Led by Tina Wang at the University of California, geneticists have released a formula to work out your dog's age in equivalent human years based on DNA changes over time.
In particular they looked at something known as 'methyl groups', which are molecules that add themselves to DNA at a consistent rate. They can be looked at to calculate the age in both humans and dogs, something known as the epigenetic clock.
'Mammals progress through similar physiological stages during life, from early development to puberty, aging, and death,' says the study.
The typical lifespan for dogs can vary from six to seven years for large breeds, up to 18 years for smaller breeds. Despite this, most dogs show similar developmental and psychological trajectories.
Using Labrador retriever dogs for the study, geneticists found that
So instead of adding seven years, the new formula involves finding the natural logarithm of a dog's age, multiplying it by 16 and then adding 31 to the total.
As an example, if your dog's age is four then its logarithm number will be 1.3, so you would then multiply 1.3 by 16 and add 31 to reach 51.8 which is the dog's age in human years.