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Pet News

April 27, 2016

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal

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Nowadays most of us live with pets because we love animals. We assume we need to "take care of them" since their intelligence is inferior to ours.

But perhaps they are just different, very very different. In the newly-released Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? zoologist Frans de Waal reveals how intelligent animals actually are, and how we as human beings have generally underestimated their abilities.

People often assume a cognitive ladder, from lower to higher forms, with our own intelligence at the top. But what if it is more like a bush, with cognition taking different forms that are often incomparable to ours? Would you presume yourself dumber than a squirrel because you're less adept at recalling the locations of hundreds of buried acorns? Or would you judge your perception of your surroundings as more sophisticated than that of a echolocating bat? De Waal reviews the rise and fall of the mechanistic view of animals and opens our minds to the idea that animal minds are far more intricate and complex than we have assumed. De Waal's landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal―and human―intelligence.

His research was based on crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and the usual chimpanzees and bonobos. At Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

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February 2, 2016

United States Postal Service 2016 Pets Stamps

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We Americans love our pets. And the United States Postal Service has noticed, since of course they would love us to buy their stamps and products.

This year (2016) the Postal Service is issuing a booklet of 20 USPS Forever Stamps featuring photographs of 20 pets (see USPS Pet Stamps 2016 and scroll down).

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The stamps show pets from the following groups: puppies, betta fish, iguanas, hamsters, goldfish, parrots, guinea pigs, tortoises, rabbits, kittens, corn snakes, mice, hermit crabs, chinchillas, gerbils, dogs, parakeets, horses, cats, and geckos. The photographs were taken by Eric Isselée and Derry Noyes was the art director.

At USPS Forever Stamps.

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December 24, 2015

A Christmas Message -- Cherishing Our Pets

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I look at my dogs and think: this is one way I know there is a God.

--

Officer Cynical, on cherishing our pets at Views from My Squad Car

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Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
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September 13, 2014

PetScoop: How Climate Change is Predicted to Affect North American Birds

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More than half of the approximately 650 bird species in North America could be severely affected by climate change, scientists from the National Audubon Society predicted in a disturbing study cited in Climate Change Will Disrupt Half of North America's Bird Species, Study Says | NYTimes.com.

Ecosystems and food chains are being threatened and some species of birds could decline or even disappear. Populations may be forced to relocate and deal with unfamiliar predators. This article links to an interactive graphic.

On the bright side, Dr. Langham said, his report shows that many species will continue in their current abundance and, mostly, their current locations: American robins, red-tailed hawks, western scrub jays, western meadowlarks, northern cardinals and northern mockingbirds.

And at least one species, popular among poets and jilted lovers, is expected to flourish as warming takes its course, Dr. Langham said. "You want to know what climate change sounds like?" he asked. "It's the sound of a mourning dove -- their climate potential is going to increase."

Other species may or may not be able to adapt.

Learn more about our wild birds at National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds: Eastern Region and National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds: Western Region.

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September 10, 2014

PetScoop -- Dogs Prefer Hugs and Food Over Praise

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Here at SCP HQ we talk to the staff canines all the time, telling them how wonderful they are. Rarely does our conversation get a response back or even a tail thump on the floor. But that's ok because they still are awesome company.

So we are not at all surprised by the conclusions of a University of Florida study Shut up and pet me! Dogs prefer petting to vocal praise | Seriously, Science? | DiscoverMagazine.com that dogs prefer petting and food to compliments. Who knew??

It's probably no surprise that dogs like to be petted. But do they prefer petting over other types of attention? Here, two scientists from the University of Florida tested whether dogs would prefer to be petted or given vocal praise, and whether it mattered if the petting/praise came from an owner or a stranger. Turns out that dogs love pets, regardless of who is doing the petting, and they never seem to get tired of being petted. Interestingly, a previous study by the same authors found that dogs do like one thing even more than petting: food.

So the prescription for happiness in the pet household: hug your best buddies frequently and sprinkle liberally with treats!

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May 8, 2014

PetScoop -- Surprising Facts About Our Super Cool Pets

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Those of us who have lived with pets all our lives may think we have seen it all, but this article 10 Things You Didn't Know About Cats and Dogs | Huffington Post could surprise you.

David Grimm is an award-winning journalist and the Online News Editor of Science Magazine, the world's leading journal of science news and scientific research. He is also the author of the new book, Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs which we posted about here.

He has some interesting tidbits about our best buddies in his post 10 Things You Didn't Know About Cats and Dogs | Huffington Post. For example:

Most owners would be willing to risk their lives to save their pets. Although we make think we're the craziest cat or dog person out there, most Americans have very intense relationships with their pets. According to recent surveys, more than 90 percent of owners consider their pet a family member, more than half would be "very likely" to risk their lives to save their pet, and -- if trapped on a desert island -- half of all owners say they would rather live out their days with a cat or dog than with a human companion.

10 Things You Didn't Know About Cats and Dogs | Huffington Post is a fun read and ditto for the book.

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March 3, 2014

PetScoop: Iditarod 2014 -- Long-Distance Husky Sled Race

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The mushers have just kicked off the 2014 42nd Iditarod. The Iditarod is a 1,000-mile race run in Alaska by the world's top sled dogs. The Race kicks off from Willow and ends up in Nome. There are 69 mushers with teams of 16 sled dogs each.

