January 31, 2011
Here's a look back at the super cool gear we dug up this past January for our super cool pets and the people they love. We are looking forward to a fabulous February!
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Accessories and Supplies
Apparel for Pet Lovers
Books & Media
Continue reading: "Super Cool Pets Monthly Round Up -- January 2011"
January 31, 2011
These Dog Wine Bottle Toppers will add a cute touch to your Valentine's Day celebration atop a special bottle or two of your favorite wine. 100% cotton, designed by Meredith Parker and hand knit in Armenia.
January 30, 2011
We recently welcomed a new yellow and gray male cockatiel to our Super Cool Pets family. While our birds hash out their pecking order, we added this Fandangle Jangle Bird Toy to give them something to peck at besides each other! This colorful, eye-catching toy has it all -- grapevine rings, plastic beads, wooden slat, grapevine ball, and stainless steel bell hang from a natural woven disk.
As with all pets, cockatiels need our attention and commitment with the reward of many happy years together. For tips on ways to have a fantastic relationship with these sweet, gentle little birds, we consult Cockatiels for Dummies which covers all aspects of cockatiels, focusing on how to feed, house, and train them.
January 28, 2011
And the winner is -- the Labrador Retriever is the most popular registered breed in America, according to The American Kennel Club (AKC®) nationwide registration statistics.
This past year in the top 10, the Beagle overtook Super Cool Pets favorite the Golden Retriever for the 4th spot. The Bulldog, whose popularity has been steadily rising, took 6th place away from the Boxer, who dropped down to 7th.
View a slideshow of the most popular breeds.
January 28, 2011
January 27, 2011
Does your dog need to wear a coat outside in the winter? According to the Wall Street Journal, small, short-haired, inactive dogs without a thick fur undercoat are more susceptible to cold weather.
If you live with a lap dog such as a Chihuahua, dachshund, Boston terrier, shih tzu, bichon frise, miniature pinscher or the xolo, a Mexican hairless dog, a heavy winter sweater or coat is a must. And, regardless of their breed, elderly or sick pets may need to wear extra layers outside.
Working and sporting dogs are generally heartier and less likely to need the protection. Bigger breeds, such as Retrievers, Shepherds, Huskies, are bred for outdoor life and work and function better outdoors au naturel, but still need to stay active and be able to curl up in a sheltered area.
January 26, 2011
This cute Pawsby Poopatroller is an all-in-one concealed pooper scooper that will solve a lot of the complications of taking a pet for a walk. The walker controls the unit and the dog with one hand, while the other hand holds the scoop (hygienically covered with a biodegradable bag) to collect the waste. After clean-up, the scoop is returned to the unit hidden from public view.
Also attached to the unit are a recyclable 48" hemp leash and collar, a rain-proof LED crank flashlight, and a removable water bowl. In an emergency, the dog-walker can even crank-charge a cell phone with the included cord and a choice of adaptors under the red cap!
January 25, 2011
Catty Stacks are customizable cat houses--strong, eco-friendly, economical and configurable. They are made from strong, heavy-weight, double-walled cardboard similar to flat-screen TV boxes.
The Catty Stack boxes clip together and can be moved as a single structure. They fit perfectly along walls or in corners and are strong and stable enough for multiple cats. In varying sizes, shapes, and colors, Catty Stacks suits any decor and budget.
This nifty Portion-Control Food-Storage Bin gets the pet food up and off the floor. It mounts to any wall and stores up to 30 lbs. of dry dog food. The unit can be removed quickly for refilling.
To feed, easily dispense individual portions into the included cup. The sealed lid keeps out the ubiquitous insects and pests. The unit also can store bird seed, fertilizer, eliminating the bending, kneeling and dragging heavy bags at feed time.
January 24, 2011
Researchers at Auburn University's Canine Detection Research Institute have created an external, real-time navigation system to guide detection dogs remotely. This new "backpack" is equipped with GPS, sensors, a processor and a radio modem, and directs the dog with vibration and tone. The system should enable these specially trained 'super dogs' to take on risky tasks such as security, combat operations, and support for the disabled.
Discovery via DVICE
A pet with ongoing intestinal issues is miserable with gas pains, cramps and belly distention. We suffer along too, getting up with the dog for nightly airings, surprised by accidents on the rugs or in far-flung corners of the house, not to mention the concern we feel.
Honest Kitchen Perfect Form Dog and Cat Supplement is ideal for pets with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis or occasional digestive upset. This yummy concoction combats gas, facilitates regularity, firms up loose stools, soothes and protects your pet's GI tract. Qualifies for FREE shipping!
As always, this information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local veterinarian to rule out illness.
