Friday, June 28, 2013

Great deal on a safety gate!

If you need to keep dogs or children away from a certain area of the house, or need to separate them, dogdoors.com have a great opportunity. All gates have to leave the building to make room for more dog doors! 

For more information, call 800-749-9609 and snatch one up. The price is good as long as inventory lasts; first come, first serve!

You can also order online, on dogdoors.com, and use the code GATE while checking out. For online orders inventory cannot be guaranteed, so it's safest to call.



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Technology for dogs?

We get all sorts of doggie magazines to the office. This is a definite plus of working in a pet related organization! The June issue of Cesar's Way Magazine had an interesting article about dogs and technology.

Service dogs do all sorts of stuff for people. I've seen dogs trained to bring objects, to pick stuff off the floor, even a dog who could help his human pulled on socks! Cesar's Way also mentions operating light switches and unloading washing machines.

Photo from dailymail.co.uk
The dog on the image to the right was mentioned in the Dailymail a couple of years ago. Her name is Sandie, and she doesn't just do laundry; she sorts out the colors from the whites! She also helps her human shop - she puts groceries in a bag, pays for the groceries, and carries the bag - she sorts clothes, and helps her human mom dress.

There are few things a dog can't do!

The interesting question is, what if technology was designed to be used by dogs instead of by humans. A team at Britain's Open University is working on just that: developing machinery dogs can use.

Cesar's Way writes: "These technologies will be designed for and with the active participation of the dogs. The idea is that they will work in a variety of environments."

The article also mentions that "Research began two years ago, and the radical step has been involving dogs as active participants in, and contributors to, the design process."

This really makes my imagination spin. Dogs are smart. I have Border Collies, and they are super smart. They could learn to do all sorts of things, but most of the human stuff requires thumbs.

Hmm, I wonder if I could teach them to make coffee...

~ Maria Sadowski

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Are dogs 'kids'? New research on the human-pet relationship

Pets are good for humans, we know this beyond a doubt. Studies conclusively show that pets lead to better health, less stress, better self confidence, and with many other benefits. But, what about the other way around? Are we good for the pets?

Sciencedaily.com writes about a study at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. The study investigated the bond between dogs and humans, and found striking similarities to a parent-child relationship.

While the following might seem intuitive and right to pet owners, it might surprise members of the public who lack a deep relationship with an animal: just as humans need other humans, animals need relationships with others of their kind.

For domesticated animals, a human can assume the role of a pet's main social partner.

Even more interesting: human children use their caregivers as a secure base when it comes to interacting with the rest of the world. Dogs behave toward their caregivers just like children do. We become their secure base.

The bonding is real, from both parties. Dogs are motivated by their human's presence, and just any person won't do.

~ Maria Sadowski

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

China: one dog policy in larger cities!

Chow Chow image from akc.org
At one of my previous jobs I had a lot of contact with China, and I was aware of their one child per family policy along with the complications that can ensue for anyone who has more than one child. I did not know many larger Chinese cities also has a one dog per family policy.

According to Yahoo News, citizens in many major cities can only have dogs shorter than 14 inches high when full grown. Each dog must also have a residence permit, and these permits allegedly look a lot like Chinese ID cards. They have the dog's photo, name, sex, and type.

The dog registration is expensive. Yahoo News reports it costs $160 for the first year and $80 per year after that. Failure to register the dog can be even more costly; the fine for an unregistered doggie is a dazzling $800.

This might be a smaller problem in China than it would be here; their culture isn't known for keeping dogs as pets. Times are changing, though, and dog ownership is on the rise. Quite a few dog breeds have their roots in China, like the Chinese Crested, Chow Chow, Pekinese, Pug, Shar Pei, and Shih Tzu.

~ Maria Sadowski

Monday, June 24, 2013

Rare breed Monday: Kromfohrlander

Image from akc.org
The Kromfohrlander originated in Germany and is used as a companion dog. It is a German breed, developed after World War II, and it is the only breed descended from a military troop mascot.

