How to Choose a Pet For Your Family

choosing petResearch is the key to acquiring a pet for your family. Do not just choose the cutest pet in the bunch. It is important to acquire a pet that will fit your family’s personalities for a relationship to form properly and to blossom. Some key questions should be asked before deciding on what pet to get.

Some of the questions include how much time can you or your family spend on the pet? Or what energy level do you want your dog or cat to have? Or what level of exercise can I provide to the pet? And how “independent” should the cat or dog be?

Source: Choosing the right pet for your family

Measuring Animal Intelligence

animal intelligenceSometimes, although it does not seem that it would happen, cats and dogs seem smarter than humans. Thomas Zenthall, a psychologist from the University of Texas, that the concept of episodic memory (or the ability to recall past experiences) is not limited to the brain of humans but can also be found in our pet animals.

The human race may be underestimating the power of an animal brain especially when it comes to mental time travel. The idea of animals being able to plan their every move is both interesting and quite uncomfortable.

The minds of animals are still a mystery but therein lies a frontier that is yet to be explored by science and technology.

Source: Animal Intelligence: Is Your Dog Or Cat Smarter Than You?

Dogs Can Understand Human Emotions

dog emotionsThe MTA-ELTE Research Group in Hungary held a recent study that shows dogs can understand and even react to human emotions. Attila Andics, a researcher from the group, explains that our pet pooches can process social information by using similar brain mechanisms as we humans do. The researcher conducted why we consider our dogs “Man’s Best Friend.”

An MRI brain scanner was used in order to examine how a human and a dog react to emotions. The researchers found out that dog and humans have “voice areas in similar locations.” Dogs are even known to be exceptionally good at reading human emotions that they are used to help patients in therapy.

Source: Dogs Understand Emotions Like Humans New Study Shows

5 Training Tips for Your Pets

training petsPrevention is still better than cure and this does not only apply to us humans but also to our pets. Pet owners should know how to prevent behavioural issues with their pats from starting. These issues can break the bond between pet and pet owner if left unattended.

Pet owners can take preventive measures to ensure that these issues do not go out of proportion. For instance, puppies and kittens are sensitive to human environment; therefore communicating with them appropriately is key for a healthy relationship. Also making clear where dogs and cats should go to their “bathroom” is appropriate for a healthy pet and pet owner relationship.

Source: Top 5 pet training tips from the MSPCA

Cats and Dogs Have Vision as a Superpower

cat and dogScientists point out that the secret for cats and dogs to see things that human eyes cannot is due to ultraviolet light detection. They can see just about every minute detail from an object that may range from psychedelic stripes on flowers to the flashy patterns on birds. These may be oblivious to humans, but to cats and dogs it’s another story.

Ultraviolet light is usually invisible to humans but cats, dogs, and other animals can see it as stated in a new paper that is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Examples of things that reflect UV that cats and dogs have no problem seeing are patterns on flowers where nectar is and urine trails that lead to prey.

Other animals that are able to detect substantial levels of UV are rodents, hedgehogs, bats, ferrets, and okapis.

Source: Superpower vision lets cats and dogs see in ultraviolet

Socialize More With Man’s Best Friend

mans best friendResearchers at the University of Chicago have conducted a study and found out that owning a pet dog can make people feel less isolated. Owning other types of pets (i.e. cats, lizards, hamsters) have no effect on the matter. Professor John Cacioppo states that dogs are associated with less loneliness. Other pets on the other hand are not associated with this.

When people go out with their dog, they will tend to meet neighbours who will say “Hello.” Other people without their pet pooches will most likely just walk past without a second glance. One of the reasons is that when a dog stops to communicate with another dog, the owner will usually stop as well.

Source: How man’s best friend can help you make more friends: Owning a dog makes you more sociable

Animals That Can Keep a Beat are Rare

animal musicMany animals like to play on instruments and somehow keep a rhythm going, but the question is, can animals keep a beat? Patricia Gray, a researcher, was startled when a bonobo named Kanzi was copying her while she was absent-mindedly tapping on the glass. The animal continued to copy the researcher even as the pace of the tapping went faster.

After this finding, there are have been other creatures that have the ability to synchronize their movements to a beat. However, most of the time they are not really synchronizing to a beat of a rhythm as told by the researchers at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

This ability is still unclear as to whether animals can learn this ability or it is already innate.

Source: Bopping to the beat is a rare feat in animals

Battle Boredom. Play Indoors With Your Dog

dogsAndres Somoza, animal care coordinator at Safe Harbor Humane Society in Kenosha, states some ideas for dogs and dog owners to battle boredom while staying indoors. Cold weather and heavy snow can limit people and dogs alike in enjoying the outdoors. The good news is that they can still focus all that extra energy onto something else.

For instance, dog owners can have their dogs do a bit of nose work whilst inside the house. Let the K9 engage in using their noses in sniffing out their favorite treat or toy. Dog owners can also play with their pet pooches with interactive puzzle toys to keep the mind at work.

Also, dog owners should provide their dogs with a warm place to sleep that is off the floor and free from drafts.

Source: Can’t get outside? Play mind games with your dog

Indoor Play Time With Pets

petsValerie Money, a Petco Dog Trainer, came into the ABC 7 Eyewitness studio along with her dog, Beauty, to show the public how to play with your pets while indoors.

Puzzles are one example to keep your pets busy and happy at the same time. It will challenge them while letting them have fun. Another example is playing hide-and-seek or red light, green light with your pets.

Blowing bubbles are a great way to keep pets happy, especially for cats. Musical chairs is also a great way to keep pets happy while letting them socialize with their friends.

Letting pets have fun will keep them mentally alert while still allowing them to enjoy themselves.

Myths About Talking Parrots

parrotsRebecca K. Connor, an author from birdchannel.com, reports about the myths that are being talked about our talking feathered friends. Many new parrot owners bring their bird home hoping that it will start talking but most of them tend to come up disappointed.

Parrot owners should know that it does mean that a parrot needs to be alone for it to learn how to talk. Furthermore, it does not also mean that only hand-raised parrots are able to learn how to mimic human speech. Parrots also have an uncanny ability of copying what people say but it does not mean they understand everything we say.

Parrots do not love to curse but sometimes they pick up the idea because of their owners. Lastly, it does not mean that if a parrot learns how to talk that it is can already be a sign of their intelligence.

Source: True Or False: Parrot Talking Myths