How to calculate the age of your dog in human years according to science
The easy way to calculate a dog’s age A team of scientists devised a mathematical formula based on the aging of DNA in people and dogs
The popular belief that one year of dog equals seven human years has come to an end. It is not just that this equivalence does not have any scientific basis , it is that now, a team of scientists has just created a mathematical formula that allows to determine with much more precision what the age of a dog is and that it is based on real science.
Specifically, and as explained by the Science review , the work of the team of the University of California in San Diego (United States) was based on research on the aging process . Specifically, it is based on the fact that the chemical modifications that a person’s DNA undergoes throughout life create what is known as an epigenetic clock .
One of these modifications, the addition of methyl groups to specific DNA sequences , traces the human biological age , that is, the impact that disease, life habits and genetics have on the organism. As a result, some scientists believe that the state of DNA methylation allows estimating the age and even life expectancy of a person.
And other species , such as mice, chimpanzees, wolves and dogs , also have these epigenetic clocks , and what the research team at the University of California did is focus on finding out how these clocks differ from the human version . And they started with the epigenetic watch of dogs because they consider them a good comparison group since they live in the same environments as people and many receive medical care and treatments similar to humans .
Dogs reach puberty over 10 months and die before 20
All dogs , regardless of their breed, follow a similar development path: they reach puberty around ten months and die before 20 years . However, to facilitate research, scientists focused on a single breed, the Labrador Retriever.
They scanned DNA methylation patterns in the genomes of 104 dogs aged between four weeks and 16 years and their analysis revealed that dogs and humans have a similar age-related methylation process .
And those similarities were especially evident when comparing young and young human dogs or elderly and elderly human dogs.
Scientists say that he had already detected that dogs have the same diseases and functional losses from aging as humans, and now this new research indicates that they also share molecular changes during aging. That suggests, they say, that some of these changes, the characteristics of epigenetic clocks, are evolutionarily conserved in mammals.
In any case, the researchers observed that the canine epigenetic clock works much faster than the human at first, but then slows down .
Thus, a seven-week-old puppy would be equivalent to a nine-month-old human baby; A two-year-old dog, according to DNA methylation, is like a middle-aged person, and then goes on to age only two decades in the next ten years.
The Neperian logarithm (ln) of the dog’s age by 16, plus 31, gives the equivalence in human years
The exact formula that the researchers use to match the epigenetic clock of the dogs with the human – which you can see link – is 16 multiplied by the natural logarithm of the dog’s age, plus 31. The formula works as long as the dog already has one year.
In any case, the easiest if you want to know the age of your dog, is to use a scientific calculator (most mobile calculators become scientific when turning the device horizontally), enter the age of the animal, press the ln key (neperian logarithm), multiply the resulting number by 16 and finally add 31 . The result will be the age of your dog in “human” years.
According to these calculations, a two-year-old dog is 42 years old ; one of 4, 53; one of eight, 64, and one of 15, 74 years . However, the researchers emphasize that although the development of dogs is similar, there are breeds that age differently , so this formula may not be accurate for all dogs.
A two-year-old dog is like a person of 42; in the next 10 years it only ages two decades