If you’re a confirmed carnivore, how would you feel if your pet went vegan? A new study finds that one-quarter of pet owners who identify as vegans feed their dog or cat a vegan diet, while more than one-third of all dog and cat owners (which includes a lot more meat-eaters than vegans) are interested in plant-based diets for their pets.
Forget that romantic lone wolf stereotype. Wild wolves work together to hunt, rear their offspring, and defend their territory. And they passed those traits down to modern-day dogs—their closest relatives. And a new study suggests that it’s those traits that enable dogs to cooperate and work with humans, which goes counter to the conventional wisdom that dogs learned to cooperate with humans through the process of domestication—a process that supposedly bred the wolf right out of them.
Living longer is one of the health benefits of having a dog. Broken bones shouldn’t be a tradeoff. But that’s a risk American seniors increasingly face according to a new study published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Cases of broken bones in seniors associated with walking a dog on a leash are on the rise—in part, ironically, because more seniors are walking dogs in pursuit of those documented health benefits.
If you know a couple that’s having trouble trying to conceive, their couch could be part of the problem. Or their shower curtain. Or any number of other household items, depending on what they’re made of. New research by scientists at the University of Nottingham (UNOT) in Nottingham, England suggests that common chemicals and environmental contaminants found in the home could be causing infertility in men—and in male dogs, too.
Originally from East Asia, the longhorned tick, or Haemaphysalis longicornis, successfully established itself in other areas of the world, including Australia, New Zealand, and, as of last November, eight states in the US, mostly in the East. These little guys get around. But where are they going next?
Imagine coming up with cures for human disease through laboratory testing on companion animals and coming up with a cure for the same disease in the animal while you’re at it? Talk about a win-win. Researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) aren’t quite there, but they’re getting close.
It depends on what you mean by smart. A new study published in Animal Cognition indicates that bigger dogs, who have larger brains than smaller dogs, perform better than smaller dogs on some measures of intelligence. Specifically, bigger dogs with bigger brains do better on a specific type of intelligence called “executive functioning,” which is linked to self-control in both humans and canines.
Things are moving fast in the world of feline pathogens. The authors of a recent review article in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery say “the rate at which novel [or previously unknown] viruses are being discovered now exceeds our understanding of their clinical relevance.” And it’s not just happening to cats: A 2008 paper in Nature described the discovery of 335 infectious diseases in the global human population between 1940 and 2004.
When we think of certain dog breeds, specific characteristics come to mind: Beagles are boisterous. Afghans are aloof. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are sycophantic and suck up to royalty (not really). But it’s well documented that different breeds have different personalities. Are those differences determined by DNA?
Lyme disease in dogs is showing up in places it didn’t used to. And that could mean humans are at increased risk for catching a disease that’s already on the rise in dogs. That’s according to a new study by the Companion Animal Council (CAPC), an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of the threat parasites present to pets and family members.