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 This Week on Animal Radio

Animal Radio for June 25, 2022  

I Tried The Weirdest Pet Products On The Internet
Sadie Dingfelder, The Washington Post

Sadie DingfelderFrom the Licki Brush to Bacon Bubbles, The Washington Post's Sadie Dingfelder has tried some the oddest pet products for sale on the Internet. She's here to tell us not only her opinions, but what the animals thought of these products as well.

The pet industry is huge, with over $123 billion being spent on pet products, food, etc., so it's no wonder that everyone is trying to get a piece of the pie, leaving the Internet full of interesting pet products. And because America's pets are practically begging for more innovative playthings, Sadie searched the Internet for interesting pet products and then tried them out with actual cats and dogs.

Here's what she found:

Cat Exercise Wheel
In Sadie's living room, much to her boyfriend's chagrin, was a huge 5-foot-tall cat wheel, which looked like a big hamster wheel, but for cats. Sadie tried to walk her cats outside, but they weren't into it. So, she was excited to get her cats on this product to get some much needed exercise that they normally don't get in her little apartment. It took almost a week of clicker training to get her cats on the wheel, but unfortunately her cats were too light to move the wheel and make it rotate.

Licki BrushLicki Brush
The Licki Bush is a tongue-shaped contraption you hold with your teeth. It has knobs on it, which allows you to lick your cat without getting hairballs. Sadie said it tasted a little funny and she was worried if she should put it in her mouth. When she called the company, she was assured that it was fine. Sadie's cat was not into the Licki Brush and started avoiding her.

Bacon Bubbles
Sadie felt that this was going to be an immediate hit with the dogs, but she was disappointed. She tried it on a few dogs and none of them seemed to care about them. But then Sadie thought that dogs have an exceptionally good sense of smell and maybe they could tell that it was a fake bacon smell and not the real thing. The smell can trick humans, but didn't seem to trick the dogs. Sadie said her living room smelled faintly like synthetic bacon for a while and made her hungry for breakfast when she smelled it.

Turd BurglarThe Turd Burglar
The product with the funniest name that Sadie tried was The Turd Burglar. The Turd Burglar is an attachment for a hockey stick. It's a little confusing, because it is to pick up your dog's poop, but then what do you do with it? Sadie said she grew up with two Golden Retrievers and had a large back yard. One of her chores was to "chuck" the poop into one corner. She thinks The Turd Burglar was designed more for this purpose and not for people who walk dogs in the city and need to place the poop in a garbage can. The Turd Burglar only seems useful for someone with a yard. Plus, you need to own a hockey stick and who has one of those lying around?

Puppy Tweets
The most disappointing product she tried was Puppy Tweets. You were supposed to place this on your dog, and while you are at work missing your pooch, you could check their personal twitter account. It chose from 500 phrases pre-written by Mattel to tell you your dog's innermost thoughts based on their activity level. But Puppy Tweets did not work, because it required you to download software that is no longer available. Unfortunately, customer service was not able to provide the software to her.

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How My Cat Made Me A Better Man
Jeremy Feig, Author, Cat Enthusiast & Self Help Guru

Jeremy FeigJeremy Feig was at rock bottom - broke, alone, and living in a shoe box-sized apartment. At the same time, his cat was perfectly content. What was her secret? She couldn't say it out loud, but it was clear she had all the answers to living a good life. Jeremy will share those answers here.

A lot of guys have no idea what they're doing. They can't hold down a job, struggle with relationships, and have an ever-expanding beer belly where their abs used to be. But have you ever watched your cat to see how happy they were? That's exactly what Jeremy did!

Jeremy found himself single and living in a tiny shoebox of an apartment with his cat, Shelly. He said his closet was bigger than the apartment itself, which made things worse, because he didn't have anything to put in it.

He then looked at his cat, which was in the same situation as he was, and she was happy. This made him think that he should look at her closer, and that if she could be happy then he could be too.

The first thing he realized was that you don't need a lot to be happy and you don't need to be surrounded by material possessions. If you're still alive and have a roof over your head and can buy cheap noodles for food, then something is working. You should be thankful for what you've got.

Okay, Shelly just didn't cone out and tell him all of this; he had to read between the "paws." He just watched her to see how she happy and content she was.

But it wasn't always easy for Shelly. She was a stray for the first year of her life and probably had to scrounge around for food and shelter. Now, she is living in this tiny shoebox apartment, but instead of feeling sorry for herself because the place was so small, Jeremy felt Shelly thought that this was a great apartment! So if she could have that attitude, he was going to have the same attitude himself!

How My Cat Made Me A Better Man Book Cover Things have changed for Jeremy and he is no longer a single guy living in a small apartment. He is married with a child and says things are better overall.

So what advice would he give to someone who felt they didn't have much? Jeremy says it's all about figuring out what makes you happy. Too many times people do things because other people think they should, but they forget to do the things that make them happy.

