When a stray dog or cat is picked up and sent to a shelter or rescue, how is its age determined? Is it a “best guess,” or is there some type of blood/genetic test that is performed?
Another determining factor is if the animal is spayed or neutered. For instance, an unspayed dog will have a small vulvar area, whereas an older female will have a larger vulva, possibly more pigmented. Same with mammary glands: A younger dog (pre-delivering a litter) will have smaller, non-pigmented mammary tissue. While these changes might not be as apparent to non-vets, they’re part of the whole picture.