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April 2014

Cat People, Dog People and Personality

 by brian on 30 Apr 2014 |
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  Dogs and cats are the ultimate human companions in contemporary society. So much so, that people end up self-identifying as either one type of person or another.  Dogs win the popularity contest easily, in both terms of ownership and self-identification. More people like dogs, and more people own them. What’s really interesting about pet ownership is what it says about the pet owners. According to recent studies, someone who considers themselves a cat person is more likely to be independent, creative, and somewhat neurotic. Whereas dog people end up being more eager to please, conscientious, and extroverted. These are of course, only slight differences, in between the 10 to 20 percent range, but are interesting findings nonetheless. These traits make perfect sense even at first glance. Dog ownership consists of attentive and hands on care, as well as a great deal of social interaction. Cats on the other hand require far less upkeep, and a more individualistic sort of companionship than can be expected from the pack animal mentality of their canine counterparts. The slightly off-kilter attitude of cats, their--shall we say finicky nature has had a very negative impact on their popularity. People are considerably more likely to be anti-cat, and anti-cat owner than with dogs. Though by looking through internet memes, you’d never guess it. This cat discrimination is probably due to a cat’s antisocial instincts. Cats are territorial creatures as well as fierce and formidable predators. For their size, they pack a lot of power and sharp surfaces into an adorable little package. People often misunderstand the best way to approach cats or take offense at their perceived snotty attitudes. It also doesn’t help that lonely spinsters occasionally settle in large houses with more than ten of them dwelling within. This all adds up to a negative vision of cats and cat people overall. However, this is a woefully inaccurate portrayal of only a single aspect of cats and their people. Cat resourcefulness, intelligence, and dynamic aptitude at problem solving can be witnessed in their owners as well. A recent British study cited in an article by The Telegraph reveals that cat owners are much more likely to have degrees from a university than dog owners are. Of course, this can be attributed to working longer hours and choosing a pet that better fits their lifestyles, but it is a curious coincidence. Dog people on the other hand don’t really suffer from any negative stereotypes. Unless they own pit bulls, but that’s a stigma that’s due in the most part to the savage and deplorable practice of dog fighting. Dogs generally get along well with anyone that doesn’t mind a wagging tail and the occasional lick on the face. Dog owners as well, have that reputation for being extroverts. It’s even rumored that single guys have been using puppies as an effective way to meet women… And by rumored, I mean confirmed. It totally works. Just make sure you’re adopting your pet for the right reasons!  

7 Canine Country Covers

 by simone on 30 Apr 2014 |
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“I buried my best bone but my girlfriend stole it and gave it to the Beagle next door” A compilation of the best canine country covers. Image credit   1. Rawhide “Rollin,’ rollin,’ rollin’ – keep them corgis rollin’. Taking a leaf out of The Blues Brothers’ performance book, The Paw Brothers surprised critics with their showmanship when they released this classic.   Image credit   2. Pawhide  Every success spurns a parody and none is better than ‘Pawhide’ by Weird Al Barkovic whose chants of “Bowlin’, bowlin’, bowlin’ and the hilarious video became a viral sensation.    Image credit   3. King of the Road This ode, embracing the freedom that being poor can provide, has never sounded better than from the furiously smacking cheeks of Hank Furry.   Image credit   4. Boys from the Bush And they’re definitely back in town! Ladies watch out for members of the Outback Club – unless of course you want an unforgettable Saturday.   Image credit   5. Where have all the Cowdogs Gone? Dusty Springerfield’s forlorn tale of failing love tugged at the heartstrings of many music fans.    Image credit   6. Duncan As Spot and Dot sang, “I love to have a beer with Duncan, ‘cos Duncan’s me mate,” Australian dogs rejoiced at the updated version of Slim Dusty’s iconic ‘tail’ of friendship.    Image credit   7. Jolene The stunning lady featured in the video for Daisy Doggone’s cover of ‘Jolene’ encapsulates perfectly Dolly Parton’s vision of an incomparable beauty, whose flaming auburn hair and eyes of emerald green sets men’s hearts wagging.    Image credit          

14 Dogs With "Wild" Hairstyles 

 by michelle on 30 Apr 2014 |
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  1. There's a new king of the jungle in town.   Image credit   2. Inspired by Rio perhaps?   Image credit   3. Cowabunga!   Image credit     4. If giraffes had short necks:   Image credit   5. That is a purrfect tiger disguise!    Image credit   6. "Stop! Hammer time!"   Image credit   7. This is pandamonium!    Image credit     8. The "camel"flage look.    Image credit   9. Stinks to be this pup...   Image credit   10. Move over Seabiscuit!    Image credit   11. Is he black with white stripes or white with black stripes?   Image credit   12. Even more rare than the American Buffalo is the Buffalo Poodle.   Image credit   13. Elephant + Tiger = Elepher?    Image credit   14. All eyes were definitely on this poodle...   Image credit  

