If you could extend your dog's life, would you?
Losing a best friend is tough but death is inevitable. So, does extending a lifespan make the pain of loss any less intense?
The pain of loss notwithstanding, life extension apparently is something humans want for man's best friend.
"There's not a lot you wouldn't do if you could stack the deck in your favour to preserve the life of your hairy, four-legged child," dog owner Emilie Adams told The New York Times.
The New Yorker said adopting a dog is "adopting future heartbreak" but it still would not put her off dog ownership as there is "so much love between now and when they go".
Scientists have been searching for that magic potion that can hold off a dog owner's heartbreak by extending the lives of their furkids. And Loyal may have cracked the code.
The biotech firm recently announced that it was a step closer to bringing such a drug into the market – the US Food and Drug Administration has agreed there was "reasonable expectation of effectiveness" in the drug.
Loyal hopes to receive conditional approval in 2026, after which it can start selling the life extension drug for dogs.
The work to prove the efficacy of the drug is involves massive, time-consuming clinical trials. This means it will take years before definitive results and it is also imperative that life-extension drugs can add more good years to a dog's life and not merely drawing out their decline.
Meanwhile, dog owners can cultivate healthier ageing in their dogs by keeping their pets lean and active both mentally and physically.