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According to some surveys, more than 90% of owners view their pets as members of the family. 'Dog' via

When is it ethical to euthanize your pet?

In the past, owners were quick to put their pets down. Now, with many viewing pets as family members, are they waiting too long?
Not hard to read. Eddy Van 3000

Do animals feel pain like we do?

Pain is a subjective experience that often relies on talking to patients so it's harder to know what animals think.
The story of Johnny Depp’s dogs and their potential fate attracted global media attention. AAP/Dave Hunt

Johnny Depp’s dogs show evolving ideas of animal ‘citizenship’

Behind the uproar over Johnny Depp's dogs lies a serious and evolving idea: our animal companions have an important place in our lives that entitles them to rights akin to a sort of citizenship.
RSPCA inspectors seized these dogs from one of the puppy farms that meet much of the pet shop industry demand. AAP/RSPCA

War of words: how cute puppies become 250,000 abandoned dogs

The pet industry meets 'demand' driven by the 'right' to own a puppy. Animal welfare advocates respond with a 'vigil' to mark the 'shameful' fate of 250,000 dogs abandoned each year.
All the better for hearing you with. Boris Roessler/EPA

Dog brains process human speech in the same way we do

Sometimes it may seem like your dog doesn’t want to listen. But in our study, however, we’ve found that he may understand more than he lets on. Human speech is complex, communicating not only words but…
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…
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. 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. 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.

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 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. 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…
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? 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…

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