Clue to pup size is proportion, not paws
• Can paws predict a puppy’s size at maturity? Not necessarily. Big feet don’t necessarily mean that a puppy will grow to be a large adult. A better clue is the pup’s overall proportions. Puppies who are well-proportioned at an early age typically grow into small or medium-size dogs. It’s the gangly, awkward puppies who are most likely to be big dogs a few months down the road. If a young puppy looks as if he hasn’t grown into his body, his head seems too large for his body, his tail looks longer than the rest of him and he’s constantly falling over his paws, don’t be too surprised if he weighs a whopping 90 pounds when he’s 8 months old.
• When your cat rubs up against you, he’s not merely expressing affection. Cats want their possessions — and that includes you, your sofa, favorite toys and maybe the dog — to smell like them, so they deposit sebum from scent glands on their heads to mark whatever they’re rubbing with their own special scent.
• Dogs may be the canary in the coal mine when it comes to male infertility. A recent study found that environmental contaminants in the form of two man-made chemicals negatively affect the quality of sperm in both men and dogs. Both chemicals have been detected in commercial dog foods, and one, DEHP, is common in household items ranging from carpets to toys. The other, PCB153, used in products such as surface coatings and paints, is banned globally but remains widely detectable in the environment, according to researchers. An earlier discovery that dogs in homes experienced a decline in sperm quality led to the hypothesis that chemical pollutants in the environment, including homes, could be the cause of a decline in male sperm quality as well. — Dr. Marty Becker, Kim Campbell Thornton and Mikkel Becker
PHOTO CAPTION: Cats are highly scent-oriented. When they rub up against people or objects, they are marking them with their own scent.