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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio for August 12, 2017  


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Since 2003, Animal Radio has been showcasing the latest toys, gadgets and technology available for your pet. Our 2017 SUPERZOO SPECIAL is no different. We will be featuring the latest gadgets as well as cutting-edge technology for your pets. And the best part? We have giveaways for you!

The Latest & Greatest Pet Gadgets from SuperZoo

Pet World Insider Robert Semrow reports from the floor of SuperZoo, the pet product industry's largest trade show. He's reporting on the trends and Animal Radio's Top Picks for 2017. Alan Cook shows off his latest invention, a self-cleaning potty for dogs.

At SuperZoo, there are many booths and miles and miles of the latest and greatest products for your pets and BrilliantPad definitely fits that category!

BrilliantPadBrilliantPad, created by Alan Cook at Brilliant Pet, is something that is truly unique as there has never been anything like this before. BrilliantPad is the world's first automatic self-cleaning dog potty.

More small dogs use puppy pads than ever before. And guess what? They don't clean themselves! So you're left with pickling up the messy, smelly pads and disposing of them and who likes that!

At Brilliant Pet, they are experts at making pet waste easier to handle and easier to dispose. They knew that had to do something to help with dog waste and that is why they created BrilliantPad, so you never have to handle a messy, stinky and soiled pad ever gain.

BrilliantPad to your dog is like a regular pad. It is a platform that is a couple of inches off the ground, so even the smallest dogs can step on to it easily. They can then do their business (pee or poop) and the machine will handle it all. When your pet is done, the machine wraps and seals the waste so your home stays clean and odor free. Can you imagine not having to handle the dirty pad? The machine does all the dirty work for you! Regular pads just don't do that.

The BrilliantPad pads are super durable and super absorbent. They are able to soak up all of the liquids and dry out the solids. And because the waste is dried out and sealed, it can be stored in the BrilliantPad without any smell.

The BrilliantPad is both automated and adjustable. This allows people to advance the pad when they want to at the touch of a button. Or you can set a timer so the system advances one, two or three times a day.

How BrilliantPad WorksAt SuperZoo, they are debuting their newest BrilliantPad, which has an automatic sensor that automatically advances the pad after your dog steps off the unit.

So whatever situation is right for you, you are in complete control and can decide when it replaces the pad.

Brilliant Pet applied their expertise for developing automatic cat litter systems to come up with a motor that is durable, powerful and reliable, yet very quiet so it won't spook your dog.

Some dogs will get very nervous when something new is brought into the house or with something that has sounds. Some dogs are afraid of thunder and lightning and maybe even the sounds of the dishwasher or washing machine. The BrilliantPad is even quieter than other things you may have in your home. So even the most timid dogs can successfully use BrilliantPad.

Three products were created to make the BrilliantPad. There is the machine with the whisper quiet motor and all of the durable technology they've built using their years of experience in the pet industry. Then there are the rolls. Most people are surprised when they look at them because they are extraordinarily thin and they wonder where does the waste go? Despite being thin, the pads are durable and robust and hold as much liquid as a regular pad, yet they are made with one third less material than a regular pad. Lastly, there are the caps that seal each roll to prevent leaks and odors to make disposal easy and clean. Your hands only touch clean surfaces when you are throwing it away. And the caps that make it so easy are biodegradable. So the environmental impact of BrilliantPad is substantially less than regular pads. They do it by using less material in the pad and making the accessories that make disposal easy, biodegradable.

When your order your BrilliantPad, you can also arrange to have the replacement rolls delivered directly to your door on a regular basis.

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Can Your Pet Go Blind from the Solar Eclipse?
Angela Speck, Dir. Of Astronomy and Prof. Of Astrophysics At MU

Dog Wearing Eclipse GlassesDoes your pet need special glasses to see the eclipse? Will animals act strange during this astronomical phenomenon? Astrophysicist Dr. Angela Speck is our guest. She has answers to these questions and other ecliptic queries.

