Getting Things Right

February 27, 2020 - 4 minutes read

One of the core values of the Dog Aging Project is transparency. We want to be upfront about everything we do. Some of our participants have been asking why they haven’t been invited to create an account and fill out the Health and Life Experience Survey yet. We think it’s important to explain this frustrating delay.

The Dog Aging Project is the most ambitious canine health study in the world. We are building on previous studies, but the infrastructure we are developing is at a scale and intensity never before attempted in dogs. Much of what we are doing is being done for the first time. 

Since our launch in November 2019, we’ve received over 80,000 nominations… and counting! This is great news for our study, and a true test of the systems we are building. To process a limited test run of our systems and find room for improvement, we rolled out invitations to 1,000 participants selected at random. 

The feedback from these participants has been instructive. We learned that we need to make some changes to our system in order to provide the best possible user experience. We are:

  • Adding the ability for participants to update contact information in their personal portal
  • Providing a way for participants to tell us if the dog they nominated is no longer a member of their household
  • Clarifying some confusing questions on the survey
  • Creating a smoother process for uploading veterinary electronic medical records
  • Migrating our platform to a different server.

Ultimately, these changes will make the user experience much better, but we know it has been frustrating in the short term. We apologize for the delay and sincerely hope it won’t dampen your enthusiasm for being part of the Dog Aging Project. 

The good thing is that this pause for improvement does not in any way affect your ability to be part of this research. If you’re worried that the study is filling up without you, don’t be! If you’ve nominated your dog, you WILL receive an invitation to the Health and Life Experience Survey! 

Once you’ve completed the survey, the dog you nominated will become an official member of the Dog Aging Project Pack! And don’t worry! This isn’t a first-come, first-served type of thing. Fill out the survey, and you’re in! 

As soon as we are done making the improvements described above, we will begin to roll out invitations in small batches. We anticipate that these invitations will begin in the next few weeks. Since the batches are randomly selected, it could be another few months until your invite arrives. 

Starting with small batches allows us to make sure everyone is able to participate meaningfully and without frustration. It lets us respond to your concerns in a timely fashion and ensures that the data we collect are scientifically valid.

Once those invites start rolling out, they’ll come fast! So stay tuned!

We’re so excited that you’re sharing your dog’s life with us! The Dog Aging Project team loves dogs as much as you do, and we truly believe in the work we’re doing. We really appreciate that you are sticking with us as we streamline and improve our data collection process. Together we are going to learn new and exciting things about aging in dogs.

Cover photo: Matthew Henry
Content photo: Roberto Nickson