As well as working to improve animal health and welfare, VetCompass is now contributing toward a greater understanding of human health. There are remarkable overlaps and similarities in health between humans and dogs. The dog is the most phenotypically diverse species on the planet and shows enormous variability in longevity between breeds. These distinct breed-based health profiles in dogs along with well-developed veterinary health record systems and a shared environment with people make the companion dog exceptionally useful to improve understanding of the physiological, social, and economic impacts of aging in ways that that can be applied to humans.
A chapter in a new book on human aging uses VetCompass longevity data in dogs to help understand this complex and important topic for the benefit of both mankind and dogs.
CREEVY, K. E., AUSTAD, S. N., HOFFMAN, J. M., O’NEILL, D. G. & PROMISLOW, D. E. L. 2015. The Companion Dog as a Model for the Longevity Dividend. In: OLSHANSKY, S. J., KIRKLAND, J. L. & MARTIN, G. M. (eds.) Aging: The Longevity Dividend. 1st edition: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
The VetCompass research paper on longevity of dogs can be accessed here.