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For decades, dog lovers have been incorrectly the age of their pet pooches. People have traditionally out their dog's age in "human years" by multiplying by seven. However, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine in the USA have up with a new formula. They say it more precisely canine age. Their new method a little more than simple mental arithmetic to out a dog's age. It a comparison of the genomes of dogs and humans. Scientists had to how DNA changes as humans and dogs age. The scientists such DNA analysis as the best way to the ageing speed of mammals.

The researchers blood samples from 105 Labrador retrievers. After a bit of number crunching, they a graph to show the different rates at which canines and humans . They said a one-year-old dog is similar to a 30-year-old human, while a four-year-old hound comparable to a 52-year-old person. Researcher Trey Ideker said by the time a dog seven years old, its ageing . He said: "This makes sense. When you about it, a nine-month-old dog can have puppies, so we already that the 1:7 ratio wasn't an accurate measure of age." The researchers said their new formula doesn't fully the fact that different breeds of dog at different speeds.

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