Modern Cat Furniture

 by danielle on 30 Apr 2014 |
1 Comment(s)
The days of buying a simple carpeted scratching post for your cat are long gone. On the market today there is an array of innovative – and sometimes funny – furniture designed to transform your home into the perfect kitty playground.    Katris    Perfected your Tetris skills as a kid? They’ll come in handy with the new Katris product for cat lovers by Papercut Lab. Made from cardboard, the sturdy shapes fit together to create endlessly variable world for your cat to explore.    Your imagination is the only limit to what you can create from the Katris pieces. Once you’ve created the perfect cat post and hideaway, special clips are used to hold your design together. What’s more, the pieces can be purchased separately, so you can add more of whatever shapes take your fancy.    Image credit   The Katris product need not only be for your cat. It is designed so you can create functional furniture for yourself, such as a bookshelf or a coffee table complete with nooks and crannies for your pet.     Lumpi    Lumpi looks like kitsch sculptural art but is actually a ingenious scratching post for your cat to get revenge on dog kind for all the times they’ve chased them up trees. Cast from polyester resin and wrapped in sisal cord, Lumpi keeps you and your cat happy by keeping your furniture safe and giving kitty something great to sink their claws into.     Image credit   Goldtatze   German company Goldtatze (Translation: Gold Paw) has created cat heaven in the sky. Hanging from the ceiling and walls, these amazing designs make a simple room kitty wonderland.    Designer Stephan Hofmann, who has a background in carpentry, was inspired to create the product after adopting his first cat, Tiggi, from a shelter. Struggling to find attractive and interesting cat furniture he decided to make some himself. Hofmann now has two more cats, Püppi and Pepita, and ships his designs worldwide.      Skiitch Modern Cat Scratching Post What looks like super cool modern sculpture is actually cleverly designed cat scratching post from Kassen design. Fashioned from heavy-duty corrugated cardboard mounted on a sturdy cement base, the posts are influenced by Brutalist architecture. The Skiitch Modern Cat Scratching Post is an item of décor for the truly cultured cat.    Image credit   Indiana Jones Cat Bridge   Is your place home to an intrepid feline adventurer? If so, the Indiana Jones Cat Bridge may just be the perfect addition to your home. Made from solid pine by CatastrophiCreations, the bridge can be slung across the tops of doorways to create a fun perch for your cat to explore that doesn’t crowd the room. A railing of hand-woven twine allows cats to comfortably lounge on the bridge and watch from on high.    Image credit   pEI Pod    Cats love to hide and pEI pods are one of the most stylish hidey-holes available. Made from the same high-density polyethylene used to make baby products, the elliptical pet cave is as safe as it is sleek. It is also fully recyclable, so great for the planet too. The pod and accompanying pet pillow varieties are customisable so you can get exactly the right look to match you and your cat’s tastes.     Image credit          

Should Your Next Dog be a Shelter Dog?

 by jaime on 29 Apr 2014 |
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If you are looking for a new four-legged family member, there are many reasons to head to the local animal shelter instead of the local breeder. Owning a shelter dog can be very rewarding for you and the animal. Animal shelters and pet rescue organizations do great work and they rely on the support of the community to continue doing what they do best. Image credit   Some would-be dog owners are concerned about adopting a dog from the shelter. Both government-run shelters and private non-profit animal rescue organizations have made great strides, but some myths about shelter animals still persists. Some people fear that shelter dogs are poorly socialized, and that they will not readily adapt to life at home. Others worry that shelter dogs were surrendered by their former owners for temperament or behavioural issues, and that those problems will re-emerge once the dog is in their home.   Image credit   While it is important to evaluate each animal carefully, the above concerns are largely myths. Responsible animal rescue organizations and animal shelters take great pains to evaluate the temperament of every incoming animal, and they strive to match dogs and families carefully. The best organizations will take a number of factors into account to make the right match, from the size of your home to the makeup of your family.   If you are dealing with a reputable animal rescue organization, for instance, the staff may not allow you to adopt a large dog if you live in a tiny apartment. Instead, they may direct you to a smaller animal that will be comfortable laying on your lap and playing in the local dog park. By taking these steps, a good animal rescue organization helps ensure that every pet they adopt will have a long and happy life and a permanent loving home.      Adopting a pet from an shelter or animal rescue organization obviously has benefits for the animal, but it has many benefits for owners as well. When you adopt your next dog from a shelter, you get the satisfaction of saving a life and giving a pet a loving home. Even if you adopt from a no-kill shelter, you are freeing up space for the next dog to be rescued from a bad situation.    You also get a dog that has been carefully evaluated for both health and temperament issues. The staff members of these organizations develop a real feel for the animals they care for, and they learn to spot potential behaviour problems early, when they are easiest to work with. Many animal rescue organizations work with a wide network of pet professionals, from training facilities to veterinary clinics. This network allows them to find underlying health problems and make it easier for the new owners to keep their pets healthy and happy.     Image credit   If you do decide that a shelter dog is the right choice for you, it is important to evaluate the organization carefully. Animal rescue organizations run the gamut in terms of quality and responsibility, from professionally-run groups to places that barely meet the minimum standards. Talking to other pet owners, veterinary clinics and dog trainers can give you a real feel for which organizations deserve your support and which ones are best ignored.    You can expect to complete a thorough application and pay an adoption fee before bringing your new family member home. Many animal rescue organizations also conduct interviews and home visits to make sure you can provide a safe and loving home. While this may seem over the top at first, it is done for the welfare of the pet and the adoptive family. The best organizations work very hard to match pets and people, and their goal is to secure permanent loving homes for every animal they receive.     

