A new anti-aging project is gaining ground and could eventually help dogs live longer. The Dog Aging Project is a somewhat new and ambitious research effort that wants to track the aging process of thousands of dogs across the United States. The goal of the research is to find ways to extend the lifespan of dogs. And from there, we could see human age research innovations.
Why scientists are researching how dogs age
As I noted above, the point of the Dog Aging Project, and other projects like it, is to better understand aging in dogs. We could theoretically discover ways to help dogs live longer with that information. It’s a nice idea and one that we’ve already seen some promising ground coverage on.
Science has previously proven that having a dog can help you live longer. So, why wouldn’t you also want your dog to live longer? The project has enrolled around 40,000 people and their dogs in the study. Everyone provided their pet’s medical history and has to complete a detailed annual survey.
Kate Creevy, a researcher studying dog aging and infectious disease in animals at Texas A&M says the process takes around three hours. So far, the project has sequenced the genomes of around 8,500 dogs. Some have even had their hair, blood, and urine collected for studying, too.
The project is also studying smaller groups of dogs for specific diseases and disorders. The idea, MIT notes in a review of the project, is to find different biological clues that can help identify if a dog is at risk of developing certain diseases in the future. This could eventually lead to the development of new drugs that can help prevent or treat those diseases and disorders, helping the dogs live longer, healthier lives.
On top of studying the dogs in the program, the Dog Aging Project will also trial potential anti-aging drugs. The hope is that these drugs will help the project determine ways to help dogs live longer. They may also open new information about disease treatments and other things.
If the drug shows success in dogs, it could also move on to being tested in humans. Additionally, any advancements toward helping dogs live longer lives could also translate to human advancements in the future.