Which came first: Canaries, or the Canary Islands?

The Canary Islands, off the west coast of Africa (photo by Secret Tenerife - CC-BY)Wild canaries inhabit the Canary Islands – but were the birds named after the islands, or were the islands named after the birds? The origin of the name Canary Islands is uncertain, but the most likely explanation is that the Atlantic island now known as Gran Canaria was originally Insula Canaria – latin for Island [more…]

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Is the Labrador Retriever the most popular dog breed in the U.S.?

Labrador Retriever (Photo by OakleyOriginals - CC-BY)The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide. According to American Kennel Club (AKC) dog registration statistics, the Labrador Retriever has been America’s top registered breed for the last 18 years. Ranking of the most popular dogs in the U.S. (2008) 1. Labrador Retriever 2. Yorkshire Terrier 3. German Shepherd Dog 4. [more…]


How much do dog and cat owners spend on gifts for their pets?

Westie Dog, presents and Christmas tree (photo by Randy son Of Robert CC-BY)According to a 2007 Harris poll (1), 88% percent of pet owners consider their pets members of their family, and as family members they also receive holiday gifts and birthday presents.  Sixty-five percent of pet owners have bought their pet a holiday present and thirty-seven percent have bought their pet a birthday present. Dogs – 71% [more…]


How many dog and cat owners are there in the United States?

Photo by  Qole Pejorian - CC-BYAccording to the AVMA (1),  there are more than 72 million pet dogs in the U.S. and nearly 82 million pet cats. Ownership A little more than 43 million households own dogs and nearly 37.5 million households own cats. The average number of dogs per household is 1.7. Cat owning households have an average of [more…]


Can dogs smell breast, bladder or lung cancer in humans?

Dog nose (Photo by kalimistuk - CC-BY)Apparently so! Dogs and their efficient sense of smell have been used to sniff out drugs, bombs, and find missing persons for many years. Now the medical community is recognizing the value of trained sniffer dogs in detecting minute differences in the scent of cancer patients. Dogs do not have to be highly specialized to [more…]

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