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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 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.

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.

August 17, 2018

Caught in a lie!

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s how high he can lift his leg. And if he can lift it high enough, there may not be a fight at all. At least, that’s the hypothesis posed by authors of a new study on scent marking by male dogs. Researchers at Cornell University say smaller dogs lift their legs higher when they urinate, possibly to exaggerate their body size.

July 30, 2018

Don’t count on your dog to go get help if you fall down a well

Farmer: What's that, Lassie? Lassie: Woof, woof, woof! Farmer: Timmy fell down the well?! Lassie: Woof! Farmer: That’s the third time this month, right? Lassie: Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof. Woof, woof, woof, woof. Farmer: I agree. Let him get himself out. —A well-known joke dating back to the classic 1950s show, Lassie. That joke is a part of pop culture, but ironically, the only character on Lassie who ever fell down a well and had to be rescued was . . . well, Lassie.

July 25, 2018

New study: Cats and dogs don’t actually fight like cats and dogs

We’re going to have to find a new cliché to describe people who don’t get along. A new study from the University of Lincoln in Lincoln, the United Kingdom, explores the relationships between cats and dogs who live together in the same home. And in most cases, cats and dogs living under the same roof got along just fine . . . as long as nobody ticked off the cat.

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