Is a dog year the same as 7 human years? No. It’s well known that small breeds can live as much as twice as long as large breed dogs. However, we’re really not sure why, nor do we know how other factors affect aging in canines.
That’s where the Dog Aging Project comes in. Since 2018, they’ve studied tens of thousands of dogs, covering a wide range of sizes, breeds and backgrounds. This is a longitudinal study, which has volunteers complete research tasks on their pets over their lifetimes. The team will release their data for use throughout the scientific community later this year. This open data will be available to everyone, allowing researchers to use the project’s information for white papers.
The Next Step: Are Long Lives Caused by Genetics?
The next step in this study is sequencing the DNA of 10,000 dogs. The project hopes to identify biomarkers of canine aging. This should give us a better understanding of how both dogs and humans age. That’s because dogs and humans have nearly the same decline and diseases related to aging, and both dogs and humans live in the same environments. This part of the survey is focused on 300 “super centenarian” dogs, the oldest dogs in the study group.
Expanding The Pack: Furthering Understanding through Citizen Science
The Dog Aging Project isn’t stopping with the initial release of data, as aging biomarkers are just one part of this study. The project is continuing to research aging and disease factors. While this study has been in the works for years, the project is still seeking new participants. Pet owners can nominate their dog for the study from the project’s website. Once accepted, the dog owner sends in a sample of saliva for DNA testing, and then fills out periodic online surveys. The project is looking for all types of dogs, including young and old animals, healthy animals, and animals with chronic diseases. The goal is to get an overall picture of how the health of dogs progresses through their lives. Participation is voluntary, and participants can opt out at any time.
Help Your Clients Keep Up with Their Pet’s Health Care
This study promises better veterinary health care in the future, but good health starts today. Need ways to stay connected to your clients and help them stay on top of their pet’s health care? Positive Impressions, LLC can help. We carry a wide range of products that can be customized to fit your practice, including reminder cards, return address labels, pharmacy labels and more. From business cards to goodie bags, we have what you need to build a relationship with your clients outside the office. See how we can help your clinic keep in touch by visiting our website to see what we offer, or by checking out our Facebook page to see our latest specials.