Category Archives: guest post

Dog-Owner Conversations May Be Possible in Near Future

If you are honest, you probably have to admit that on at least one or two occasions, you found yourself wishing your dog could speak. Although true canine lovers become quite adept at understanding what type of bark indicates which need or want, let’s face it, it would be much easier if our pets could simply communicate their thoughts with different words, just like we do. For example, wouldn’t it be great if your pooch could say “okay, I’m tired of this game now, let’s play something else,” or “my bed is getting lumpy, do you think it’s time for a new doggie mattress?”

dog-post

Although your first thought may be that reading the mind of your pooch is something that only exists within the confines of a science fiction movie, this may not necessarily be true. A campaign was recently launched by the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery to raise funds for the purpose of designing a specific device that the organization refers to as “No More Woof.” It is believed that this device may have the ability to translate the thoughts of your puppy or dog into English words that you can easily understand.
As you might suspect, the device is still in its developmental stage, and it is not yet known whether it will work exactly the way its creators have anticipated. However, the concept is scientifically sound and initial tests showed substantial promise. If successful, the invention will revolutionize communication between dog and man forever.

At first appearance, No More Woof resembles a standard headset that one would see in an accessory pack for various electronic products. It fits comfortably on to the dog’s head, provided he or she will tolerate it, and it is through this headset that the device will ideally pick up the animal’s brain waves. This is accomplished through sensors that are placed in the headset, and initial testing shows that they can translate certain thought patterns, such as “I am hungry” or “I am tired” from barks to English. Additional testing has shown that the device can also tell when a dog is curious about another person and wondering whether or not the stranger should be trusted.

An EEG is technically what is used to make the aforementioned translations, and then a loudspeaker is put in place through which the animal’s thought patterns are spelled out into English words.
Maria De La Croix, the leader of the Swedish group that is undertaking the project, stated that their reasons for wanting to develop the device were purely practical. Those involved are not interested in simply creating a gadget for the sake of novelty, but rather their common goal is owner-pet communication, which would ultimately revolutionize the relationship between man and dog.

However, it is important to understand that the device is still in its inception stage, and therefore there is not yet any definitive proof that it will work exactly as anticipated. In other words, it is
technically a working prototype. As with any new invention, there may be snags that will have to be addressed along the way, but the preliminary evidence is promising. Numerous dog owners eagerly await the finished product, and many of them are probably hoping that thoughts such as “please let me out or there is going to be a mess on your rug,” will be among one the thought patterns that the device will be able to effectively translate. Because preliminary tests have offered positive results, dog lovers all around the world have every reason to believe that one day they may be able to understand and respond to what their pooch is thinking.

Guest author Melissa Turner, for catchFred, “The Go-To Place for All Things Dogs. Dedicated to the health, happiness, and well-being of man’s best friend.”

Posted in dogs, guest post, Pet Tech | 1 Comment

Mad over Maltese

Mad over Maltese

 

These tiny fluff balls will make you laugh out loud and drive you crazy. Best friend and protective- pampering parent, you will have to switch roles and shift gears with these sprightly creatures before blinking an eyelid.

“The tiniest dog Nature has ever produced –

Her coat of long hair, whiter than ermine,

Her movements exquisitely graceful and

Matchless elegance of appearance.”

(Vol. II, Canto 43, Orlando Furioso)

These lines were written by the Renaissance poet Ludovico Aristo. This popular dog has been a muse for many great artists. Its striking good looks and adorable behavior patterns have earned it many fans, and look at the irony, make us drool over it.

So every time I take my Chad for a walk, (Chad is my tiny rockstar, my Maltese by the way) I get dozens of ‘awwws’ and ‘oohs’ and “Oh my God! He is so cute!” So by the end of the walk I am exasperated at my invisible status beside him and he is well, high up in the clouds with all that lavish praise and compliments.

They all just go mad over the Maltese. So what is it about these tiny dogs that simply charms everybody?

