Friday, August 30, 2013

Size matters!

PlexiDor medium silver,
fits most pets up to 40 lbs.
Finding the right size of anything can be difficult, even when it comes to humans. When speaking of pets, the terms small, medium, and large can mean almost anything, depending on the frame of reference.

The PlexiDor pet door comes with a 90 day unconditional money back guarantee, so getting the wrong size doesn't have to be a disaster. It's still easier to get it right at once, particularly before making a hole in the door or the wall.

Don't be too worried if the door looks a little small; dogs generally duck their heads while going through, so the opening doesn't have to be as tall as the pet.

Also, the door isn't supposed to be flush with the floor. It should be mounted a bit up, like the door unit on this photo:

The pet door should
not be flush with the floor.


If you have larger and smaller pets together, the panels on the PlexiDor swing so easily smaller dogs and cats can usually open even large doors without problems.

To make sizing easier, we have put together a convenient sizing chart, see below. Some breeds have great variations in size, of course, so see the breed examples as general guidelines.

The small PlexiDor is small. It's useful for dogs up to nine pounds, and cats up to twenty-four pounds. If you're uncertain whether to pick a small or medium door, the Plexidor website can put you in contact with a helpful reseller. You can also e-mail us to discuss and get advice.



Thursday, August 29, 2013

Service dogs are allowed!

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, service dogs are allowed in all areas where the public is normally allowed to go. State and local governments, businesses, and non profit organizations that serve the public must allow service animals.

Unfortunately, business owners - particularly when it comes to establishments that serve food - seem unwilling to adapt to the law, and the news fill up with instances of people denied service. The most recent that passed my desk is a story of Big I's diner in Massachusetts, who denied service to a war vet and his service dog. The owner would not back down and allow the dog even after the police arrived to explain the law.

The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. An animal that meets this definition is considered a service animal whether they're licensed/certified or not. Documentation is not required.

A business owner is allowed to ask if the dog is required because of a disability, and what task the dog is trained to perform. They are not allowed to insist on proof of state certification. A service animal must be permitted to accompany the person to all areas where customers are normally allowed.

Click here to read more about service animals and businesses! The Department of Justice also has an ADA information line at  800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TDD).

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pictures from BarkWorld

Truman belonged to the booth next to
us. Yours truly had doggie-withdrawal from
leaving the gang at home, of course, and he
kindly let me borrow him for cuddles. =)
Here are some photos and friends from BarkWorld 2013! 

I thought I took so many pictures, and when I returned to the office I wish I'd taken more. It's always like that. =) There are some more in yesterday's post, so if you missed it, check it out!

If you are interested in pets and social media I warmly recommend visiting a social media conference. As far as I know, 2014 will offer opportunities with BlogPaws in Las Vegas and BarkWorld in Atlanta.

BarkWorld presented many notable events, like cat agility, workshops with dog baking, and an opportunity to paint one's own pet bowl.

I didn't catch this cutie's name, but she had so many
neat outfits and would come down in something
new several times each day. Adorable!

I'm not sure if her name really was Diva, but it's what
her collar said, so it's what I'm calling her in my mind. =)
Lovely, cuddly girly who would also appear in a
pink ballerina dress!

BePawsitive has a neat business idea. They sell
treats, and for every box sold they donate one
to a shelter, making dogs everywhere happy!

I first met the girls from Natural Balance at BlogPaws
earlier this year. They are aways so happy and friendly,
and they are a pure delight! 


"What's that thing you have? A pet door?
Wonder if I can get through..."

So close. With an XL I think he would have made it!
Norman the Scooter Dog showed his
skills. He not only rids a scooter,
he also rides a bike!

Petbrosia has a neat business idea where they tailor
pet food to each pet's unique needs. Owners tell them
breed, size, energy level, allergies, and so on, and
they provide food specially made for that pet!

Fleas, ticks, and other insects are a menace.
Protect the love provides protection. At the booth they
also provided cookies much appreciated by the dogs.

PetCo has a new Star Wars collection. There are
clothes, Yoda ears, and toys. Fun stuff!