January 22, 2011
Here's a super cool Valentine's Day idea for the pet lover. Get FREE Personalization on tags, beds, leashes, collars and more at FetchDog. Shop this weekend as the special ends Sunday, January 23 @ midnight.
Our backyard birds still need winter shelter, and it won't be long until bird nesting season! This Fat-Cat Birdhouse looks more than ready to provide a roomy home for your small, neighborhood birds, safe from predators. It's handcrafted of sustainable Albesia wood and hand finished with non-toxic paints.
January 21, 2011
Having walked this planet for many, many moons, one old saw that we really stand by is Do what you love. Yes, the days are long, but those years really are short.
For those who love dogs (and who doesn't??), many potential careers await other than the veterinarian, a laudable career but an expensive and time-consuming process. But what are the other opportunities?
Careers with Dogs: The Comprehensive Guide to Finding Your Dream Job by Kim Campbell Thornton, former president of the Cat Writers Association, covers every conceivable job from veterinary technician and medical specialist to dog trainer and professional handler.
The book is chock full of information on individual occupations--comprehensive "day-in-the-life" narratives of a professional on that job, the education and training required, salary and job forecast information. The author also compiled an up-to-date listing of resources and career sites. It's a terrific resource for recent high school and college graduates as well as adults seeking a new profession and personal fulfillment.
January 20, 2011
With the house buttoned up against winter cold, the litter box smell seems to be stronger than ever. Something must be done!
Planet PETCO Natural Cat Litter Deodorizer contains 100% Zeolite, a naturally occurring mineral that kills litter box odors at the source. Its non-toxic formula has no added chemicals and is completely safe for us and our cats, making it the right choice for any being that is sensitive to chemicals and fragrances. Easy to use with clay, scoopable, natural and sustainable litters.
January 19, 2011
Concerned about the quality of your best bud's food? If so, you have plenty of company. The best consumer is an educated consumer. But where to go for reliable information?
The Whole Dog Journal publishes annual dog food reviews and articles on pet nutrition. This Journal also provides dog owners with well-researched, in-depth articles about all aspects of natural dog care and training. You will find unbiased test reports of food, treats, toys and training aids.
January 18, 2011
Many dog lovers wonder whether dogs actually understand our words or simply the body language and tone of voice that accompanies them.
John W. Pilley, a psychologist who lives in Spartanburg, SC decided to put his dog's language skills to the test. He has taught his border collie Chaser 1,022 words, the largest vocabulary of any known dog. Dr Piley describes his experiments with Chaser in the current issue of the journal Behavioural Processes (see abstract after the jump).
The New York Times article on Chaser points out that border collies are bred for their ability to pay close attention to the shepherd. "Watch a collie work with a sheepherder [sic] and you will come away amazed how small a gesture the person can do to communicate with his dog," said Alexandra Horowitz, a dog behavior expert at Barnard College and author of Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know.
Chaser's words skills may have some bearing on how children acquire language, although that is a matter for scientific debate. In any event, Dr. Pilley's goal is to develop methods that will help increase communication between people and dogs. Chaser is scheduled to star in a PBS Nova episode on animal intelligence airing February 9.
Continue reading: "Super Smart -- Chaser the Border Collie Knows Over a Thousand Words"
It's comforting to cuddle up at night with your pet. It's even kind of endearing to wake up to a cat standing on your ribs and staring at your face as though you are his/her next meal.
But we've read the news, and the news isn't good. Web MD is asking, Pets in Bed: More Dangerous Than Bedbugs? U.S. surveys indicate that up to 56% of dog owners and 62% of cat lovers regularly fall asleep with their pets in their bed, as do our fellow humans in the U.K., Netherlands, France, and Japan. Little doubt throughout our history as well.
So what's the problem? Bubonic Plague, Chagas Disease, Cat-Scratch Disease, MRSA, parasites and other bacterial infections. Ditto for kissing your dog or cat. Not good.
Read Pets in Bed: More Dangerous Than Bedbugs? to decide if the risk is worth it or if a cozy Pet Bed on the floor of your bedroom is the safest choice.
January 17, 2011
This fascinating Guide to Housecat Coat Colors and Patterns is likely the world's only existing complete cat colors chart, according to the artist who based it on CFA standards and research from multiple sources. Chock full of information for cat lovers. There goes the day!
Available as a poster over at deviantArt and redbubble.
[Super cool find via Modern Cat]
Ole Man Winter is doing his thing this year, keeping many of us trapped indoors for too long, including our pets. These Egg Babies can help keep your restless pets occupied.
Each toy contains 3 removable squeaking eggs inside. When your dog hears the squeaking, s/he'll have to check out the Egg Baby to see what's going on. Your pet will discover the removable eggs inside and learn to remove the eggs without destroying the plush toy. Good times!
