Scientists have discovered new links between the size of a dog and various illnesses, contributing new insights to the conversation about how the size of the animals relates to their longevity. has discovered that while the study confirmed larger canines tend to have shorter lifespans, it also showed some conditions were more common among smaller dogs.

"Age in dogs is associated with the risk of many diseases, and canine size is a major factor in that risk," the researchers explained in the study, published in the journal PLOS One on Wednesday, January 17.

The team, led by Yunbi Nam from the University of Seattle in Washington, set out to investigate how various conditions impact dogs of different sizes.

"An understanding of which conditions manifest differently across age and size could inform our understanding of size-related longevity differences," the study said.

For the study, the team analyzed the disease history of 27,541 companion dogs in the United States across 238 breeds to measure how weight may be associated with conditions of the skin, bones, digestive tract, eyes, ears, nose, throat, as well as cancer and infectious diseases.

The data came from The Dog Aging Project, which collects owner-reported information "to carry out the most ambitious canine health study in the world," the website for the initiative explains.

The researchers found a pattern across various disease categories showing a direct correlation between dog size and the lifetime prevalence of disease, they said.

The study confirmed a "reduced lifespan in larger dogs for most of the disease categories," the researchers said.

However, they also found that smaller dogs showed a higher prevalence of conditions impacting the eyes, heart, liver, pancreas and respiratory system.

Kidney and urinary disease prevalence did not differ based on dog size, the researchers said, and they found varying associations between age and lifetime disease prevalence for several conditions impacting the eyes, heart, bones, ear, nose, throat as well as cancer.

The researchers said factors like sex, geographic region and whether a dog was purebred or mixed-breed "made little difference in all disease categories we studied."

The results "suggest potential avenues for further examination," according to the study.

The Dog Aging Project accepts all dogs, "young and old, mixed breed and purebred, healthy and those with chronic illness" from anywhere in the U.S.

Owners can click here to enroll their dogs online, and "the only requirement is that you have a good estimate of your dog’s age," the website explains.

2024-01-20T01:40:35Z dg43tfdfdgfd