How many times have you asked yourself? “I wonder what age my dog is in human years?”
The old way of calculating your dogs age in human years was to take their age and times it by 7. Researchers have landed on an alternative method which is much more accurate! Part of the problem with the age times seven formula is that dogs and humans don’t age at the same rate. This means a graph plotting human age and dog age shouldn’t show a straight line!
The new formula shows a dog reaching maturity much quicker than we do, they spend more of their time in old age. (Which really does explain the day time naps)
This new method is based on studies in the emerging field of epigenetics. This is the way genes can be switched on and off without affecting the underlying DNA. Without going into the science too much (I know you really want to know what age your dog is) the team looked at methyl groups, or chemical tags and how they accumulate as both dogs and humans age.
The study looked at genetic data from 100 Labrador Retrievers from puppies to elderly dogs, The scientists expect the results to be the same across other breeds of dogs but those studies are ongoing.
What age is your dog in human years?
I’m finally going to get to the point, It’s quite a complicated methodology for working this out. You must take the natural logarithm of a dog’s age, multiply it by 16 and add 31. Lucky we had a quiet weekend and decided to put together a handy table and chart:
This method is much more accurate than the old formula but it still has it’s flaws. Although a 1 year old dog may now be 30 in human years. they are still not fully grown and will have unsettled hormones and behaviors associated with puberty. Don’t be surprised if your “30 year old” dog still behaves like a human teenager! There are plenty of other differences.
Our co-CDO Rollie has just turned 4 (see picture below) so in human years is 53. If I can still run round the park like he can when I’m 53, I’ll be very pleased!
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Finally a disclaimer to any mathematician out there that fancies emailing me about my calculations. I admit rounded up and down a little, If you’d like to see my workings, I will gladly send them to you! ?