• Emily Johnson

Dog Aging Project: 10,000 dogs wanted for study

Many people love dogs, but their lifespans aren’t very long. Most dogs only live ten to thirteen years. That’s six to twelve times shorter than humans' lifespans. It’s hard losing our furry friends whom we love so much. That’s why there is a new study being conducted with the help of the University of Washington School of Medicine and the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

10,000 dogs are wanted by a group of researchers over the course of ten years to see whether they can improve the life expectancy of canines and their overall quality of life. This experiment is being funded by the National Institute of Aging, a division the National Institutes of Health. Researchers hope that the information they learn from this experiment can be applied to humans, as well.

"Dogs truly are science's best friends," the research team declared. "Though they age more rapidly than humans, they get the same diseases of aging, have a rich genetic makeup, and share our environment ... By studying aging in dogs," they said, "we can more quickly expand our knowledge of aging not just in dogs but also in humans." The group is optimistic about the overall experience and experiment. The group added that they were hopeful that their discoveries would better lead to prediction, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

Applications for the experiment are now officially open. Some direction provided by CNN is the following: “Owners can visit the Dog Aging Project's website to nominate their pooch. The submission process takes less than 10 minutes, and generally consists of questions about your canine to help the researchers learn whether he or she is the right fit.”

The group is looking for dogs from all fifty states, of all ages, sizes, and breeds. “Owners will be asked to fill out surveys about their dog's health and life experience, and sample the dog's saliva, too.”