Ever wonder how your pet sees the world?
There’s an entire branch of science devoted to figuring that out.
Animal psychology delves into the cognition and behavior of our creature companions. It can help you train your dog or learn how to pet your cat in the most pleasurable way.
But for your average pet lover, it can be hard to figure out the best way to make their animals’ lives better. Enter Companion Animal Psychology, a blog packed with research-based information on how pets think.
Since 2012, Zazie Todd has been collecting information on animal welfare and cognition. She’s a dog trainer and psychology PhD who has researched why more people don’t use positive reinforcement techniques to train their pets. The blog covers such things as how to keep your dog from freaking out during a nail trim and where cats prefer to be stroked. A monthly book club tackles books about all kinds of animals. (More-intense discussion takes place on the site’s invite-only Facebook page.)
Sites about animals are a dime a dozen, but what makes this one different is its scientific focus. Todd interviews veterinarians, researchers and other experts about aspects of animals you might not give a lot of consideration — such as how dogs experience and express fear and how enriching their lives with walks, play and sensory stimulation can increase their well-being.
The site updates every week, so there’s always something new to chew on — and plenty of adorable animal pictures make reading even more pleasant. The site is best enjoyed while petting your beloved animal companion.
Don’t have a pet? Don’t sweat it. The blog is a great way to prepare for the joys and responsibilities of pet ownership — or to just remind yourself that animals have a unique perspective on the world.