Where went the wolf?

Source: Aeon

(March 9, 2023) Cuteness in offspring serves a key evolutionary function of eliciting a caregiving response from adults. Cuteness is also one of the most basic and powerful forces shaping human relations with dogs. But unfortunately, it isn’t all sweetness and light – the enduring cuteness of certain dogs throughout life has become a status symbol unto itself. Unfortunately, the cutest and most popular breeds tend also to be those with the most significant risk of health and behavioural problems. Cuteness is often coupled with canine discomfort. The second most fashionable breed of dog in the US last year was the French bulldog, affectionately known as the Frenchie, distinctive for its large head, extremely short muzzle, big round eyes, and humungous bat ears. Alongside the Frenchie, other brachycephalic (‘short-headed’) breeds remain among the most desired, most frequently purchased, and most likely to appear on Instagram and other social media platforms...Read more»


Netherlands moves to ban pets suffering 'harmful' traits

Source: VIN News Service

(February 21, 2023) In what may be a world first, the Netherlands is preparing legislation that would ban the ownership of pets with harmful physical characteristics that may include extremely flat faces or tightly folded ears. Some countries, states and cities prohibit or restrict ownership of pet breeds perceived to be dangerous to humans. The Netherlands appears to be the first jurisdiction to move toward banning ownership based on harm to the animal due to its physical features...Read more»


Spy Cams Show What the Pork Industry Tries to Hide

Source: The New York Times (tiered subscription model)

(February 4, 2023) The hog industry hails the gas chambers in which pigs are prepared for slaughter as “animal friendly,” “stress free” and “painless.” That would be a good thing, since on average, four pigs are slaughtered each second in the United States. But a California activist recently sneaked into a slaughterhouse at night and installed spy cams inside a gas chamber to record this supposedly humane process. The resulting videos are horrifying: They show the pigs squealing desperately, thrashing about and gasping for air before eventually succumbing...Read more»


Health screening test rolled out for brachycephalic breeds

Source: AVMA News

(January 30, 2023)  A few years ago, the University of Cambridge and The Kennel Club in the U.K. developed the Respiratory Function Grading Scheme as a way to objectively measure the severity of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome in dogs and help make a clinical diagnosis. The intent of the scheme is also to improve understanding of the condition, increase awareness, and ultimately reduce the incidence of BOAS. Now the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, a U.S.-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting the health and welfare of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease, has joined this international effort and has licensed the RFGS for use in the U.S. and Canada. The OFA is instituting respiratory function grading of brachycephalic breeds as one of its health screening tests...Read more»


Chewy's push into pet telehealth runs into regulatory hurdles, skeptical veterinarians

Source: CNBC

(January 24, 2023) Chewy, the e-commerce pet-goods giant best known for its convenient auto-ship services and generous return policies, wants to grow its veterinary telehealth service as part of an overall push into health care. While the telehealth service is a small part of the company’s rapidly expanding health offerings, it is important to its strategy. Yet it also faces regulatory obstacles and skepticism from the veterinary community. Longtime veterinarians told CNBC the service can have some benefit for minor situations, or for people who don’t have easy access to vet care. But it could create problems for pets, too, they said...Read more»


Your Pandemic Puppy Was Not a Mistake

Source: The New York Times

(August 8, 2022) It’s difficult to find veterinary care nearly everywhere right now, even when it isn’t an after-hours emergency. During the first year of the pandemic alone, Americans adopted new animals in record numbers, and an estimated 23 million households brought home a new pet that year. But it’s important to consider these numbers in the context of a mind-boggling economy of scale. The number of pet adoptions and surrenders fluctuates all the time, and for many reasons. Millions of pets ended up in shelters every year before the pandemic, and millions of others will end up in shelters even after the economy recovers...Read more»


How to help pets beat the heat

Source: The Hill

(August 2, 2022) With continued record-high temperatures affecting the planet, it’s crucial that we consider the needs of our pets who are particularly susceptible to heat stress. Regardless of the global warming phenomenon taking place, heat-related injuries, such as heatstroke, are issues veterinarians routinely encounter in our patients during the summer months. However, there are some essential steps that pet parents can take to keep their furry loved ones safe and avoid emergency hospital visits...Read more»


This widely unknown method of killing farm animals is crueler than you can imagine

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

(July 18, 2022) The average American consumes an estimated 224.8 pounds of red meat and poultry each year — primarily chicken, beef and pork. That level of consumption requires a robust, accessible, safe and inexpensive supply chain to bring animal products from farms to tables. During emergencies, however, it also demands the rapid destruction of large populations of animals, including aggressive policies to prevent the spread of zoonotic avian influenza among fowl or COVID-19 among the agricultural workforce. The sanitized term for these mass killings of animals — usually on industrial farms — is “depopulation.”...Read more»

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