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  • Behavior Problems? We have answers.Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Learn about behavior from our team of experts. Whether you have cats, dogs, reptiles, horses or birds, we can help you learn to live with them. Read More
  • All About HorsesAll About Horses

    All About Horses

    Learn about equine science, whether you're an aspiring rider or a long-time owner, we have the latest in products, breeds, and more. Read More
  • Traveling with PetsTraveling with Pets

    Traveling with Pets

    Be sure to check this section out before you hit the road with your pet! We've got a look at pet-friendly hotels, the guidelines of air, train, bus and auto travel, and much more. Read More
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    All About Critters

    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and more. Read More
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    All About Reptiles

    A look at our cold-blooded friends and discovering how to care for these fun loving creatures! Read More
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  • Take Your Dog To Work Week

    While we're lucky enough to spend just about every waking with our dogs and cats, we know a lot of you don't have that luxury. Next week, every one will have the opportunity to take their dogs to work - because it's officially "Take Your Dog To Work Week" (#TYDTWW)!

    Having an official week like this is important for corporations, because if it's done correctly, everyone can benefit from having dogs in the workplace. Dogs promote a happier work environment, can keep employees calm just be being around them, and can give everyone a chance to laugh when they may otherwise not do so. We all know how important laughter is in the workplace.

    Today, you should talk to your boss and see what the office policy is on this holiday next week. If they aren't totally sure about allowing this, we have some office antics that can help even the most reluctant boss change their mind...

    Read More
  • TrackR Uses Crowd GPS To Locate Your Pets

    It's tough finding a GPS collar or tag that is small enough for your cat or tiny dog to wear, but the TrackR tag meets that requirement. This tiny device attaches to your pets collar and uses "Crowd Tracking" (more about this below) to locate your lost pet (or luggage or car or anything else).

    The tracking is not as detailed as the standard tracker, but it's new technology. Rather than pinpoint the item, it tells you when you're near it by using "hot" or "cold" cues (which we all remember from our childhood games).

    A 2-way separation alert (when you pet gets too far from your phone) alerts you so you never have to worry about leaving a pet behind.

    Read More
  • Installing a Pet Door for Summer

    This time of year, I spend most of my day letting dogs in and letting dogs out. It’s annoying. Since I live in the hottest place of the world (in an environment that is actively trying to kill us), every single time I open the door, I let out about $30 worth of air-conditioned comfort.

    My pets don’t really care about our loss of air conditioning - they would be totally content to stand in the doorway letting the cool air waft over them while they were warmed by the sun.

    Their lack of empathy means I have to take precautions to conserve my air conditioned comfort. I don't want to knock a hole in the wall, so what’s a girl to do? The answer is simple, really...

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  • Protect Our Water by Picking Up After Pooches

    Despite the fact that water covers 71% of the earth, we are finding ourselves with rapidly dwindling water supplies. Those of us in North America are very fortunate because we have large aquifers and a good amount of rain (if you're not in the Southwest).

    But every year, our large population consumes far more water than we should and most of our states are in drought conditions. This makes it a precious resource we should never take for granted. Instead, it's a resource we should be fiercely protecting.

    Contamination is one of the biggest problems and while most of the water contamination comes from humans, dog waste is the third leading cause of water pollution.

    Every single gram of dog waste hosts over 23 million fecal bacteria. This bacteria seeps into the soil, is absorbed by groundwater, washed into storm drains into our aquifer, and then filtered and recycled through waste water treatment plants. Eventually, it ends up right back into our water supply with a final arrival out of our taps.

    And who wants to drink that?!

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  • Synthetic Dog Could Replace Shelter Dogs for Veterinarian Training

    Just when you think the fate of an abandoned animal can't possibly get any worse. ABC News recently reported that many of these dogs and cats are sold to terminal surgery laboratories where they are used for testing and surgery training, and then euthanized.

    Now, I have to say, we have our doubts about this practice and that story's accuracy. The veterinary schools we know and work with abandoned that practice many, many years ago and only perform surgeries on shelter animals who require surgery. Even then, then they do their best to find homes for the animals through legitimate rescuers.

    On the other paw, many laboratories do purchase animals from "B dealers" (aka puppy mills, horses from slaughterhouses and others who just breed to sell to laboratories).

