Weekly News Roundup 3/1 to 3/7

Dogs sniffing for cancer? Not so fast, experts say

An Israeli startup founded and run by guide-dog trainer Uri Bakeman says it’s using canine smelling abilities to screen for cancer. Cancer experts say that even if dogs have the proven ability to detect cancer by recognizing the distinct odor that the cells emit, using them to screen for cancer patients is still far from a reliable method, and cannot be a substitute for regular cancer-screening procedures. And the reason may come down to a dog’s personality. . . . more

German authorities reportedly seize family's dog, sell it on eBay

Cold-hearted German authorities seized a family’s dog and sold it on an eBay classifieds site because its owners hadn’t paid their taxes, according to news reports. Authorities showed up at the family’s home in search of valuables back in November—and left with Edda, their pedigree pug, German media outlets reported. Then, one of the officials listed the dog on German classifieds site eBay Kleinanzeigen for the bargain price of 750 euros, or around $854—about half of what the new owner had expected to dole out. . . . more

Pet-friendly hotels are rolling out the red carpet for your favorite traveling companion

For pet owners, the days of bribing neighbors with wine and chocolates from some far-flung place in return for feeding your pets in your absence are long gone. And this isn’t because people are dropping their furry creatures off at a “pet hotel” on their way to the airport. Today, there’s a simpler, less-expensive and highly enjoyable option: Travel with your pet. Thanks to an increasing number of luxurious pet-friendly hotels around the world, vacationing with your pets has never been easier. While lots of hotels will allow you to bring a pet (typically for a small fee), others do much more than simply tolerate the animal in your life. . . . more

Synchrony acquires Pets Best to expand CareCredit platform in rapidly growing pet market

Synchrony, a consumer financial services firm, has acquired Pets Best, a pet health insurance company. Pets Best will operate under Synchrony’s CareCredit platform, which offers health, wellness, and personal care credit products that can be used to pay for a variety of healthcare expenses, including veterinary care. Pets Best provides CareCredit with an immediate entry point into the rapidly growing pet insurance market, building upon CareCredit’s decades of expertise in the veterinary market. As the cost of pet care increases, pet owners are increasingly seeking better access to care. This acquisition will allow CareCredit to offer a comprehensive suite of payment options for veterinarians and pet owners to help pets get access to the care they need. . . . more

The story of the Iditarod-hopeful dog who got loose and followed teams for 30 miles

Iditarod veterinarians at the Rainy Pass checkpoint were greeted Monday with an unusual sight: a dog who was not part of any team dragging a 10-foot length of chain. The dog had traveled some 30 miles to be there. Two-year-old Dillon is not an Iditarod dog. He lives at the Winterlake Lodge on Finger Lake, Alaska, where he runs sled-dog tours for guests as part of a recreational 18-dog team. The lodge also serves as the Iditarod’s Finger Lake checkpoint, so at this time of the year, Dillon is frequently around the big-league sled dogs. He is also, according to lodge owner Carl Dixon, “full of spit and vinegar.” The 8- to 10-mile routes the Dixon dogs run hardly compare to the nearly 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail, but that didn’t stop Dillon from breaking his leash and taking off after a couple of teams early Monday morning. . . . more