The traditional way to calculate a dog’s age has always been number of years multiplied by 7. However, it’s been proven that formula isn’t really that accurate, since it varies according to size of dog, breed, lifestyle and gene expression.
To solve this problem, the good researchers at University of California, Davis conducted a study in order to more accurately pinpoint the correlation between human years and dog years. They scanned the DNA of 104 Labrador Retrievers, measuring their DNA methylation status (one way to determine biological aging) to get a better sense of a dog’s genetic clock.
The results they found (at least in Labs) the life stages in humans and dogs tend to line up re: the formula that human age roughly equals 16 ln(dog age) + 31. In layman’s terms, that means – well, it’s complicated but basically they translated the results into a calculator. So use the calculator below to enter your dog’s age in order to pinpoint your dog’s corresponding human years. (Note: your dog’s age must be 1 year or older for this particular calculator).
As for why your 4 year old dog is the equivalent to a person in their 50s, the study's findings seemed to indicate a dog's genetic clock ticks at a faster rate when younger, but slows down when older.
For more information on the study, go to the original ScienceMag post!
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