Good things come in threes. For STEM Friday and the Year of the Dog, we have the third National Geographic Kids book about dogs published this year, Dog Science Unleashed: Fun Activities To Do With Your Canine Companion by Jodi Wheeler-Toppen and with photographs by Matthew Rakola. (See our previous review of the first two.)
Building on common activities that dog owners already do with their pets like bathing them, playing with them and feeding them, Jodi Wheeler-Toppen has come up with over 20 science explorations to discover more about dog biology and behavior. For example, you can learn more about what colors dogs see by hiding different colored balls in a grassy lawn and watching how easy it is for the dog to find them. Another activity involves making dog treats for your dog.
Safety is first with all these activities. The author remind kids to watch for signs the dog is upset or uncomfortable, and to quit the activity if the dog is unhappy. Also, make sure the dog has access to water and plan lots of breaks even if the dog is enjoying himself.
In addition to the activities, the book is full of cool scientific information. Did you know that dogs have a special vomeronasal organ (also called Jacobson’s organ) in their noses that allows them to smell special pheromones?
As to be expected from National Geographic, the photographs are fantastic. The photographer followed kids and their super-photogenic dogs as they tried out the activities. The results are inspiring.
The bottom line is that Dog Science Unleashed is a great choice for dog lovers, as well as budding zoologists and veterinarians.
More about the Vomeronasal Organ
Recently scientists and veterinarians have been able to synthesize some of the pheromones (scents used by animals to communicate with one another) detected by this special organ in a dog’s nose. For example, pheromones may be added to puppy potty training pads to help attract the puppy to them. Other pheromones, called “dog appeasing pheromones,” may help calm dogs down. You can now find products at pet supply stores in the form of sprays, wipes, and even special collars. Think of ways you can learn more about dog pheromones.
Want to read more about dogs? Try our growing list of children’s books about dogs and dog science at Science Books for Kids.
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (August 7, 2018)
Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher’s representatives for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.
Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books. Note: this is a new link as of 10/2018.