Most pet owners already have an idea of the concept of “dog years” where for every one human year that is roughly the equivalent of seven “dog years.” Up until now it was thought to be correct, however there are new scientific advances that would suggest we’re calculating our dog’s age a little wrong.
The researchers over at the University of California, San Diego have researched further into the concept of dog years to get more accurate ways of aging. The findings have been published in a paper through the preprint server bioRxiv.
One of the aging indicators used is DNA methylation, a process which researchers have previously studied as methyl groups were measured as animal subjects age. As these groups attach themselves to DNA, it becomes easier for scientists to view the aging process with more accuracy. That is how they found that the attachment process tends to speed up as a dog grows older.
So how can this be used to calculate our dog’s age? Well, for starters, older dogs will show more rapid signs of aging. And, as it turns out, the 1 to 7 years method was way off as this study found that a dog’s age must be multiplied using the natural logarithm of multiplied by 16.
From there, 31 is added. So if you have a 2-year-old dog, that means they’re actually 42! The new formula may not be an exact science, as any dog owner knows, different dog breeds age in varying manners. And for the purposes of this study, only Labradors were analyzed. If we come across any more information about other dog breeds and the accurate methods to calculate their aging process, we’ll pass it along.
In the meantime, you can use the calculator here.