As most people know, large dogs survive shorter. Recent studies provide striking information about why large dogs live shorter than other dogs. According to these studies, the reason for large dogs to live shorter is related to aging faster than other species.
A certain classification based on paint and weight is required for species to be considered large or large. However, some exception species, such as the Irish wolfhound, fall under the category of large dogs, although they are weak.
The common feature of all these large dogs is that they weigh more than 90 kilograms. Moreover, the average life expectancy of these large species is 7 or 8 years.
When you observe the life cycle of mammals, you may think that giant dogs will live longer. Whales and elephants, for example, can live more than a century, while a large proportion of rat species complete their life before they reach 2 years of age.
However, when you analyze a particular animal species, you get the opposite graph. The smallest members in size of a given mammal species survive longer than others.
Early aging in large dogs
Medium-sized dogs survive for an average of 13 years.
Based on this fact, researchers at the University of Göttingen tried to explain why the Great Dane dogs survived shorter.
While conducting this research, scientists examined veterinary records of 56,000 dogs of 74 different species.
When they analyze all this data, American naturalist They published in the journal Science. Most of the data obtained focused on premature aging.
In other words, when large dogs die at the age of 7, these dogs don’t actually die at a young age. In fact, large dog breeds are getting older in a shorter time and therefore cannot survive any longer.
Similarly, when we examine this research conducted in Germany, we see that all the data collected are obtained as a result of observation. However, we do not know much about the physiological causes of premature aging. A study at Trondheim University of Technology and Science in Norway aims to get a detailed explanation about this subject.
Large dogs: Short life cycle from chromosome
A Norwegian research team led by biologist Thor Harald Ringsby published his findings in a science journal called Proceeding of the Royal Society. The Norwegian team conducted a study with an emphasis on the genetic factors of premature aging.
Researchers specifically analyzed the lifespan of giant dogs’ telomeres. Telomeres are the most distant part of the chromosomes and have the property to shrink over time with cellular divisions. Research has shown that these areas shrink as a result of diseases such as old age or cancer.
According to this study, there are two main factors that cause rapid cell division in large dogs. The first factor is directly related to metabolism. The second factor is linked to the large amount of energy that large dogs need to grow. This rapid cell division that we are talking about leads to disruption in telomeres.
Therefore, early aging in large dogs begins at the cellular level first. Because when telomeres reach a critical size, they cause changes in the cell’s ability to divide. Moreover, shrinking telomeres can at some point lead to complete death of the cell.
This genetic disruption occurs naturally and there is no way to change it yet. However, pet owners can positively affect the life span of their large dogs by implementing habits that promote healthy living. Balanced and proper nutrition, love and enough exercise can be examples of these healthy habits. By keeping your dog as healthy and happy as you can, you can increase the quality of life and extend its average life.