Dogs and Longevity: Important New Research Now Underway
When It Comes to Aging, Humans and Dogs Both Have the Same Kinds of Diseases – So Let’s Do Something About It
You know, we understand the health impact of the pandemic and no, I'm not just referring to COVID itself and the incredible loss of life and the massive health implications that so many of us have suffered as a result of contracting this disease. I'm talking about the other health issues associated with COVID, and I'm not just talking about you. There was a survey recently of 1000 veterinary clinics. And according to this survey, 40% of the nation's cats, 35% of our dogs have now been diagnosed as overweight. Yeah. You were home in the lockdown for months, and you stopped moving around. You didn't exercise like you used to. You didn't walk around office buildings, etc. You sat in front of the TV and ate, and you didn't exercise. And the result is you gained weight.
And guess what? So did your pet. The rate of obesity among cats and dogs 10 years ago was 20%. It's now 40% for cats, 35% for dogs. So you need to get back to the gym. Maybe you already are. You've got to get your animals more active as well. And by the way, quit feeding them all those treats. Yeah. We all want our dogs to live a long time. We know the big tragedy, of course, of our pets is that they have short lifespans.
Learn about the Dog Aging Project
So I want to tell you about the dog aging project. They are recruiting tens of thousands of dogs and there's mine yawning on me. You know, I got to digress here. We're in a makeshift studio as we're constructing our permanent studio, which will be moving into in the next month or two. But in this makeshift studio, if you're listening to this podcast or radio show, go to my website, TheTruthAYF.com, and you can watch the videocast of this program and you'll see the makeshift studio that I'm in.
Our dog Hoshi comes along every so often, and in this makeshift studio, you know, it's a wood floored room. And wood is a terrible environment for a studio because sound bounces off of wood. So we have installed tiles, sound deadening tiles all around the room to help the sound, you know, muffle a little bit and provide a better audio quality for you. So Hoshi every so often wanders into the studio. I've got a great video of Jean recording her weekly segment and Hoshi totally bored, attacking the soundproofing tiles and demolishing them. So you got to watch that video. It's really cute, but I digress.
This dog aging project recruiting tens of thousands of dogs. It's a ten year project, and the goal is to figure out what contributes to dogs aging and testing ways to help them live longer and healthier. The owners are going to track their dogs' diets, exercise and other lifestyle factors. That was Hoshi again. But even in addition to all this, the dogs will also have their blood drawn for a full metabolic and genomic analyses, providing insights into the genes, the molecules and the microbiome factors that contribute to healthy aging. So far, there are 32,000 dogs in the program. They want 60,000, so you can sign up for your dog.
Humans Can Also Benefit from This New Dog Research
The dogs will benefit from all the research, of course, but this isn't just about dogs.
It's all about humans. Researchers often study worms and fruit flies and mice, but dogs are closer to us on the evolutionary scale, and dogs also share in our lifestyle. They live in our homes. They eat and sleep and play when we do. And they also eat often exactly what we eat. Come on, admit it. You know that's true.
When it comes to aging, humans and dogs both have the same kinds of diseases. So studying fruit flies, well, that's barking up the wrong tree. Sorry had to say that. So what do I mean by the same diseases? Vision and hearing loss, tumors and cancers, arthritis, even Alzheimer's disease? Yeah. Dogs can suffer from canine dementia. They call it canine cognitive dysfunction. A couple of hundred of the dogs with their owners consent are being tested with a drug that was shown to extend healthy lifespan in mice. And they want to see if this can expand the dog's lifespan as well. They're also studying the genetics of the 300 dogs out of those 60,000 who live the longest. And you can be sure bioethicists and an independent animal welfare advisory board are making sure that your dog is well protected. If you would like to participate with your dog in this project, go to DogAgingProject.org.