You’ve heard the old saying – to calculate your dog’s age in human years, you multiply its age by seven. A more modern idea refers to breed size, where small and medium breeds are said to age at a slower rate than large and giant breeds.
All mammals progress through the embryonic, neonatal, neonatal, adolescent, adolescent, adult, and senile stages of development, but not at the same rate. New math to determine a dog’s age in human years will change our perception of how old our dogs are.
The latest research on converting the year of the dog to the year of man
In a study published by Cell systemResearchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, together with leading veterinarians, have developed a new method for determining age in dogs that, pending further research, is effective for many dog breeds.
Here’s the theory: nuclear DNA remains the same over time, while epigenetic modifications allow cells to function differently depending on the tissue and organ they’re a part of, or the life stage of the organism. .
Methyl groups, or small molecules made up of one carbon and three hydrogen atoms, attach themselves to segments of nuclear DNA to initiate or stop DNA activity without changing the structure. They are “off” or “on” to change gene activity. By tracking molecular changes, scientists can determine the age of the genome by translating an individual’s methylome into an accurate estimate of age.
Do people and dogs age the same way?
The dogs presented a unique opportunity for researchers. Dogs share many aspects of human life, including factors that contribute to aging, such as diet, environment, and exposure to chemicals. Physiologically, dogs age just like humans, albeit faster. The study used Labrador and compared their methylation changes with humans. It shows a non-linear relationship transferring the years from dog to human and matches key physiological events between the two species. The predictability of these changes mapped an epigenetic clock that accurately calculated age and shaped the formula.
How do I know how old my dog is in human years?
Research indicates that a 1-year-old dog is comparable to a 30-year-old human, while a 4-year-old dog is similar to a 52-year-old human. When a dog reaches 7 years old, its aging process slows down.
To calculate your dog’s specific age, start with the natural logarithm (ln) of the dog’s age, multiply by 16 and add 31:
- Human age = 16 (Dog age) + 31.
The natural logarithm is defined as the amount of time it takes to grow the unit “e”, where e is equal to the amount of growth after a unit of time. This suggests that mathematical development in infants through adolescence is rapid and declines at a slower rate than in adults and the senior years.
For example, an 8-week-old puppy is approximately 0.15 years old (8 weeks divided by 52 weeks in a year). Follow natural logarithm of 0.15, is -1.897 and multiply by 16 to get -30.35. Add 31 and your puppy is about 0.65 human years old. Multiply 0.65 by 52 weeks to get 33.8 weeks or 8.45 months. This links the puppy to an 8 and a half month old baby, which corresponds to the stage of infant development.
Improve your dog’s life
While other breeds need to be studied to confirm these results apply to all dogs other than Labradors, this study sheds new light on how dogs age, which may improve lifespan. them based on the decisions we make. Knowing how old your dog is in human years is only part of taking the best care of your dog.