Narcissism and Exotic Pets: Is There a Connection?

New research examines how narcissism and "dark personality traits" affect our attachments to pets and why some people are drawn to companion rats, snakes, and tarantulas.

Think Twice Before Giving Medical Marijuana to Your Pet

It would be nice to think medical marijuana could cure epilepsy in dogs and anxiety in cats. But there are problems with the use of cannabis in veterinary medicine.

Are Pet Owners Really at Greater Risk of Cancer?

A new study used "big data" to examine the associations between pet-ownership and cancer rates and physical activity in older women. The results are surprising.

Farm Animal Suffering Leaves a Bad Taste In Your Mouth

In a series of recent experiments, researchers found that whether we think animals were raised humanely or on a factory farm affects the way their meat tastes.

What Kinds Of People Believe Animals Go To Heaven?

Two recent studies have found many people agree that animals from dogs to snakes and insects experience life after death.

Are the Results of Animal Therapy Studies Unreliable?

Most studies of oxytocin ("the love hormone") do not have enough subjects to produce valid results. Unfortunately, this is also true of animal-assisted therapy research.

When Are Puppies at Their Cutest?

Most dogs on Earth die before they are three months old. New research shows how being cute can save a puppy from an early death.

Emotional Support Animals: The Therapist's Dilemma

Should therapists provide letters that will allow their clients to bring dogs on airplanes and have access to no-pets housing?

What the Bible and “Nature” Say About Bathroom Laws

Is the North Carolina law legalizing discrimination against gays, lesbians, and transsexuals consistent with the Bible and the laws of nature?

Why Do Animal Tragedies Go Viral?

A new study investigates why the death of Cecil the Lion became an instant world-wide internet sensation.

Does Breed Popularity Go Up After A Dog Wins At Westminster?

The Westminster Dog Show is the canine equivalent of the Miss America Contest. It is widely believed that a win is usually followed by a spike in breed popularity. But is it true?

Therapy Dogs or Robots for Nursing Home Residents?

Do robots or dogs make better therapists in assisted living facilities?

8 Misconceptions About Therapy, Service, and Support Animals

Can you get a free airplane ride for your pet snake? Can you take a psychiatric service dog into a bar? Here are the answers to some common questions about assistance animals.

Will You Lose Weight By Giving Up Meat?

Most diets fail. This new study compares vegetarianism and veganism as strategies for shedding excess pounds. The results are encouraging.

Three Reasons Why Pets Don't Lower Health Care Costs

An industry study claims that the medical benefits of owning pets save Americans $12 billion dollars a year on health care costs. Here are the reasons they might be wrong.

Here's Why Your Dog Might Not Be As Cute As You Think

What is more important in determining how strongly people are attached to their dogs -- cuteness or canine personality?

How Scary Are the Mental Health Risks of Vegetarianism?

While most vegetarians don't have histories of psychiatric disorders, some studies have linked meat-avoidance with mental illness. But how strong is the link and why does it exist?

Stress Relief in Seven Minutes, Doggie Style

Yale University researchers have found that just seven minutes in the presence of a dog named Finn caused a major decline in anxiety levels of med school students and a big upswing in their moods.

Does Having a Pet Make You More Attractive?

Research on members of the Internet dating site Match.com reveals the surprising importance dogs and cats can play in modern romance.

Vegetarianism and Money: Surprising Results from a New Study

What the results of a new survey of the diets of Americans reveal about the connection between vegetarianism and household income.

Do Dog Owners REALLY Make Better Lovers?

A recent Psychology Today post asked whether dog owners are better lovers. Let's look at what the new science of human-animal relationships actually reveals about the connection between love, sex, and pet-ownership.

Eating Cats

It is widely known that in some cultures dog-meat is a delicacy. But at least a million cats a year also find their way into the stew pot. Here's what we can learn about human-animal relationships from people who dine on feline flesh.

Baboons Might Kidnap Puppies (But Not As Pets)

A wildlife documentary film claims that Saudi Arabian baboons kidnap puppies and raise them as pets. Here a distinguished animal behaviorist explains why this behavior makes sense from a baboon's point of view—and why it is not a form of pet-keeping.

Encounters with Dead Pets: A Study of the Evolution of Grief

Bereaved pet owners sometimes think they have seen or heard their dead dogs or cats. Here's what these errors reveal about the evolutionary functions of grief.

The Beneficial Effects of Animals on Children With Autism

Temple Grandin told me that some (but not all) people with autism have a special way with animals. This new study examined the biological mechanisms behind the soothing effects Guinea pigs can have on children with autism spectrum disorders.

Congress Should Declare That Mice Are Animals - Now!

In 2002, Congress declared that mice and rats and birds are not animals. A new study by PETA shows why it's time to change Federal animal protection statutes.

Is Sadomasochism a Uniquely Human Form of Sexuality?

From an evolutionary point of view, the enjoyment of pain would seem to be maladaptive. Is there an animal analog of finding sexual satisfaction in being whipped, poked with needles, or having hot wax dripped on your skin?

Dogs Can't Cure Cancer

How much do cancer patients benefit from playing with therapy dogs before their radiation or chemotherapy treatments? There's good news and bad news...

How “Natural” Is A Cloned Cow...Or A Cloned Dog?

How natural is a cloned cow or a chihuahua or a dolphin at Sea World? Is an outdoor cat more natural than an indoor cat? We developed a scale to measure perceptions of the "naturalness" of different animals. As you can see from this graph, our results were surprising.

Five Questions That Reveal How Much You Care About Animals

Psychologists are turning to short scales to assess our attitudes and personality. We have developed several brief instruments to measure beliefs about the use of other species. You can take the 5-item Animal Attitude Scale here.

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