For as long as we can remember, we’ve multiplied our dogs’ age by 7 to determine their age in human years. For example, a 2-year-old dog would really be 14 years old by human standards (yay, teenagers!).
Scientists have now developed an equation using changes in canine DNA over time as a guide—that 2-year-old dog now becomes 42.
The study1 claims that puppies age rapidly at a molecular level, but that that molecular aging slows as they get older. It’s not the DNA itself, but the “wrinkles on the genome” that change, according to genetics professor Trey Ideker. In other words, “the marks on the genes that control a dog or human’s growth pattern.”
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While this particular formula is based on the 104 Labradors used in the study, we know that smaller breeds tend to live a bit longer, and larger breeds may not get as many years, so keep that in mind!
Go ahead and give it a try with the calculator below:
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1Wang, T., Ma, J., Hogan, A. N., Bannasch, D. L., Ostrander, E. A., & Ideker, T. (n.d.). Quantitative translation of dog-to-human aging by conserved … – cell. Cell Systems. Retrieved August 30, 2022, from https://www.cell.com/cell-systems/pdf/S2405-4712(20)30203-9.pdf