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James Watts

BSc Bioveterinary Science. Editor of PetSci. When I'm not writing, learning, discussing, or reading about animals, you know it's the weekend! Currently developing PetSci HealthTrak, the fast and easy way to monitor your pet's weight and calorie intake. HealthTrak offers a simple way to track your pet's progress, helping them achieve a healthy weight and a long, happy life.

Pet Ownership Reduces Allergies and Obesity in Children

baby and dog

Research from the University of Alberta has found pet ownership could reduce obesity and allergic diseases in children. The study conducted by Anita Kozyrskyj, a pediatric epidemiologist, looked at 746 infants. They found babies from households with pets had higher levels of certain microbes in the gut. These microbes are linked to a reduced risk of obesity and allergic diseases …

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Myoclonic Epilepsy Gene Discovered in Dogs

rhodesian ridgeback JME

A gene potentially linked to epilepsy has been discovered in dogs. A study investigated juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) in Rhodesian Ridgebacks in search of its genetic cause. The genome wide association study (GWAS) revealed DIRAS1 to be a strong candidate gene. The gene has previously been linked to neurotransmission, making it a good entry point for future research into myoclonic epilepsies. DNA testing …

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Dogs Enjoy the Sounds of Soft Rock and Reggae Music

dog wearing headphones

Researchers at the University of  Glasgow explored how different music genres affected the behaviour of kennelled dogs. In the study ‘The effect of different genres of music on the stress levels of kennelled dogs’ soft rock and reggae had the most beneficial effect on behaviour. The study follows on from previous research that investigated the impact of classical music on …

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Children Have Closer Relationships to Their Pets than Siblings

Child hugging dog

A recent study compared the relationships children have with pets to those with their siblings. The findings revealed that kids got greater satisfaction from relationships with their pets. The study also provided further evidence that pets are important in the social development of children and early adolescents. It’s no surprise that pets are considered a fully-fledged addition to the family. We …

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Cats Can Learn About the Nutritional Value of Their Food

Cats can get a bad rep for being finicky eaters, but research by the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition suggests otherwise. A study looking at the flavour, aroma and nutrition of cat foods found that even unappealing flavours can be a cat’s preferred choice if the nutritional content is right. The study by Mars Petcare showed that cats are able to …

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Is the English Bulldog One of the World’s Unhealthiest Breeds?

english bulldog lying down

The genetic diversity of the English Bulldog is now so limited it could be difficult to improve the health problems associated with the breed. Selective breeding of the English Bulldog for specific traits has been carried out by humans for many years. This has caused large changes in the genome of the Bulldog, which now put it at the top …

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Whelping Essentials: Preparing for your Dog’s Pregnancy

We’ve compiled a list of whelping essentials to help you and your dog get through her pregnancy. When your dog becomes pregnant there are lots of preparations that can be made to make the labour as stress-free as possible. A well-prepared owner greatly improves the odds of each puppy’s survival. These whelping essentials will make sure you’re prepared for all possible …

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iPet Companion Lets You Play With Real Cats Over the Internet

iPet Companion is an innovation that lets people across the globe interact with shelter cats through the internet. You can head over there right now and entertain shelter cats waiting for a new forever home. A simple click of a button is all it takes to get the toys wiggling and the cats moving. Shelters across North America and Canada have signed up …

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