Pets for Science


Adelyn Nowlan , Staff Writer

Recently, scientists have been looking for 10,000 pets for science experiments. This study will be the longest ever study of aging canines. Hopefully studying this will give information on the length of human life too. The scientists will be collecting dog data on vet records, DNA samples, gut microbes, and information on food and walks.

Five hundred dogs will be testing a pill to slow aging. The data they collect from the experiment will be helpful to learn more about dogs health and potentially humans too. For instance, if a genetic type of cancer is found in dogs, it could be explored by humans.

For the study, the dogs will live on their normal lives of all different breeds. The owners of the dogs will continually fill out online surveys and take their dogs to the vet once a year. Many animal welfare advisers will watch the behavior of the dogs throughout the experiment. Don’t worry, the pill comes with no side effects.

The five-year long study launched Thursday, November 14, at a science meeting in Austin, Texas. The National Institute on Aging is paying for the $23 million project to learn more about human life span as well. Dogs share the same diseases and environment. Scientists are waiting to find out how, even with the same conditions, one human year is equal to seven dog years.

Many people volunteering their dogs are determined to help scientists find a way for dogs to live longer, even though it won’t benefit their dog. If you want to nominate your dog, you can here. Helping the project can improve knowledge on life span, diseases, and health.