    Regardless, SynDaver Labs, a Florida-based company, is planning to change any need for anyone to ever have to purchase a live dog for experimentation or training DVMs by replacing them with lifelike and very realistic synthetic dog that mimics nearly every part of a live animal.

    Read More
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Dogs that can't Swim and Some that just aren't very good at it

Summer is officially here in the desert and we have reached temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, so you know Read More

Disaster preparedness with pets

September is National Animal Preparedness Month. Some natural disasters require that you evacuate your entire family, pets included. Wildfires, floods, Read More

Keeping Aquariums Alive During Summer Blackouts

Summer is on the way, and that means possible brown outs (power shortages) and even blackouts (power outages) for most Read More

Keeping Pets Safe from Coyotes

No matter where you live, you’ve likely had to deal with wildlife. Whether its mountain lions and coyotes, or squirrels Read More

10 Ways to Help Cats #AdoptAShelterCatMonth

June is #AdoptAShelterCatMonth and that means it's time to join in the festivities and celebrate all thing cat! We really Read More

Teaching Children to Approach Horses

I have a problem with parents who just allow their kids just run up to strange animals. In fact today, Read More
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One of the best home security systems requires no monthly contracts or electrical wiring and may go unnoticed by crooks. Thanks to innovative new research, cat fur is helping to identify and convict miscreants, from robbers to murderers. As a result, your purring lap kitty could one day save your belongings -- and maybe even your life. Inspiration From TV Crime Shows
Dr. Leslie Lyons, one of the world’s leading experts on cat genetics, pioneered the research. She enjoys watching certain television crime programs. “I’m a big fan of ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,’” she says, which included two episodes where cat fur was part of the evidence. Lyons, based at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, was already compiling information on cat DNA when a lightbulb moment struck her. Lyons and her colleagues then created a DNA database that forensic science experts can use to help identify the source of cat fur. “Because cats incessantly groom, cat fur may have nucleated cells, not only in the hair bulb, but also as epithelial cells on the hair shaft deposited during the grooming process, thereby generally providing material for DNA profiling,” Lyons and her team report in the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. So each strand of fur shed by your cat might contain DNA-rich cells at the root end or even DNA-containing skin cells stuck to the hair shaft itself.

How Cat Fur Catches Criminals
Lyons, who shares her household with four cats, suggests that a perpetrator might not be able to control one detail, if breaking into your house. “I can’t come out of my house without cat fur on me,” she says, adding that the same can happen to unwanted visitors. Anyone who enters a house where a cat resides leaves with one or more cat hairs stuck to his (OK?) body, clothing, bags and shoes. If the criminal is later detained for questioning, or is caught pulling a similar stunt, the cat fur might then go to a lab for analysis. Thanks to the new DNA database, researchers can usually tell what general region and population the cat fur originated from. While the data isn’t firm enough to say something like, “This fur came from Miss Fluffy, a calico at X Street in Kansas,” it can help to eliminate individual criminals from the list of possibilities, strengthen existing evidence and identify probable suspects. Cats Have Already Put Criminals Behind Bars
One of the most publicized cases, Beamish v. Her Majesty’s Court, P.E.I., involved a Canadian murder. “Investigators linked the perpetrator to the crime scene by STR (a certain type of DNA) identification of a single cat hair found in the pocket of a discarded jacket,” report Lyons and her team. Consider Having Your Own Cat’s DNA Tested
If you keep your cat’s genetic information on file, that can help facilitate any forensics process, should a crime ever take place in your home. DNA tests also can:

  • confirm your cat’s lineage
  • provide additional information about your cat’s family history
  • offer info about your cat’s coat type and color
  • detect certain inherited diseases

Lyons suggests breeders of cats might consider such testing. Persians, for example, can be born with genetic defects that may cause blindness or kidney disease. The DNA information might even one day help to cure similar problems in humans, since both humans and cats are mammals and sometimes suffer from related disorders. Above all, cats are also “good to have on your lap and just lower your blood pressure,” says Lyons. “They’re good all the way around.”

About the Author

Jennifer Viegas is the managing editor for The Daily Cat and has authored over 20 books on animal, science and nature topics.

 

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