A man examines the teeth of a 10-month-old Alaskan Malamute…

A man examines the teeth of a 10-month-old Alaskan Malamute puppy near the South Pole, 1957. Photograph by David Boyer, National Geographic Creative

More on gene editing rules, CRISPR in humans and dogs, bioethics & breakthroughs

THE HUMAN GENE EDITING SUMMIT, CONT’D Citizens seeking to understand what was decided at last week’s Human Gene Editing Summit might be understandably confused by the contradictions in these headlines: Scientific community approves human gene

Where was the dog born? Plus mammogram changes once again

ANIMAL GENOME OF THE WEEK: CANIS LUPUS FAMILIARIS So is this a trend, the animal genome of the week? Last week pigs. This week, dogs. First things first: dog origins. A perennial hot topic, the

Science Caturday: Mysteries of the Sofa

For once, you should listen to the dog.


Filed under: Science Caturday Tagged: cats, dogs, science caturday, sofa

Understanding Images: Golden Retrievers Contribute to Cancer Research

This continues our series of blog posts from PLOS Genetics about our monthly issue images. Author Kerstin Lindblad-Toh discusses February’s issue image from Tonomura et al Author: Kerstin Lindblad-TOH, Professor Uppsala University, Co-Director SciLifeLab Sweden and Director of Vertebrate Genome Biology, … Continue reading »

The post Understanding Images: Golden Retrievers Contribute to Cancer Research appeared first on PLOS Blogs Network.

11 Winter Weather Tips : As Told by Adorable Dogs

Don’t be stuck in the dog house by not preparing for winter weather. Whether it is avoiding frostbite or heating your home safely, make sure you know how to prepare for and handle winter weather.

1. Winter weather can be hair-raisingly unpredictable.

Funny australian shepherd running and enjoy snow time in cloud of snow flying away from his legs

Unusual weather can hit at any time. That’s why it is important to be prepared for all types of weather emergencies. Take actions to prepare for winter weather before a storm impacts your area.

2. Be sure to dress properly for winter weather.

Huge Dogue De Borgeaux dressed with hat, scarf and sweater sitting in the snow

When temperatures drop, it is important to dress warmly, wear plenty of layers, and stay dry. Try to stay indoors when the weather is extremely cold, especially if there are high winds. If you have to go outside, be sure to practice winter weather outdoor safety.

3. Avoid exertion.

Cute small dog under a blanket snuggling with a teddy bear

Winter is a great time to stay in and cuddle. Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or performing other hard work in the cold. If you have to do heavy outdoor chores, dress warmly and work slowly.

4. Prepare your car for winter weather.

dog sitting in the drivers sear of a car

No one wants to ride unprepared. Always have an emergency kit in your car with supplies you can use if your car breaks down. Prepare your car for winter by following CDC’s guidance.

5. Heat your home safely.

two pugs staring wide-eyed in front of the fireplace

As these guys know, fire can be scary. Not knowing how to safely heat your home or use a wood stove, fireplace, or space heater can be dangerous. Take time to learn about safe ways to heat your home and find more important winter weather indoor safety tips.

6. Create a Support Network.

four husky puppies in a basket

Even if your support network is not as cute as this one, it is important to have one. Having a support network of family and friends to help you during an emergency is very important. Check on your neighbors, and help older adults and the disabled shovel snow for safe walking paths. Use these CDC eCards to invite your friends and family to join your support network.

7. Know how to spot, avoid, and treat Frostbite and Hypothermia.

curly haired dog half burried in snow

Even with a fluffy coat of fur you could be at risk for frostbite or hypothermia in severe winter weather. Know the signs and how to avoid frostbite and hypothermia by following CDC’s Safe and Healthy Winter Weather guidance.

8. Take care of your pets.

pug-dog in winter outerwear pulling on a leash

Pets get cold too! During cold weather bring your pets inside, even if they don’t want to go. As you prepare your home for winter weather, take special measures to care for your pets, make sure they have adequate shelter and access to unfrozen water.

9. Tips for coping with severe weather.

dog covered in snow with large sad eyes

Coping with severe winter weather can be tough. Learn how to manage the stress and emotions of dealing with severe weather or a catastrophic event and how to maintain a healthy state of mind.

10. Avoid ice.

white dog staring at an icicle

Ice can be extremely dangerous. Many cold-weather injuries result from falls on ice-covered sidewalks, steps, driveways, and porches. Keep your steps and walkways as free of ice as possible by using rock salt or another chemical de-icing compound. Sand may also be used on walkways to reduce the risk of slipping.

11. Stay inside during severe winter weather.

Large saint burnard dog sitting on a couch leaning on a man trying to read the paper

When winter weather hits, find a comfy spot and try to stay inside. Staying indoors during extreme cold can help reduce the risk of car crashes, falls on the ice, hypothermia and frostbite. It’s also much cozier.

Playing With Canines: Ancient Dog Teeth Reveal Early Human-Dog Interactions

Even though our favorite pet dogs are now well-domesticated, we can still catch glimpses of their primal past when we watch them devour a bone or hunt those pesky squirrels. Sadly, new research shows that the status of dogs in … Continue reading »

The post Playing With Canines: Ancient Dog Teeth Reveal Early Human-Dog Interactions appeared first on PLOS Blogs Network.

