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It seems we've been counting dog years all wrong, say researchers

6 July 2020 10:58 AM
Tags:
Ageing
dog years
CapeTalk Viral
Social rundown

Research now shows that there is a different curve that applies to the life cycle of a canine compared to humans.

‘Conventional wisdom’ teaches us that one human year is equal to seven dog years.

A recent study confirms that there is actually no truth to this. Young puppies age MUCH faster than young humans do. Inversely, your older dog could be younger than you realise.

Boffins at the University of California San Diego focused on Labrador retrievers. They found that a one-year-old dog is equivalent to a 30-year-old human. But, aging slows down. A 4-year-old dog corresponds to a 52-year-old human.

This makes some sense when you consider that dogs can give birth from around age 9 months.

The formula can even be applied across species:

Note how the aging process slows down:

Image: Courtesy of UC San Diego Health

Scientists will undertake to replicate the study on specific species with different lifespans for even more accurate data for owners.

This better understanding helps us grasp the ability and strain that might be appropriate for your pet. The study’s lead author, Trey Ideker, says: "I have a six-year-old dog — she still runs with me, but I'm now realizing that she's not as 'young' as I thought she was,”. Ideker’s dog is 60 in ‘human years’.

Despite how you might feel about your furbaby, their development will never quite match up with that of our own. So, cut Rex some slack if he still chases squirrels at ‘age 30’ with reckless abandon.

Listen to the full explanation by Stephan Lombard on his Social Rundown below:


6 July 2020 10:58 AM
Tags:
Ageing
dog years
CapeTalk Viral
Social rundown

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