dog years

How Old Is Your Dog? New Equation Shows How to Calculate Its Age in Human Years

Dogs age very quickly during their first five years and much more slowly later on, scientists found

A senior dog having a great afternoon in the park.
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Common wisdom has long held that each dog year is equivalent to seven human years. But a new equation developed to measure how a dog ages finds the family pup may be a lot older than we realize.

Researchers studying chemical changes to canine DNA found that dogs age very quickly during their first five years and much more slowly later on.

The findings, published recently in the journal Cell Systems, calculate that a 5-year-old dog would be pushing 60 in human years.

“Puppies age super quickly,” said Trey Ideker, the study’s senior author and a professor of genetics at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. “By the time a dog is a year old, at a molecular level, he’s much more like a 30-year-old human. Retrospectively, we did know these things. It didn’t make any sense that the equivalent to a 7-year-old human would be able to have puppies.”

Read the full story on NBCNews.com

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