Meg, my West Highland Terrier died a couple of months ago. She’d reached the grand old age of 19 years and four months.
A few days later, I was reminded of the oft-quoted statistic that every human year equates to seven dog years. This mental calculation looms more largely in an owner’s mind as a dog gets older, and thoughts turn to how long the pet has left.
But if that stat were really true then Meg would have been 135 years old when she died, which seems very unlikely.
No human is known to have lived beyond 122.
So if the seven dog years to one human year is wrong how do we work out an accurate calculation?
Dogs are the most diverse species on the planet. They can vary in weight from 6 lb (3kg) to 200 lb (90kg) when fully grown and have widely differing body shapes and hair types.
This also means that there is a lot of variation among breeds in terms of life expectancy. And unexpectedly, small dogs like Meg live longer than big ones.
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