How old is your dog in human years? This calculator promises more accurate estimate, using epigenetics

corgi and terrier running
Image: Pixabay

Our Scotch collie, Buckaroo, is just shy of 14 years old. Following the long-debunked but still popular idea that one dog year equals seven human years, he’s almost a centenarian. (This “formula” may be based on average life spans of 10 and 70 years for dogs and people, respectively.) Now, researchers say they have a new formula (see calculator below) to convert dog years to human years—one with some actual science behind it.

[Editor’s note: Go to original article for calculator]

They scanned DNA methylation patterns in the genomes of 104 dogs, ranging from 4 weeks to 16 years of age. Their analysis revealed that dogs (at least Labrador retrievers) and humans do have similar age-related methylation of certain genomic regions with high mutation rates.

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The research team also used the rate of the methylation changes in dogs to match it to the human epigenetic clock, although the resulting dog age conversion is a bit more complex than “multiply by seven.” The new formula, which applies to dogs older than one, says a canine’s human age = 16 ln(dog age) + 31. (That’s the natural logarithm of the dog’s real age, multiplied by 16, with 31 added to the total.)

 

Read full, original post: Here’s a better way to convert dog years to human years, scientists say

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