Scientists have come up with a better way to measure the aging process in dogs, which they can now more accurately translate to human years.
The popular method of multiplying a dog’s age by seven human years is not precise enough to offer value to veterinarians, so researchers at the University of California San Diego began using DNA. "Marks on DNA, called methylation marks, turned out to be a really accurate way to 'diagnose' aging,” said Professor Trey Ideker.
He and his team developed a way to read the methylation marks in dogs, and found that dogs and humans don’t age at the same rates over their lives, which means the common 1 to 7 year rule isn’t accurate.
"One dog year does not equal seven human years," Ideker wrote. "Aging in puppies is far more rapid than that.” A 1-year-old dog is the equivalent of a 30-year-old human, researchers determined. A 4-year-old dog is like a 52-year-old human. After age 7, dog aging slows down.
You can see your dog's actual age with this handy calculator here!