Weekly News Roundup 3/30 – 4/6


Study aims to determine if people can identify cats’ facial expressions

Researchers at the University of Guelph have created an online survey to test how well people can detect positive and negative emotions on a cat’s face. The survey consists of people watching short video clips of cat faces and then reporting whether they think the cat is feeling positive or negative emotions. Participants’ answers will be analyzed to see how accurately they respond. Researchers say that they hope the study results will help owners and veterinary staff better manage cats’ wellbeing by better understanding cats’ feelings and needs. The survey will likely be available in May and can be found at the research website.

Pet ownership is up, especially in the younger crowd

According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and the results of their 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, 68% of American households now own a pet. The total number of households is 84.6 million, up from 79.7 million in 2015. Millennials now account for 35% of all pet owners, surpassing baby boomers by three percentage points. The survey covers topics like trends in pet food and treats, data on raw and freeze-dried dog and cat food, trends in calming products for pets, and pet-monitoring systems and cameras. The survey can be purchased through the APPA.

Cattle veterinarians asked to issue illegal VFDs

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Bovine Practitioners issued a joint statement in March saying they had received reports that veterinarians have been pressured to issue veterinary feed directives (VFDs) for chlortetracycline-containing feeds in unapproved formulations. There are some complications concerning regulations for this type of feed in that certain administrations of it require approved formulations. Cattle owners and their herd nutritionists might not know that their custom feed mixes do not fit within the new regulations. You can read more in JAVMAnews.

Rover and DogVacay announce merger

Rover.com has agreed to acquire DogVacay in an all-stock deal. Rover CEO and co-founder Aaron Easterly will stay head after the transition and DogVacay founder Aaron Hirschhorn will be stepping down from his day-to-day responsibilities. The companies did more than $150 million in bookings last year all told. They also have similar business models, both charging a 20% fee to connect dog owners with sitters and offering related services to dog sitting like dog walking.

Photo credit: © iStock/carenas1

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