How Does Your Cat See You?

 by danielle on 29 Apr 2014 |
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Anthrozoologist Dr. John Bradshaw has spent years studying the domestic house cat to discover more about their habits and psychology. According to the University of Bristol cat behaviour expert, our furry feline friends view us as versions of themselves – we are just large, clumsy cats that walk on our back paws.  Image credit   Dr. Bradshaw recently penned the book Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science can Make you a Better Friend to Your Pet, sharing his insights into the cat mind. One of his more interesting conclusions is that cats just don’t ‘get us’ like dogs do.    Extensive research over the years has revealed man’s best friend views us as very different animals to themselves. Their behaviour noticeably shifts when a human enters the room. The way two dogs play together is very different to how they play with one of us.    Image credit   This distinction just isn’t evident when it comes to cats. No sign has been observed which indicates cats see us as anything other than cats much larger than themselves. They socialise with people in exactly the same manner they engage with others of their own kind. The attention they show us, such as rubbing against our legs and sitting beside us is indistinguishable from cat-on-cat affection.     Image credit   The belief cats are haughty creatures that see themselves as better than their human servants is very likely false according to Dr. Bradshaw’s studies. Cats don’t desire to rub up against cats that they believe are of inferior status. If your cat nuzzles against your leg, chances are it views you as an equal, or even as a superior.     Image credit   Dr. Bradshaw used a variety of methods to produce his results. He spent a lot of time watching groups of cats interact in all sorts of environments, including in feral colonies and shelters. He also examined how cats play with toys and designed tests administered at different times of day to see if there were varying results. He further extensively interviewed owners to discover how they perceived their cats and the relationship they shared with them.    Surprisingly little research has been done into cats and Dr. Bradshaw insists a lot more is required. He believes it is important we take the time to consider how our cat’s minds work, rather than projecting human emotions onto them. Unravelling the mysteries of cat world, in his opinion, will only lead to happier pets.    Image credit   You can read more about Bradshaw’s work and his new book here.   

Unusual Breeds: The Xoloitzcuintle

 by danielle on 28 Apr 2014 |
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Otherwise known as the Mexican Hairless or Xolo, the Xoloitzcuintle has existed in South America for over 3000 years but is now one of the rarest breeds in the world. The breed’s unusual hairlessness is thought to have originated due to a mutation of dogs in the region. These dogs may have had a survival advantage in the hot, tropical environment causing the mutation to spread.    Image credit   Xolos were considered sacred by the Aztecs and other indigenous cultures and many artefacts survive depicting the breed. In Aztec mythology, the Xolo was created by the god Xolotl. He instructed that man guard the dog with his life. In return, the dogs would guard their master’s souls through the dangers of the underworld to the heavens.    Skin colours in the Xolo range from black, to blue, to red. Occasionally, Xolos with a coat are born amongst a litter of hairless siblings.    Image courtesy of Jacqi Dinis   For many years, the Xolo remained largely ignored by dog breed authorities, only sporadically making appearances in Mexican dog shows of the 1940s. By the 1950s interest had increased at it was realised, unless drastic action was taken, the breed would go instinct.   In 1954 the FCI (the World Canine Association) began the ‘Xolo Expedition’. Mexican and British dog enthusiasts set off to the remote regions of Mexico to discover and preserve purebred members of the breed. Ten were found and formed the foundation of Mexico’s program targeted at a Xolo revival.    Image courtesy of Diana Andersen - AnimalImages   Interestingly, Xolos were one of the very first dogs recognised by the American Kennel Club. In 1887, ‘Mee Too’ was registered and in 1940, ‘Chinito Junior’ owned by a Mrs Radtke of New York became the breeds first, and only, American Kennel Club champion. As of 2012, the Xolo has been included in the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.    Image courtesy of Jacqi Dinis   Xolos tend to be healthy dogs and are well-known for their intelligence. As an ancient breed largely unchanged from its early roots, it has many ‘primitive’ characteristics that have been lost in many more popular dog varieties. They are inquisitive, high energy and have keen hunting and guarding instincts.    The Xolo is the national dog of Mexico and the symbol of the popular Mexican football club Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente. Feature image courtesy of Jacqi Dinis    

