LOS ANGELES - There is a more accurate way to calculate how old your dog is in human years than the age-old trick of multiplying their age by seven, researchers say.
In a recent study published by bioRxiv, scientists developed a new formula to compute your pet’s age by comparing the “epigenetic clocks” (a biological age estimation) of humans to dogs.
The researchers used the clocks to measure the accumulation of methyl groups, or chemical modifications that tag to DNA segments over time.
This process is known as methylation, which is linked to growth and development in mammals and plants, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
During the study, scientists attempted to match the methylation profiles of 104 Labrador retrievers to 320 humans and 133 mice. As a result, they came up with the following formula: human_age = 16ln(dog_age) + 31.
In order to work out the equation, type your dog’s age into this special calculator, which computes natural log, a mathematical logarithm that provides the time needed to reach a level of growth.
Then, multiply the number you get by 16 and add 31.
According to scientists, you now have your dog’s real age.