It is less than ten days from the total solar eclipse that will cut a path across North America on August 21st. Most people who are going to the actual viewing site will be leaving their pets at home. However, should you be worried about your pets looking at the eclipse and damaging their eyes?

Angela Speck tells us that this is not something we need to worry about. Think about it, it's not more dangerous than any other day. On a normal day, our animals are outside and we don't worry about them staring at the sun. So, the same will be true on the day of the eclipse. However, Angela tells us that the animals will react to the change in brightness, but she doesn't think we need to worry about them actually staring at the sun and damaging their eyes.

Angels states that there is a total eclipse somewhere on the planet nearly every year, so there are a lot of stories about what happens with the animals. She has heard people claim that right before an eclipse, about 20 minutes before it gets dark, birds go crazy. However, Angela doesn't feel they are going crazy. She says they think they are doing what is normal for twilight. So if you are in the zone for the total eclipse, on the path of totality, or even within the 90-percent zone, it will get to twilight colors. The birds will then think because it is twilight that it is time to fly around and make lots of noise. Cows might also think it is time to go back to the barn because it is bedtime. Angela feels animals react to the change of light rather than it being craziness and that even certain plants may furl or unfurl, just as they regularly do as darkness falls,

Cat Wearing Eclipse GlassesAt the University of Missouri where Angela works, she tells us that there are a lot of plant and animal scientists, as well as research farms and a vet school. They are planning on setting up some web cams on the different animals to see if "the cows come home" and also looking at chickens to see how they react.

There have been a lot of stories about how animals react, but at the moment they are just anecdotes and we don't have any good science research on them. However, if you are worried about your pet and how they may react, just keep them inside for the 2-3 minutes of the eclipse.

Angela tells us that she actually lives on the path of totality and that the University of Missouri is right in the path of the total eclipse. She lives close to campus and tells us that she will go wherever she needs to be to watch it and enjoy it!

And remember that for us humans, looking directly at the sun, even when it is partially covered by the moon, can cause serious eye damage or blindness. NEVER look at a partial solar eclipse without proper eye protection.

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Would Your Pet Be a Good Model?
Amy Peller, Marketing Consultant

Amy Peller with Benny HannaMarketing genius Amy Peller managed to launch her dog's modeling career in an advertisement for Banana Republic. She says you shouldn't quit your day job. But she also says it's a lot of great fun for her and her dog Benny Hanna.

Amy Peller, a marketing consultant who lives in Hoboken, New Jersey, had been on a Banana Republic shoot a while back with her white Labradoodle, Benny Hana. However, she was still surprised when she saw their Holiday Catalog and saw her dog on the front page.

This isn't a new career for Benny Hana, Amy states it is just a little more recreational hobby than anything else. However, she is sure it is something Benny Hanna would like to turn into a career, as he has done a few shoots and is very open to doing more!

When asked if you can make a living with your dog as a model, Amy states it all depends on how you want to live and how many pets you can get into the business. During the two shoots that Amy did with her dog, she earned about $500 for each day of work. And, she said, there are the bragging rights: "I get to tell people I officially live with a male model." They are now a dual income household, which has allowed Benny to pay for some extra toys and treats. While this is great, she says you don't work everyday and so you can't count on the income and that you shouldn't quit your day job.

Benny Hana Photo ShootAmy says if you are thinking about having your dog be a model, the first thing you need to do is to know your dog and to know if this is something that is going to be a good fit for them and something that they are going to enjoy. At the shoots, there are a lot of people and a lot of noise, as well as a lot of equipment. Your dog would also need to have basic training and know basic behaviors while on the set, because there is a lot of down time. You know your dog and whether or not this would be a good fit for them and whether they'd be comfortable in an environment like that.

If you feel they have that appetite and would enjoy it, take some photos of your dog that shows what they really look like. You might also want to consider working with an agency. Amy works with an agency in New York called All Tame Animals and they have been fantastic with connecting her with potential opportunities. Benny Hana's agent not only works with dogs, she also represents cockroaches as well as placing elephants and horses at the Metropolitan Opera House.

