What’s your dog in human years? Apparently x7 is all wrong!

2019 study by researchers at the University of California San Diego put forth a new method for calculating dog age, based on changes made to human and dog DNA over time. In both species, methyl groups are added to DNA molecules throughout aging, altering DNA activity without altering the DNA itself. As a result, DNA methylation has been used by scientists to study aging in humans through an “epigenetic clock.”

The research team performed targeted DNA sequencing in 104 Labrador Retrievers spanning a 16 year age range, in an attempt to compare dogs’ epigenetic clocks to those of humans. The results allowed them to derive a formula for adjusting dogs’ ages to “human years”, by multiplying the natural logarithm of the dog’s age by 16 and adding 31 (human_age = 16ln(dog_age) + 31). This natural logarithm calculator can help.

As the study included just a single breed, your own dog’s “human age” based on this formula may not quite match up.  It’s known that different breeds age differently, so the UCSD formula may lack enough variables for conclusive results. Regardless, the new science-backed formula put forth is certainly more useful to those looking to calculate dogs’ “human age” than the long-debunked “multiply by 7” myth.

Read the entire article below.

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