Weekly News Roundup 5/3 to 5/9


Morris Animal Foundation receives $250K for pet cancer research

The Petco Foundation and the Blue Buffalo Company are partnering to award a $250,000 grant to Morris Animal Foundation to fuel pet cancer research, specifically directing the gift to fund feline cancer studies. Since 2003, the two organizations have invested more than $7 million with Morris Animal Foundation—the largest worldwide nonprofit advancing animal health—in the fight against pet cancer in dogs and cats. With almost 60 years of cancer research to date, Morris Animal Foundation funding has led to numerous breakthroughs and advancements in cancer care for animals worldwide. This latest gift will help support both current and future feline cancer research at the Foundation, including . . . more

Uncovering the sacrificial puppies of the Shang Dynasty

A new study suggests young dogs were frequently buried with humans in China some 3,000 years ago, but the precise reasons remain elusive. During the last centuries of China’s Shang dynasty, which lasted from 1600 B.C.E. to 1050 B.C.E., ritual sacrifice was a well-oiled cultural phenomenon, rich and varied in its manifestations. Rulers and elites sacrificed animals and humans to appease spirits or ancestors. Just as humans met their ends, dogs were often right beside them. Now a study in Archaeological Research in Asia published in March shows that people from the Shang dynasty relied heavily on sacrificial puppies to accompany them in death. . . . more

Walmart is opening dozens of veterinary clinics in its stores and launching an online pet pharmacy

The biggest retailer in the world already operates 21 veterinary clinics in its stores across six states, but over the next 12 months, it will grow that number to 100. It will start the expansion by opening nine new clinics in the Dallas–Fort Worth area later this month and into June, Walmart said in a blog post. There, pets can receive vaccines, care for minor illnesses, and other routine exams. Walmart will also launch an online pet pharmacy, walmartpetrx.com, rivaling PetSmart’s e-commerce business, chewy.com, which also has an online pharmacy unit. Walmart said its website will offer low-cost prescriptions for dogs, cats, horses, and livestock from more than 300 brands. . . . more

Covetrus signs distribution deal with Mars Petcare for exclusive dental health and medication products

As of May 1, veterinarians can now purchase Mars Petcare’s Greenies Dental Treats and Pill Pockets products for their in-hospital and online channels exclusively from Covetrus. The deal allows veterinarians to purchase the products for both their in-hospital and e-commerce/autoship channels, helping to differentiate themselves from online competitors. The new agreement with Mars Petcare comes on the heels of Covetrus’ launch as a new company earlier this year. Covetrus was created by the merger of Henry Schein Animal Health and Vets First Choice—both leaders in the animal health space. . . . more

Why do cats—and so many other animals—look like they’re wearing socks?

Grumpy Cat. Lil Bub. Maru. What do all of these internet-famous cats have in common? From ankle down, their paws are as white as the trendy marble countertops vying for attention in the very same Instagram feed. Pet lovers refer to this particular color pattern as an animal’s “socks,” “booties,” “mittens,” or “tuxedo” for obvious reasons. The phenomenon of pigment mixed with white splotches can occur in pigs, deer, horses, dogs, guinea pigs, birds, and, in rare cases, humans. But it’s particularly prominent in cats, as evidenced by the fact that Socks consistently ranks in the top names for felines. . . . more