.
So, make sure your dog gets a well-balanced and nutrient diet.
Exercise is the best medicine for your dog! It not only makes him healthier, but also keeps him fit and lean.
It helps to maintain his muscle and bone mass, enhances his immune system, and lowers his stress levels.
In short, exercise helps him to live longer and happier.
So make sure your dog gets at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. You can start by taking him on a short walk or play with him in the park.
Gradually, worked up to longer walks and play.
Even a bit of exercise will make a big difference. It improves his blood circulation and, most important of all, prevents him from being obese.
Will Dogs Ever Be Able to Live Longer?
With the advance of medical technology, it is possible for a dog to live up to 20 years old.
In fact, one of my very old dogs (chihuahua) is more than 15 years old, and he is still going strong because he had such a great quality of life.
The key to his longevity lies in how he lived his life.
He was very active and enjoyed running around in the yard, playing with other dogs in the park, eating all the nutritious food that I gave him and taking daily walks.
I believe food plays a vital role in his longevity as what he eats daily will determine his overall health and quality of life.
I will only provide him with a raw diet as I do not really trust the quality of any processed dog foods and kibbles as they tend to possess harmful ingredients or preservatives which can possibly increase his chances of getting cancer and other health – related illnesses.
Preparing for a home-cooked raw diet certainly takes up some of my time, but I feel that the time is well spent considering that my dog will benefit from it over time.
By combining fresh organic vegetables and fruits with raw meat, eggs, and dairy products, my dog gets all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds that he needs to stay healthy.
Studies have shown that dogs that eat processed dog foods are much more likely to get cancer, arthritis and many other age-related diseases.
It has also been proven that a dog with cancer has a much lower chance of survival if he is on commercial pet food than if he is fed with home-cooked raw diet.
With the availability of vaccinations and medical care, dogs are now well protected from most of the deadly diseases and living beyond their “usual” lifespan is certainly attainable.