TagaPet offers a way to track pets through QR codes.
No monthly subscription needed.


Unleashed is Petco's new chain of stores, aiming for
a friendly and knowledgeable neighborhood format.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Impressions from BarkWorld

Atlanta, guaranteed zombie free.
This was my first time visiting Atlanta besides the airport. I must say that the TV Show "The Walking Dead" doesn't make it justice; as hard as I looked I couldn't find one single zombie. 

Jokes aside, Georgia greeted us with sunshine and friendly people. The conference took place at the Westin Buckhead. It was a good choice of hotel, and they were prepared to deal with the large number of pets. There were water bowls in strategic locations, and the reception desk held the biggest basket of dog treats I've ever seen. I have to admit I was tempted to take it and run; my dogs would be more than delighted to see something like this!

The hotel welcomed both people and pets

Maya in the PlexiDor booth
My colleague Maya and I set up our booth and went to greet the other brands and bloggers.

The doors on the photo are a medium and a large. Many visitors think they look small compared to the dogs that supposedly fit through them, but remember that the door isn't meant to be installed at floor height. Measure how tall the dog is and install the door at a height where he or she can comfortably step through. Most dogs won't mind lifting their feet over a threshold.

Doors are also available in small and extra large, and accommodate dogs up to 220 lbs. The extra large might have worked for this guy; the large was a bit small...

Someone needs a bigger door!

Norman the Scooter Dog and Rocco Havanese
The first day ended with a mingling event where Norman the Scooter Dog performed an incredible act of riding a scooter and a bike.

Apologies for the video being a bit dark. I had every good intention of tweaking it to making it lighter before posting it on the blog, but the days go by so quickly.

I might have a better version of it in a few days, or might at least cut out the best parts to make it a bit more watch-friendly. For now, I hope it can give some enjoyment as it is. =)




The mingle event also brought the opportunity to say Hi to some bloggers I normally only meet through the computer. Like...

Pepper from pepperpom.com

Carma Poodale from carmapoodale.com

Max and Remy from thedogfiles.com

Gizmo from terriertorrent.com

Keep your eyes on the blog during the week; there will be more posts and photos from BarkWorld 2013!

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rare Breed Monday: Kuvasz

I have been away at BarkWorld. Ironically, attending blogger conferences always make me fall behind on my blogs... My wonderful internet-friend Emma the GBGV stepped up to rescue me: here she is with a post about the Kuvasz! Thank you Emma! =D

The Kuvasz 

Photo provided by mygbgvlife.com
The Kuvasz is a highly intelligent, strong minded, independent Hungarian guard dog, considered a working dog breed. These dogs were originally bred to guard livestock without human direction - a breed that thinks for itself. They were most often used to guard flocks of sheep and do look a bit like sheep with the smaller head and large, fluffy white body. The Kuvasz is a high energy breed that needs either a job or lots of exercise. 

Because the Kuvasz was bred to work independently, they are a bit difficult to teach, and they do need to be taught, not trained. A person that has some training experience and is authoritative is a must. Although they are extremely brave and fearless, they are quite sensitive, so you need to be careful not to use harsh methods with these dogs. If they are going to be a family dog, early socialization is key. They need to learn right away to accept other humans, otherwise they will not let anyone near you or your home.

As a young puppy, the working Kuvasz would be introduced to, and live with the livestock he is to guard in order to create a strong bond. Once they have formed a bond, they will do everything possible to protect their livestock “family”, including running off bears, wolves, coyotes, and any other threats. On the other hand, they can be extremely gentle helping newborn livestock find their mother, or they will help a ewe deliver its lambs. The Kuvasz is able to decide on its own what temperament is needed in each situation. Because of this independent thinking ability, they can be very frustrating dogs as they decide on their own what to do, don’t necessarily do what they are told to do by their handler.

