Standing out from the crowd: What makes the Dog Aging Project unique?

October 24, 2023 - 4 minutes read

At its core, the Dog Aging Project is a long-term, longitudinal study looking at aging and healthspan in companion dogs. Members of our Dog Aging Project Pack participate in the study by completing surveys, at-home activities, and potentially providing veterinary electronic medical records.

We also have additional studies, known as cohorts. To learn more about these cohorts, please check out our blog, One Study or Many? Cohorts in the Dog Aging Project. One of these is our Test of Rapamycin in Aging Dogs cohort (otherwise known as TRIAD). This clinical trial is just one part of our larger project.

Studies looking at aging, longevity, and lifespan are growing, as are clinical trials looking at the impact of medications and other treatments on aging and health. As we continue to see more of these studies and clinical trials, we at the Dog Aging Project want to let you know what makes our research and community unique.

  1. The Dog Aging Project is a collaborative team of people from various universities. Our funding is provided by grants from the National Institute of Aging, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, as well as other organizations and private donors. Our work is dedicated to scientific research, public education, and the training of future scientists and veterinarians.
  2. We are an open-data initiative, meaning we share curated, anonymized data with the public and other researchers. This allows other scientists to check our work and make new discoveries and insights of their own. As stewards of the data we collect, we strive to ensure accessibility and transparency while also maintaining privacy and confidentiality. We aim to provide peer-reviewed, scientifically valid information that positively impacts the scientific, veterinary, and dog owner communities.
  3. Our clinical trial is a placebo-controlled, double-blind study assessing the effects of rapamycin on health and aging in dogs. Enrolled dogs receive either rapamycin or a placebo. To avoid any bias, both the participants and researchers involved in the study are blinded (also called masked), meaning they don’t know if the dog is receiving the trial medication or the placebo until after the study has been completed. Since we are a publicly funded study and not a pharmaceutical manufacturer, we are not testing different formulations, and the nature of the study medication is neither secret nor proprietary.
  4. As our participants can tell you, we aren’t just a research project. We’re a community. Our participants, staff, and researchers share their stories, ask questions, and interact with one another through our members-only Dog Park Forum, DAP Pack Events, in-person events, blogs, newsletters, and more.

The Dog Aging Project is passionate about canine health and aging. We can never have enough time with our canine companions, which makes the increase in canine aging research exciting. We’re looking forward to all the discoveries we and other projects are able to contribute to our pups living longer, healthier lives. To learn more about our insights so far, please visit our Publications page. We’re so excited to continue on this journey with all of our furry friends!