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Untapped research opportunities in China: promising future avenues and potential concerns for aging companion animals
GeroScience  (IF7.713),  Pub Date : 2021-08-24, DOI: 10.1007/s11357-021-00433-y
Hoffman, Jessica M., Song, Shanshan, Brugger, Katharina, Valencak, Teresa G.

Companion animals have recently been proposed as ideal translational models of human aging due to their shared susceptibility for certain diseases, similar environments, and sophisticated veterinary medicine diagnostics, all of which are not possible in rodent laboratory models. Here, we introduce and propose the study of companion animals in China as a largely untapped resource in academic and veterinary aging research. Pet ownership rates along with economic gains in the pet industry have skyrocketed over the last decade in China. Yet, the majority of research institutions still focus on agricultural animal research, not companion animals. In this perspective, we compare available pet ownership rates between the USA, the European Union, and China before focusing on the potential of companion animal aging research in China. In addition, we highlight some ethical considerations that must be addressed before large-scale companion animal aging research can be completed.