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December 21, 2018

To protect kids from allergies, pile on the puppies (and the cats)

A new study by researchers in Sweden found that children who are exposed to household pets early in life are less likely to develop conditions like asthma, eczema, and hay fever—and the more pets, the better. For the study, the researchers interviewed and sought information on pet ownership from the parents of 249 children (who were 6 to 12 months old at the time).

December 19, 2018

New report: Barriers to veterinary care largely financial

In the past two years, nearly 28% of households with pets couldn’t provide those pets with the veterinary care they needed. That troubling statistic is among the findings in a new report on access to veterinary care released this week by the Access to Veterinary Care Coalition (AVCC), a partnership of for-profit and nonprofit veterinary service providers, animal welfare and social service professionals, and educators working with the University of Tennessee (UT) College of Social Work. And the overwhelming barrier for all groups of pet owners is financial.

December 12, 2018

Study: If your cat brings home lots of dead birds, you may be a serial killer

Granted, that’s a pretty loose interpretation of the findings, but a new study by researchers at the University of Liverpool suggests that while dogs may look like their owners, cats act like them. Researchers measured five personality traits in cats known as the “Feline Five”: friendliness, impulsiveness, dominance, neuroticism, and extroversion.

November 30, 2018

Survey: Being raised with pets could make you successful

Want your kids to grow to be successful in business? Get them a dog. It’s cheaper than putting them through Harvard Business School. At least, that’s one possible conclusion from a new survey by Banfield Pet Hospital on the relationship between pet ownership and professional success. An astonishing 93% of C-suite executives—people who hold positions like CEO or CFO—who answered the survey grew up with a pet.

November 29, 2018

The deep-cleaning power of cat tongues

Cats are remarkably fussy creatures who spend up to 50% of their waking hours licking and grooming their fur. Imagine how clean your house would be if they applied just a fraction of that energy to licking and grooming your carpets. It’s not that far-fetched: A brush inspired by new research on the unique structure of a cat’s tongue is on the way.

October 25, 2018

Study: Coat color could mean reduced longevity, increased health risks in some Labrador retrievers

It turns out that chocolate is bad for dogs in more ways than one—if the dog in question is a chocolate Lab. New research found that chocolate-colored Labrador retrievers don’t live as long as black or yellow Labs. They’re also more prone to ear infections and skin diseases. Those are among the findings of a new study published last week in the journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology

October 22, 2018

“Squirrel!” Scientists chase mystery of how dogs process words

If you holler “Squirrel!” and your dog jumps up all exited and runs to the window, does he actually picture a squirrel in his mind? Could be. A new study found that dogs can tell the difference between words they’ve heard before and words that are new to them. At the very least, it suggests that dogs have a basic neurological understanding of the words they’ve been taught to associate with objects.

October 17, 2018

Separation anxiety study: Pick up the keys and pet your dog

Coming home at the end of a rough day to be greeted joyously at the door by your dog is one of life’s great joys. And the more he jumps for joy at the sight of you, the better it feels. But it might not feel so good to him.The happier your dog is to see you after you’ve been away for a while, the more likely it is that he may suffer from some degree of separation anxiety.

October 04, 2018

If your dog’s so smart, how come he ain’t rich?

Pet owners aren’t the only people who think their dogs are smarter than they actually are. So do the people who study them. Two researchers in England reviewed more than 300 scientific papers that compared the intelligence of dogs with that of animals in three broad categories that also include dogs: domestic animals, social hunters, and carnivorans. They published their findings in a paper titled In What Sense Are Dogs Special? Canine Cognition in Comparative Context.

September 05, 2018

New drug shows hope for treatment of dog dementia

While your senior dog is unlikely to forget where he left his glasses, he can still have the occasional senior moment. Like forgetting the way home on your daily walk together. He could be suffering from canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD), the doggy version of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in humans. AD affects one in three human seniors. About 40% of companion dogs aged 12 or older develop CCD. But for dogs, as with humans, there’s currently no cure. Ropesalazine could change that.

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