Drop-Dead Good Looks

Silky mane and coat that looks straight out of a salon, the bright, round, button eyes and nose, and the bushy tail that keeps wagging. One cannot help but fall in love with a Maltese. Its good looks definitely earn it many doggie points.

The Maltese hair grows quite long and looks glamorous. But to maintain it and prevent the hair from getting matted requires regular bathing, grooming and trimming of the beautiful white coat and the head hair.

It is the show Maltese usually who have long and really well-groomed hair. Fancy hairstyles with bows and ribbons notch up their star quotient.

But make no mistakes. The pet Maltese with the short white or ivory mane and coat is just as adored. With the hair trimmed shorter, these toy dogs are slightly easier to maintain than the long-haired ones and oozes cuteness in their short hairstyles and droopy, bright eyes.

Small is SO Cute

Great things come in small packages. This dog definitely seems quite great to people for its tiny size. One of the biggest advantages of the Maltese is its tiny measurements. Weighing around four to five pounds and with a height of six to nine inches, these dogs can easily fit into a small apartment or a house with a small yard.

Don’t be surprised to find your Maltese hidden under the couch or in you washing basket, or on your white sofa (they might seem a little difficult to spot there though). Mine almost blends in with my white rug. I have to always be so careful not to step on it accidentally.

With all its cuteness and silliness packed in the small size, these dogs also tend to be very fragile because of their size. So with kids or other bigger dogs around ensure that your Maltese is not stepped upon, sat upon, hit hard or given a good shake by the bigger dogs as any of that can seriously injure this tiny breed.

Hilarious and Affectionate

A word of warning- Maltese are probably one of the toughest breeds to train and housebreak. However once you do, they are the most loyal, devoted and affectionate dogs you will find who will actually be your best companion.

Some of the things that my Maltese does is hilarious. I call them his attention-grabbing tactics. Maltese love to be pampered and feel very ignored if you do not talk to them or leave them alone for a couple of hours.

You will see them barking and whining and chewing everything in sight right from your rug to your footwear so yes it is funny, but beware, you do want your favorite clothes dug up and chewed upon.

Give the Maltese some attention and you will see it turn into the ultimate charmer it is, what with trying to do somersaults and licking your ears and even breaking into a tiny dance with its tail bouncing behind it!

And when you are down and low it will actually stand right by your side, doing everything it can to make you feel better. That is how caring and affectionate these tiny pooches can be. They are also great with children and guests, but will require some initial and intensive training for that. Otherwise they might snap and bark at anything and anyone new.

Fashionable and Feisty

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A dog that understands fashion, it’s got to be a Maltese. These dogs are extremely fashion-conscious and honestly, I believe quite aware of their stunning looks.

A Maltese loves to be dressed up. Pick up cute plaid shirts and nice military jackets for your handsome Maltese or make your groovy girl look enchanting in polka dot dresses and princess skirts.

With that lustrous mane and coat, accessories can definitely not take a back seat. Ribbons, top knots, side-ponytail, hair-bows and hair clips make them look super-cute and stylish.

On a easy hair day, just brush your Maltese hair well and put a smart baseball cap or cute baby hat and step out with you fashionable and feisty toy dog.

Do watch its vanity issues though when it gets all that attention and more!

The Royal Lineage

Now did you know that the Maltese is called the “aristocrat of the canine world?” If you are a Maltese owner, you got to know that the Maltese has been around for a while now and boasts of quite an enviable lineage.

Worshiped by the ancient Egyptians and believed to have curative properties the Maltese was fondly called ‘the comforter’ in ancient Egypt (for its warm and affectionate nature). It was placed on the pillows of kings and queen when they were ailing to restore their health.

Doted on and loved by British queens they were the favorite pets, the lap dogs of the wealthy and traveled along with them everywhere and were served the choicest of foods. Another trivia, Maltese loves traveling. In America they first appeared as participants in the sophisticated Westminster Kennel Club shows. Thus we know their dignity, their elegance ultimately comes from their royal lineage.