Kuvasz are a large breed ranging from 70-115 pounds. If the dog is going to be a family pet, be aware ahead of time that they shed their white fur 24/7/365. The more you brush, the more they shed. They do have self-cleaning fur, so bathing should not be minimal as it strips important oils which will destroy the self-cleaning properties of the fur. Their coats can be straight or curly but are always white and often times they have a lot of black skin under all that fur. Always keep in mind that the people handling the dog must be in control or the Kuvasz will gladly do as it pleases. They are a very loyal, beautiful and wonderful breed, but also a challenging breed. If you want an obedient dog, or a dog that is easy to train, the Kuvasz would not be a good fit.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

BarkWorld Expo, here we come!

Today, we're flying to Atlanta to attend the 2013 BarkWorld Expo. If you're there, stop by and say hi to us! 

We're setting up the booth today and will most likely be there or mingling during the afternoon. The exhibit hall is officially open from 8:30 on Friday and Saturday, and I'd love to meet you!

I studied up a bit on BarkWorld. It is estimated that 78% of attendees have a profile for a pet on social media. My dogs have Facebook pages - good to hear they're not alone in this. Most of the visitors come from the continental US, but some travel all the way from Hawaii, Canada, Israel, Trinidad, and the United Kingdom.

Personally, besides meeting my online friends, I look forward to Victoria Stilwell - she is a keynote speaker. I don't have Animal Planet and had never heard of her before Lennox. Now, I admire her.

I will update the blog and upload photos as soon as I get the chance.

~ Maria Sadowski

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What kind of swag do you like?

Ordering branded material is fun, and a gamble. Each item can't be too expensive, but it also can't look cheap; giveaways need to correspond to the overall company image. There's about a million different items to choose from, and finding something recipients will keep and enjoy is trickier than it sounds. Some things go directly into the trash, and that's a waste of everyone's time.

The 2014 PlexiDor calendar.
We make a PlexiDor calendar each year. Yours truly designs it - I love looking at all the doggie photos - and I bounce up and down with joy every time I encounter one in real life. "Look, look, that's my calendar! They have my calendar on the wall!"

Yes, I'm quite silly, but my dogs say it's okay, and I believe them.

We just got the 2014 calendars back from the printer, by the way. If you want one, send me a message!

Anyway, this year we've had pens and post-its with the PlexiDor name. In not too long we'll need to decide what to order for next year's shows and giveaways.

What kind of swag would you appreciate? What's the "keeper" that has to stay even when other stuff is thrown out?

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The PlexiDor Piggie-door, and other adventures in blogger land!

There are many different kind of pets, but I still refer to the larger PlexiDors as dog doors and the small one as a cat door. This is an oversimplification of reality, and a big error in my way of thinking!

The PlexiDor is now a piggie door. There's no reason pet pigs shouldn't have doors - I just never thought about it.

How's the weather outside?
Image from myminipetpig.com
Coccolino from myminipetpig.com has tried one out, and it's working out well. (If other pet pigs have tried PlexiDors I apologize for my ignorance, and I'd love to hear your stories!)

Coccolino's mom writes on the blog, "The Plexidor is safe, sealed so tight that no air could ever get in from the outside while the door is closed, and has a team of customer service that truly cares about and believes in their product. This experience has been so extremely positive and I am grateful to the point that I think Plexidor would be hard pressed to find a happier pet door recipient."

Reading stuff like that makes my day. Truly! I love when we can make someone happy!

I learned a lot about mini pet pigs from reading the blog post. If you're curious about them at all, check out myminipetpig.com, and read the post about the PlexiDor. It is entertaining and covers some aspect I wouldn't have thought about.

Image from rosezellasway.com
Another blog featuring us right now is rosezellasway.com. They tried all sorts of creative solutions, like the cats and dogs using a chair in the living room to get up to the windowsill and outside. The cats were able to get both in and out, but the dogs couldn't figure out how to get back in.

Now they have a PlexiDor, and since the post is titled, "Woo Hoo! A New Plexidor!" I'm assuming it's working well.

The post says, "...none of the precious cooled air is released into the outside. My door sits up off the ground a few inches, so dirt is kept under control. The door is a sheet of shatterproof resistant acrylic, the frame is made of aluminum, and locks by a key very easily."