January 15, 2011
The Northern Cardinal is one of the more resilient backyard winter birds and certainly among the most beautiful, both male and female. We like to brighten these gloomy winter days wearing a Snowflake Cardinal Sweatshirt honoring this lovely bird. The shirt features a cardinal appliqué, embroidered snowflake detailing and green mock collar with a banded bottom.
Receive Free Shipping on orders over $40. Use code 10619101001 at checkout through January 31, 2011.
January 14, 2011
After all that holiday indulging, January is the time to think healthy and get moving. How about playing with the dog? Loopies Critter Dog Toys are fetch toys both people and dogs will love. They are easy to pick up and retrieve.
When shaken or dropped, these delightful Loopies make realistic animal sounds to make the game even more entertaining. Help stave off cabin fever and collect them all: brown cow, lobster, white and black cow, shark.
Available at Amazon and Orvis.
January 13, 2011
Many dog lovers enjoy watching dog shows on TV, and the fortunate ones attend and participate. Don't miss another show--you can keep a year's worth of dog show dates and information at your fingertips with this gorgeous 2011 Dog News Calendar. Dog News is America's oldest and only weekly newspaper dedicated to the advancement of purebred dogs.
January 12, 2011
As much as we love our pets to pieces, we don't really love pet hair all over our floors, furniture, in our food and attached to every object we pick up. Luckily, FURminator Inc., everyone's favorite maker of pet deShedding products, has recently launched an amazing new lineup of 17 tools and 17 products--shampoos, hair care and hygiene--"created to broaden and enhance the FURminator deShedding experience for pet owners and their animal companions."
FURminator fans can now choose the most suitable deShedding tools and products for their pet's specific hair length, size and life stage, with options based on the size of their pet(s), including toy, small, medium, large and giant breed dogs and cats.
The fab folks at FURminator recently sent us the FURminator Long-Hair deShedding Tool for LARGE Dogs to tackle the thick flowing coats (over 2 inches) of our Golden Retrievers. The company claims their tools will reduce pet's shedding by 90 percent. The FURminator deLuxe deShedding Tool did not disappoint. It has a premium stainless steel fine-toothed 4-inch blade which gathers and removes loose hair and undercoat hair quickly and easily without cutting.
Continue reading: "NEW FURminator deShedding Products for Cats and Dogs -- Deluxe deShedding Tool Review"
January 11, 2011
We are all about getting organized this New Year, and one place to start is our desk. We have business cards strewn around everywhere--other people's as well as our own.
These adorable Cat & Dog Card Holders can rein in the clutter and and add a fun touch at the same time. Florida artist Lori Strickland begins each pet holder as a carved wax sculpture and then hand-casts in pewter. They would also look cute as place card holders at parties!
January 10, 2011
Training a pet can conjure up overwhelming feelings of a lot of work--frustrating, time-consuming and tedious. But in fact every move we make, we are training our pets, children, relatives, associates. Training is a natural, on-going process. And apparently a lot of people enjoy it. As our favorite dog trainer Patricia McConnell aptly describes it:
... at least, if you define "training" the way I do. I'm talking about teaching a pup to associate coming when called to feeling happy happy happy, to learn it's fun to be with you, that what you say has meaning and that there are ways to behave that makes life so very, very nice.
Patricia McConnell is the author of many books, one of which has recently been updated, The Puppy Primer. If you have a new family member who walks on all fours and barks, this book comes highly recommended. And if, unlike us, you have the patience for formal training rather than providing only benevolent guidance, you can find a 6-week program in Family Friendly Dog Training: A Six Week Program for You and Your Dog.
Speaking of training, Animal Planet's reality show It's Me or the Dog, featuring dog expert and trainer Victoria Stilwell, began its third season Saturday, January 8, at 8 pm EST. We have set our DVR to record the series.
And, if you are lucky enough to have a new puppy, your local PETCO is offering FREE 30-minute potty training seminars on the weekends in January -- click the link for details.
January 8, 2011
The above photo from Flying Machines, Amazing at Any Angle--New York Times shows the wake of a hovering rufous hummingbird. The yellow vectors show air velocity, revealed by particle image velocimetry. The mist in the background is a cloud of laser-illuminated olive oil droplets.
According to University of Montana Flight Laboratory biologist and lab director Bret W. Tobalske "the most astounding fliers...are the world's 350 or so species of hummingbirds, which, largely because of their size, have mastered flight like no other bird. The calliope hummingbird weighs only as much as two paper clips, yet it migrates annually between Canada and Mexico."
He and fellow director and biologist Kenneth P Dial research the mechanics of flight and "are obsessed with trying to bridge the gap in flying abilities between humans and birds." Interesting short article. Flying Machines, Amazing at Any Angle--New York Times.
