Driver Dogs Trained in New Zealand

I can’t drive stick.  I’m all right if there’s no one around me, but the second I’m at a stop sign and there are people behind me, I stall and can’t get the car to start again. So I’m feeling rather ashamed right now, because a group of dogs in New Zealand are doing what I can’t.  These rescue dogs have been trained to drive cars.  BBC News has the report. The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in New Zealand capital Auckland were tired of families surrendering dogs and saying that the pooches were too hard to … Continue reading

Introducing Animalle Mundo: A Doggie Love Hotel

Christmas might be a holiday for familial, not romantic, love, but with this notice you might have the time to start planning so your pet can have its romantic getaway.  That’s right, a romantic getaway for your pet.  If you’re trying to breed your dog and you want to do it in style, consider Animalle Mundo Pet.  It’s a hotel in Brazil, one that keeps in tradition with the country’s ritzy amorous motels.  The New York Times reports. You can find short-stay hotels all over the world, but Brazil is a leader in both having them, and in making them … Continue reading

Why Pets Aren’t Good Presents

This goes without saying, but you can never say it too often because it happens every year: don’t give pets as presents.  If you’re thinking about gifting a pet to someone you love this year, consider very carefully.  Pets are lifelong commitments and responsibilities, not fun presents. Now, I can think of one context in which it could be OK to give a pet for a present: if the person receiving asked for it, knew that’s what they were getting, and understood the responsibilities involved.  That means in most cases, it’s not appropriate to get pets as gifts for children: … Continue reading

Common Pet Myths: True or Untrue?

Many of the “facts” we grew up hearing about pets are false.  For example: who hasn’t seen countless images of a content cat licking cream out of a saucer?  When I got a cat in my childhood I remembered that image, and left out a bowl of milk for him.  He sniffed it and threw up.  This happened nearly every time I tried to give him milk; even if he didn’t spit up, he never touched the stuff. Because it turns out, not all cats can drink milk.  Some of them can, but lactose intolerance is as prevalent among cats … Continue reading

Most Popular Pet Names of 2012

One thing we see a lot of this time of year is lists of baby names: the top baby names for the year, and names that are projected to be popular in the coming year.  What we don’t expect to see are studies of a different sort of name: dog names.  But that’s just what MSN did, compiling a list of the top puppy names for 2012. A familiar name tops the list: Bella.  It’s been a popular female dog name since 2006, thanks to the “Twilight” craze.  I can attest to that; Chihiro was originally named Bella when we … Continue reading

Koshik the Talking Elephant

Could our next best friend be an elephant?  Maybe not for most of us here stateside, where we’re not exactly equipped to properly look after pachyderms.  But the news out of a zoo in South Korea, reported by BBC News, shows that an elephant has entered the next stage of the human-animal bond: talking. Before now, the only animals we could conceive of really being able to replicate our speech were parrots.  Now elephants are joining the list.  Koshik is a 12-year-old Asian elephant that lives at a zoo in South Korea.  When he started making sounds that his keepers thought … Continue reading

Cold-Weather Gear for Your Pet

As the weather turns colder for most of us, it’s time to get our coats out of the back of the closet. Some of our pets require winter apparel as well, and ZooToo has a rundown of some of the latest products out on the market for keeping your pets warm. You can go with the traditional cute little sweaters and jackets that fill aisles at pet stores, or you can try something a bit different for your pets this winter. What you need depends on you and your pet’s lifestyle, so we’ll take a look at three different types. … Continue reading

Military Dogs to be Honored with National Monument

Military service dogs make a unique and valuable contribution to the units to which they’re assigned. Now, Yahoo News reports, they’re getting their own national monument in honor of their service. The United States Working Dog Teams National Monument is meant to commemorate and honor every military dog that’s served since World War II (so pups like Sergeant Stubby get nothing? Military dogs might not have been very common until World War II, but canines have had a place in our combat since the Seminole Wars). It won’t stand on the National Mall in DC, or in the capital at … Continue reading

Should You Get Your Dog A Flu Shot?

Today in “vaccines I didn’t know existed for dogs” (last time it was for Lyme disease): canine influenza. That’s right, you can get a flu shot for your dog. Pet website ZooToo takes a look at it. Apparently, dog flu is a thing. I have to say I’ve never heard of it, not the way I’ve heard about bird or even pig flus. The difference is that while those strains can pass to humans, canine influenza doesn’t. It’s basically just dogs getting the flu, in a particular strain that won’t infect us. So while we might have to worry about … Continue reading

Meeting the Neighbor Dogs

I’ve blogged before about my neighbor’s dogs, the ones she lets roam free through the neighborhood. Sometimes I see them in our yard. Yesterday while I was working, I noticed one of them, the tan one, out the window. I went outside to greet it, as I always do whenever I see any of the neighborhood pets. They all, cats and dogs included, run away from me. This dog did the usual, but I thought of something: I called for it to come here. I didn’t think it was a dangerous dog, because our neighbor said he isn’t. He also … Continue reading