During the interview, Amy tells us Benny Hana was not at home. It turns out he was actually having a spa day because it was possible that he might be going on a shoot later in the week. Amy claims that Benny Hana is on his way up and that his star is on the rise!

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How to Build the Perfect Litter Box - Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie WhiteOne sniff upon entering your home and you recognize the unmistakable odor of cat urine and feces. Simba has used your entry hall as his litter box again. But before you lose your temper - stop. By scrutinizing the environment through your cat's eyes, you will likely discover the cause of his toileting mishaps.

Elimination issues are a main reason for veterinary visits and a primary reason for relinquishment of cats at shelters. House soiling problems can be multi-factorial, with an overlap of behavioral, environmental and medical causes. Feline house soiling can be managed however with sleuth work and patience. The challenge is to think like a cat.

First and foremost, say this and repeat it…"My cat does not eliminate out of the litter box to get even with me." Cats do use urine and fecal scent marks to communicate territory, but this isn't done with spite or in effort to "get even" with you. Inappropriate elimination is a cat's way stating that something isn't right in their world. Understanding this is key before tackling feline house soiling. Focus on what's wrong in Simba's toilet area, not on how the house soiling makes you feel.

Start With a Vet Check
Cat owners often struggle with house soiling mishaps for months or years before enlisting help from their veterinarian. But seeing the veterinarian should be the first step, since health disorders may be at the root of some house soiling issues. Your efforts in restoring litter box usage will be doomed if an underlying medical cause is not addressed at the same time.

Size Does Matter
Make sure your cat's litter box is of adequate size to allow maneuvering. Litter box size should be 1 ½ times the length of cat's body length. Height of the edge also matters. For older kitties, try lower profile litter boxes or plastic under bed storage boxes. An arthritic older cat won't complain or cry in pain with arthritis, she'll just chose to eliminate elsewhere.

Consider the View
Cats don't want to be startled while in the loo. Don't place the litter box in a high traffic area where people and pets are always a-coming and going. Cats prefer a low traffic area where they can have an eye out on things.

Don't place the litter box near appliances which give off noise, vibration and heat, all which disturb your cat while eliminating. Once a negative aversion is created, your cat may not return to use that box in the future.

Litter BoxDitch the Litter Box Cover
While some nervous kitties prefer the privacy of litter box covers, the majority of cats dislike the tight quarters and limited ventilation litter box covers provide. Consider how you feel in a public porta-potty. Do you like to touch the walls when inside? Sure, people like the way the lid contains odors, but does it really matter how little odor comes from the litter box when your cat is pooping on your oriental rug?

Provide More Than One Box
A common error is assuming that one litter box is all your cat needs. What cat owner loves the litter box, and relishes seeing more of them in the home? But the more the better when it comes to faithful litter box usage, especially with multiple cats. The general rule is to provide one more box than the number of cats. Some cats share litter boxes, others will not. Unless you provide alternate sites you may have elimination issues in multiple cat homes.

Another special consideration is differences in cat's personalities - timid cats may avoid crossing paths with other more assertive pets in home. Be sure to provide litter box sites that won't be blocked by other animal's movements.

If you live in a multilevel home - you must provide litter box sites on each level. This is especially important in multi-cat homes, those with senior cats or those with health conditions.

The Pick of Litters
Litter texture preferences vary and there are many choices from scoopable, clay, crystals, or natural litters. However in one research study of cat's litter box habits, it demonstrated that the majority of cats prefer fine grained scoopable clay based litters that have carbon as their odor absorbing ingredient. Every cat is different though, so try other litter varieties until you find your cat's preference.

Skip the Scents
The verdict is still out on what odors cats prefer, but avoid heavily scented litters or deodorizers if your cat is missing the box. Interestingly enough, one study showed cats preferred cedar and fish odors, while avoiding citrus and floral scents, while another study concluded cats preferred fish or bleach smells to other scents.

