Purdue University researchers are involved in a national study to examine the general health and wellness of dogs.
Purdue veterinary epidemiologist Audrey Ruple says the Dog Aging Project will look at dogs of all breeds and mixes for at least 10 years.
“In order to identify the biological and environmental factors that maximize health and longevity within dogs and we will also translate those findings into human health as well. Dogs are good models for humans,” Ruple says. "They have similar genetics, share our environment, and they also have similar diseases and health issues. We will be asking, ‘How do dogs age healthfully?’ in order to help better understand how we can age healthfully, too.”
Owners can go online for more information and to register their dogs.
Once enrolled, owners will need to complete surveys about their dog’s health and lifestyle. Dogs will need to continue to visit their veterinarian for their regular annual examination. If a dog is assigned to a specific group, the owners may be sent a kit for the veterinarian to collect blood, urine or other samples during the annual visit. Participation is voluntary and there is no cost to participate.
All dogs registered will be eligible to participate in various studies. The group conducted a soft launch with 4,500 dogs registered earlier this fall. Recently, the researchers reached 75,000 dogs for the study.