Scientists say the better way to convert dog years to human years is converting a human’s DNA methylations to estimate age or even predict life expectancy. Other animals such as dogs undergo DNA methylation. As dogs age one common issue is hip dysplasia. This can lead to the need to use a paralyzed dog wheelchair. It is also referred to as wheels for paralyzed dogs or a dog cart for paralyzed dogs.
I’m sure you have heard that each human year is equivalent to seven dog years. Is there any science behind this? Statistically small dogs live longer than large dogs. How could this be an accurate calculation then.
More accurate way to convert human years to dog years
Researchers now have a more accurate calculation that is backed by science in humans. There is relatively new aging research regarding methyl groups to specific DNA sequences. This can track a humans biological age and how it can be affected by diseases, bad lifestyle choices and genetics.
DNA methylation patterns in Labrador Retrievers
A study was conducted on the DNA methylation patters in 104 Labrador Retrievers ages 4 to 16 years old. At least in this breed of dog there was similarity with humans and age-related DNA methylation of certain genomic regions with high mutation rates. The similarities were seen between young dogs and young humans and also older dogs and older humans.
The research team used the rate of methylation changes in the dogs to match it to the human epigenetic clock. The results were a more complex conversion than previously before used. The old formula was simply to take your dog’s age and multiply it by 7. Now researchers are saying you need to multiply your dog’s age by the natural logarithm which is multiplied by 16 and then add that number to 31.
Below are the formulas for both:
Human Age = 7(your dog’s age)
Human Age = 16 ln(your dog’s age) +31
Ln= natural logarithm
The new formula means that a Labrador Retriever at age 12, would be comparable to a human at age 70, which is the average life expectancy for a human. Dogs age faster as a puppy than children do, but then slow down according to the test. There is a Dog Aging Project open to all breeds, ages and sizes.
The study wants to see what interesting results may be seen in the life spans amongst different breeds of dogs.