Kitty Litter Depth
Ideal litter depth is 2 inches - more isn't always better. Some cats thrive on scratching the bottom of the pan, which is obscured by excessive amounts of litter.

Keep It Clean
Cats are fastidious by nature and will avoid using a soiled or smelly box. The overall cleaning frequency depends on the number of cats in the home. General advice is to scoop twice a day and deep clean the litter pan weekly. Change out clumping litter every 2-3 weeks.

Build It and Kitty Will Use It
By building your cat's dream litter box, your cat will find litter box nirvana. And you'll come to enjoy a better relationship with your kitty family members without those unwanted "presents" in the foyer.

Need more help managing those frustrating litter box "Oops"? Look for my next blog on how to deter the return offender to the site, and how to draw kitty to the right spot.

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."

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5 Trends You'll See From SuperZoo
Robert Semrow, Listomania

Robert Semrow, Sugar and ZoeySo, I know some of you are thinking what is SuperZoo? It's not the coolest zoo in the world featuring every animal, reptile and fish known to humanity, though that would be cool. Instead, it's the largest pet industry trade show in North America with more than 1,000 exhibitors including industry leaders in dog, cat, horse, bird, reptile, fish, small animal and more products. It is so large it takes days to see it all. It's not open to the public; I was there so I could share with all of some of the top trends and what we will soon see in our favorite pet stores:

What struck me about the food category is that the continued move toward humanizing the approaches to pet food is continuing very strong. I saw specialty brands touting vegan, paleo, completely balanced, issue specific and more aimed at the differences in pets and the people who provide for them. The overwhelming push was to provide a healthier, more natural offering, as that is what people are looking for as well. This is encouraging, even if it turns out to be more marketing than actuality. Every step forward in health counts.

Hemp OilAnother huge trend I saw was CBD, Hemp Heart and Hemp Oil offerings. This is something I'm very passionate about as it made a big difference for my dog Zoey. Still, there is a lot to know and understand about it, along with the quality and what the differences are. Don't worry AnimalRadians, I'll be covering that in future episode for those that want to know.

Treats, regardless of it being for birds, dogs, cats, horses and more were also more focused on functional treating. This was a great sign. We are all going to give treats to our pets, but if they can also serve a functional purpose from teeth cleaning, to supporting better health, everyone wins. It's exciting to see a shift toward healthy offerings and I give the credit to you my Animal Radio friends. We pet parents are demanding better for our pets and the industry is listening.

Cricket Dog TreatOne of the more intriguing trends, which I am also very passionate about, is alternative, socially and ecologically protein sources. From cricket powder and treats to carp treats to other insect and unique protein sources, the pet industry here in North America is moving quickly to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of sustainable and responsible protein sources that are not only environmentally difference makers, but also offer greater health benefits as well. This is another future topic for us Animal Radio friends.

Finally, technology is always improving and impacting every sector of the world. The pet industry is no different and it was on full display at SuperZoo.

There so much more, but don't worry I'll be focusing in on many of these trends in the future. In the meantime, share your observations on pet product trends on our Animal Radio Facebook Page.

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Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks

Lori and Flo BearFacebook Cracks Down on Sale of Pets
Facebook has always banned the sale of animals on their site, but only in recent weeks has the company enforced the policy, which they say is designed to weed out puppy mills. Facebook's list of things NOT allowed or forbidden commerce also includes weapons, ammunition, explosives and adult items or services. It is unclear what algorithm Facebook is following in enforcing its no pets for sale policy, but in some cases it is said that pages are allowed (at least for now) to exist for pet sales and adoptions. However, Facebook will not allow those pages to be promoted. Private groups appear to be included in the no pet sales policy, so even those posts in private groups would be subject to removal.

