NEW RESEARCH: Is 1 Dog Year Actually The Same As 7 Human Years?

NEW RESEARCH: Is 1 Dog Year Actually The Same As 7 Human Years?

Author WDF Staff


New research is trying to discover how the lifespan of some dogs can be compared to the lifespan of humans.

It has long been believed that dogs age seven times faster than humans, but new research has shattered that myth and wants to explain more precisely how our furry friends actually age.

The old "philosophy" would mean that a one-year-old dog is an equivalent of a seven-year-old human. However, different breeds age at different speeds, with large breeds aging ten times faster than humans, and some small dogs may age half as slow.

A major study called “The Dog Aging Project” examines the genomes of 10,000 dogs to determine why dogs that can live up to 20 years actually live that long.

french-bulldog looking up

Researchers want to identify specific biomarkers of dog aging and translate them to apply their findings and compare them more accurately to human aging.

Professor Joshua Akey of Princeton University said:

This is a very large, ambitious, wildly interdisciplinary project that has the potential to be a powerful resource for the wider scientific community. Personally, I think this project is exciting because I think it will improve the health of dogs, and ultimately - human health. "

Professor Akey said the research, believed to be the first of its kind, would produce "one of the largest sets of genetic data ever produced for dogs," helping scientists understand how genetics affect aging.

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The research will also help “answer more fundamental questions about evolutionary history and domestication of dogs,” he added.

The “super-centenarian” part of the study will compare the DNA of dogs that live incredibly long with those that live to the average age for their breed.

Dogs are one of the most genetically diverse species in the world and have been bred in a large number of different sizes, colors, and body types.

According to the RSPCA, the average lifespan of certain popular dog breeds can vary from 5.5 years for a Dogue de Bordeaux to 14.2 years for a Miniature Poodle.

dogue de-bordeaux

Researchers from The Dog Aging Project predict that their findings will apply to human aging because dogs experience almost the same functional decline and aging diseases as humans.

Veterinary care also has many parallels with human health care. Dogs share most of the same living environment as humans, which is a significant determinant of aging and cannot be re-created in any laboratory environment.

Professor Daniel Promislow, of the University of Washington and the project leader, said:

"Because dogs share a human environment and have a sophisticated health system, but live much shorter than humans, they offer a unique opportunity to identify genetic, environmental, and life factors associated with a healthy life expectancy."

World Dog Finder team

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