Rosezellasway.com is an interesting website, by the way. She is a pet psychic. I wonder if it works, and what my dogs would say to her...

Image from carmapoodale.com
I have also seen a blog post about the PlexiDor from Carma Poodale. They don't have their door installed just yet, and I look forward to seeing what they'll have to say about it when it is in use.

Carma says, "I really like the idea that when I am outside being a porch poodle I don't have to come in because ma wants to close the door."

Something about the phrase porch poodle went right to my heart. A porch poodle must be the cutest kind of poodle!

If you have something to share about the PlexiDor I'd love to hear!

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Monday, August 19, 2013

Rare Breed Monday: Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

Today I have the pleasure of handing over the keyboard to Emma from MyGBGVLife.com! Welcome Emma, and thank you for helping me out with talking about your breed!

What is a GBGV?

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a medium sized French scent hound. The Grand is for our size (there are four types of Griffon breeds), the Basset is for our short legs (it has nothing to do with a Basset Hound), Griffon is for our type of wiry fur, and Vendéen the area of France my breed originated from. 


Emma from mygbgvlife.com
Our fur can be tan/white, black/white, or tricolor like me. 

GBGV's are pack dogs used to hunt hare, wild boar and deer, I think my personal favorite is hunting wabbits and I am darn good at it too!  The GBGV has also been nicknamed the happy breed since we are really happy dogs no matter what. 

We are confident, strong minded, and are not afraid to do the time if the crime was worth it! We are smart and "can excel" at obedience but usually more when we feel like it. Since we are pack dogs we don't like to be alone. We are happier in homes with multiple pets and/or people. We tend to be big snugglers, very loyal to our humans, and we love to listen to ourselves howl.

We are a rare breed in the USA. Until recently, most of us were imported from Europe. I was born in England. We are not fully recognized by the AKC, and are currently in the FSS category working on getting full recognition as our numbers build. I would guess there are around 100 or so GBGV’s total in the USA right now.


Guest Post by Debucher Baguette, aka Emma the GBGV http://MyGBGVLife.com

Friday, August 16, 2013

Yes, you can put a pet door in a sliding glass door or a window!

In many houses, the best route to the outside goes through a glass door or even a window. Historically, mounting a pet door in glass has been nearly impossible, but the PlexiDor glass conversion kit changes everything.

Just as always, a PlexiDor can be mounted through a household door or a wall, but it can also go through a sliding patio door, french style door, or even a window.

The PlexiDor glass conversion pet door can be installed in the same thickness of glass that's already there, whether it is single or double-pane safety glass.

For more information, visit the PlexiDor glass division!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

PlexiDors in blogger land

I mentioned our blog tour last week - BlogPaws connected us with interested bloggers, who got a door to review. The tour continues through August, and here are some of the past few days' highlights!

The website doggiesandstuff.com made an awesome video about their new door and their adventures in doggie-training.

 

Keep the Tail Wagging made a wonderful article about the door. If you're at all interested in the PlexiDor I recommend reading Kimberly's post. She had the same concerns as most people, and did some fun, hands-on testing.

They've had a burglar come in through their old doggie door, and if that has happened once, security is a main issue. She writes, "Our former door has a plastic cover - push hard on it OR push gently and shift it up and it pops off. You can reach through and unlock the door. I do this all the time when I get locked out. Well, not anymore. We tested this thing like crazy and the house is locked up tight."

Rodrigo was concerned about the PlexiDor.
Photo from keepthetailwagging.com
Another question many people pose is, "Is the PlexiDor safe for dogs?" The panels are rigid and swing both ways, and I've met a few people who worry their dog might get stuck. I can give my point of view - the panels swing so easily they don't get stuck or trap the dog - but who believes the manufacturer, right! Getting an unbiased opinion from someone else is much better, and Kimberly's test was a happy surprise for me.

Kimberly writes, "The doors swing in and out, so we were worried that if Rodrigo peaked his head in and them immediately pulled out, he'd get stuck - didn't happen. We tested it on ourselves, on a pillow, and I watched Rodrigo do it many times."

