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The Dog Aging Project Is Enrolling 10,000 Pets in New Study

Dog looking at viewerDog looking at viewer

The Dog Aging Project has kicked into high gear and is recruiting 10,000 of our furry friends in what will be the largest dog aging study in history. The researchers hope that the study will also reveal more about human aging and longevity.

The Dog Aging Project is seeking pets to enroll in the study

The National Institute on Aging is funding the $23 million project, which will see a vast amount of data being collected during the five years that the project will run for. The research team will be collecting data such as vet records, DNA samples, gut microbiome samples, and information on diet and exercise.

The study chose to use dogs as they share many things with us humans, including living in the same environment and similar biology, and they even develop many age-related diseases that we do. The dogs in the study will continue to live at home and enjoy their usual daily lives, and the study will include dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds, including mutts.

To be part of the study, owners will have to complete periodic surveys, take their dogs to a vet once a year for examination, and possibly have to make extra visits for additional tests. A panel of animal welfare advisors will be involved in the study to ensure that the participants are treated well. The data from the study will be made available publicly, which is great news for open science and knowledge sharing.

To nominate your pet for the study, please visit the Dog Aging Project’s dog registration page and complete the survey there.

An anti-aging pill for pooch

Five hundred lucky pooches will also be given rapamycin, which appears to slow down aging according to various mouse studies; the hope is those results will translate to the dogs in this study.

Rapamycin is an immune system suppressant and is currently used in humans to prevent organ rejection during transplants. However, in smaller doses in mouse studies, it has been shown to increase lifespan. A pilot safety study in dogs found no serious side effects, according to Matt Kaeberlein of the University of Washington and one of the co-directors of the Dog Aging Project.

In general, larger dogs have shorter lifespans than their small counterparts, which makes large dogs an excellent choice for testing an age-slowing drug such as rapamycin, as any positive results will be obvious sooner. As a result, only dogs weighing at least 40 pounds will be enrolled in the rapamycin experiment.


We certainly have a lot more in common with dogs than we do mice, a favorite model animal in medical research, so anything that the study learns is good for dogs has good potential to translate to humans.

If you would like to learn a bit more about the project in addition to visiting the Dog Aging Project website, you may want to check out our interview with Matt Kaeberlein, which gives more background on the project and his research.

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About the author

Steve Hill

Steve serves on the LEAF Board of Directors and is the Editor in Chief, coordinating the daily news articles and social media content of the organization. He is an active journalist in the aging research and biotechnology field and has to date written over 600 articles on the topic, interviewed over 100 of the leading researchers in the field, hosted livestream events focused on aging, as well as attending various medical industry conferences. His work has been featured in H+ magazine, Psychology Today, Singularity Weblog, Standpoint Magazine, Swiss Monthly, Keep me Prime, and New Economy Magazine. Steve is one of three recipients of the 2020 H+ Innovator Award and shares this honour with Mirko Ranieri – Google AR and Dinorah Delfin – Immortalists Magazine. The H+ Innovator Award looks into our community and acknowledges ideas and projects that encourage social change, achieve scientific accomplishments, technological advances, philosophical and intellectual visions, author unique narratives, build fascinating artistic ventures, and develop products that bridge gaps and help us to achieve transhumanist goals. Steve has a background in project management and administration which has helped him to build a united team for effective fundraising and content creation, while his additional knowledge of biology and statistical data analysis allows him to carefully assess and coordinate the scientific groups involved in the project.
  1. jwbats
    November 16, 2019

    This needs to be done for cats!

    Do we silly hoomans have a lot in common with cats, too?

  2. November 29, 2019

    Thanks , I’ve just been looking for info about this subject
    for a long time and yours is the best I’ve found out so far.
    However, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you certain in regards to the supply?

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