We have all probably tried to add up how old our pets are in “human” years, right? With regards to dogs no one formulation for a dog to human age conversion is scientifically agreed upon, and in fact the seven years to one human year is a myth. Age may differ from breed to breed, and basically the average life span of the North American or European dog is around 12.8 years of age. For the past 100 years there has been a rise in life span to most of our animal friends, from cats and dogs to rabbits, birds or even horses, thanks to better veterinary care and more nourishing foods. But, as sad as it is, with age comes the death our beloved pets.

Fred Rogers, author of a book entitled, “When a Pet Dies,” says no matter what age your beloved pet lives to be, the hardest thing for humans to deal with is their passing. This is particularly true for children whose pets are an essential part of their existence. He suggests sharing memories about the pet by holding pet memorials.

Here are some amazing facts, An African Gray parrot can reach the optimum age of 50 years, while a year in each horse’s age is equivalent to three human years thus a 26 year old horse is as old as 78 year old human being. Rabbits survive to be a typical age of ten. And in human years, a ten year old rabbit would certainly be like a 75 year old person. There is an easy way to do the computation yourself for your own pets at www.onlineconversion.com/dogyears.

Most of us wish our pets would live longer lives, and not pass away so soon. The life expectancy of any particular dog or cat is established by the stresses in its everyday life consisting of what it eats and physical and psychological stresses. The reason why larger dogs live shorter than scaled-down dogs is the fact that the huge bodies of these dogs undergo more stress than the bodies of smaller dogs. Medium dogs reportedly live to be between 11 to 14, while very huge breeds survive only 8 to 12 years. Scaled-down dogs can surpass 22 years. The average life span of scaled-down breeds is around 14.8 years, but some can survive to 18 years while the average life span of larger breeds like that of Labrador retriever is only about 12.6 years. Naturally, there will always be an exception, of Labradors surviving longer than expected.

Most canines reach full growth and sexually maturation at about the age of one, although some dogs might still need to fill out, just like a teen. A two year old dog is equal to about another three to eight years in terms of physical and mental maturity. Each year thereafter is equal to around four or five years in a human being.

Felines undergo puberty around 18 to 24 months instead of 21 years like in the case of human beings. A cat’s first calendar year is more similar to 16 cat years, and then a cat’s 2nd calendar year is more similar to five to seven cat years the equivalent age of 21 to 23 years in humans. Then you can add about four cat years for each calendar year of the cat’s life ‚Äì a 4 to one ratio. So a ten year old feline would forty in feline years.

Taking very good care of your pet is essential and as they age they should be comforted as much as feasible until they reach their remaining years. Changes in his behavior, loss of appetite, incontinence, and labored breathing are the signs of impending death.

When a pet dies it is very essential for parents to let their children say goodbye to the pet at their own pace. As a family, choose an urn for cremation, or a coffin and a plot marker for burial. Search for pet memorials websites online where you can write and share stories about your pet, or buy pet urns or pet memorial art.

Family members can also help the memories live on forever in your heart by purchasing pet memorials at www.petmemorialsfromtheheart.com — for commemorative art from Denice Lewis’ Loving Hearts pet memorial series. The piece usually starts as an authentic painting by Denice Lewis. Then a special edition of museum type prints are produced. Lewis will allow you to talk about your pet while integrating your pet’s remains on the final coating of the Loving Heart pet memorial art piece.

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