For example, he bought a little crinkly toy that was shaped like a lobster. He felt that Shelly would absolutely love it and go crazy over it! When he gave it to her, she had no interest at all. But, she soon discovered the plastic wrap that the toy came in and started playing with it. That plastic wrap became her favorite toy for the longest time. Shelly taught him that she wasn't going to go for what Jeremy thought would make her happy, she knew to go with what she wanted and what would make her happy - the wrapping!

To sum it up, Jeremy says you can't do what other people think is right for you; you have to do what is right for yourself.

Jeremy's book, "How My Cat Made Me a Better Man" covers everything from happiness to fear, grooming and relationships, as well as health and careers. This self-help book is a humorous how-to-guide for guys. It's self-development for men, even if they don't like cats.

Jeremy Feig is a writer based in Southern California. Originally from New York, Jeremy headed west after college to pursue creative endeavors. He's written and directed numerous comedic short films and cartoons including Lady and the Ostrich (featured at the Indie Spirit Film Festival and VisionFest) and This Dam Life. When he's not writing, Jeremy enjoys taking long walks and competing in midnight scavenger hunts. He enjoys spending time with his wife, young daughter and large cat.

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Pheromones In Puppy Training - Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie WhiteSo you just got a new puppy and you have all your training tools at the ready, the collar, leash and dog crate. But beyond that, do you have the one thing that can make your training tasks easier all around? Tap into your puppy's own sense of smell using canine pheromones and ease your new pup's training and transition into the home.

Pheromones are scent signals emitted by all animal species, including humans. Various pheromones work under the radar to influence the perceptions and behaviors of others within a species.

Shortly after whelping, a pheromone is emitted from the bitch's sebaceous (oil) glands located between the mammary glands. The pheromone, dubbed the canine appeasing pheromone, reassures the puppies, calms them and facilitates nursing. The bitch stops emitting this pheromone as the pups mature, but all dogs retain the ability to "read" this pheromone. Not only do older dogs recognize this pheromone, but it continues to have a natural calming effect on canines of all ages.

In veterinary behavior cases, the dog appeasing pheromone is used for dogs with noise phobias, car travel anxiety, separation anxiety and other fearful situations. Various forms are available including pheromone collars, plug in diffusers and sprays. The canine appeasing pheromone doesn't sedate the dog; rather it decreases fear and excitability.

The dog appeasing pheromone is also helpful for newly adopted puppies. Those first few days to weeks in a new home are full of changes for the pup faced with novel environments far from the comfort of mother and siblings. The dog appeasing pheromone has been shown to ease the transition of the pup into new home and improve sociability and training during a pup's critical socialization period.

Pheromone Research
For skeptics that need to see the proof in the studies, veterinary behavior studies have examined the positive influence of the dog appeasing pheromone. When comparing treatment responses for dogs with separation anxiety, the use of the dog appeasing pheromone equaled the benefit of the anti-anxiety medication, amitriptyline.

One study looked at 66 puppies as they settled into new homes after adoption. Approximately half of the puppies wore a pheromone collar and half wore a placebo. The study found that puppies wearing a pheromone collar displayed significantly fewer nuisance behaviors like vocalizations or scratching within 3 days of adoption. Pups wearing the pheromone collar woke their owner's less during the night and displayed fewer signs of distress and vocalizations throughout the course of the study.

The researchers concluded that pheromone collars helped both the pup and family. Pups were less stressed and adapted easier. By decreasing the pup's stress and fearful behaviors, the pet owners found a more enjoyable bonding experience with the new pup and faced less frustration through the training process.

NikkiIn another study, puppies 8 to 15 weeks were enrolled in an eight-week long puppy socialization and training class. Half wore a pheromone collar and the other half wore a placebo collar. The pups wearing the pheromone collar were calmer in the face of novel experiences and displayed less fear, anxiety, and aggression. In the end, the pups with the pheromone collar not only were less nervous, but had fewer behavioral problems and learned better. And a long-term effect on sociability was recognized in dogs up to one year after the class and study was completed.

Pheromones and My Pup
As a previous owner of a nine-week old Bouvier puppy named Nikki, I used both the pheromone collar and diffuser upon welcoming my new pup home. One day before bringing Nikki home, I placed a pheromone diffuser close to the puppy crate, where it would have maximum benefit during her first nights in the kennel away from mother and siblings. Immediately upon leaving the breeder's home, Nikki was fitted with a pheromone collar to serve as a source of reassuring pheromones that went everywhere she did. The pheromone collar became a tool in Nikki's socialization. It was on her when she met new people or animals, when she explored new environments and during puppy kindergarten class.

Did pheromones help in my pup's transition and training? The four hour drive home from the breeders was a dream, no crying or whining the entire trip. After returning home, Nikki never soiled in her kennel during the day or night. I'll admit I had my share of interrupted sleep in the first two weeks, but most of Nikki's night time wakes were for genuine elimination needs. Overall, her transition into the home was smooth and lacked the wailing, inconsolable cries of a stressed pup.

