Thoughts from the Wild

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Following Bread Crumbs: Gluten-Sniffing Dogs

September 27, 2018

Just how sensitive is a dog’s sense of smell? Theoretically, it can detect a single spoon of sugar dissolved in a million gallons of water, the equivalent of two Olympic-sized pools, according to Alexandra Horowitz, author of the bestselling Inside a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know. Now, trainers are channeling those talented snouts …

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5 Ways to Celebrate National Dog Week

September 20, 2018

“The world likes dogs because dogs are nearest to moral perfection of all living things,” according to Captain William Judy, who founded National Dog Week in 1928. The ordained minister, World War I veteran and publisher of the late Dog World magazine chose the last week in September as a time to honor that enduring …

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Canine dilated cardiomyopathy: What’s the cause?

September 14, 2018

In July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced they are investigating a possible link between canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and certain pet foods. The foods being looked at are made with peas, lentils, other legume seeds or potatoes as main ingredients, the typical make up of grain-free dog food. The number of dogs …

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Interpreting the Language of Pet Pain

September 7, 2018

Human babies can emit a high-decibel wail when uncomfortable. A small child can point out an owie on the elbow. But aside from the occasional whimper or yowl, most pets lack the physical or verbal skills to communicate pain. And many pets — especially those of the feline persuasion — instinctively hide evidence of pain …

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Can Dogs Help Prevent Cancer in People?

August 30, 2018

Just having a dog in your life can be good for your health. There are the obvious benefits of companionship, including the squeals of delight when you return home and unlimited snuggling on lazy Saturday mornings. But research shows that dogs can also lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and help …

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Can Prison Inmates and Dogs Rescue Each Other?

August 23, 2018

It all started in 1975 when a state hospital inmate brought an injured bird back to the ward. Noticing that the bird improved the behavior of other inmates, the staff initiated an animal therapy program. The impact was profound: Inmates with access to animals required 50 percent less medication and were less violent than inmates …

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Left-Handed Pets: Can That Be Right?

August 9, 2018

Oh, the plight of left-handed people. It’s hard enough that they have to deal with right-handed scissors and can openers. Then there are cup holders in cars, situated inconveniently on the right side of the driver’s seat. Even writing in a 3-ring binder or spiral-bound notebook requires a certain amount of contortionism. Maybe that’s why …

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