We’ve always thought our dogs age seven years for every one of ours, but new research shows that puppies age much faster than humans, so that ratio is wrong.
According to a study from the University of California San Diego, a one year-old dog is more like a 30 year-old human. That’s because new genetic evidence shows puppies and younger dogs age at a faster pace. Then, as dogs age, the process slows down, so researchers found that a 12 year-old Labrador is similar to a 70-year old human.
Dogs live an average of 12 years. Life expectancy in humans is about 5 times that. That means you’ve probably been estimating your dog’s human age equivalent incorrectly. The researchers found that a 6-year-old dog would be the human equivalent of about 60 years old.
Click here to see the above animated video about dog vs. human aging.
Veterinarian Chad Dodd, consulting veterinarian for YuMOVE, an all-natural joint supplement, says, “this means we should be checking a dog’s mobility sooner, even if there are no outward signs.”
Whether 2 years old or 12, Dr. Dodd has some tips to make sure your dog is ready for a brisk walk or dog park or has joint issues:
- Check their joints – is Fido a bit creaky from sitting on your lap or under your office desk? If your dog is limping, licking at joints, hesitant to walk on hard surfaces, and not jumping onto your bed as usual, they might have more challenging joint issues. It’s key to keep joints healthy for your dog’s mobility throughout their life, and now biology is showing that there might be joint issues at a younger age.
- Build up their stamina – your dog just might be a little out of practice. Start with two, 15-minute walks a day and see how they do.
- Start with a game of tag – grab your dog’s favorite toy, toss it, and then race your dog to retrieve it.
- Play hide and seek – with some kibble or favorite toys to get your dog moving outdoors or around the house to keep up their activity levels.
- Ask your vet for advice, and consider adding a joint supplement to their diet to support their joint health. Look out for proven, high-strength ingredients such as ActiveEase® Green Lipped Mussels. Even if there are no outward signs, given this new study, you might consider a joint supplement at 3 or 4 years-old vs. 7 or 8.
There are more helpful tips at yumove.com.