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 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.

84% of Vegetarians and Vegans Return to Meat. Why?

I was shocked when my long-time vegetarian daughter asked me for suggestions about what types of meat she might enjoy. I should not have been surprised. According to new research, the vast majority of vegetarians and even vegans eventually return to meat-eating. Here are the implications for the animal rights movement.

Does Animal-Assisted Therapy Really Work?

Can interacting with dogs or horses help treat mental and physical illnesses? I recently reviewed the scientific evidence on the effectiveness of animal assisted therapies. The good news is that the vast majority of studies have reported that animal therapy works. The bad news is that...

The Dog Movie Star Effect: Is It Real?

In 1943, MGM released the movie Lassie Come Home. In the three years after the release of the movie, the number of Collies registered with the American Kennel Club jumped from about 2,000 to over 15,000 puppies a year. But was this sudden in the desire of Americans to live with a collie a coincidence or was it an example of the “dog movie star effect.”

Who's Lying About Not Eating Meat?

A new study shows that just thinking about the treatment of animals in slaughterhouses causes women—but not men—to "strategically under-report" their meat consumption. Why are women more likely to lie about eating animals?

Should Pets Be Banished From the Bedroom?

New research examines the effect of sleeping with pets on their owner's health and happiness.

Can Dogs Warn Their Owners of Impending Migraines?

Dogs can be keenly sensitive to subtle changes related to the health of their owners. For example, seizure alert dogs can sense the onset epileptic seizures. A new study suggests that dog can also warn about imminent migraine headaches hours in advance.

Service Animal Scams: A Growing Problem

The present system governing the legal status of service dogs and emotional support animals is rife with abuse. Here's why:

The Morality of Marathon Dog Races

What would you rather be: a sled dog or a race horse? The answer is surprising.

The Dog Show Vs. The Olympics: The Judges' Dilemma

Here are four reasons why Olympic snowboard judging is better than Westminster Dog Show judging.
Why Do Small Dogs Have So Many Psychological Problems?

Why Do Small Dogs Have So Many Psychological Problems?

Why do little dogs exhibit more behavior problems than big dogs? Is it a matter of bad genes, over-indulgent owners, or basic insecurity?
What Do People Care More About?  Animal Abuse Or Child Abuse

What Do People Care More About? Animal Abuse Or Child Abuse

It is widely believed that newspaper reports of wanton animal cruelty elicit more public outrage than stories about child abuse. Two social scientists recently designed an experiment to see if this claim is true. Here is what they found.