Sunday, November 15, 2009

13 Million Senior Dogs in America

Humans are living longer lives these days and as it turns out, so are our pets. There are approximately 13 million SENIOR dogs in the United States today. That is, any dog over 10 years old. The reason? It's a combination of three things. More responsible pet ownership, a stronger human - animal bond, and better veterinary care and pet nutrition.

"Chanel", a wirehaired dachshund, was the worlds oldest dog, until she died in Aug. of this year (09). She was 21 years old and was equated to 120 in human years.

It's common practice to calculate a dogs age by simply multiplying the number of human years by 7. It's difficult to apply that formula to all breeds because of the variability in aging. According to Martha Smith, director of veterinary services at Boston's Animal Rescue League, the more accurate way is to figure a one year old dog is equivalent to a 12 year old person. A two year old dog is equivalent to a 24 year old person. Then, for every year after that, you add four years. So, a 10 year old dog would figure like this:  12 + 12 + 8 x 4  = 56  as opposed to :  7 x 10 = 70

I am not so sure that is true for the Gordon Setter. Gordons are known to be slow at maturing and even though the equation above is suppose to have taken that into consideration, it still doesn't seem  accurate to me. My 2 year old Gordons act more like a 14 year old human than a 24 year old human. Most of the time, if a Gordon is going to TEST or TRY his owner, it's at about 2 to 3 years old. And my 3 year old's are more like 21 than 24. Maybe the Gordon is the exception. What do you guys think?

Source: Life in Dog Years, Many Pets Living Longer By: Kin Campbell Thornton, contributor


  1. From my experience they matured slowly till they were about 5YO then they seemed like they leveled off with little change until they were about 12-121/2. At that point, I noticed a decline in their hearing, a lack of interest in play and activities that they always enjoyed coupled with a slow decline in health. My first setter died at 14 years and 5 months; my second is still going at 15 years and 2 months. Good food, exercise and preventive health care really make a differnce. Looking back on their care, I think I'm going to spring for pet insurance for future pups. The longer lifespan comes with a price and it can get pretty expensive.

  2. The same could be said for us humans. Living longer is expensive. Artificial knees, hips and eye surgeries are all pretty common these days. People are living to be 110 - 115. Insurance is a necessity for us, for sure. You might have the right idea, insuring your Gordons.

    How did you trip go??

  3. It went well. I got on the road early Wednesday and lost the rain after crossing the first line of mountains. The new trailer and truck handled well. Had a lot of fun camping and enjoying the mountains! I spent most of Wednesday and Thursday checking out some ares that were recommended but I couldn't figure out how to get to a place called Turkey Ridge. When I got home and downloaded the Astro, it indicated there was an old road that lead to the ridge but I didn't see it while I was there. I can't say enough about the Astro. I can download the tracks onto the USGS topo and Google Earth and see exactly where I was. I didn't see any birds except a flock of turkeys on the road (good thing). The rut was in full swing and I saw more bucks than I think I've seen in a year. Hope to get back out soon but firearms for deer opens a week from Saturday and there is another muzzleloader seeason after that. I don't like to be out with the dog during the deer firearms season. Grouse closes on January 31 so I'll have to work around the seasons and the weather. I have a few closer locations that I think I can do as a day trip so I may give them a try too. Enjoyed the post on the porcupines. I've seen them In New York but I don't know if we have them here. Something else to worry about.

  4. Apparently, porcupines are rare in Maryland, but can be found in the western part of the state.

    I understand about the deer hunters. As in my past blog, ORANGE is so important during this time.

    I have heard the Astro is a lot of fun. Sure was neat to see the path of a Gordon on one. Tim loves his also. We'll get one, one of these days.

  5. Porkies are rare here but apparently increasing their range south into the state. Several roadkills were noted this past year. I'm not sure I can send you a file from the Astro but I probably can figure it out if you want to post a map as a example. I'll check it tonight and see what's involved. I'm still learning all the features but it's helpful to see where you were, find your way back the car, keep track of the dogs and mark locations of interest.

  6. That would be very cool. You can send it in an email if you want. That way I could post it in a blog, instead of the comment area. Thanks Art!

  7. Art, I'm not sure if my email address is on this site.So....