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Dog-To-Human Year Ratio Inaccurate & Not 1:7, Study Claims With New Formula
By Mikelle Leow, 07 Jul 2020
Image via Shutterstock
No, Charlie the poodle doesn’t become a “teenager” at the age of two. In fact, he’d be long past that stage by the time he turns one, scientists argue in a new study.
New research published in the Cell Systems journal by a team from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine apparently demystifies the longstanding belief that one human year equates to seven “dog years.”
The researchers reported observations from molecular changes in the DNA of Labrador retrievers that man and man’s best friend don’t mature at the same rate. Instead, pooches are now believed to age more quickly earlier in their lives, with the rate of maturity slowing down over time.
The formula established by the team dictates that a one-year-old dog compares with a 30-year-old human, and likens a four-year-old dog to a 52-year-old human. After seven human years, this rate diminishes.
“This makes sense when you think about it,” commented Trey Ideker, lead author of the study. “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.”
The researchers also described the new gauge as “the first” to be applicable “across species,” and could possibly help fine-tune veterinarians’ decisions as they hand out diagnostics and treatments in future.
They plan to test the new formula on other breeds for a clearer assessment on canine longevity.
[via CNN, cover image via Shutterstock]
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