The smallest and probably one of the most loved breeds of dog, the Maltese will win your hearts with its refined looks and cute tactics no matter how well-armed you are to resist it and you won’t be able to help but go mad over Maltese.

Author Bio:
Brian Zeng is a community manager and web presence strategist for Dog Love It, the best doggy supply store ever! He loves shopping for his lovable collie, whose name is Julie.

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5 Pet Projects to Bring the Family Together

Simple, constructive activities to make pets happier

PhotoSpin Visual Metaphors Objects © 2001 PhotoSpin www.photospin.com

If your family is starting to get a little stir-crazy as summer winds on, it’s a good idea to find constructive ways to keep everybody occupied. If you’re looking for a fun project, why not do something for the furry and feathered friends in your life?

1. Build a cozy doghouse

Even if your dog spends most of his or her time inside, a nice snug doghouse can give them a welcome retreat that feels safe and secure. Doghouses are a snap to build with proper instructions essentially it’s just a wooden box but make sure your materials are appropriate. Pressure-treated wood is often treated with toxic chemicals, and steer clear of paint if your dog is prone to nervous licking. Also, be wary of using too much padding; dogs are perfectly comfortable without it, and it can be a haven for fleas and ticks.

The most important concern for your doghouse is temperature if you live in a hot climate, look for a more open, well-ventilated design, and use tin roofing to deflect sunlight. If it’s chilly, dark shingles will help soak up warmth and thicker walls will help insulate the interior. This is mainly a project for parents and older kids who can use tools safely.

2. Make bird feeders

Bird feeders, on the other hand, are a fantastic creative project even for toddlers. Mix the following ingredients in a large bowl:

  • 3 tbsp corn syrup
  • æ cup flour
  • 1 tbsp agar agar (a gelatin substitute)
  • ? cup water

Mix to create the base of your bird feeder; then have kids knead in 4 cups of bird seed (take your time; this step is messy and a lot of fun). Coat a pie pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray, and then spread your feeder goop evenly. Kids can use cookie cutters or a plastic stylus to create designs for their feeders, and when they’re done, use a drinking straw to poke a hole in each one. Depending on the thickness, they should dry overnight then you can run a string through the hole you poked, and hang them up outside.

3. Install a pet door

This is another project for older kids, but its quite simple if you have the right tools. Stencil out a square of the appropriate size for your pet with a pencil and ruler, and then use a jigsaw to carve out your stencil. At the most basic, you can cover the exposed edges of the door with a simple rubber liner, and then attach a vinyl flap to the exterior with a door hinge. When you first install the doggy door, you never know who else you’ll let into the house, so use baby gates near the door for the first couple days, to limit the risk from raccoons and other wild animals.

4. Make pet toys

This is a great project for younger kids. For a sturdy, braided tug-of-war toy, a parent or older child can cut up strips of denim or old towels. Then, the whole family can braid the fabric into the desired shapes. They don’t last forever, but it’s a great way to put old scrap fabric to use.

Old socks can be used to create all kinds of toys. Stick a crumpled plastic water bottle inside one and tie it off to create a crackling toy that is satisfyingly noisy and crunchy. A sock soaked in beef broth and frozen can make a tasty (but messy) treat let your pet take it outside to beat the heat.

5. Build an armoire aviary

It can be tough to find a cage or aviary that is both attractive for you, and comfy for your pet and many common cage designs can make birds feel exposed and vulnerable (and cranky). Find an attractive dresser or armoire at your local thrift shop, and knock out the cabinets and rollers to hollow out the interior. (You can leave some interior struts to allow your birds to perch.) You can use a jigsaw to carve additional openings in the sides and back of the armoire. Then, use chicken wire to cover the openings in the dresser, and you’ve got a classy, personalized aviary that will better mimic the feeling of a home in the shady protection of a tree.

 

Mike Freiberg is a staff writer for HomeDaddys, a resource for stay-at-home dads, work-at-home dads, and everything in between. He’s a handyman, an amateur astronomer, and a tech junkie, who loves being home with his two kids. He lives in Austin.

