Canine Getting old Challenge co-directed by UW researchers wants individuals

A Seattle Seahawks supportive dog licks its lips before a game in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images)

The National Project for the Aging of Dogs is looking for pets that can sign up for a dog study.

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Now in its sophomore year, the project hopes to better represent the entire U.S. dog population. There are an estimated 90 million dogs in America.

The project is particularly interested in large dogs, service animals and working dogs, puppies and dogs that live in rural areas.

“We all want dogs, but we want middle-aged dogs too, and right now we really want puppies so we can follow dogs all their way,” said Dr. Daniel Promislow from the University of Washington.

Researchers in the biology of aging in the Department of Pathology of the University of Washington Medical School are co-directors of the project with specialists from Texas A&M. Washington State University Veterinary School is also participating in the project. The five-year project is largely funded by the National Institute for Aging Research, which is part of the National Health Institutes.

“Our goal is to understand how biology and the environment affect healthy aging,” said Promislow.

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If you’d like to help, you can nominate your dog online here. As part of the project, you will need to update your dog’s profile every year. Some people may also be asked to submit a DNA sample from their dog.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.