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January 11, 2011

Cat and Dog Card Holders

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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!

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January 10, 2011

Training Your Pet -- Tips, Books and TV Shows

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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.

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January 7, 2011

Super Cool Pet Book Giveaway -- Dog, Inc.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man's Best Friend

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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: news@supercoolpets.com to receive your free copy.

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January 6, 2011

PetScoop: Animal-Assisted Therapy, A Growing Trend

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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".

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January 4, 2011

Dog Whisperer by Cesar Millan Blue Microtec Gel Fill Orthopedic Napper

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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

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January 3, 2011

Simple Solution ECO-CARE Training Pads for Puppies, Indoor Dogs, Incontinent and Sick Pets

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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.

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December 31, 2010

Super Cool Pets Monthly Round Up -- December 2010

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We are looking forward to a fabulous New Year! You can easily subscribe to our eNewsletter and feed reader in the upper right sidebar of the site. Connect with us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, too.

Here's a look back at the fun and festive gear we dug up this past December for our pets and the people they love for the holiday season. Thank each and every one of you for reading Super Cool Pets -- here's to a happy and prosperous 2011 for us all!

Accessories and Supplies

Apparel for Pet Lovers

Apparel for Pets

Artwork

Bedding

Behavior

Birds

Books & Media

ArrowContinue reading: "Super Cool Pets Monthly Round Up -- December 2010"

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December 30, 2010

Wacky Facts About Cats and Dogs

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We cat and dog lovers know a lot about our pets, and we can learn something new every day. In case you need to break the ice tonight, or any other time, we have dug up some dog and cat facts that should come in handy as conversation starters.

Cats:

1. Nose-to-nose greetings between cats are unusual, as it puts both in a vulnerable position. However, cats who know each other well but have been apart for a while feel safe enough to do this to confirm visual recognition and gain information about how the other cat is, where he has been and what he has been doing.

2. Purring usually indicates contentment, however, a deep purr can also indicate pain. If you know your cat well you will be able to tell the difference in his demeanor.

3. Cats start to purr at one week old and can do so continually as they inhale and exhale.

4. Young cats purr in a monotone, while older ones do so in two to three resonant notes.

5. Scientist still do not know exactly how the purring sound is made, although some believe that it originates in the cardiovascular system rather than the throat.

6. Cats appear to retain their kitten vocal signals to communicate with their owners, but they use and adult repertoire of sound with other cats.

7. Like dogs, cats can also get sick or die from eating chocolate.

ArrowContinue reading: "Wacky Facts About Cats and Dogs "

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December 29, 2010

Why Pet Ownership Can Be So Expensive

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We have read a couple of articles recently regarding the (high) cost of animal ownership. It's more than worth it for most of us--after all, money is for spending on necessities, and pets are a necessity in a lot of our homes. Get the scoop at the Animal Lovers, Beware of Ownership Costs -- NY Times and the follow-up article Why the animal ER is so expensive (Pet economics 101) -- Fully Vetted/Pet MD

ArrowContinue reading: "Why Pet Ownership Can Be So Expensive "

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December 28, 2010

The Email About Cats/Dogs I Was Talking About Last Night!

pawprint1110.jpgFound in our Super Cool Pets mailbox on a recent morning:

THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE PETS, THIS IS A TRUE STORY. FOR THOSE THAT DON'T, IT IS STILL A TRUE STORY.

The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door.

Dear Dogs and Cats: The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

ArrowContinue reading: "The Email About Cats/Dogs I Was Talking About Last Night!"

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