As the most phenotypically diverse mammalian species that shares human environments and access to sophisticated healthcare, domestic dogs have unique potential to inform our understanding of the determinants of aging. Here we outline key concepts in the study of aging and illustrate the value of research with dogs, which can improve dog health and support translational discoveries. We consider similarities and differences in aging and age-related diseases in dogs and humans and summarize key advances in our understanding of genetic and environmental risk factors for morbidity and mortality in dogs. We address health outcomes ranging from cancer to cognitive function and highlight emerging research opportunities from large-scale cohort studies in companion dogs. We conclude that studying aging in dogs could overcome many limitations of laboratory models, most notably, the ability to assess how aging-associated pathways influence aging in real-world environments similar to those experienced by humans.