Allergic to Dogs? Neutering May Be the Solution

There are many reasons to spay and neuter your pets.  Spay/neuter is the best way to reduce homeless pet overpopulation and to prevent certain kinds of diseases—including cancer—of the reproductive system in both males and females.

New research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggests that another benefit of neutering is to reduce human allergic reactions to a specific protein found in intact male dogs.

Dog and cat allergies are common, and can be caused by allergens in your pet’s urine, saliva, and dander.  But this new research shows that as many as 30% of people with dog allergies may be affected by a single prostate protein called Can f 5, found only in male dogs.

People who are allergic to Can f 5 can live with female dogs in the house but have problems with male dogs.  Some people with this allergy can tolerate neutered male dogs, while others may be better off with female dogs only.

If you suffer from pet allergies, you can note if certain dogs are easier to be around than others.  You can also talk to your doctor about getting tested.  An article on the Can f 5 research on the Mother Nature Network website notes that there are currently 6 different dog protein tests available, so you can narrow down the exact cause of your pet allergy.

 

Scientists Develop New Dog Aging Calculator

Does one dog year really equal seven human years?  This long-held belief is undergoing some high-tech revision.

Scientists say a more accurate way to measure an animal’s age is to use something called an epigenetic clock—the accumulation of chemical modifications in an animal’s DNA over its lifespan.

One particular modification known as methylation is especially useful in tracking biological age.  DNA methylation has been used on humans and other animals, including mice, chimpanzees, and dogs.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have specialized in DNA methylation in dogs.  The researchers at UC San Diego studied over 100 Labrador Retrievers and found that their DNA methylation is somewhat similar to humans.

They also came up with an updated dog aging calculator, which shows that a dog’s “human age” can be calculated with a logarithm that multiplies a dog’s real age by 16, and then adds 31 to the total.

You can try the calculator HERE.

What does this new analysis of dog age mean?  Most dogs reach puberty at 10 months and live up to but not beyond 20 years.

The researchers found that a 7 week old puppy is roughly equivalent to a 9 month old human baby.  A 12 year old dog is roughly the same as a 70 year old human.

The researchers found that the canine epigenetic clock runs at a fast rate when a dog is young, then slows down somewhat as the dog grows older.

Scientists are hoping to apply DNA methylation to the study of how different dog breeds age, and also how certain diseases impact the various breeds.

 

Proposed PAWS Act Would Cover Service Dogs for Veterans with PTSD

The US Department of Veterans Affairs currently does not offer reimbursement for the cost of service dogs for military veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

That could change with proposed legislation known as the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) Act, which is making its way through both the House and the Senate.

If passed, the PAWS Act would provide vouchers to veterans with mental health conditions, so they can acquire service dogs from nonprofit organizations.  Currently, only veterans with mobility issues qualify for service dog financial assistance.

According to an article on military.com, advocates of service dogs for veterans with PTSD point out that there is enough evidence that the dogs provide many positive benefits.  These dogs help the veterans feel secure in public places, and can be trained to wake them up from nightmares.

Additionally, advocates argue that service dogs are an important suicide prevention measure, giving veterans a reason to get up each morning, to care for their canine companions.

 

Video: NFL Star Raises Awareness About Dogs Left Outside in the Cold

Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu has teamed up with PETA to create a public awareness video on the dangers of dogs being kept outside in freezing cold weather.

Tyrann stepped into a walk-in freezer to experience what it must be like for dogs left out in the cold.  He pointed out that their food and water also freeze solid when left outdoors in the cold.

Tyrann lasted about 20 minutes, but some dogs are left outside all day and night.

PETA recommends talking to your neighbors if you see that their dogs are left outside in the cold.  You can also see if your local government has a policy on chained dogs.

Check out the full video below and click this link for helpful tips on keeping pets warm in cold weather.

 

The Most Popular Pet Names of 2019

The 2019 calendar year isn’t quite over yet, but the folks at rover.com have already scanned their database of millions of client pet names to discover the most popular dog and cat names of the year.

Here are some highlights!

Top Male Dog Names:

  • Max
  • Charlie
  • Cooper
  • Buddy
  • Rocky
  • Milo
  • Jack
  • Bear
  • Duke
  • Teddy

Top Female Dog Names:

  • Bella
  • Luna
  • Lucy
  • Daisy
  • Lily
  • Zoe
  • Lola
  • Molly
  • Sadie
  • Bailey

Top Male Cat Names:

  • Oliver
  • Leo
  • Milo
  • Charlie
  • Max

Top Female Cat Names:

  • Luna
  • Bella
  • Lily
  • Lucy
  • Kitty

And one more before we go…

Top Pop Star Pet Names:

  • Taylor Swift
  • Khalid
  • Madonna
  • Ariana
  • David Bowie
  • Lady Gaga
  • Beyonce