The Kromfohrlander Club of America says the foundation dog - Peter - was found in northern France by American soldiers. They picked him up and he served as a "Morale Builder First Class" mascot during the liberation of France. The battles were too much for little Peter and he deserted his post and ended up in enemy hands. Ilsa Shleifenbaum rescued him, and bred him with a black and white Fox Terrier named Fifi.

Ilse wanted to create a quality companion breed that would have good temperament, good health, and a long life. According to the AKC, she succeeded. They describe the Kromfohrlander as good with children and family, attached to its owner, intelligent and funny, and with a life span of 17-18 years.

They have virtually no hunting instinct, but will alert to strangers. These dogs love to climb and jump, and excel at agility and dog trick training.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Take your dog to work day

Take Your Dog to Work Day started in 1999, and has become the longest running online pet-adoption campaign. It takes place on June 21st, and reaches tens of thousands of people and pets.

Mila, PlexiDor office dog

The website prweb.com mentions that barely 300 companies participated the first year. In 2012, more than 360,000 visitors went to www.takeyourdog.com to learn more about joining in.

So, what is this all about? Takeyourdog.com writes, "First celebrated in 1999, Pet Sitters International's Take Your Dog To Work Day® (TYDTWDay®) was created to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to encourage their adoption from humane societies, animal shelters and breed rescue clubs. This annual event asks pet lovers to celebrate the humane-canine bond and promote pet adoption by encouraging their employers to support TYDTWDay. Employers are encouraged to open their workplace to employees' four-legged friends on this one special day."

It's a fun event, based on a good cause. To learn more, visit Take Your Dog to Work's website, Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter!

Here at PlexiDor, we have our hard working office dog Mila, and she comes to work almost every day - not just once a year. She has important tasks as product tester and wellness ambassador. She definitely has a positive impact on the work environment and lessens stress.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gadget I'd love to try: Motorola Blink1

Motorola Blink 1
My colleagues came home from Woofstock talking about a cool new product. I haven't tried it yet, but I will definitely check it out further. The Motorola Blink 1 is really a baby monitor, but can also be used for pets.

It broadcasts audio and video over Motorola's secure server via Wi-Fi, and the feed can be watched on any internet device. There are apps for smartphones, tablets, and computers, and users can view their pet from anywhere.

It's also possible to talk to the pet with two-way communication, and follow them through a remote pan, tilt, and zoom feature.

The thing even has infra-red night vision, and can be set up to monitor the temperature so it doesn't get too hot or too cold.

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Images from Woofstock!

PlexiDor had a booth at Woofstock together with
DogWatch of GTA.
PlexiDor pet doors visited the annual Woofstock festival. This is North America's largest outdoor festival for dogs, and it takes place in Toronto every year.

Woofstock estimates the visitor number to around 300,000, many of which brought their pets. In the spirit of Woofstock, everyone seemed to get along!

Besides a large number of vendors, the show offered an agility ring, doggie fashion show, and water park!

If you're in the area, try to catch Woofstock 2014! Until then, here are some of our visitors!

Interested visitors could register
to win a free PlexiDor!

This is Tiffany who had a good time
at Woofstock together with her human.


Bupkiss is getting tired. Attending something like this can
be hard work, especially if you're a puppy!
This is Brownie, checking out
the PlexiDor display!
Chillin' in the shade!

Mateo wasn't sure about this photo
thing, but finally agreed.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chubby dog? Getting a smaller bowl might help.

Browsing the Internet for interesting pet news usually brings me past the Huffington Post, and I stumbled over an article about overweight pets and the size of food bowls. I've never thought about this connection, but it makes sense. A big bowl will make a correct size portion look tiny. 

My doggies have pretty large bowls, and I always think, "Oh you poor thing, having to make do on so little food. But it's what the bag says you should have..." It is tempting to toss some more grub in there to make it look better.

