Monthly Archives: May 2014

A Cat Museum Worth Meowing About

By Julia Williams

Last summer on this blog, I wrote about Fun Places for Cat Lovers to visit. One of those was the Kuching Cat Museum in Malaysia, a one-of-a-kind place featuring just about everything cat related you could imagine. As a cat lover, this amazing museum is definitely high on my bucket list. It’s so far away from where I currently live that I doubt I’ll ever get there, but you never know.

Recently I was excited to learn that this museum is not the only one dedicated to the divine feline. Yippee! There are other cat museums! My bucket list was about to get a lot longer. Maybe I could even take a little cat-themed summer vacation.

Unfortunately, my excitement was short lived. Further investigation revealed that only one cat museum was in the United States. Rats. Unless my travel budget grew exponentially, I would not be visiting the aptly-named Cat Museum in Lithuania, nor the Kattenkabinet in Amsterdam.

There was, however, still that one U.S. cat museum I mentioned. It merited a closer look, so naturally I clicked over to their website to check it out. As cat museums go, it actually looks like a pretty cool place for a cat lover (me!) to visit.

Read More »

EmailGoogle GmailBlogger PostTwitterFacebookGoogle+PinterestShare

How to Be a Courteous Dog Walker

By Laurie Darroch

Dogs love to go for a walk and explore the world beyond their front door. It is a great way to get some exercise, work on obedience training and burn off excess dog energy. To make the experience pleasant for everyone, follow these basic etiquette guidelines for being a courteous dog walker.

Leash Up!

Even if your dog is very obedient and does not wander off without permission while you are on a walk, your city may have leash laws that do not allow a dog to roam freely. Respect those laws. They are there to protect you, your dog and others.

Dogs who love to go out associate the leash with a positive, fun experience and may get excited when they see you get it out before a walk. The leash will give you full control while on your walk and also keep your dog safe. Think of it as the equivalent of holding a small child’s hand.

If no leash is required, you should still follow the basic rules of dog walking etiquette.

Read More »

How to Stop Dogs from Guarding Their Food

By Langley Cornwell

Food guarding is a natural behavior in most dogs. In fact, the act of guarding any prized possession is inherent in canines.  Before dogs were domesticated, wild animals that successfully protected their valuable resources were the most likely to survive.

These days, food guarding is inadvertently reinforced in young puppies. Some dog breeders feed their puppies from a single large bowl so at mealtime puppies have to compete with one another for their fair share of the food. The puppy that is able to eat the most food will grow quicker than his littermates. He will also get stronger faster, which means he will get even more of the food, and so on. This seemingly innocent set of circumstances ultimately rewards aggressive behavior in dogs at a young age.

That’s why food guarding is so common in dogs, but what can we do about it?

Food guarding can become a serious issue if you don’t take steps to manage it. For your own safety and the safety of family members and guests, it’s important to teach your dog to remain relaxed while he eats – no matter who’s around or what’s going on. If you have a dog with aggressive food-guarding issues, these steps will help you break his tendency to guard his food.
Read More »

Tips for Teaching Kids How to Act Around Unfamiliar Dogs

By Laurie Darroch

Children are curious and fascinated with everything. Unless they have a fear of dogs, naturally they are curious about them as well. They are likely to simply walk up to a dog that is wandering around or being walked by a human companion, without understanding that there are etiquette and safety issues involved when approaching an unknown dog. It’s important to teach children the ins and outs of their own behavior around unknown dogs, as well as how to interact with both the dogs and dog owners.

Approach or Not Approach?

Unless an adult is accompanying a young child, it is a good idea to teach kids not to approach a dog out for a walk with its human without knowing if they should or not. So they won’t be tempted if they come across a dog when you are not around, make sure your child understands not to approach a dog that is running around loose unless they know the dog and the dog knows them. They won’t be bringing home any stray dogs that way either. Sure, the pull is powerful when a child sees a cute dog that they want to meet or play with, but for safety’s sake it is best to teach them not to approach strange dogs on their own, or as an alternative to find an adult they know who will help them.

Read More »

Do Pack Instincts Influence Dog Behavior?

By Linda Cole

Humans are a complex species; we have different views on issues, which at times can turn into heated arguments that divide us. We also have the ability to evaluate different situations to make our own choices. Dogs on the other hand, react to situations based on pack instincts that were hardwired into them eons ago during the domestication process. These innate pack instincts guide and influence the behavior of dogs in their everyday lives.

Instinct isn’t knowledge that needs to be learned. It’s an automatic intelligence present at birth in all living species. It’s what guides migrating birds and butterflies on marathon flights in the fall and spring, and it’s how squirrels and other animals know when it’s time to stockpile food for the winter. It’s the survival instinct that ensures continuation of the species.

The variety of jobs canines have been bred to do is based on their natural abilities and pack instincts. A sled dog team is able to function because they work together as a team. Each member knows his place in the group, and follows instructions from their human leader. One reason why our relationship with dogs has been so successful is because we share the importance of the family unit and the social bond that binds members together.

Read More »

Decoding the Secret Language of Pet Bloggers

By Julia Williams

It’s common knowledge that many twins have their own secret language, which allows them to communicate in a way that no one else can comprehend. What you may not know, however, is that pet bloggers also have a unique vernacular. When I first started reading pet blogs years ago, I often felt like I’d accidentally stumbled into a virtual foreign country where I couldn’t understand a lick of what was being discussed.

Turning to Google was little help, as the words and phrases I came across had not made it into the online urban dictionary. I didn’t want to brand myself as a newbie (even though I was) so I just kept reading. Some of the terms were easy to figure out because they were derivatives of popular animal-related words such as meow, paw and cat. Other times the meaning of a word could be inferred from considering the context.

It hit me the other day that I now use most of these words without even thinking about them. Woot! I am finally fluent in the Secret Language of Pet Bloggers! I decided it would be fun to compile a list, so future newbies to the pet blogging world won’t have to wonder what someone means when they talk about beans, floof, green papers or the flashy beast. Even though some of the words and phrases below have become so commonplace that they show up in online dictionaries, there are many that don’t. So here you go: The Secret Language of Pet Bloggers, decoded. Use it as you wish.

Anipals: animal pals; blogger friends

Backside of Disrespect: when a pet turns his bum to you

Beans: human beings

Read More »