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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

New age calculation for dogs

A study showed a dog at one year old is really a 30-year-old in human years, and a 4-year-old dog is around 52.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — They’ve long been considered man and woman’s best friend. 

“People do love their dogs, don’t they? The myth, I think that everyone is familiar with is that one year in a dog’s life is approximately equal to seven years in a human’s life,” said Dr. Trey Ideker a professor at the University of San Diego School of Medicine.

A new study, however, conducted by UC San Diego showed that’s not the case, rather, their aging is very non-linear.

“In general, the smaller the dog the longer it lives,” he said.

Dr. Ideker said the study showed a dog at one year old is really a 30-year-old in human years, and a 4-year-old dog is around 52.

“So called genome technology, molecular technology and biology has really revolutionized the way we can make measurements of things like age, so we’ve developed a molecular agent of how fast aging occurs,” Dr. Ideker said.

For cat lover - no judgment if you don't like dogs -  you may be thinking: Why does this matter to me?

“Why dogs are interesting to study is they are lifelong companions to people and they live much shorter life spans,” said Dr. Ideker.

Which means, learning more about their aging process can give us more insight into our own.

“They get the same medical care, so really we can learn how to increase our medical life as well. If we as a society are interested in looking at longevity (of youth), dogs are a good place to start," Dr. Ideker said.

The full study can be found here.

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