According to the article, the University of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine made an experiment with 54 dogs and their owners. Four combinations were tested: 
  • Small bowl with a small scoop
  • Small bowl with a large scoop
  • Large bowl with a small scoop
  • Large bowl with a large scoop 
Predictably, the servings in the small bowl with the small scoop were significantly less than all other combinations. 

Does it matter?

Yes, especially for small dogs and cats eating dry food. Kibble is generally high in calories, and a small pet will gain weight quickly.

What to do? I use a graded measuring cup. Even if the food in the bowl looks like too little, the measuring cup says it's just right.

The article also pointed out that many pet owners have a huge bowl for the food, and a tiny bowl for water. It should be the other way around: pets need much more water than they do food.

~ Maria Sadowski

Monday, June 17, 2013

Rare Breed Monday: Chinook


Image from akc.org
The Chinook is an all American dog breed, at one point in time recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the rarest dog in the world.

The breed was developed in the early 1900s, when polar explorer Arthur Treadwell Walden bred his lead dog with Belgian Sheepdogs, German Shepherds, Canadian Eskimos, and other types of dogs back and forth until he reached the desired type and traits. The result is a sled dog with endurance, trainability, and a gentle nature.

This is not a guard dog, but Chinooks excel at almost everything else. They are intelligent, adaptable, and versatile. They love exercise and physical activity, and will happily accompany their family on hiking trips, jogging, agility, or anything else that takes place outside. This breed makes excellent and affectionate family dogs that form a tight bond with children. The AKC calls them, "The ideal all purpose canine companion."

Chinook is the inuit word for warm winter winds. Although the breed doesn't look like a typical sled dog, they have been used on expeditions to Antarctica.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Coyote/retriever mix adopts chickens

It's Friday, and we should end the workweek with a feel-good story, don't you think? 

The Huffington Post had an incredibly cute story the other day; a family had ten tiny chickens wander into their yard, and the mother was nowhere in sight. The family dog decided to take care of them. My favorite part of the video is towards the end, where all the chickens cuddle up close to the dog.

According to the Post, they kept the chickens for about a week until they all were adopted.

 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sneak peek from Woofstock

PlexiDor Pet Doors visited Woofstock in Toronto last weekend. This is the largest outdoor festival for dogs in all of north America: the arrangers estimated 300,000 visitors of which many brought their furry friends.

We'll have a bigger feature of it on the blog soon, but for now, take a look at Oreo. She came by the booth to check out the doors, and I think she liked them. Her eyes seem to say, "Can we get one of these?"

Thank you to Jasmine Wang Photography for sharing the picture!

"Mom, I like this door. Can we get one? Please?"
Photo by Jasmine Wang Photography.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Some fascinating pet data!

I was looking around the Petfinder website the other day, and found some interesting data on cats and dogs. Like, 63% of dog owners and 58% of cat owners give their pets presents at Christmas. 

I'm definitely one of the 63% - our dogs have their own stockings and get piles of presents under the Christmas tree. Not just from us humans in the household either; they get stuff from their grand-humans and doggie-cousins in Michigan. I'm sure our dogs believe in Santa-paws!

Anyway... Petfinder also states that:

  • Americans spend around $5 billion on holiday presents for their furry friends.
  • About one quarter of both dog owners and cat owners sign their pets' names on greeting cards and notes.
  • 75% of dog owners take their pets for joyrides in the car.
  • 27% of dog owners have taken their pet to a professional photographer to get a picture with the family, Santa, or the Easter Bunny.
  • Around 14% have a photo of their pet on display at work.
  • Almost half of the pet owners admit to talking to their pets, and 80% of those who do says the pet responds with sounds, facial expressions, or body language.
  • 20% of pet parents leave the TV, radio, or stereo on when they leave the house, so the pets won't feel so lonely.

About that last point, I recently talked to someone who Skypes their dog so he won't have to miss his mommy so much. My immediate response was, "That's such a great idea!" I haven't done it yet, but the next time I go traveling I probably will.

Now I'm curious; what are your habits with your furry friends?

