Get Updates Directly To Your Inbox. Sign Up For Special Offers, Bonus Materials and Exclusive Updates!


Chapter 2

Our Co-Evolution with Dogs: From Wild Wolves to Willful Pets

Page 27

It was discovered in the late 1970s in a twelve-thousand-year-old burial pit by the shores of the Hula Lake: See S. Davis and F. Valla, “Evidence for Domestication of the Dog 12,000 Years Ago in the Natufian of Israel,” Nature 276 (1978): 608–10.

Page 28

archaeologists unearthed twenty-six-thousand-year-old canine paw prints alongside those of a human child who was eight to ten years old and about four and a half feet tall: See Kerry Sullivan online article, “26,000-Year-Old Child Footprints Found Alongside Paw Prints Reveal Oldest Evidence of Human-Canine Relationship,” on, February 20, 2017,

“Too Much Meat During Ice Age Winters Gave Rise to Dogs”: See Maria Lahtinen, et al., “Excess Protein Enabled Dog Domestication During Severe Ice Age Winters,” Sci Rep 11, no. 1 (January 2021): 7. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-78214-4.

“The domestication of dogs has increased the success of both species to the point that dogs are now the most numerous carnivore on the planet”: Ibid. Also see J. A. Leonard, et al., “Megafaunal Extinctions and the Disappearance of a Specialized Wolf Ecomorph,” Curr Biol 17 (2007): 1146–50.

Page 29

“Dogs are a separate tracer dye for human history”: See Ewen Callaway, “Ancient dog DNA reveals 11,000 years of canine evolution,” Nature 587, no. 7832 (November 2020): 20. doi: 10.1038/d41586-020-03053-2.

One of the first pet dogs whose name is known to us is Abutiu: For details on this dog, go to Harvard University’s Giza Project at

Page 30

When they compared the genetics of several well-known breeds of herding dogs: See Heidi G. Parker, et al., “Genomic Analyses Reveal the Influence of Geographic Origin, Migration, and Hybridization on Modern Dog Breed Development,” Cell Rep 19, no. 4 (April 2017): 697–708. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.03.079.

According to veterinary epidemiologist Dr. Brenda Bonnett: For more on Dr. Bonnett and The International Partnership for Dogs, go to

Page 34

Scholars who study the effects agriculture had on human society: Plenty of people have written about the effects farming has had on human health. For a review, see George R. Milner, “Early Agriculture’s Toll on Human Health,” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 116, no. 28 (July 2019): 13721–23. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1908960116. Epub 2019 Jun 26.

Jared Diamond is one of the world’s leading historians: See Dr. Diamond’s website at to access his publications and portals for further reading.

“the worst mistake in the history of the human race”: Ibid. Also see Dr. Diamond’s article for Outside Magazine, “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race,” April 20, 1999,

Fellow historian Yuval Noah Harari echoed this sentiment in his bestselling book Sapiens: See Yuval Noah Harari’s book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (New York: Harper, 2015).

Page 35

Studies further show that people who suffer from cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases have low BDNF: For a review of BDNF, see Magdalena Miranda, et al., “Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor: A Key Molecule for Memory in the Healthy and the Pathological Brain,” Front Cell Neurosci 13 (August 2019): 363. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2019.00363. eCollection 2019.

Page 36

old dogs could physically turn the clocks back on their brains through a combination of “environmental enrichment” and an antioxidant-fortified diet: See Margaret Fahnestock, et al., “BDNF Increases with Behavioral Enrichment and an Antioxidant Diet in the Aged Dog,” Neurobiol Aging 33, no. 3 (March 2012): 546–54. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2010.03.019. Epub 2010 May 5.

Page 38

“formulations mostly of cheap industrial sources of dietary energy and nutrients plus additives, using a series of processes (hence ‘ultra-processed’)”: See Carlos Augusto Monteiro, et al., “The UN Decade of Nutrition, the NOVA Food Classification and the Trouble with Ultra-processing,” Public Health Nutr 21, no. 1 (January 2018): 5–17. doi: 10.1017/S1368980017000234. Epub 2017 Mar 21.

Page 40

Glyphosate is the main ingredient in the lawn chemical RoundUp and is most likely a carcinogen: See Manolis Kogevinas, “Probable Carcinogenicity of Glyphosate,” BMJ 365 (April 2019): l1613. doi: 10.1136/bmj.l1613.

Cornell University researchers found detectable glyphosate in all eighteen commercial dog and cat food products: See Jiang Zhao, et al., “Detection of Glyphosate Residues in Companion Animal Feeds,” Environ Pollut 243, Pt B (December 2018): 1113–18. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.08.100. Epub 2018 Sep 3.

