The Dog Aging Project, led by Audrey Ruple at Virginia Tech, aims to extend canine lifespans by studying dog health comprehensively. This longitudinal study, backed by over 40 institutions, focuses on understanding aging in dogs and its parallels with human aging. With more than 47,000 volunteer dogs enrolled, researchers gather data on genetics, environment, diet, and lifestyle. Collaborations include innovative methods like silicone collar tags to measure environmental exposures.

The project provides an open dataset for worldwide research after a one-year embargo. Researchers investigate dogs as sentinels of human health, examining water quality and heavy metal contamination. Participants, primarily dog owners, contribute vital information, emphasizing the project’s reliance on their involvement. The initiative’s ambition lies in transcending traditional research boundaries to ultimately improve the health and lifespan of both dogs and humans. Owners interested in participating can register their dogs at

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