From the archives: What can dogs teach us about aging?

A woman walks two dogs on a path through a park
Mary Kay Whorton walks her two dogs in St. Cloud, Minn. on Oct. 5.
Paul Middlestaedt for MPR News

Many dog owners get to enjoy knowing their pet from puppyhood to maturity. Turns out, that life cycle also has a lot to teach us. 

New research that looks at how dogs age finds parallels between dogs and their human companions. For example, dogs are squirrelly when they are young and calm as they enter midlife. Changes to canine DNA mirror the changes in our own. 

Could our best friends teach us how to age better — and maybe even live longer? That was the central question MPR News host Kerri Miller discussed with researchers at the Dog Aging Project on her daily show back in November of 2020.

This Friday, on Big Books and Bold Ideas, she’ll look at the other end of a dog’s life, when she talks with canine researcher Alexandra Horowitz about her new book, “The Year of the Puppy.”

Guests:

  • Daniel Promislow is co-director of the Dog Aging Project and a biologist at the University of Washington.

  • Kellyn McNulty is a veterinarian and researcher with the Dog Aging Project.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. 

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