Posted in DIY for pets, guest post | 3 Comments

Is Your Pet Okay While You’re at Work?

Sadly, we don’t exactly live in an ideal world. If we did, all of our jobs would have in-house pet daycares and we could bring our four-legged friends to work with us. In the less accommodating world we actually live in, our pets have to stay at home while we spend the next 8 to 10 hours making the money that we’ll later use to spoil them. For many of us, our pets are like our children, so leaving them at home for so long can mean a lot of stress for us (and them). Here we’ll discuss some of the dangers of a pet left to its own devices, as well as some ideas on how to reduce them.

PetSafetyWhileAtWork

Safety Concerns:
Eliminating: While many dogs are capable of going extremely long periods of time without eliminating, it’s not a good thing. “Holding it” for too long can lead to urinary tract infections and cystitis.

Boredom: A bored pet will look for something with which to entertain themselves, and that something won’t always be a good thing. Both dogs and cats chew, especially when bored or anxious – chewing means destruction, destruction means debris, and debris means choking hazards. And cats are masters of entry, finding their way into cupboards and cabinets with harmful materials like cleaning chemicals.

Stress Disorders: Dogs are social creatures, and though some might make you think otherwise, so are cats. Being left alone, or “separated from the pack” for too long can lead to high levels of mental tension. Stress disorders in animals have been linked to lethargy, mental ticks, destructive behaviors, and, in extreme cases, self-mutilation.

Solutions:
Here are some things you can consider in order to keep your pet safe and happy while you’re at work:
Potty Pads: Potty pads can give your dog a place to eliminate while locked indoors. Avoid the doggy door situation; not only does that let them go outside unsupervised, but it’s an all-around safety concern where your home is involved in that it’s an opening for intruders. Lock up the doggy doors when you leave.

Visual Entertainment: Cats love a good show. Set up sources of entertainment in places that are within view. Try a bird bath or a bird feeder right outside the window. Or set up a secure fish aquarium indoors to act as a kitty television.

Recruitment: Do you know your neighbors well? Do you have a friend who owes you a favor? Does your city have dog walking services? Having someone stop by in the middle of your workday to take your dog for a short walk and some play time can take some of the edge off of being left alone.

Drain the Batteries: Schedule some time in the morning before work to give your pets some exercise. Take your dog on a job with you or stimulate your cat with toys that make him jump around. Wear out some of the energy they might otherwise use poorly once you’re gone.

Toys: Try to include “puzzle toys”, toys that present a mental challenge to your pet, such as bones with treats stuffed inside. Be careful with what sort of cat toys you choose if you also have a dog at home. Smaller cat toys can become choking hazards for your dog.

The Buddy System: If your living space and finances allow it, consider having more than one pet to give your cat or dog a friend to play with while you’re gone.

Music: Leave some gentle music playing on the stereo. It can having a soothing effect on pets as well as emulate a social atmosphere.

Technology: Thanks to pet-loving engineers, we have surveillance technologies available that can help us keep an eye on our pets while we’re at work. iWatchLife lets you install remote home surveillance for as little as $4.99 per month after purchasing the cameras for a reasonable price. Recordings and event alerts can be connected to your mobile devices so you can check no matter where you are.

Depending on what areas of the house you’re looking to keep tabs on, you can set up remote access to your home computer with a webcam running.

TAGG is a pet tracking device that you access from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. It’s a small, wristwatch-like device that fits on your pets’ collar and lets you track and receive alerts about your pet’s movement.

Pet QR Tag is a new variation on pet identification. It’s a small pet tag with a barcode that can be scanned by smartphones. The owner simply enters all necessary pet information into the online database (name, your phone number, relevant medical needs, veterinarian contact information, etc.), and should your pet get loose outside, someone who finds him can find all they need to know with a quick scan.

Author Bio:Jay Acker heads up a team of writers producing safety manuals, training courses and other safety related materials for business customers. They make safety training kits, courseware and safety posters for www.safetyservicescompany.com.

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