The canine appeasing pheromone isn't a magic bullet though. Nothing matches a quality pup obtained from a reputable breeder who focuses on health, genetics and early socialization. Likewise, pheromones do not replace the hard work and consistent training efforts that any new pet owner must provide. However, by adding the the canine appeasing pheromone to your new puppy training, you can help your pup become the best he or she possibly can.

For more information on the DAP products, visit CEVA.

Featured veterinarian known as "Dr. Debbie" on national pet radio program, Animal Radio. Ebook author of "Yorkshire Terriers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Pugs: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Mini Schnauzers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; and "Shih Tzu: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend." Dr. Debbie's books.

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Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks

Lori and Flo BearA "Foster" Revolution
The founder of launched a second mission-driven website, PetFinder is credited with finding many millions of homes for adoptable pets according to its founder, Betsy Saul, who states to this day she is still haunted by some of the special souls she met along the way that just needed extra time to find homes and that her second website is dedicated to finding short-term foster families for those urgent animals. The mission of is to create a foster revolution to give shelter pets the extra time they need so they can live. The site is easy to use. Animal shelters post pets that are urgent, which implies they will be destroyed in 48 hours or less, but in some cities it's only 18 hours. Potential foster families can search the urgent pets in their community with various search criteria, including length of time they can foster. Once a foster family sees a pet they would like to help, they simply click the foster button to connect with the shelter where the pet is. You can sign up at and they'll even notify you when new urgent pets in your community are posted.

Cat Stuck in Storm DrainSoap Removes Stuck Cat
You have probably heard the helpful hint that using soap will help remove a ring that is stuck on your finger. Well, there must have been a few firefighters in Massachusetts who knew that trick too because they used dish soap to help rescue a cat that had become stuck in a storm drain. The one-year-old cat was dangling below the grate, with its head stuck in one of the holes. When they arrived the cat was barely breathing, but quick thinking firefighters removed the grate and placed it in a way that allowed the cat to breathe. Next, they used the soap to work on getting its head loose and within a few minutes, the cat was free.

Third Largest Pet Specialty Retailer in North America
The chain stores Pet Valu and Pet Supermarket merged, creating the third largest pet specialty retailer in North America. The company is called Pet Retail Brands and has more than 930 stores across the U.S. and Canada. The top two pet retailers are PetSmart and Petco.

LarryEngland's Rat-Catching Cat Kept His Job
Larry was a very cool cat that had been employed by England's government for its rat-catching skills. He was able to keep his job despite the departure of former Prime Minister David Cameron. Larry had served as "Chief Mouser" at England's Downing Street residence of the British Prime Minister for years because of his "strong predatory drive." He was brought in to Downing Street from a shelter after a large black rat was seen near Cabinet members offices on a live television broadcast. Apparently, everyone thought the previous chief mouser, Humphrey, who was retired in 1997, eradicated the rat problem years ago.

Human Food Trends Show Up in Your Dog's Dinner Bowl
I bet your diet has changed a lot with the healthier food revolution and chances are your pet's food has gotten a lot healthier too. Foods like kale, avocados and quinoa are showing up in pet food bowls, too. Experts say anything that has gone on in human trends has shown up and been tried for pets. The reason behind it is the "pet humanization" trend, which translates into pet owners wanting the same quality and safety standards for pet food as their own food. In fact, healthier "premium" dog food makes up nearly half of all the dog food sold. Following in the footsteps of the popular premium brand, Honest Kitchen, many brands are now touting dog food that is made from "human grade" ingredients. In fact, the Honest Kitchen box of dehydrated real food says you can eat the food, but they stress it's not made for humans - it's made to keep dogs healthy. Did you know that supermarkets sell a fourth of all pet food? Pet specialty retailers, drugstores, and warehouse clubs account for the other 75-percent. Ever wonder how we decide which pet food to buy? Forty—five percent of consumers say it's if their pet likes the taste. Next we consider price, then the all important, is it made in the US?

Velcro Dog Food BagVelcro Dog Food Bags
The company that makes Velcro entered the pet food arena and worked with Zuke's natural food brand to integrate the PRESS-LOK® closure into packaging for Zuke's Ascent Natural Dog Food line. You know how hard it is to line up those tracks on zip close bags! The Velcro Press Lok is said to be easy-to-use because you can hear and feel that the bag is tightly and securely closed, without the need for tedious and precise line-up that can take so long.

Dog Anti-Venom Treatment May Also Be Used Treat Humans
Australian scientists developed an anti-venom treatment, which they said would help save thousands of pets from deadly snakebites, since Australia is home to 10 of the most venomous snakes in the world. As it was, many Australian pets who suffered snake bites couldn't be saved with then existing treatments, which could be very expensive and often times ineffective, and that's only if doctors could locate and get it. This anti-venom could also be used for treating humans with snakebites and against the toxins of paralyzing ticks.

EarListen to the entire Podcast of this show (#1177)

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