Page 41

The December 2020 US recall of a kibble contained enough aflatoxins, one type of mycotoxin, to kill more than seventy dogs: See Marie Fazio’s article, “Pet Food Recall Is Expanded After 70 Dogs Die,” New York Times, January 13, 2021,

In one US study, nine of the twelve dog foods tested were positive for at least one mycotoxin: See John H. Tegzes, Brian B. Oakley, and Greg Brennan, “Comparison of Mycotoxin Concentrations in Grain Versus Grain-free Dry and Wet Commercial Dog Foods,” Toxicology Communications3, no. 1 (2019): 61–66, doi: 10.1080/24734306.2019.1648636. Also see Dr. Karen Becker Shaw’s article, “Ignore Their Advice to Feed This Toxic, Contaminated Food,” published online September 9, 2019, at

humans consume about 50 percent of their daily calories via ultra-processed foods: See E. Martínez Steele, et al., “Ultra-processed Foods and Added Sugars in the US Diet: Evidence from a Nationally Representative Cross-sectional Study,” BMJ Open 6 (2016): e009892. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009892.

at least 85 percent of their calories come from ultra-processed foods: See Sarah Dodd, et al., “An Observational Study of Pet Feeding Practices and How These Have Changed Between 2008 and 2018,” Vet Rec 186, no. 19 (June 2020): 643. doi: 10.1136/vr.105828. Epub 2020 Jun 18.

Page 42

In 2019, a research group from Switzerland and Singapore put two diets to the test: See Felicitas S. Boretti, et al., “Serum Lipidome Analysis of Healthy Beagle Dogs Receiving Different Diets,” Metabolomics 16, no. 1 (December 2019): 1. doi: 10.1007/s11306-019-1621-3.

Page 43

by 2050, almost 70 percent of us will live in cities: For facts about the world’s urbanization go to the United Nations website at

Page 44

Bucky, the black lab that walked over five hundred miles after his dad moved from Virginia to South Carolina: See Sandi Cauley’s post, “Dog Walks 500 Miles to Find Owner,” September 5, 2012, at

Dogs have a “sixth sense” that may be related to magnetotactic bacteria in their gut: See Eviatar Natan, et al., “Symbiotic Magnetic Sensing: Raising Evidence and Beyond,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 375, no. 1808 (2020): 20190595. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2019.0595.

Page 45

In 2014, the Mayo Clinic, in collaboration with the wellness company Delos, launched a major project called the Well Living Lab: Go to to access publications and research information.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) was among the first institutions to look into the extent the extent to which pets are exposured: Go to to access publications and research information.

the EWG performed a seminal study of plastics and food-packaging chemicals: See “Polluted Pets: High Levels of Toxic Industrial Chemicals Contaminate Cats and Dogs,” posted April 17, 2008, at

Page 46

People and their pets living in industrialized nations now have hundreds of synthetic chemicals in their bodies: For a review of the Body Burden, see ScienceDirect’s collection of papers at

Page 47

hence, they are called “endocrine-disrupting chemicals” (EDCs): See Maria Elisabeth Street, et al., “Current Knowledge on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) from Animal Biology to Humans, from Pregnancy to Adulthood: Highlights from a National Italian Meeting,” Int J Mol Sci 19, no. 6 (June 2018): 1647.

Stockholm University’s Professor Åke Bergman took a novel approach to measuring blood levels: See Jessica Norrgran, Bernt Jones, Nils-Gunnar Lindquist, and Ake Bergman, “Decabromobiphenyl, Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers, and Brominated Phenolic Compounds in Serum of Cats Diagnosed with the Endocrine Disease Feline Hyperthyroidism,” Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 63, no. 1 (July 2012): 161–8. doi: 10.1007/s00244-012-9750-y. Epub 2012 Feb 5.

Page 48

“Domestic Dogs Are Sentinels to Support Human Health”
: See Catherine F. Wise, et al., “Comparative Exposure Assessment Using Silicone Passive Samplers Indicates That Domestic Dogs Are Sentinels to Support Human Health Research,” Environ Sci Technol 54, no. 12 (June 2020): 7409–19. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.9b06605. Epub 2020 May 28.

In 2019, environmental toxicologist Kim Anderson of Oregon State University: See C. M. Poutasse, et al., “Silicone Pet Tags Associate Tris (1,3-dichloro-2-isopropyl) Phosphate Exposures with Feline Hyperthyroidism,” Environ Sci Technol 53, no. 15 (2019): 9203–13.