Companion Animal Psychology News March 2017

A goldfish with a wheelchair, trained cats, and a ban on prong and choke collars - the latest news on dogs and cats.

A dog and cat read the latest pet news from March 2017

By Zazie Todd, PhD

Some of my favourites from around the web this month:

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25 things you probably didn’t know about dogs by Hal Herzog. What the latest canine science teaches us about dogs.

Cats getting “eufloric”. Mikel Delgado reviews a new study on how cats respond to catnip, valerian, silvervine and honeysuckle. Do your cats get olfactory enrichment?

“She is my friend”. Beautiful post by Lori Nanan of Your Pit Bull and You on our relationship with dogs.

Recognizing the superhero in your senior dog by Maureen Backman. For those of you with senior dogs.

Mounting evidence to prove that flat-faced cat breeds are suffering by Marc-André at Katzenworld blog.

Traveling the world with cats and a dog by Andrew Harding.

Pets in the news…

Homeless woman’s dog ‘is my everything’. A report from the Sacramento Bee about a program that provides veterinary care to pets of the homeless.  And, helping the pets of the homeless in NYC.

A life-saving domestic violence pet shelter in Victoria, Australia, is struggling to meet demand

Meanwhile in Ottawa, the SafePet program helps look after the pets of women leaving domestic violence. Ayala Sher has been honoured by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association for her work in founding the program.

In Toronto, it is increasingly common for landlords to require references for pets as well as people  according to the CBC. In BC, pet owners rally to change rental laws. Only 10% of rental properties in Vancouver allow pets, says Eliot Galan, organizer of the campaign.

There are moves to regulate dog training in Hillsborough County and the entire state of Florida. It’s being called Sarge’s law after the death of a dog called Sarge in 2015. (More on what happened to Sarge here in this post by Marc Bekoff about dog training's "dirty little secret").

And since dog training is not regulated, we also get stories like this: Woman charged after taping dead rooster to dog’s neck. 7News reports that she faces a possible penalty of a $1000 dollar fine and 90 days in jail.

In other dog training news, Toronto’s bylaw that bans prong and choke collars took effect 1st March.

BC targets irresponsible breeders with changes to animal welfare legislation. The amendments allow for the establishment of an external regulatory agency that includes inspectors who would be responsible for enforcing standards of care for breeders”

Indoor cats have high levels of brominated flame retardants in their blood due to chemicals in the home.  “The results are very interesting because small children, notorious for putting everything in their mouths, have exposures to these chemicals similar to cats.”

The most common pet toxin is human prescription  medicines. The list of the top 10 pet toxins of 2016 is compiled by the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

And a troubled goldfish has got a customized wheelchair.

Upcoming Events

On Tuesday, March 28th, Lori Nanan of iSpeakDog is giving a free webinar aimed at teaching people how to better understand their dogs. The webinar is hosted by the Academy for Dog Trainers. Although the live webinar is already full, those who sign up will be sent a link to the recording.

Separation Anxiety: Mission Possible with Malena De Martini-Price at Women’s Human Society, Bensalem, PA, April 29 – 30 2017.

Seminar with Debbie Jacobs on the most effective and humane ways to work with fearful dogs in Denver, NC on 20th May 2017.

The Human-Animal Bond and Companion Animals: Implications for Animal Welfare, Society and Veterinarians. Weds 21st June 2017, Royal Veterinary College – University of London (Camden Campus). Speakers include Prof Danny Mills, Dr. Siobhan Abeysinge, Dr. Sandra McCune, Peter Gorbing, Dr. Alex German, chaired by Martin Whiting.

Pam Johnson-Bennett’s CatWise Cat CafĂ© tour visits cat cafes across the United States, and starts at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida on March 23rd.

Photos and Videos

Looking back at American dog shows in the early 1900s via the Washington Post.

Readers’ prize-winning photos of cats via The Guardian.

A day in the life of a dog at Crufts. A photo-essay from The Guardian.

Photographer Isaac Alvarez was fed up of people judging his dog, so he made a series of photos blending dogs with their owners.

Cats from Ravenna with photos by Marianna Zampieri.

Photos of the faces of stray cats who live on the streets in Vilnius, Lithuania, by Gabriel Khiterer.

Three beautiful cats, Tomu, Eemeli and Kira show off their tricks:


Here at Companion Animal Psychology

This month, the Companion Animal Psychology Book Club is reading Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell by Alexandra Horowitz. Highly recommended.

Next month, we will be reading (or re-reading) The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs by Patricia McConnell.

Don’t miss Jane Gething-Lewis’s guest post, dearly departed dogs, about what online pet obituaries tell us about the experience of losing a pet. My own top post of the last month was about play bows in domestic dogs and hand-reared wolves and this month’s trending archive post is where do cats like to be stroked? I was also delighted to share more photos of happy dogs who are friends of Companion Animal Psychology.

Companion Animal Psychology is about to reach an important milestone. Stay tuned…

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