~ Maria Sadowski


Monday, June 10, 2013

Do you take your dog to the groomer?

According to petfinder.com, 57% of American households today have either a dog or a cat. Nine out of ten pet owners consider their pet a member of the family.

I've been trying to figure out whether a majority of pet parents bathe and groom their dogs on their own, or if they go see a groomer. Google is fantastic, but when it comes to this, it hasn't offered any answers.

I personally take my gang to the groomer to have their nails done, but I bathe them myself. That doesn't mean all other pet parents reason the same way...

Ooh, this is a good spot for a shameless plug: I bathe them with shampoo from Deidre's K9 Naturals, because it's good, and it's a sister company to PlexiDor Pet Doors. I'm super-biased, because I work for both companies. ;-)

Anyway, do you take your dog to the groomer? If you do any bathing/brushing/cleaning, what's your favorite products? Do you use both shampoo and conditioner?

Leave a comment and tell me all about it! =D

~ Maria Sadowski


Rare Breed Monday: Karelian Bear

Image from akc.org
The Karelian Bear is a Finnish breed of dog, also called Karelsk Bj√∂rnhund in the Swedish speaking parts of Finland, or Karjalankarhukoira in Finnish. 

This is a tenacious hunter with quick reflexes and fearless nature. The breed earned its name from its ability to hunt and protect against bears. It's primarily used as a hunting breed, but also for search and rescue, and for obedience trials.

Although not commonly seen in the US, the breed has been used for non lethal bear control by the Washington department of fish and wildlife. The department's webpage says, "Just as a Border Collie has an instinct for moving sheep, out of each litter some Karelian Bear Dogs enter the world with an instinct for handling bears safely."

They are popular in their home country; according to the AKC the breed is one of the top 10 most common dogs in Finland today.

The Karelian Bear prefers to be outside, and needs plenty of space to run. This is an intelligent and independent working breed, which means they also get bored easily and need mental stimulation.

They generally love people and children, but must be socialized at an early age to enjoy the company of other types of dogs. Their extremely social nature make them prone to separation anxiety. They want to be with their human, not alone.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Seen in the news: airport stress-reduction dogs

Traveling can be stressful, but according to Yahoo news, the Los Angeles International Airport has a new way of battling fatigue and annoyance. How? Through 30 therapy dogs roaming the halls, alleviating stress in weary passengers.

Photo from Associated Press/Damian Doverganes
The dogs wear bandanas or vests so people can find them, and amongst the workers are a Dalmatian, a Lab-pointer mix, and an Irish wolfhound.

To be considered for the program, the dogs must be healthy, skilled, stable, well-mannered, and able to work on a slack 4-foot leash. They have to be comfortable with crowds, sounds, and smells, and they go through security just like all the other workers.

Miami has joined in with a golden retriever, who is so popular she has her own website, fan mail, business cards, and a role on a weekly reality show on the Travel Channel.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Frequently Asked PlexiDor Questions.

PlexiDor extra large accommodates
dogs up to 200 lbs.
If you need a pet door, the PlexiDor is definitely a good choice. It is sturdy, secure, energy efficient, and comes with a five year warranty. 

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

If you wonder something else about the PlexiDor, give us a call 1-800-749-9609 or comment on this post.

You can also click here to navigate to the main PlexiDor website.


Where can I install a PlexiDor?

The PlexiDor can be installed through a door, a wall, or even through glass. The part you see next to the doggie on the picture above goes on the inside of the house.

The PlexiDor units for door installation fits a standard US house door of 1.75" and the frame covers the cut-out edges of the house door.

PlexiDor with wall tunnel
The units for wall installation come with an aluminum wall tunnel that is adjustable from 4" to 12" On the image to the right, the door is seen from the outside of the house. The aluminum tunnel is angled to drain water and snow to the outside.

When it comes to installations in glass, every size door from the small one to the extra large and the electronic PlexiDor can be mounted in a sliding glass door, french style door, or window. To read more about this and to see installation photos, please follow this link.

