since moved to the National University of Singapore.">

By Steve Pointing 16/09/2015


Before you get all over-excited, this blog is not about sex!  I took my dogs to the vet the other day and was inspired to do some research on man’s best friend – and this evolved into a ‘doggy special’ for my Dear Science show on bFM radio this week:

Some highlights from the show

Dog nutrition: I do some ‘myth-busting ‘ about canine nutrition, tackling questions that include: Is giving a dog a biscuit really the same as a human eating a Big Mac? Is it true that apple seeds can kill a dog? Why is cat food bad for dogs?

Dog evolution: New genomic insights into where and when domestic dogs evolved, how closely related are modern dogs, wolves and coyotes?

Dogs in the city: With over 475,000 registered dogs in New Zealand, I highlight two studies that suggest contrasting public health impact of dogs in urban areas.  One shows how urban aerosols contain significant numbers of bacteria derived from dog feces and in winter this can be the major source , whilst another shows that dogs on beachesmay actually reduce levels of pathogenic bacteria in sand due to reduced seabird guano inputs (although this was due to the dogs scaring birds away!).

 Dogs and humans have evolved a great mutualistic relationship since hunter-gatherer times!

(Image credit: jonolan.net)