As a veterinary professional, you’ve probably got a better handle than most on the cost of owning a dog. Because it turns out that most Americans don’t have a clue. According to a new survey of 1,500 US adults by the dog-walking app Rover, most people think that getting a dog is going to cost them between $26 and $75 a month. Not hardly.
Catch up on the latest pet and veterinary news from the last week. In this update: a new study aims to identify cats' facial expressions, an uptick in pet ownership, illegal VFDs, and a merger between dog sitting companies.
Is an animal a sentient being, that is, can it feel, perceive, and experience emotions? Many in the veterinary community, including pet owners, would say, “Yes.” New Zealand agrees. Yesterday, New Zealand passed the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, which brings greater clarity, transparency and enforceability to the country’s animal welfare laws. It also now recognizes animals as sentient beings.
Catch up on the latest pet and veterinary news from the last week. In this update: leptospirosis cases on the rise in Arizona, dog treat recalls due to Salmonella risk, tools that could help dogs call 911, Take Your Dog to Work day, and, just for fun, a site featuring photo portraits of dogs.
Dogs cannot get autism. The British Veterinary Association (BVM) took the unusual step of making that definitive announcement last week to counter the impact of the antivaccine movement led by “anti-vaxxers.” Although their views are widely refuted by the medical communities in both Great Britain and the United States, anti-vaxxers maintain that immunization can have harmful side effects that may cause autism in children.The BVM isn’t so much worried about homegrown antivaccination fears as they are imported ones.
Vegan diets for dogs could become the next big fad, if a proposal before the Los Angeles City Board of Animal Service Commissioners gets passed. At a November 28 meeting of the Board, commissioner Roger Wolfson, a Hollywood screenwriter and attorney, proposed that all dogs in Los Angeles city animal shelters be switched to plant-based vegan diets. They call it La-La Land for a reason.
If someone brought an injured red-tailed hawk to your hospital but the bird was too far gone to save, and euthanasia was the only option to relieve his pain and suffering, would you know what regulatory agency to call for permission to end his life? It’s a trick question. Veterinarians don’t need permission to euthanize a wild animal in cases like that. And if you didn’t know that, you’re not alone.
If you know someone who’s thinking of gifting a pet for the holidays and you’ve educated them on the four rules for gifting someone a dog or cat (which include checking with the giftee first to see if they’re up for a 10- to 20-year commitment), make sure to educate them on the best place to buy the pet, too. Shelters, rescues, and reputable breeders are good places to look. Cyber Monday sales are not.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating a potential link between heart disease in dogs and the consumption of pet food containing peas, among other vegetables. Martine Hartogensis, DVM, deputy director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Surveillance and Compliance, called the reports “highly unusual” because they’re occurring in breeds with no genetic predisposition to DCM.
This week: A family buries the wrong cat, Smuckers recalls more dog treats, and guinea pigs pose a potential threat.