Connect with us

Pet Care

Dogs act jealously even when they don’t see their rival

Dogs appear to be one of the few species that might display jealous behaviors in ways similar to a human child showing jealousy when their mother gives affection to another child. In humans, jealousy is closely linked with self-awareness, which is one reason animal-cognition researchers are so interested in studying jealousy and other secondary emotions in animals.

Published

on

Photo by Steve Sewell from Unsplash.com

Past surveys have shown that more than 80% of dog owners report observing jealous behaviors from their dogs–vocalizations, agitated behavior, pulling on a leash–when they give attention to other dogs. New research published in the journal Psychological Science supports these observations and finds that dogs also exhibit jealous behaviors when they merely imagine that their owner is interacting with a potential rival, in this case, a highly realistic artificial dog.

“Research has supported what many dog owners firmly believe–dogs exhibit jealous behavior when their human companion interacts with a potential rival,” said Amalia Bastos with the University of Auckland and lead author on the paper. “We wanted to study this behavior more fully to determine if dogs could, like humans, mentally represent a situation that evoked jealousy.”

Dogs appear to be one of the few species that might display jealous behaviors in ways similar to a human child showing jealousy when their mother gives affection to another child. In humans, jealousy is closely linked with self-awareness, which is one reason animal-cognition researchers are so interested in studying jealousy and other secondary emotions in animals.

To test how and when dogs display jealous behavior, the researchers presented 18 dogs with situations where they could imagine a social interaction between their human companion and either a realistic fake dog or a fleece cylinder. The fake dog served as a potential rival for attention while the cylinder served as a control.

In the experiment, the dogs observed the fake-dog rival positioned next to their owner. A barrier was then placed between the dog and the potential rival obscuring them from view. Despite blocking the line of sight, the dogs forcefully attempted to reach their owners when they appeared to stroke the rival fake dog behind the barrier. In a repeat experiment using a fleece cylinder rather than a fake dog, the dogs pulled on the lead with far less force.

Through their study, Bastos and her colleagues found that dogs showed three human-like signatures of jealous behavior. Jealous behavior emerged only when their owner interacted with a perceived social rival and not an inanimate object; occurred as a consequence of that interaction and not due to a potential rival’s mere presence; and emerged even for an out-of-sight interaction between their owner and a social rival.

“These results support claims that dogs display jealous behavior. They also provide the first evidence that dogs can mentally represent jealousy-inducing social interactions,” said Bastos. “Previous studies confounded jealous behavior with play, interest, or aggression, because they never tested the dogs’ reactions to the owner and the social rival being present in the same room but not interacting.”

“There is still plenty of work to do to establish the extent of the similarities between the minds of humans and other animals, especially in terms of understanding the nature of nonhuman animals’ emotional experiences,” said Bastos. “It is too early to say whether dogs experience jealousy as we do, but it is now clear that they react to jealousy-inducing situations, even if these occur out-of-sight.”

Zest Magazine accepts contributions promoting everything about living the good life (and how to make this so). C'mon, give us a yell.

Pet Care

4 Ways to refresh your pet’s routines

As the season changes and you spruce up your daily habits to feel and look fresh, consider these four things that may help brighten up your pup’s spirit.

Published

on

The spring season and warmer months are typically all about renewal and evaluating things that may no longer serve you, such as habits, products or routines.

This can be true for your dog as well. As the season changes and you spruce up your daily habits to feel and look fresh, consider these four things that may help brighten up your pup’s spirit. 

New Dog Bed
After a long year of cozying up inside, it is probably safe to say your dog’s bed could use a refresh. If you notice he retreats to the couch, floor or your bedroom for a good night’s rest, that may be a sign it is time to switch out the old for something new. Use this opportunity to gift your pet a plush and comfortable bed set. There are many options out there from donut dog beds to heated or kennel beds, so make sure you’re getting what’s best for your pup. A new bed could help brighten his mood in the morning, and after a full and active day, it can be exciting for him to have a new spot to relax.

New Toys
When provided with the appropriate toys, dogs can keep themselves occupied when you’re busy with work, chores or life’s daily responsibilities that can take your focus away from them. If you have noticed a drag in your pup’s energy –  laying around the house, acting less excited when you come through the door or staring at you blankly when you try to play, your dog may be experiencing boredom. It may be time to give him new toys that pique his interest. As you’re doing your cleaning and shopping, make sure to swap out old toys with new ones and even have him come along on your next trip to the pet store to pick out new ones.

Change of Scenery and Activities
It’s not a secret that dogs love the great outdoors. As the weather warms, it’s time to start thinking about breaking your dog away from the same old routine. Consider trying a new dog park, walking trail or taking him on more car rides with you. Your morning coffee run might be a fun adventure and a good way to help your pup start his day, especially if your local coffee shop has dog treats, too. This change of routine and scenery can leave him feeling energized to take on the day with you.

New Food
As the seasons change, it may be time to switch up eating habits and choose a diet that suits your lifestyle and dietary preferences. If you’re feeling ready to make a change to your normal routine, consider doing the same for your dog. An option like NUTRO dry dog food provides a healthy and nutritious diet with recipes featuring ingredients such as chicken, brown rice, kale and spinach, and garnishes like egg, tomatoes and more.

Learn more at Nutro.com.

Continue Reading

Pet Care

One in 10 older adults have gotten a ‘pandemic pet’, poll finds

10% of all people between the ages of 50 and 80 got a new pet between March 2020 and January 2021.

