Pet Scoop: Dogs Excel After Eating Breakfast, Exxon Valdez Otter Survivor Passes Away

Oct. 11, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Dog eating
A new study reports that breakfast helps dogs perform better.

Dogs Need a Breakfast of Champions, Too

A study from the University of Kentucky has found that trained canines searched more accurately after eating a morning meal than those who searched while hungry. The dogs were shown a treat, which was hidden in one of six containers. Pups who'd had breakfast 30 minutes prior located the treat more effectively than dogs who hadn't eaten for 12 hours. This research echoes other studies that have found that kids do better at cognitive exercises post breakfast. — Read it at BBC News

Apartment Complexes Try to Attract Dog Owners

Across the country, “no pets” policies and dog size limitations are disappearing from many apartment complexes. Property owners who once shied away from pets are welcoming them as a way to bring in and retain rental tenants — even giving canine residents their own amenities, like dog parks, washing stations and walking trails. — Read it at the Wall Street Journal

Hormones May Influence Social Behavior in Fish

A form of oxytocin, the hormone that makes humans fall in love, has a similar effect on fish. According to a study published in Animal Behaviour, the highly social cichlid fish became more submissive towards more dominant group members after being given a “fish version” of oxytocin, known as isotocin. “The hormone . . . may act as an important social glue,” said lead researcher Adam Reddon. “It ensures the fish handle conflict well and remain a cohesive group because they will have shorter, less costly fights.” — Read it at Newswise

Kenai, a sea otter who survived the Exxon Valdez oil spill, died at the Shedd Aquarium
Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium
Kenai long outlived the average sea otter's median life expectancy.

Sea Otter Who Survived Exxon Valdez Spill Dies

Kenai, who was 23 years old, was one of only two surviving sea otters who'd been rescued after the devastating 1989 oil spill. The Exxon Valdez disaster leaked 11 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound, killing nearly 2,000 otters. But Kenai thrived at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, contributing important scientific data to long-term studies on otters exposed to oil, and living several years beyond the usual life expectancy for the marine mammal. A female at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Wash., is now the last known otter survivor of the spill.

Howard Stern Adopts an Adult Cat

Three months after the sad loss of their 10-year-old English Bulldog, Bianca, the shock jock and his wife, Beth, brought home a kitty named Charlie Boy. "We are in love with him," Beth tweeted on Sunday. "Adopting an adult cat is incredible!" Charlie joins two other adopted cats in the Stern household, Apple and Walter. — See the photo at People Pets

Join the Conversation

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!