Scientists are learning how dogs age

Even though this just the first year of Dog Aging Project, the data already collected is helping researchers learn, for example, the ways that dogs tend to slow down as they age.They are also seeing that dog activity patterns are different depending on whether the dog lives in an urban, suburban or rural home.  

The researchers will also be looking to see if dogs' health might mirror the health of their people, for example whether they share the same allergies or if they respond similarly to their environmental exposures.

"The dogs could be a kind of sentinel for something that might be affecting humans," the researchers said. 

The study continues to welcome dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds, including mixbreeds.  They are hoping now to enroll more puppies to follow them for their entire life trajectory.  The researchers are also seeking rural dogs, big and giant dogs, and dogs with jobs, such as search-and-rescue, K9, service animal, and agility athletes. 

The researchers say the most enjoyable part of their own jobs has been interacting with dog owners to hear their stories about their dogs.

In these videos, two of the co-directors of the Dog Aging Project, Matt Kaeberlein and Daniel Promislow, both on the faculty in the Department of Pathology at the UW School of Medicine, talk about the project and introduce you to their own dogs, Frisbee and Dobby, as they talk a walk in the Cascade Mountain foothills.

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