Published

on

Photo by Alina Vilchenko from Pexels.com

A lot of the attention around “pandemic pets” has focused on families with children getting a cat, dog or other pet in 2020, during a time when many people were learning or working from home.

But a new poll shows that older adults also got in on the trend.

According to the National Poll on Healthy Aging, 10% of all people between the ages of 50 and 80 got a new pet between March 2020 and January 2021.

The percentage was indeed higher – 16% — among the people in this age range who have at least one child or teen living with them. But the vast majority of people between the ages of 50 and 80 don’t live with someone under age 18 — and nearly 9% of them also got a pet during the pandemic.

All told, 59% of people age 50 to 80 who completed the poll in January 2021 are pet owners. Among those who said in January that they are pet owners, 17% had gotten at least one pet since the pandemic began. The poll did not ask if this was their first pet or an additional pet.

Pet ownership was higher among those age 50 to 64, women, white respondents and those who live in single-family detached homes or are employed. Twelve percent of older adults who are employed said they got a pet since March 2020.

The poll is based at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation and receives support from AARP and Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center.

The new data are an update to a previous report by the poll team, published in April 2019. That full report showed that older adults say having a pet helps them enjoy life, reduce stress, have a sense of purpose, and stick to a routine, as well as connect with other people and be physically active, especially for dog owners. Among those older adults who lived alone or were in fair or poor health when the 2019 poll was done, nearly three-quarters said the pet helped them cope with physical or emotional symptoms.

Of those who live alone, the percent having a pet jumped 12 points between the sample reported in 2019 and the January 2021 sample. The role of pets as companions for older adults living alone is an important one, especially during the pandemic when many older adults stayed home because of their higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 if they caught the coronavirus.

Poll director Preeti Malani, M.D., has first-hand experience with getting a “pandemic puppy” to join her family, which includes a high schooler studying at home. It’s the first time they’ve had any type of pet.

Malani notes that on the one hand, her family’s new dog has demanded more attention than they might have expected – especially given that she and her husband are busy physicians working both remotely and face to face with patients. But on the other hand, walking, playing and cuddling with the dog has been a welcome distraction during troubling times.

“Sully has been a great addition,” she says. “He makes sure we get outside every day. I’ve also met several other dog owners in the neighborhood.”

The animal shelter nearest the University of Michigan, the Humane Society of Huron Valley, has seen record-high adoption rates in the past year, says Wendy Welch, director of communications.

“We are delighted to see not just worthy animals get homes, but also to see people get much needed unconditional love as well,” she says. “While grandparents have sadly been separated from hugging their grandchildren, furry friends have been okay to snuggle. It’s well documented that pets can help lower our blood pressure, ease anxiety and improve symptoms of depression. And of particular interest during this isolating pandemic, companion animals certainly stave off the silent killer: loneliness. We are so thankful to the older adults who’ve opened up their hearts and homes to shelter animals during this time.”

The poll data from January come from a sample of 2,019 people, similar in size to the sample reported in the previous pet report.

Continue Reading

Pet Care

A raw diet for under 6-month-old puppies may reduce the risk of inflammatory bowel disease

A raw diet administered subsequently up to six months was found to have a positive effect. At the same time, the study indicates that feeding dry food to puppies early on in their lives can increase the incidence of IBD later in life.

Published

on

Photo by Carlos Ibáñez from Unsplash.com

According to a study conducted at the University of Helsinki, a raw diet from the late stages of suckling to roughly two months of age may reduce the prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in dogs later in life.

In addition, a raw diet administered subsequently up to six months was found to have a positive effect. At the same time, the study indicates that feeding dry food to puppies early on in their lives can increase the incidence of IBD later in life.

In addition to the diet, the maternal history of IBD as well as the dog’s gender and age were associated with the onset of the disease in adulthood.

“Puppies whose dam suffered from IBD had a 7.9-fold risk of developing the disease, with male puppies carrying a risk that was 2.1 times that of female puppies. IBD was most prevalent among 5- to 10-year-old dogs,” says Manal Hemida, DVM, the principal investigator of the study from the Helsinki One Health network.

Vaccinations given to dams during or shortly prior to pregnancy made the likelihood of IBD in their offspring 1.5-fold compared to puppies whose dams had not been vaccinated in the corresponding period.

Another relevant factor was the puppies’ weight: slim puppies had a 1.4-fold chance of developing the disease in adulthood compared to puppies with normal weight.

“However, it is still unclear if the lower body weight is a consequence of undiagnosed early IBD. All of our study’s findings may suggest causal relationships, but do not prove them. Future prospective longitudinal dietary intervention studies are needed to confirm our findings, as well as to develop primary strategies for IBD prevention in dogs,” says Docent Anna Hielm-Björkman, leader of the DogRisk research group.

As data for the study, the researchers utilised an online feeding survey introduced in 2009 by the DogRisk research group of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki. The study investigated environmental exposures in four early life stages of dogs, two of which were the dog’s intra-uterine life as a foetus and the lactation period, during which newborns receive all of their nutrition from suckling. The latter two stages were the early (1-2 months of age) and late (2-6 months of age) puppyhood periods.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Like Us On Facebook

Facebook Pagelike Widget

Most Popular

Copyright ©FRINGE PUBLISHING. All rights reserved.