January 7, 2011
Where do you stand on the issue of cloning? As noted here at Super Cool Pets in late December, author John Woestendiek examines the uncharted territory of cloning in his new book Dog, Inc.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man's Best Friend. As a society, should we or shouldn't we?
We are offering to send one FREE book to a Super Cool Pet reader. If this topic interests you, email us: firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your free copy.
January 6, 2011
There's something comforting about meeting up with a tranquil resident dog or a cat in an institutional setting where we don't expect to see them. We are all familiar with the phenomenon of library cats--generally homeless cats who call a library their home. In the best-seller Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World Myron, a small-town library director, tells of the remarkable impact a cat, named DeweyReadmore Books, had on the library and its patrons.
The Wall Street Journal recently ran an intriguing piece on animal-assisted therapy, a field still in its infancy. The Doctor's Dog Will See You Now describes ways therapists use 'canine assistants' to comfort and cheer up their patients . One therapist calls the dogs "seeing heart dogs--because they can see into people's hearts".
A small but growing number of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and other therapists are bringing their dogs to work in their private practices, where they help calm patients down, cheer them up and offer a happy distraction with a wagging tail. The job is similar to what therapy dogs do when they visit at hospitals or nursing homes, but these "canine therapy-assistants" often work full days and get to know the patients just as well as the doctors.
No surprise to any dog lover, some research shows that a few minutes of stroking a pet dog decreases cortisol, the stress hormone, in both the human and the dog. Sunny veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker explores this phenomenon in his popular The Healing Power of Pets: Harnessing the Amazing Ability of Pets to Make and Keep People Happy and Healthy.
But not all agree. In a New York Times Opinion article Fido's No Doctor. Neither Is Whiskers. Hal Herzog, professor of psychology and author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals argues that, while "pretty to think so", the research on the healing power of animals is incomplete.
Unfortunately, however, I also have another stack of articles, almost as high, showing that pets have either no long-term effects or have even adverse effects on physical and mental health.
A 2006 survey of Americans by the Pew Research Center, for instance, reported that living with a pet did not make people any happier. Similarly, a 2000 Australian study of mortality rates found no evidence that pet owners lived any longer than anyone else. And last year Dutch researchers concluded that companion animals had no effect on their owners' physical or mental well-being. Worse, in 2006, epidemiologists in Finland reported that pet owners were more likely than non-pet owners to suffer from sciatica, kidney disease, arthritis, migraines, panic attacks, high blood pressure and depression.
Professor Herzog cautions that in order to separate fact from wishful thinking regarding the benefits of animal companionship we must employ "the same rigorous methods that scientists use to test the effectiveness of drugs and medical procedures".
January 5, 2011
Often cats cannot digest milk and experience intestinal issues if they drink it. But many cats love it anyway. Lots of people face this dilemma as well. The solution is lactose-free milk.
Cat-Sip Real Milk is 1% low-fat ultra pasteurized milk for cats that, as mentioned, is lactose-free. It's treated with the enzyme lactase which breaks down the milk sugar so your cat doesn't have to. Cat-Sip is fortified with taurine, a nutrient cats need for heart and eye health.
January 4, 2011
Some dogs will sleep anywhere. We know and love a Golden Retriever who curls up happily on the shower floor and is otherwise often seen sprawled outdoors on the sidewalk. But her twin struggles with joint pain and hip dysplasia issues.
This Microtec Gel Fill Orthopedic Napper is designed with comfort in mind for older dogs and/or dogs with joint problems such as our Golden. Its sleep surface is made of Microtec, a breathable, soft microfiber material. The bed has an orthopedic pad, a gel topper fill pad, plus a layer of comfort fill for cozy softness.
A nice touch is the non-skid bottom to help keep the bed from skidding around the room. The zippered cover is removable and machine washable. Dog Whisperer by Cesar Millan Blue Microtec Gel Fill Orthopedic Napper
January 3, 2011
For those of us who are lucky enough to welcome a new puppy into our home, these Simple Solution ECO-CARE Training Pads will come in handy. They are Simple Solution's environmentally-friendly alternative to their Original Training Pads. While these pads are excellent training for puppies, you will also get results with indoor adult dogs, when traveling, and for incontinent and sick pets.
The company goal is a pad that maximizes absorption while reducing 400 tons of landfill waste annually. The training pads are made with 85% recycled fiber. They contain odor neutralizers to eliminate the urine smell along with technology that turns liquid into gel.
January 1, 2011
Don't you love the web -- full of fascination 24/7! Treat yourself to some amazing hummingbird photography by Tony Markle. How do people take these shots?
Super cool find via Book of Joe.