Betta FishMan Cuts Pet Fish in Half
A 33-year-old Connecticut man has been sentenced to 120 days in jail after pleading guilty to cutting a pet fish in half during a domestic dispute. The fish belonged to a 9-year-old boy who lived at the house. The child was the one who told police the Betta fish was killed. The prosecutor says the brutality "really did traumatize" the child. Oddly, as part of the plea deal, a charge of cruelty to animals was dropped. Of course the FBI now tracks animal cruelty. If you didn't know, that's because the National Sheriffs' Association was the leading advocate for adding animal cruelty as a data set in the FBI's crime statistics. Before other law enforcement, it was the Sheriff's Association that cited studies linking animal abuse and other types of crimes, most famously, murders committed by serial killers. The group also points out the overlap animal abuse has with domestic violence and child abuse. The deputy executive director of the National Sheriffs' Association says, "If somebody is harming an animal, there is a good chance they also are hurting a human."

Jeff DeYoung Carrying CenaDog Get's Hero's Send Off
In one of the most touching animal stories, friends, patriots and dog lovers saluted Jeff DeYoung late last month as he carried his best friend Cena past them as they were on their way to board a decommissioned Navy ship in Michigan. The ten-year-old black lab was cradled in the arms of his master who was wearing his full dress Marine uniform; carried because Cena could no longer walk due to bone cancer. He was then euthanized on board the ship. It was a hero's farewell to Cena who had served with DeYoung in Afghanistan during 2009-2010. They were finally reunited four years later when Cena was six years old. As Cena's condition worsened, a fellow Marine launched an online fundraiser to raise money for a headstone and also searched for a volunteer willing to give the him a few final rides in an open-top jeep. At last check more than $65,000 had been raised.

XandaCecil's Cub Meets The Same Fate
No doubt you remember Cecil the lion, Zimbabwe's beloved big, black-maned lion, whose death at the hands of an American trophy hunter triggered international outrage? Cecil, was of course, killed by an American dentist who had paid about $50,000 for the African safari. Now history is repeating itself. Cecil's son has been fatally shot by another trophy hunter in Zimbabwe. Those who follow and study the lions of Africa say it was a shock that Cecil's eldest cub, Xanda, has met the same fate as his father and in nearly the exact same location.

If You Watch Animals In Your Home You Could Be Fined
Pet sitters in New York City who use the app are apparently breaking the law and could face a hefty fine. The reason? Health Department rules in New York ban anyone from taking money to care for an animal that isn't a licensed kennel. So, anyone boarding, feeding and grooming animals for a fee that does not have a kennel license is breaking the law. It's an even bigger problem when you find out that those kennel licenses can't be issued for private homes. This battle is just beginning to brew in the Big Apple. There's not been a big crackdown yet, but a few people have been cited for caring for pets without a permit and the fines start at $1,000. The city's health department says its main concern is commercial boarding with no oversight. However, this whole thing could go away soon. has already had victories in both Colorado and California supporting legislation that cleared the way for allowing in-home pet sitting without a license. It would certainly pay off for Rover to help get the law changed, because the company already has 95,000 pet owners in New York registered with their service plus another 9,000 pet sitters.

Rat with KittensRats Care For Kittens
A cat cafe in Brooklyn has recruited a pair of rats to care for its newborn kittens. They are young rats named Remy and Emile. These special rats were raised around kittens from a young age and are used to caring for orphaned kittens, sometimes called "bottle babies." But, because the rats are not afraid of the kittens, the rats don't run away and the kittens usually don't chase them, although they do love playing with the rat's tails during supervised play sessions. One of the volunteers says, "The kittens are slobs, essentially, so [the rats] will clean them up, and it's not that they want the cat food, because the cat food bowl is just a few inches away and they could just go over there and eat as much as they want."

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NEWS UPDATE brought to you by Fear Free. "Take the 'pet' out of 'petrified'" and get pets back for veterinary visits by promoting considerate approach and gentle control techniques used in calming environments.

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