Cats have a reputation for being aloof and independent. But a study of the way domestic cats respond to their caregivers suggests that their socio-cognitive abilities and the depth of their human attachments have been underestimated. The findings reported in the journal Current Biology on Sept. 23 show that, much like children and dogs, pet cats form secure and insecure bonds with their human caretakers.
A new study from the University of Copenhagen reports that the prevalence of overweight dogs is markedly larger among overweight owners than among normal weight owners. Part of the explanation lies in whether treats are used as training tools or "hygge-snacks". It is the first major study on canine obesity in Denmark.
A new, two-minute screening technique could help save cats from dying prematurely of heart disease. Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University recently developed a focused cardiac ultrasound (FCU) protocol for use by veterinarians in general practice to increase detection of cardiac issues in cats that aren't outwardly showing signs of disease. The team published their study in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
Gorillas are social animals, living in groups that females will migrate to join, becoming members of harems. Though some factors motivating these migrations were previously known, a research team has just demonstrated that female gorillas are able to avoid conspecifics liable to transmit yaws, which leads to conspicuous ulcers on the animals' faces.
Researchers at the Universities of Abuja and Nigeria, in collaboration with the University of Bristol, have detected a potentially human-infective microbe in pet dogs in Nigeria.
If a woodrat is in captivity and is eating an artificial diet, that finely tuned gut microbiome changes. In a paper published in the International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal, the research team reports that the native gut microbiome can be preserved in captivity by continuing to feed the animals their native foods instead of an artificial diet.
An extensive international survey conducted at the University of Helsinki indicates that pet owners do not consider raw food to considerably increase infection risk in their household. In the survey, targeted at pet owners, raw food was reliably determined to be a contaminant only in three households.
As Healthy Aging Month is underway this September, Florida State University researchers have found the companionship of a pet after the loss of a spouse can help reduce feelings of depression and loneliness in older adults.
Dog brain structure varies across breeds and is correlated with specific behaviors, according to new research published in JNeurosci. These findings show how, by selectively breeding for certain behaviors, humans have shaped the brains of their best friends.
A human infective nematode found in remote northern areas of Australia has been identified in canine carriers for the first time. Flinders University environmental health researchers, with experts in the USA, have found a form of the soil-borne Strongyloides worm in faeces collected from dogs. Strongyloidiasis, carried by several kinds of Strongyloides spp., is estimated to infect up to 370 million people around the world, mainly in places with poor sanitation in developing or disadvantaged communities.