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This race is grueling, to put it mildly, and these husky dogs are bred for the job. To get insights into the life of a musher and his dogs, check out Iditarod Alaska: Life of a Long Distance Sled Dog Musher recently published by Burt Bomhoff. Among his other credentials, the author finished seven Iditarod Trail Sled Dog races and is known for his outstanding dog care. This is an enjoyable and informative read.

More for adults and children at Iditarod.

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February 5, 2014

PetScoop -- New Pet Dental Product: Milk-Bone Brushing Chews

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Do you brush your dog's teeth? Will your dog even LET you brush his/her teeth? Even though we all love our dogs to pieces and know we are supposed to, few of us actually do, doggie breath and all. Even our vets. But take heart, relief is on the way.

Milk-Bone will be launching Milk-Bone Brushing Chews this coming March. Research shows that the Chews are as effective as twice-per-week brushing when given daily, reducing tartar and halitosis.

The new Brushing Chew is, of course, shaped like a bone, with a 75 degree twist, plus nubs and ridges designed to clean down to the gum line as would the bristles on a toothbrush. But...are they fattening? Chews for small dogs tally up to less than 65 calories per treat and the chews for large dogs will be less than 100 calories.

Read more at Veterinary News.

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December 30, 2013

PetScoop -- 2013 Top 50 Puppy Name List

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October 21, 2013

Pet Scoop: Choke Collars May Kill Your Dog

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Because dogs can easily slip their collar and take off down the road, many of us control them with slip chains, also known as choke collars.

We are not advocating against them, but it is apparently important to be watchful when using them. Choke collars may be hazardous to your dog's health, according to At Day Care for Dogs, a Surprise: Choke Collars That Can Kill | New York Times:

Peanut, the family's 3- or 4-pound Yorkshire terrier, was found strangled on Sunday morning, hanging from a choke collar and leash in the back of a van operated by a fancy kennel.

For the rest of the story, go to At Day Care for Dogs, a Surprise: Choke Collars That Can Kill | New York Times.

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October 9, 2013

PetScoop -- Study Names Sleepypod's Clickit Utility Harness 2013 Top Performing Pet Safety Harness

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A pilot study by Subaru and the Center for Pet Safety conferred the honor of the 2013 Top Performing Pet Safety Harness on Sleepypod's Clickit Utility Harness, reports Subaru, Pet Safety Group Test Out Dog Seat Belts | CBS DC.

At a test speed of 30 mph, the three-point safety harness was the only one that successfully restrained a dog from being propelled out of the seat. Seven harnesses were tested overall. The article says that Subaru will offer the Sleepypod's Clickit as an accessory in its automobiles.

Read more about Sleepypod's Clickit Utility Harness here.

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July 31, 2013

Home for Sale? Pets and Selling Real Estate

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If you live with animals, you can only benefit by reducing and hopefully eliminating pet odors, odors which you may not even notice. Most of us have company over from time to time or maybe you are selling your home.

Hard as it may be to believe, many people react negatively to the presence of pets whether due to allergies, fear or just indifference. Dogs, Cats and Real Estate | Realty Times has some easy tips.

Make sure you and your pet are not home on the day of the open house or during showings.

If your pet has had "accidents" around the house, the Humane Society of the United States recommends buying a black light at a home supply store so you can find old urine stains. You should clean these areas thoroughly because your pet will return to the scene of its "crime" and do it again if the area isn't neutralized, says the society.

To clean washable items, add a one-pound box of baking soda to regular detergent and air dry the items.

For carpet and upholstery, rent an extractor or wet vac, advises the society. Once the area is clean, use a high-quality pet odor neutralizer, available at pet supply stores. If the area still looks stained, try a carpet stain remover. The society says you should avoid using a steam cleaner because it will permanently set the stain and odor. Don't use cleaning chemicals - they don't cover the smell and may actually encourage your pet to come back to reinforce the scent in that area, says the society.

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May 22, 2013

PetScoop -- Why Our Dogs and Cats Make Us Feel Good

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Our brains release oxytocin, "the feel-good" hormone in the brain, when we pet our dogs and cats, according to Pets are good for you. Our pets can have a wonderful effect on our mood, even possibly our goldfish. A study showed that having a fish tank at a nursing home improved appetites. Whether that was due to the fish or the water, the jury is still out. Read the full article at over at Psychology Today.

For more on this subject read Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond by Meg Daley Olmert who explains why the brain chemistry humans and animals trigger in each other has such a profound effect on our mental and physical well being.

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May 21, 2013

PetScoop -- Boomers and Childless Spend Most on Their Pets

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According to Americans spend more on pets than beer or movies | Quartz, here in the U.S. we spend an average of about $500 annually on our pets, equating to 1% of their annual budget.

Overall Americans spent $61.4 billion on their charges, almost twice as much as global spending on movie tickets last year, with heavier outlay in our rural areas.

The most pampered American pets live with Baby Boomers and childless couples, and single pet owners and single parents are more likely to skimp on kitty and doggy spending.

Owners most likely to buy for dogs (say, little booties on Buddy) are ages 55 to 64, and couples without children, a new analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows. They spend hundreds of dollars more than those in their 20s and 30s.

At Pet Supplies

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