Want your dog to have a better chance at a long life? Dog lovers know all too well the heartbreak of our best friends not living long enough. On average, a dog’s life span is six to twelve times shorter than a human’s.
If we’re lucky, we can get around ten years out of larger dogs and sometimes more out of our smaller companions.
Lucky for us, The Dog Aging Project hopes to make dogs’ life expectancies way longer. In this project, researchers are hoping to study ten thousand dogs over the next ten years to see how to improve canine life expectancy and quality of life.
A team comprised of researchers from the University of Washington School of Medicine and Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences plans to conduct the largest-ever study on aging dogs.
According to the team, dogs are ideal to study because while they age more rapidly than humans, they share the same diseases of aging, share environments with us and have a diverse genetic makeup. Due to these factors, not only can we potentially increase a dog’s life span, but we can also use that knowledge to increase the quality of life in people.
The team is actively looking for dogs for the study. They are wanting dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds from the United States. If you think your pup might be a good fit, please submit him or her at the Dog Aging Project’s website.
For the study, your dog will stay in your home and visit veterinary specialists for tests. The study will focus on Rapamycin, a drug previously used for cancer chemotherapy and organ transplant anti-rejection. The drug was tested in low doses in mice and changed the way their bodies aged. This project will focus on the benefits it has in the aging of dogs.
It’s hopeful that in the near future our canine companions will be able to age gracefully by our sides for much longer. If the study is successful, we could share more of our lives with our best friends.