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Analysis and Comment (12)

Studies have, in the past, suggested that dogs appeal most to people who are extroverted, conscientious, agreeable and conventional. Studies have, in the past, suggested that dogs appeal most to people who are extroverted, conscientious, agreeable and conventional. Cams

Faithful Fido or fickle Felix: what determines our pet preferences?

Pets inspire powerful emotions and strong attachments. They comfort the sick, console the lonely and entertain the children. We invite them into our families, pay their human-sized medical expenses and…
Cute, perhaps, but not a pet. Cute, perhaps, but not a pet. Lionel Mauritson

We have to do more to ensure welfare of primates kept as pets

It may come as a surprise to discover that it is perfectly legal in the UK to keep primates, such as marmosets, loris, capuchins or squirrel monkeys, as pets. Perhaps more surprising still is that there…
Pets can also provide their owners with social support, acting as a friend and confidante. Pets can also provide their owners with social support, acting as a friend and confidante. Crashing Waves/flickr

Why science can’t really tell us whether pets are good for health

Links between human health and pet ownership are of widespread community interest but there’s little clarity about the issue in scientific circles. It is relatively safe to say that pets can be good for…
Pets now have their own spa treatments, gourmet dinners and health insurance in a growing business driven by the “humanisation” of animals. Pets now have their own spa treatments, gourmet dinners and health insurance in a growing business driven by the “humanisation” of animals. Matthew Kenwrick/Flickr

Pets join the family, and business is booming

The recently proposed $338 million merger of Australian vet and pet products companies Greencross and Petbarn illustrates something that perhaps we have known for a while now: our pets are becoming more…
A feral cat by the roadside. A feral cat by the roadside. EPA/Nic Bothma

How desexing cats saves lives

Thousands of unowned cats wander Australian streets every night. Some are feral, existing in self-sustaining populations not reliant on people, while others are semi-feral and are either fed by people…
Poor treatment is one reason why any dog could become dangerous. Poor treatment is one reason why any dog could become dangerous.

The Dangerous Dogs Act bites worse than it barks

Proposed changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act are based on the assumption that Britain faces a growing threat posed by dangerous dogs and their owners. The proposal is to impose harsher penalties. Before…
The Obamas have adopted a second dog, Sunny, to go with Bo. What do the pets presidents have say about them? The Obamas have adopted a second dog, Sunny, to go with Bo. What do the pets presidents have say about them? The White House

Politics on four legs: presidents and their pets

A dog saved Richard Nixon’s political career. In September 1952, Republican presidential nominee Dwight Eisenhower was furious with Nixon, his running mate in the coming presidential election. Nixon, who…
Good veterinary practices practice good hygiene - but you’d be surprised how few of them do. Good veterinary practices practice good hygiene - but you’d be surprised how few of them do. The National Guard

Why the low hygiene standards between vets and pets?

We all know hygiene is paramount in hospitals, necessary to protect patients and staff alike. But while medical staff usually wear protection when conducting examinations on infectious patients and hospitals…
Overweight pets have become collateral casualties in the ongoing war against human obesity. Overweight pets have become collateral casualties in the ongoing war against human obesity. MrTGT/Flickr

It’s a dog’s life when man’s best friend becomes his fattest

A study published this morning in Nature offers further insight into how dogs became domesticated. The comparative analysis of human, canine and wolf genomes suggests that humans and dogs have evolved…
An exotic pet - like this slow loris - won’t have come to you voluntarily. An exotic pet - like this slow loris - won’t have come to you voluntarily. Michael Whitehead

Dear Santa, please don’t deliver exotic pets for Christmas!

What’s the worst Christmas gift you could give someone? It would have to be a non-human primate or a big cat. Images of people cuddling cute baby chimpanzees, slow lorises or tigers can lead to false perceptions…
We want our pets to be happy, but how much luxury do they need? We want our pets to be happy, but how much luxury do they need? nezitic[x]/flickr

What about your carbon pawprint?

People around the world are worrying about their carbon footprint. But what about their furry friends' carbon pawprints? Consider the numbers: there are currently around 1 billion pet cats and dogs worldwide…
Eighteen tigers from a private zoo in Ohio have been shot: could you have a pet tiger here? Eighteen tigers from a private zoo in Ohio have been shot: could you have a pet tiger here? Karl Vernes

Is Ohio zoo slaughter a setback for tiger conservation?

Residents of Zanesville, Ohio, woke to the news today that most of the bears, wolves, lions and tigers that had been roaming free in their neighbourhood had been shot by police. Police believe the animals…

Research Briefs (1)