People have assumed to understand the real ages for their dogs, but how many can translate these ages into human years? New research has found out that we’ve been doing it wrong all along and also explains why and how. For many years, dogs are considered as humans’ best friends walking on all fours. They are loving and loyal companions. Unfortunately, they have a shorter lifespan in comparison to ours. However, it’s difficult to understand what their age means, in terms of their growth and life phase.
Customarily, humans have converted dog years through guessing that seven human years equals one dog year. Yet, this may be very inaccurate. An argument by the American Veterinary Medical Association says that aging has never been a clear cut. Rather than converting age, individuals who live with dogs use another approach. They search for particular signs of physical growth and aging to understand their canine mate’s phase of life thoroughly.
Today, a team of scientists has established a more precise way of calculating a dog’s age and interpreting it into human years. A geneticist heads the team at the University of California, Prof. Trey Ideker. The method was issued online in a study paper before printing at bioRxiv. It includes looking at how indirect chemical changes in the body affect the gene appearance over time, in a procedure known as DNA methylation. In human aging, these refined chemical changes play a crucial role, and they are similarly existent in animals. When it comes to biological aging comparisons, dogs are exceptional candidates.
This is because they share our environs and habitually get related medical cures for similar health problems. The present study involved a focus on a single breed, Labrador retrievers. This allowed researchers to make more exact links between human and dog years. It excluded the potential inherent variances in aging amid different dog breeds. The research involved 104 Labrador retrieves aged between 4 weeks and 16 years, an age they consider as susceptible old age for dogs. They then compared the patterns with human ones where specific genes in both occurred in related ways among evolving processes. The DNA methylation rate also exhibited a match in both. The developed formula includes defining the normal logarithm of the dog’s age, multiplying by 16, then adding 31. Future studies will look at why aging arrays differ amid dogs and breeds, which makes some dogs develop specific health issues earlier than others. Learn about the new method here.