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Podcast Episode 26: The Science of Pets


Calling all pet-lovers! But not bird people or dog fighters 🤨 This month, hosts Jaime K. Devine, Julia Talbot-Jones, and Cameron Spencer discuss animal traits related to domestication and whether dogs' 'guilty-looks' are evidence of bad behavior.

Listen on our website or wherever you get your podcasts. Bonus: Send us a picture of your furry friends by tweeting @usefulsci to get a free Useful Science sticker!

More Pet-Themed Science


Owners were more satisfied with their dog's behavior, including family-dog aggression, trainability, fearfulness, and touch sensitivity, if they had attended a group puppy training class the year before. Journal of Veterinary Behavior.
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People who had a close attachment to a pet as kids had more empathy toward animals; this made them more likely to avoid meat in adulthood. Appetite.
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Cats in the continental United States are estimated to kill 1.4-3.7 billion birds every year. Unowned cats kill approximately three times more birds than owned cats. Nature Communications.
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Honey bees who are reared at 32°C grow larger and live on average one day longer than those reared at 35°C, the temperature often suggested to be optimal for rearing. Journal of Thermal Biology.
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In a sample of mostly white, financially well-off families, those who had pet dogs in the house had children who scored lower on measures of anxiety. Preventing Chronic Disease.
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If ingested, avocado fruit, pits, and leaves can be poisonous to pets including cats, dogs, birds, and rabbits. Interdisciplinary Toxicology.
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Exposure to dogs at a young age may reduce allergies and asthma. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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