From childhood we’ve always been taught that one human year is the equivalent of seven dog years. We’re not sure who originally came to that conclusion, but considering everyone had the same knowledge no one ever thought to challenge it…. Until now!
Researchers are now suggesting that perhaps we’ve been calculating it wrong all along, with recent studies indicating that young puppies age faster than young humans do, but on the converse, the ageing process slows down and older dogs may actually be younger than we thought.
Researchers from the University of California in San Diego focused on Labrador Retrievers and their studies revealed that a one-year-old dog is equivalent to a 30-year-old human! Ageing slows down however, with a four-year-old corresponding to a 52-year-old human. It may sound unreal, but it does make some sense considering dogs are able to reproduce from about the age of 9 months.
How researchers suggest the ageing process slows down:
Scientists will undertake to replicate the study on specific species with different life spans in order to obtain more accurate data but in the interim, this information may help people better understand changes in behaviour and health or mobility.