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Forget ‘Dog Years’: Scientists Say We’ve Been Calculating Our Pups’ Ages Wrong

Clear the Shelters

Help WETM-TV ‘Clear the Shelters!’ We hope you come out on Saturday, August 25 -Aug 29th, 2020, and adopt a furry friend!

Adoption fees are waived at participating shelters, during this time only, pending application approval. Other fees may still apply.

Here’s are participating adoption shelters in the Twin Tiers:

The Animal Care Sanctuary is a no-kill sanctuary with locations in East Smithfield and Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. Our mission is to provide a safe and caring refuge for companion animals, inspire change through education, provide adoption services, and support spay/neuter initiatives.

Questions about adoption? Contact the shelter:

Emily Shaffer, Adoption Coordinator
P: (570) 596-2200 x101
E: eshaffer@animalcaresanctuary.org

To be sure the process is smooth, please bring all veterinary records the day of Clear the Shelters, as most veterinarian offices are not open on weekends. Without veterinary records of current furry family members, we cannot complete a same-day adoption. Get ahead of the game and fill out an application a few days prior to arriving and we will work to get you preapproved.

More Clear the Shelters

Here’s some news that may make you “paws” and reflect.

new study from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine published in the Cell Systems journal has found that one “dog year” is not necessarily equivalent to seven “human years,” as has been commonly thought.

Researchers have created a better way of determining how to compare the ages of people and their four-legged friends.

“Since the two species don’t age at the same rate over their lifespans, it turns out it’s not a perfectly linear comparison, as the 1:7 years rule-of-thumb would suggest,” reads a press release on the study.

The scientists say they have a formula that provides a new “epigenetic clock,” or a method that determines an organism’s age, that takes into account those differing patterns in aging. “Epigenetic changes,” they write, can offer clues to a genome’s age, much like wrinkles on a person.

The research, which focused on more than 100 Labrador retrievers over a 16-year age range, found the animals age quickly when they’re young, only for it to slow down as they get older.

“The comparison is not a 1:7 ratio over time,” the release said. “Especially when dogs are young, they age rapidly compared to humans. A one-year-old dog is similar to a 30-year-old human. A four-year-old dog is similar to a 52-year-old human. Then by seven years old, dog aging slows.”

“This makes sense when you think about it — after all, a nine-month-old dog can have puppies, so we already knew that the 1:7 ratio wasn’t an accurate measure of age,” said Trey Ideker, a senior author on the study and a professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center.

While only one breed was analyzed in the study and more research needs to be done, Ideker believes this new method will apply to all breeds. In the meantime, Ideker says he has a new way of looking at his own pet.

“I have a six-year-old dog — she still runs with me, but I’m now realizing that she’s not as ‘young’ as I thought she was,” Ideker said.


This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY:

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