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How old is my dog?

October 31st, 2005, 01:26 PM
We adopted our dog (a Jack Russell terrier mix) from the anti-cruelty society last week. They told us he was a year and a half. I took him to the vet this weekend and he stated he was much older, but couldn't tell me his age. How can I find out what his age is? Is this something only a vet can tell me? Or can I go to another professional? I'm not too happy with the vet, but he's a county vet and much cheaper than a private practitioner.
I'd like to know his age so that I can ensure he is getting the proper nutrition and care for his age. Any ideas?

October 31st, 2005, 01:54 PM
Usually the best way to tell is by the front teeth. Younger doggies have teeth with sharp ridges while older doggies' teeth are more rounded. Even then, it's hard to tell exactly what age because if the dog was mistreated, the teeth age can look older than the dog really is.

Here is a pretty good link I found (but it has no pics..):

I tried to find one that showed a comparison of young and old dog teeth to no avail...

But then I thought, "I know somebody with a really good pic of teeth..."

So you see below on the incisors, they aren't completely round, they have sort of processes sticking out on either side? Those get worn off with age. Usually by 4 years old they don't have them anymore. And by 6 the canines get quite round.

This is Jemma at 3.

jesse's mommy
October 31st, 2005, 01:58 PM
I got so scared when I first saw that picture! :D

Than I realized, it was just a REALLY BIG SMILE!

October 31st, 2005, 03:32 PM
Thank you so much for looking this up for me! Well, I must say on Albert, while his mouth is MUCH TINIER than Jemma's... :) ...he does appear to have ridges on his teeth still and they aren't as round.-- so maybe he is still under three. They are in bad shape though and he's getting a cleaning in 2 weeks..but I've been told it is possible if he never had good dental care or ate the wrong food that his teeth can look a lot older than he is. He has some serious plaque buildup, but only on his canine and incisors.
I am having a hard time getting him to eat his food - I'm feeding him Science Diet since that's what they were giving him at the shelter. He is willing to eat it once I mix a little broth or gravy in there. I tried mixing canned food in there and he LOVED it. He would see the can and start jumping! However, it then gave him the most awful gas!! :yuck:
So now I keep him on dry food with broth or gravy..he eventually eats it. I vary his snacks though. (he has quite the picky pallete i must say!) but he loves carrots, frozen green beans, hot dogs ( i really limit those though) and liver sausage. He has about 4 fave name-brand doggie treats that i vary too.
This is a learning experience, everyday it is something new with our little guy!
Thanks for all of your help! :thumbs up

October 31st, 2005, 03:35 PM
If you're ever looking for advice on dog food, head on over to the dog food forum. We're pretty repetitive and consistent with our advice. :)

Also, new studies show that tartar and tooth issues are not influenced significantly by whether the food is wet or dry but rather by the quality of the food. Science Diet is not one of the best out there, so you might consider switching, if you have the means. :)

Lucky Rescue
October 31st, 2005, 03:49 PM
Get a good quality canned food to mix with his dry food. Higher quality should not cause gas. It would be much better than using gravy, if you mean human type gravy.

October 31st, 2005, 03:59 PM
I got so scared when I first saw that picture! :D

Than I realized, it was just a REALLY BIG SMILE!

The red eye doesn't hurt the Demon Dog like quality but she's a CUTIE!!!

October 31st, 2005, 04:13 PM
LOL Yes, that, believe it or not, is the red eye fixed a bit. It was a little too demony in the original... She's my kitty. She purrs a lot. :D

October 31st, 2005, 06:40 PM
Prin, I love how you sneak that pic into every post! (I really do, I'm not being sarcastic)

October 31st, 2005, 07:47 PM
Prin, I love how you sneak that pic into every post! (I really do, I'm not being sarcastic)
LOL I'm always looking to stick her in, but this time, I swear it only occurred to me after I searched and searched for another one.