University of Washington To Study New Dog Anti-Aging Drug
You want your dog to live forever but you’ll settle for 20-25 years, right? Did you know that the breed you choose has a lot to do with how long your dog will live?
Larger dogs may not make it past 11 years … and that means that you could be crying twice as much in your lifetime due to the loss of a dog.
Well, University of Washington anti-aging researchers want to start collecting data that helps them determine what exactly is going on with dogs – why small dogs live to be about 20 and larger dogs aren’t so lucky.
Related link: The ABCs on How to Extend Your Senior Dogs Lifespan
Part of the reason why dogs don’t live to be old and start degenerating fast, sometimes after the age of 7, could be related to the environment.
Just as a canary was taken into the mines to determine when the gasses were not right for the miners, our pet dogs may be sentinels for us. What happens to them could be a precursor of what happens and is happening to us.
The researchers are searching for 10,000 dogs to be part of the study and will collect info on the genotype of every dog, the microbiome (helpful bacteria in the intestinal tract), epigenome and metabolome.
Related link: What’s All the Controversy Around Hybrid Vigor in Dogs
They will also be discovering whether or not a high dose of Rapamycin, a drug for heart function will improve dogs with failing heart conditions.
While I’m not anti-science, it’s important to note that genes aren’t everything. The length of life is also determined by the environment. That includes certain chemicals, pesticides and foods that turn off genes for health and turn on genes for disease.
The environment also means the dog’s nutrient status – how much of the vitamins and minerals is he getting for good health and what is he low in. Just like in humans, vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause problems that lead to a shorter life span.
Here’s what you can do to lengthen your dog’s life: start with the basics. What are the nutrients that the heart needs for good functioning and provide them? Get these answers and then make changes in the dog food so all dogs can live longer.
However, if you’re interested in taking part in the study, you can get more information by contacting the University of Washington.
Source: [Smithsonian Mag]