Puppies are actually middle aged (and dog years are just a myth)

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If you're a dog owner, you probably have a lot of questions that you'd love to ask your pet pooch - what do dogs dream about? Do they actually mind that you're obsessed with taking selfies with them while they're snoozing? And is it true that dogs hate this affectionate gesture?

One thing that we do assume we know about our little loves, however, is that one human year is the equivalent of seven dog years.

But according to a new study, dog years as we know them (or think we know them) aren't actually a thing. Oh, and your puppy is actually middle aged.

Everything we thought we knew about their age is a myth.

The saying that one human year equals seven dog years comes from the fact that one average canines live until they're ten and humans live until seventy.

Alas, we've been wrong this whole time.

Research by the University of California found that your fur baby actually ages rapidly in the first few years of their life, but the ageing process eventually slows down.

The study looked at the DNA methylation of 104 Labradors aged between four weeks and sixteen years. When compared to the DNA of 300 humans, it revealed that dogs are more like fifty years old when they're three human years old.

So if you thought that your three year old pup was roughly twenty one, it's not the case - they're actually middle aged.

Yep, really.

But after this, dogs age much slower. When they're ten human years, they're only about sixty eight.

The study reads: 'The expected lifespan of Labrador retrievers, 12 years, correctly translated to the worldwide lifetime expectancy of humans, 70 years.'

So when your two year old pup starts getting moody and you think it's because they've hit their teenage years, it's more likely that they're having a doggy mid-life crisis.


Jadie Troy-Pryde
News Editor

Jadie Troy-Pryde is News Editor, covering celebrity and entertainment, royal, lifestyle and viral news. Before joining the team in 2018 as the Lifestyle and Social Media Editor, she worked at a number of women’s fashion and lifestyle titles including Grazia, Women’s Health and Stylist, and now heads the Marie Claire UK news desk.