Doggy door makes pets masters of own domain

Doggy door makes pets masters of own domainSome pet owners may recognize the convenience of installing a doggy door but find themselves asking, is it worth the risk? While owners who are very busy or away from the house for long hours appreciate the access the small doors give their pets to backyard bathrooms, others may be concerned that an especially small or cunning burglar can get past the rubber flap that defends the house from intruders.

However, new technology has ensured the safety of any household that installs the Plexidor Pet Door, by recognizing and allowing entry to only those animals that the homeowner desires, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The new product works by responding to an RFID chip that his embedded in the dog’s collar; the doggy door only opens when it detects the compatible chip, which the company says is waterproof and shockproof.
According to Plexidor, "It is like having a personalized garage door and electronic opener specifically for your dogs."

The chips use the same technology as tracking devices at toll booths and airline baggage claim services.

"It allows the pets to go outside when they have to, not when you’re able to let them out," said Plexidor President Joe Ambrose.

The product is currently being sold for $129 to $800, depending on the size and model.

Groundskeeper reflects on decades of presidential dogs

Groundskeeper reflects on decades of presidential dogsHealthcare reform, bank regulation, unemployment benefits – there are countless reasons to tune into the news or pick up the paper to see how the decisions of President Obama and his administration may affect American lives. However, as the White House’s veteran groundskeeper told the Associated Press, "Sometimes I think people are more interested in the pets than the president."

Dale Haney has been the keeper of the White House grounds for nearly 40 years, spanning eight presidents and over a dozen presidential dogs.

In addition to keeping the grass green and the flowers in bloom, Haney is often tasked with walking the Obama family’s Portuguese water dog, Bo, when the president and first lady turn their attention to slightly more pressing matters.

An animal lover, the groundskeeper gets along well with Bo, but says he was most fond of George and Laura Bush’s English springer spaniel, Spot, and Scottish terrier, Barney, the AP reports.

"They would hang out with us during the day while the president and first lady were busy," he said. "Barney plays with the volleyball and Spot plays with a tennis ball."

Of Bo, Haney says, "He has his own mind and does his own thing. You’ve got to love him."

Due to 11-year-old Malia Obama’s allergies, the first family chose a Portuguese water dog in part because it is a hypoallergenic breed.

The Dog Says: ‘Bling, Bling’

The Dog Says: 'Bling, Bling'The pet paparazzi will be on hand November 5th as the North Shore League Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill animal adoption and rescue organization, presents the fourth annual DogCatemy Celebrity Gala.

In addition to the glamorous outfits modeled by celebrity pet owners, the Dollars for Designer Collars project will ensure that the animals get in on the fashion fun as well.

The event will be hosted by acclaimed journalist Geraldo Rivera and will feature an auction of unique pet collars, crafted by illustrious designers like Betsey Johnson, Christine Brinkley, Nicole Mill and Isaac Mizrahi.

The Dollars for Designer Collars initiative will raise money for North Shore and gives dogs fashion options regardless of their image. The jewel-encrusted collars include flower patterns, beaded bands, woven fabrics, sea-shells and – for the biker dog – black leather with spikes.

One designer, Rebecca Taylor, said she became involved in the program because the mission to provide pet care and rescue to animals across the U.S. was an issue "close to [her] heart." She added, "As a dog and cat owner I really enjoyed designing my collar to reflect the Rebecca Taylor aesthetic."

North Shore League Animal League America gives homes to about 20,000 pets each year.

Animal detox: Not just for catnip users

Animal detox: Not just for catnip usersFortunately, catnip has never been classified as an addictive substance, and most animals never have to cope with alcohol or drug abuse. Nonetheless, metabolic activity and parasites can release harmful toxins in a pet’s body which should be removed to sustain normal homeostasis.

Animal Element, a company that specializes in natural pet health, has announced production of a line of detox supplements suitable for dogs, cats and horses.

According to the company, polluted air, water, pharmaceuticals, insects, vaccines and chew toys are all sources of potentially harmful toxins that can be detrimental to pet health. The detox formula, which partially consists of kelp, hawthorne leaf, turmeric root, raspberry leaf and hyaluronic acid, promotes the body’s natural detoxification process, Animal Element representatives say.

"We’ve been developing our proprietary formula for nearly 10 years," said the company’s co founder and vice president of sales Michelle French. "I have personally seen miraculous results in our own pets, with professional trainers and pet owners. We’re very excited to finally be able to offer this product to the market."

According to the company’s website, 10 percent of all Animal Element profits will be donated to Heifer International, a charity that works to rejuvenate impoverished communities by teaching environmentally sound agricultural techniques and training in animal management.

Haunted hounds make debut on Animal Planet

Haunted hounds make debut on Animal PlanetYes, dogs can hear sounds at a greater range of frequencies than humans; but do they also have access to a realm of apparitions unseen by humankind? On Sunday, November 22, Animal Planet will debut a television program which investigates true stories of pet owners who claim their animals are sensitive to paranormal activities.

The new series, called The Haunted, details the stories of real people who claim abnormal events, like terrifying fires or violent experiments, occurred in their houses hundreds of years ago. After witnessing ghastly activities contributors to the show claim that their dogs and cats are the first to respond to the apparent presence of specters and ghosts.

In one episode, a family performs an exorcism to eliminate the demons that have been afflicting them and their dog though a series of disturbing events. In another tale, a mother and father find bloody handprints appearing on their walls, months after a pattern of mysterious behavior from the family dog.

While most insurance plans may not cover complications with paranormal spirits, the North American Pet Health Insurance Association says that veterinary pet insurance can be used to protect pet health and ensure the financial stability of the pet’s family.

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