How To Determine Your Dog's Real Age
Posted on February 06 2020
It is true that our pets are going to age much more rapidly than we are. But just how fast might that be? How can we calculate how old our dog might be? Well, if your dog has been alive for a decade then it's a common belief that the real age in human years is around 70 years old. This means that for every year for the life of a dog, it is equivalent to roughly 7 years in human years.
The assumption is that each calendar year that a dog spends alive, is essentially equivalent to 7 human years but were we right to assume this comparison? New research suggests maybe there is more to it.
One thing to consider is that many dogs in general are going to reach their sexual maturity between 6-12 months, compare that to a human which reaches maturity around the age of seven.There are some dogs out there who have lived more than 20 years, that would be around 140 in human years. The breed also plays a big role in the overall life expectancy for any dog. For dogs, as with humans and any other living species, there is a chronological age but also a biological age. A dog might be 7 years old but biologically could be much younger or older than that. To determine the biological age you would need to assess a variety of physiological indicators.
In one recent study, researchers suggest that one sensible way to find out the biological age is though investigating epigenetic clocks, which are considered to be changes to the packaging of DNA that accumulates over time. They have found that methylation is likely to be a good indicator when trying to determine age. A variety of physiological markers are said to occur at the same methylation levels across species, so researchers have been able to match the levels of methylation in dogs and humans.
That formula that they came up with = 1 dog year to be equal to 31 human years After that, every time that the dog's chronological age doubles, the number of equivalent human years is also going to increase, they estimate by 11.
A dog who had been alive for 8 years then would be aged at around 64 human years.
From the new understanding and research that is out there now on this topic, it is believed that dogs ultimately are going to age and move into middle age much more rapidly than humans might have earlier suspected. Now we have a much clearer picture of how we can calculate the age of our furry friends.
Source: BBC, BioRxiv, Very Well Health, Healthline, Wikipedia