7 Elite Four-Pawed Heroes

 by simone on 28 Apr 2014 |
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We take a look at some of the sporting world’s quiet achievers.  Image credit   1. Keep your eye on the ball at all times  Despite some questionable plays around the net, nothing gets past this master tabby of table tennis.   Image credit     2. Point scoring pooch. Petey could teach the Harlem Globetrotters a thing or two, although slam dunking has always been a little out of his reach.    Image credit   3. Was it a hole in one? I couldn’t bear to look Sometimes in life, it’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game, the sportsdoglike character you bring to the competition and, of course, your snazzy fairway fashion.    Image credit   4. Doggie paddle? Puh-lease! She’s the Queen of the pool. Her amazing talent was discovered when she was spotted fearlessly diving into deep water and chasing fish as a mere kitten.    Image credit   5. A winning woof team In the history of Extreme Fetch, there’s been no better pairing. Other competitors don’t come within a sniff of these Labs when they have their prize in their sight.   Image credit   6. Captain Courageous Known as The Siamese Slammer, this super featherweight boxer is renowned for taking down the most formidable of opponents without hesitation.   Image credit   7. The Greatest of them all Is there anything Tillman the Bulldog can’t ride?  Skateboards, snowboards, surfboards and skimboards are no match for this guy – and who would have thought he’d such grace while doing it!   Image credit      

Have You Met Zoey and Jasper?

 by jaime on 27 Apr 2014 |
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This is Zoey and Jasper. Zoey is a rescue dog who loves many things but nothing more than Jasper. Jasper is a 10-month old who is not only adorable, but is best friends with Zoey. Jasper's mum, Grace is a professional photographer who has captured these too cute for words images of the pair wearing matching outfits and cheeky faces. Check out their Tumblr to read more about this delightful duo!    Image credit Image credit Image credit

What Is The Correct Diet For a Dog Suffering From Liver Failure?

 by jaime on 26 Apr 2014 |
1 Comment(s)
Receiving a diagnosis of liver failure for your furry friend is an extremely distressing event for the entire family. Knowing that your dog is in pain and unable to perform every tasks such as eating, drinking and going outside to the toilet is heart-breaking. Therefore, every owner wants to give the best possible care and treatment to their pet in their time of need. Liver disease is an extremely common disorder in older dogs and can be caused by a variety of reasons. Hepatitis, infection, anemia, inflammation of the pancreas and trauma can all result in liver failure which could prove fatal if left untreated. Fortunately there are many effective treatments available for different types of liver failure, and something as simple as changing your dog's diet can have a major impact on their recovery. Image credit Signs of Liver Disease  Dogs suffering from liver disease will most often appear tired and depressed. They may also start panting, vomiting, drinking excessively, refuse to settle, and you may start to notice their skin and the whites of their eyes turning yellow as the disease progresses. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, take him to a veterinarian immediately who will perform a series of diagnostic tests.   Importance of Diet  As the liver is responsible for detoxing the blood and producing the necessary chemicals required for digestion, a healthy diet is critical for dogs affected by liver disease. Many veterinarians and canine nutritionists now believe that the correct diet can make a huge difference and occasionally even reverse the effects of liver disease in certain cases.     Image credit   Natural Diet  One of the best ways to help your beloved pet regain their strength and repair their damaged liver is to feed them a diet packed with fresh, healthy produce. For an emergency detox diet, try different combinations of boiled potatoes, broccoli, green beans and cauliflower. After two to three days, start adding some animal proteins such as boiled eggs, white fish, cottage cheese, chicken breast and tuna. It is important to include plenty of protein in your dog's diet. Try feeding them several small meals a day rather than one large meal.   Prescription Diets  Many dog food manufacturers offer a wide range of prescription diets that are tailor-made for many different medical conditions. You can buy prescription dog food from veterinarians, pet shops, supermarkets or even order it online. Supplements such as milk thistle, zinc, and vitamins K, C, D and E are all great ways to support your dog's health and help them make a speedy recovery.   As well as making changes to your dog's diet, it is advisable to detox your home to ensure that your dog does not come into contact with any harmful chemicals that could make their condition worse. If you use pesticides or weed killer in your garden, make sure to keep your dog well away from any treated areas. Never allow your pet to come into contact with harsh cleaning products used in the home such as bleach or drain cleaner. Above all, try to keep your dog at a healthy weight and make sure they gets plenty of fresh air and exercise to ensure their long-term health.
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