New research shows that dogs age in spurts as their DNA changes. Dogs still age faster than humans. However, they don’t age in a straight line like previously believed.
As dogs age, their genes change. These changes are called “mutations”. Certain mutations are linked to aging in dogs and other animals. These include the genetics your pet is born with, lifestyle (exercise/diet), and disease.
It’s the same for humans, by the way. Our DNA mutates over time as well. The type of mutation associated with aging is called methylation. How we live our day-to-day lives can have a big impact on methylation and aging. Healthy choices like exercise and a good diet can keep our DNA from aging. Unhealthy habits can speed the process up.
The new formula, which applies to dogs older than one, says that a canine’s human age roughly equals 16 ln(dog age) + 31.
If you’re eager for more information on this topic, here are two articles in The New York Times and in Science Magazine.
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