Life

# You’ve Been Calculating Your Dog's Age Incorrectly All This Time

It’s not just 'multiply by seven.'
IMAGE UNSPLASH

Who would have thought that, in an age of medical breakthroughs, quantum discoveries, and interplanetary expeditions, a group of hardworking scientists in a laboratory somewhere on the other side of the world had been trying to find out whether we’re actually counting doggy years correctly? My dog Popo, who is one year old in human years, is not 7 years old in doggy years, but actually 31 years old! God bless the scientists, I missed my dog’s puberty. I will never look at Popo the same way again.

A team of geneticists at the University of California focused on aging research, particularly on a relatively new concept called the epigenetic clock. Trey Ideker and his team discovered that all dogs, regardless of breed, have the same epigenetic clock, which means they follow a similar developmental trajectory: They hit puberty at 10 months and likely die before reaching 20 years old.

Ideker and his team also revealed that just like in humans, dogs also undergo methylation in their DNA, which is a genetic factor associated with aging. By comparing the methylation rate in dogs’ DNA with the methylation rate in people’s DNA, the scientists were able to come up with a more accurate calculation of dog years to human years. The bad news is that it involves a bit more mathematics.

Below is the new formula for calculating your dog’s human age:

Dog’s human age = 16 ln(dog age) + 31

That means: Your dog’s human age is equal to the natural logarithm of the dog’s real age, multiplied by 16, plus 31.

Thankfully, we’re not that cruel to put you through that much mathematics. You can just click this link for the calculator for your dog’s human age.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
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