A sled dog, tied to a whale rib, howls under the midnight sun in…

A sled dog, tied to a whale rib, howls under the midnight sun in Alaska, 1969.Photograph by Thomas J. Abercrombie, National Geographic Creative

After the Storm: Pets and Preparedness

ASPCA banner1_final

Kathleen Fessman did not anticipate the degree of damage that Hurricane Sandy would cause her Rockaway, New York home. She stayed in her house during the storm watching as her basement flooded, knocking over the gas tanks she had stored there. For nearly a week after the storm, Kathleen remained in her damaged home, not knowing where to take her five dogs Yogi, Java, Rainie, Katie and Mocha.

ASPCA animal inside badgeEventually, Kathleen contacted a local animal welfare agency who transported her dogs to the ASPCA Emergency Boarding Facility in Brooklyn, a facility established to shelter and care for pets displaced by Hurricane Sandy while their owners got back on their feet. At its height, the ASPCA emergency boarding facility housed nearly 280 displaced animals in New York.

Once at the ASPCA Emergency Boarding Facility, two of Kathleen’s dogs were diagnosed with enlarged lymph nodes from breathing in fumes from the gas tanks knocked over by the storm. After intensive treatment from the ASPCA medical team, the lymph nodes regressed significantly for one dog and resolved completely on the second dog.Kathleen and her dog

For months, Kathleen’s dogs were sheltered and cared for at the ASPCA Emergency Boarding Facility while her house was being repaired. Kathleen finally took her dogs home in February, more than 3 months after the storm.

As Kathleen will never forget, it’s imperative to follow evacuation orders and bring your pets with you when a disaster strikes. Don’t wait until it’s too late to find a place to shelter your pet. Not all disaster shelters accept pets, so be sure to identify a relative’s house, a pet-friendly hotel or a boarding facility outside of the evacuation zone where you will take your pet in the event of evacuation.

Here are some additional disaster preparedness tips from the ASPCA:

  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification.
  • Microchip your pets. It may be their ticket home if they become lost.
  • Build a portable pet emergency kit with items such as medical records, water, pet food, medications and pet first aid supplies.
  • A pet rescue sticker alerts rescue personnel that pets are inside your home in the event of an emergency. Get a free rescue alert sticker from the ASPCA here: www.aspca.org/rescuesticker
  • Never leave your pets behind. Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation.

Pet Preparedness


Countless disasters have shown that pet owners can quickly become a vulnerable population in the face of a natural disaster or emergency. Should you stay at home with your pet? Should you take your pet with you? Where can you go with your pet? Should you leave your pet behind?

It is extremely important for the safety of pet owners and pets, to have a plan for caring for pets during a disaster. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) helped provide emergency shelter and care for more than 8,500 animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Following Hurricane Sandy, the ASPCA assisted more than 30,000 pets in New York and New Jersey. It is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of the people who refused to leave their homes after Hurricane Katrina were staying to care for their pets, and over 600,000 pets were killed or left without shelter. If you evacuate your home, take your pets. Plan ahead and do not leave them behind. Pets most likely cannot survive on their own, and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.

Identift pet friendly sheltersWith pets, the best way to protect your furry, scaly, or slimy family member is to plan ahead. They can’t do it for themselves and so it is up to you to have an emergency plan in place for your pets.

In many emergency situations, people will risk their lives to stay behind with their pet. If you think it through and prepare in advance, you will know what to do in order to protect yourself, your family, and your pets.

Things you can do:

1)      Pet-Friendly Shelters. Not all shelters accept pets. Before an emergency, make sure you figure out where you will go that is safe for you and your pet. Find out which hotels are pet-friendly, and make sure you look into hotels in your community (for short-term needs) and hotels out-of-town that are pet-friendly in case you have to evacuate. Contact your vet for a list of boarding kennels and facilities that will be open to taking pets in an emergency.   Does your local animal shelter provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets? Find out!

2)      Designated Caregivers. There are a few reasons why it is a good idea to identify friends or relatives that will be willing to care for your pet if you are unable to do so. You may not be home when an emergency occurs, so line up a neighbor or friend that can check on and care for your pets. Also, ask friends and relatives outside of your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet should you have to evacuate.

pet emergency kit checklist3)      Emergency Kit. Before you find yourself in an emergency situation, pack a pet emergency kit so that you are ready to care for your pet if a disaster hits. Pack 3-7 days worth of pet food (dry or canned), bottled water, medications, veterinary records, a pet carrier, litter and disposable litter trays, manual can opener, food dishes, first aid kit, and other supplies with you in case they’re not available later. For a complete list, see our Ready Wrigley pet emergency kit supply list.

4)      Vet records and identification. Keep paper copies of your pet’s vet records in a safe and accessible place. Make sure identification tags are up-to-date and securely fastened to your pet’s collar. Pet-friendly shelters, kennels, or boarding facilities that you arrange ahead of time will need to be able to identify your pet and know your pet’s medical history.

5)      Microchip your pet. If you are separated, this is the best and easiest way to be reunited with your pet! A typical microchip costs around $45, but shelters and organizations often hold events where the cost is much cheaper.

6)      Download the Pet First Aid App from the Red Cross, or the ASPCA app.

ASPCA sticker7)      ASPCA sticker. Get a free pet emergency alert sticker for your home. The ASPCA stickers are used to make sure rescue workers know that you have pets inside your home, the types of pets, and your vet information.

Pets rely on you to care for them every day and you rely on them for comfort and companionship. Don’t let an emergency or disaster prevent you from caring for or separate you from your pets. Have a plan, get a kit, and be prepared for your pet’s safety as well as your own.