What kinds of pets can use a PlexiDor?

The PlexiDor comes in several sizes to accommodate everything from cats to dogs weighing up to 200 lbs. The doors on the larger models swing so easily that smaller pets can use a bigger door.

If in doubt, check out this size chart:


The door looks so small. Will my dog really go through there?

If you have the right size according to the size chart above, the answer is generally "Yes." The door isn't meant to be mounted flush with the floor; the pets lift their legs and walk/run over a threshold. The reason for this is that you want the opening to be as small as possible while still being big enough for your pet.

Looking at the chart above, the extra large PlexiDor, for example, should be mounted 12"-14" up from the floor.

Is it hard to teach a pet to use the door?

Pets generally catch on to the idea quickly. Prop the panels open and tempt your cat or dog with a treat. Once they go through with the panels open, try the same thing with panels closed. Many pets who won't use other pet doors still like the PlexiDor because they can see the other side through the panel.

What warranties do you have?

The PlexiDor comes with an unconditional 90 day money back guarantee. Shipping charges are non refundable, but the factory will refund the purchase price in full.

The PlexiDor also comes with a 5 year warranty. Any defective part will be repaired or replaced, including standard shipping charges, for five years from the purchase date. Labor is not covered.

This warranty covers residential use. Commercial kennels should use the BiteGuard line of pet doors.

My dogs chew on everything. Won't they destroy the door?


PlexiDor Top Swing, for dogs up
to 100 lbs that like to chew. 
Some dogs do like to chew. The PlexiDor Top Swing is constructed for dogs up to 100 lbs who like to chew. This door features a single plexiglas panel equipped with aluminum chew proof trim. Just like the other PlexiDors, it comes with a lock and keys, and a steel security plate.

If your dog weighs more than 100 lbs, choose the PlexiDor extra large; this door also has aluminum trim around the panels.

Do you have a door that will let my dog out but keep the cats inside?

We can't guarantee that. The PlexiDor Electronic opens only for pets with a key, but cats are quick and can follow the dog outside.

How does the PlexiDor Electronic work?

It's like a miniature garage door for pets. The pets allowed to use the door get collar keys with RFID. The keys are waterproof, shock proof, and do not require batteries.

When the key comes close to the door, the panels slides up. You can program how long the door will stay open, and since there are thousands of RFID codes you can feel confident the door will only open for your pets, even if other animals in the neighborhood have similar keys.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dog of the month: Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is also called, "The American Gentleman." This is a small and compact dog known to be friendly and quiet, but somewhat stubborn. They are gentle with a happy-go-lucky personality.

Their normal weight span ranges from 10 to 25 lbs, and they're usually 15-17 inches tall.  The Boston Terrier is a highly intelligent dog, easy to train.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dancing parrot style!

Pets come in all shapes and sizes, and they all have the ability to amuse, entertain, and comfort. I stumbled over this video on Facebook the other day. So funny, cute, and just adorable! =D


Monday, June 3, 2013

Rare Breed Monday: Azawakh

Azawakh image from akc.org.
The Azawakh is a beautiful dog stemming from the Tuareg nomads in Africa. It comes from the Sahelian desert area, which touches Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. The dogs are also called "Aidi n'Ailluli" which means, "Noble dogs of the Free People." 

The Azawakh is traditionally considered a full member of the family. It is extremely loyal and affectionate to its humans, and can be protective to the extreme. The website vetstreet.com points out the Azawakh must live indoors with the family, and that their bonds with their humans grows so tight they're difficult to re-home. Getting any dog should be a commitment for life, and it's truer than ever with the Azawakh.

They love to run, and they're both proud and independent. With positive training, they learn quickly and easily. Be firm, fair, and provide motivation. Harsh treatment or punishment based training will not work well.

These dogs come from the desert and don't like cold or wet conditions. They will, however, happily run in weather over 100 degrees F.

Read more about the Azawakh at vetstreet.com and at the AKC.