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24th Nov 2019

Dog years are not a thing and your puppy is actually middle aged, claims study

Jade Hayden

Still cute, tho.

It’s a tale as old as time itself: seven dog years is the equivalent to one human year.

We’ve all heard it. We’ve all applied the logic to the dogs in our lives. We’ve all referred to our puppies as angsty teenagers even though, apparently it seems as if that may not be true at all.

According to new research conducted by the University of California, dogs actually age rapidly in their first couple of years of life, and then eventually slow down the longer they live.

So rather than being 14 years old when they’re two, puppies may actually be closer to 40 years old. So basically, middle aged.

The more you know.

The study considered the DNA methylation of 104 labradors aged between four weeks and 16 years. The DNA of the dogs was then compared to that of 300 humans, revealing that dogs are, indeed, closer to 50 biological years old when they’re three human years old.

However, dogs then start to age slower the older they get, meaning that when they’re 10 human years old, they’re probably about 68.

Still with us? Good.

“The expected lifespan of Labrador retrievers, 12 years, correctly translated to the worldwide lifetime expectancy of humans, 70 years,” said the study.

The original method of calculating dog years came from the assumption that, on average, dogs live until they’re 10 and humans lived until 70.

Divide one into the other and boom, you’ve got seven.

This new research, however, appears to suggest that dog years are a lot more complicated than that… and that your cute, baby puppy may actually be going through a mid-life crisis.