Lifestyle

Austin Rhodes

Science Wants To Help Your Dog Live Longer

Do you ever look at your dog and feel sad because you know their average lifespan is only 10-15 years?  The Dog Aging Project is looking to change that!  Audrey Ruple, the Metcalf Professor of Veterinary Medical Informatics in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, serves on the executive leadership team of the Dog Aging Project. This project is believed to be the largest study ever conducted of dog health and their living environment. The study is looking to be a complete analysis of canine health that could shed light on how to increase longevity and quality of life for dogs and in turn, humans as well. Specifically, this long term study is looking at dogs’ health and welfare over their entire lifespan and it's collecting information on the dogs annually. They're gathering data and examining the factors that affect their health across a large population. The Dog Aging Project = The Human Aging Project With humans and dogs possessing far more genetic similarity than most people realize, the Dog Aging Project aims to not only learn more about how dogs age, but about human aging and health as well. And since we share a common environment, they are a great resource for analyzing this information. For most dog owners, participation in the project is simply a matter of filling out information online about diet, lifestyle, habits, environment, and some vital statistics. Some dog owners can participate in more intensive studies involving direct sampling of their dog’s environment through use of silicone tags on their dog collars or a regular sampling of the dogs’ drinking water. Dog Owners Hold The Key To The Project The Dog Aging Project researchers say that actually the dog owners are the greatest resource in the project. They get a trove of information from direct sampling, including the genomic information and data about the chemical environment from silicone tags. They get movement information from special collars that pick up movement, and water contaminant information, too. But the vast majority of the information collected is what they're getting directly from the dog owners. So, do you think you'd like to help science add years to yours and your dogs' lifespan? Dog owners can register their dogs for the study at their website. [select-listicle listicle_id="156467" syndication_name="these-are-the-most-popular-dogs-right-now" description="yes"]