Blog

The Surprising Way Dogs Tell Time

cute-dog-1393217063c11

We like to stay in the know when it comes to our dogs and cats – from studies on whether our pets love, to groundbreaking research on how well they understand our language — we find it all fascinating, and love to learn more and more about the creatures that bring us such joy. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re like us, and might be just as fascinated to learn about a recent discovery on our furry canines…

An article published on the website “Science of Us” suggests that dogs use their nose not just to track smells and hunt, but to mark the passing of time. How? We wondered the same thing.

To understand, let’s cover the basics. Canines rely on their noses to go about their lives. Every time they smell something (which is thousands and thousands of times a day), receptor cells in the nose transmit the information directly to the brain. “We do too,” states the article, “but dogs have hundred of millions more.” This explains why they can detect a trillionth of a gram of TNT, and are even used to sniff out cancer. Their noses are incredibly powerful, and they don’t need their eyes nearly as much as we do.

What you might not know, and what we didn’t know, was how the two nostrils work together and independently to understand and perceive information. Think of your eyes – they work seamlessly as a pair to see the world as a three-dimensional image, and yet when you lose the vision of one, your perception is greatly impaired.

So how do dogs smell time? Alexandra Horowitz, who recently published a book on her research (LINK), says it has to do with the air. Throughout the day, hot air rises – in a room it will rise along the wall and up to the ceiling – and as this happens, smells change. Dogs, Alexandra explains, may very well be able to tell the time of day by how the air smells. Similarly, a strong scent signifies something recent or current (think, bacon on the stove, or a fellow pup’s urination on the ground), while a faint odor signifies something in the past.

So why does your dog still leap with joy when you return from bringing out the garbage? That might just have more to do with how unconditionally lovable they are.

Read more on the topic: here. and here.

Do Dogs Dream?

4975506795_527af35425_b

Type “dog dreaming” into YouTube and you will be presented with thousands upon thousands of sleeping canine videos – some with over 7 million views! While it appears as though these dogs must be dreaming of digging holes and running through fields, the topic has been up for debate for some time…

Read More

Detecting Stress in Cats

thul-img_2100

We know our own stressful triggers: work deadlines, holidays with family, a move or new job — but do we know our pet’s? Studies show that cats also experience stress, and it may be happening more than we realize.

Read More

The 6 Best Instagram Accounts for Dog and Cat Lovers

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 2.49.01 PM

Nothing cheers us up more than browsing our Instagram account and stumbling on a cute puppy or kitten photo. Not only is it an instant booster and mood lifter, but it reminds us why we love what we do. Below, we’ve rounded up our 6 favorite accounts. Enjoy!

Read More

When Owners Look Like Their Dogs, and Vice Versa

doberman

We’ve all seen it; an owner walks by with their pet and the resemblance is striking — sometimes even comically so. How is it possible? Are people drawn to dogs that look like them? The phenomenon has been researched for years. Here’s what scientists have found…

Read More

How to Pick the Right Toys For Your Cat

jumping-cute-playing-animals-large

Cats can be finicky with their toy preference, which is why a cardboard box comes in great handy when your feline needs entertainment. Still, that’s not to say she wouldn’t thrive from other engaging toys — the trick is to find ones that bring out your furry friend’s natural predator instincts; toys that challenge Shadow and keep her entertained the longest. See below for tips on how to pick out the best toys for your sneaky kitty…

Independent Play

Cats are great at playing independently, and if they have a toy they can entertain themselves with, it makes your job easier. Here are a few great options for when your kitty feels playful…

Something treat filled. If your cat is treat driven, consider a small toy filled with the tastiest of treats. The challenge of fishing out the nibbles will keep a hungry kitty engaged. These organic catnip toys are a great option.

A toy with sound. Cats rely on their senses when hunting, so chasing after a small ball with a rattle can be quite stimulating. These are great – the soft texture will appeal to Shadow, while the tinkling sound will keep her interested.

A paper bag. Felines love to pounce, crinkle, hide in, and even “attack” the humble paper bag, and – lucky for us – this toy requires nothing more than keeping a few around. For safety reasons, just make sure you cut off the handles.

Interactive Play

A pole toy. All cats love to practice hunting through play, which is why a toy that involves swatting, scooping, pouncing, stalking, and batting is your best bet. Even the old standbys like a rod or pole with a feather or small toy mouse on the end of a line is bound to bring out your furry friend’s inner hunter. The key is to make it light and small enough (after all, cats hunt small animals in the wild), and just out of reach. Let her pounce on it, but then wiggle it away, as if it were a small mouse trying to flee.

Laser pointers. Along the same lines, laser points are another great way to satisfy your kitty’s predator instincts. A word of caution: never shine the light directly into your pet’s eyes!

A final tip: instead of keeping toys out, try stashing some away and revealing them only for playtime. This way, it becomes a special and unexpected treat (absolute favorite toys can be kept with your kitty if you think it would distress her to be without it!).

What are your pet’s all time favorite toys? We’d love to hear!

A Beginner’s Guide to Making Your Own Dog Food

dog-843800_960_720

If you search “how to make your own dog food,” in Google, there are 159 million results. It’s understandable why anyone considering the endeavor might be intimidated simply by the vast amount information out there – some of it, we might add, contradictory. So, where to begin? Below, we’ve broken it down to its basics, and what you need know to get started.

Much like humans, dogs thrive on a balanced diet of protein, vegetables, lots of nutrients and even dairy. It’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before taking on the task; they’ll help you figure out what kind of diet will best suit your furry friend.

Read More

The Stress-Free Way to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

dog-425067_960_720

Oh, nail trimming – the dreaded task. In general, canines aren’t crazy about having their paws touched, but add a strange metal object to the mix and you are looking at a far-from-thrilled four-legged friend. Luckily, there are several ways to make nail trimming easier, less stressful, and quicker. That’s what we want, right? Read on to learn more…

  1. To begin, desensitize. If you only reach for your dog’s paws when you have to trim his nails, he’ll learn to enter panic mode every time you do (dogs are very quick to form these negative associations). To prevent this from happening, start by touching his paws at random and during low stress scenarios – aka when you’re not about to trim his nails. Lounging on the couch with a book? Indulge your furry friend with a nice massage, and casually include his paws. Add a few tasty treats to the mix, and he’ll be more likely to become accustomed to feet touching in general.
  1. Find the right tool. These days, there are many different options on the market. One rule of thumb: For medium to large dogs, try a stronger scissor-style nail clipper like this one. For smaller pups, the guillotine style trimmer makes it easy to trim without feeling like you’re wielding a pair of bush clippers. If using a sharp object around your furry pal makes you nervous, a nail grinder — which files instead of trims — might be your answer. You can read about how to properly use one here.
  1. Trim a little at a time. If you have a dog with dark nails, it’s harder to see where the quick — or the area in the nail where the blood vessels and nerves begin — making the whole procedure a terrifying guessing game. Start by trimming a tiny bit at a time – no more than 8th an inch. One tip: when you start to see a circle inside the center of the nail, that’s your cue to stop! There are even nail clippers that will sense when you are approaching the quick and will flash a light to notify you.
  1. Have a first-aid kit ready. If you accidentally trim into the quick, stay calm. Dog nails bleed excessively – so much so that you’ll be tempted to rush to the emergency room. Styptic powder is your best friend, so have some handy, along with a few cotton pads. Your other best friend? Making sure you incorporate plenty of concrete or paved walks in your daily exercise routine – the hard ground acts as a natural nail filer and will keep your pup’s nails healthy and strong. It doesn’t replace nail trimming entirely, but it will make the task easier in the long run (no pun intended!).