Dr. Hunter Finn, a vet from Arlington, TX, has some groundbreaking news for animal-lovers: one human year does not, in fact, equate to seven dog years. In an informative TikTok video that's making its rounds on the platform, Dr. Finn delicately explains that dogs actually age much faster when they're younger. Fortunately, that process slows down as time goes on, but we can't help but feel like we've been living a lie.
"OK, so you know that one saying that one human year equals seven dog years? It's not true!" he says in the clip. "A 1-year-old dog equals a 31-year-old human. And a 2-year-old dog is 49. You don't even wanna know what a 7-year-old dog is." He adds, whispering, "62."
As the owner of a 7-year-old black lab, it seems Dr. Finn's calculations track. While my pup is certainly no longer a spring chicken, so to speak — he definitely takes a little longer to get up these days! — he still enjoys an afternoon stroll and a trip to the dog park every now and then. So yeah, I'd agree he's about 62, give or take?
"OK, so you know that one saying that one human year equals seven dog years? It's not true!"
Although I was glad to hear that the aging process slows down as doggos get older, I was a little confused by the math at first. Thankfully, Dr. Finn pointed to some helpful research that compared human and dog DNA while discussing his video with BuzzFeed.
"The study looked at these chemical marks that change with age called 'methylation marks,' which both human and dog DNA share," he explained. "Through this method, they could quantify this information, determine how fast these people and dogs are aging, and compare it between dogs and humans . . . Again, this is all very new information that we are learning, but at the same time it's very exciting and I can't wait to see what else they discover."
Because of these findings, he underscored the importance of taking your dog to get regular annual checkups. "It's so important for pet owners to realize that pets do age at different rates than we do, and it makes keeping up-to-date on their health that much more important," he said. "I can't tell you how many times I need to justify the importance of yearly checkups and lab work to make sure their pet is indeed healthy."
Dr. Finn continued: "Many people would never believe that their 3-year-old puppy could have cancer, for example, but we as veterinarians see this far too commonly. This is just a prime example of our misconception of pet aging, and is an area we could teach more about."
Welp, consider my mind officially blown.