Rodrigo is, by the way, a real cutie-pie! I've only seen him on this photo, but I totally want to pet him!

Last but not least, let me share this image from twolittlecavaliers.com. The doggie in the photos is named Frankie, and he looks so happy it makes me happy!

Frankie tries out his new
PlexiDor freedom.
Photo from twolittlecavaliers.com


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Spanish bomb-sniffing marvel was awarded the PDSA Gold Medal

Image from examiner.com
In June this year Ajax the bomb-sniffing dog was awarded the Gold Medal of the PDSA at the 4th International Conference of Police and Military dog handlers. This is the highest award possible for bravery in Ajax's line of work.

The bomb he found would have caused a lot of damage and killed anyone in the area. Once he found the bomb, a controlled explosion could be made, and it sent shrapnel over 100 yards away.

Source: Police K-9 Magazine, July/August 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

PlexiDor Pet Doors at SuperZoo in Las Vegas

PlexiDor had a booth at SuperZoo in Las Vegas, and got the opportunity to show off high end dog doors to a large number of pet retailers. It was a record breaking show with 982 exhibitors over 191,524 square feet of floor space.

Maya at the PlexiDor booth

The 2013 show featured more new product debuts than any time before, and visitors could see everything from backyard chicken coops to convertible sofa beds made for pets.

Besides products, the show also featured some talented animals. Check out these videos! (The sound isn't the best, so you might want to lower the volume.)

video


video


video

Monday, August 12, 2013

Rare Breed Monday: Slovensky Cuvac

Image from akc.org
The Slovenský Ćuvać - also called Slovakian Chuvach or Slovakian Sheepdog - is a shepherd and mountain dog stemming from the Caucasus mountains. The breed was originally derived from Arctic wolves and they are strong, lively, fearless, and alert.

They thrive in an environment with a large family, children, and other animals to care for. They do great on farms and ranches. These dog are known as good guard dogs, watch dogs, and shepherds as well as great companions. They bond tightly with their families and will fight off any intruder - even if it is a bear or a wolf. They're always white, because in older time this was the only way to distinguish them from threats in the night.

The Slovenský Ćuvać is a large dog - males can reach 28 inches and weigh up to 99 pounds. They do require regular grooming, and they shed each spring.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sympathetic yawning

Image from world-kaleidoscope.blogspot.com
You know when someone yawns close to you and you just have to do it too?

Humans mirror others' behavior, often without being aware of it. If we talk to someone and agree with what they're saying, we tend to mirror their stance. That is, if one person crosses their legs, someone else is bound to follow. If one person rests their chin in their palm or crosses their arms, the other person might mirror it. The same thing goes for yawns. One person yawns and the urge to do the same thing is impossible to overcome.

Turns out dogs do it too. A new study shows dogs are likely to "catch" their owner's yawns. They're more likely to do it if it's a real yawn - they don't care as much about fake yawns, or about strangers doing it.

So, what's the big deal? Well, people who score high on empathy tests are more likely to mirror other's behavior - and mirror yawns - than people who aren't as empathetic. Scientists now think dogs' mirroring our behavior might point to an ability to empathize with us. While any dog lover might agree on their pooch's ability to share our emotion, society in general might soon have evidence.

~ Maria Sadowski

Thursday, August 8, 2013

PlexiDor bloggin'

The PlexiDor has been seen on some blogs this week, and more will follow. This is made possible through BlogPaws, who connected us with interested bloggers.

Image from libbyslibrary.com
Libby's Library made a fantastic review and video that I would have loved to share here, but I can't figure out how, so visit the page and enjoy "Who let the dogs out!"

Acme Canine wrote about it twice, from the perspective of the dog. It is an entertaining product test! They also made a Pinterest board with images.

Felissa Elfenbein wrote a guest blog for "Two Little Cavaliers" about the PlexiDor. She also made a fun Pinterest board, and this cool video!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The heat is on!

Summer is here! Long days on the beach, sunshine, and ice cream are parts of the vacation fun. What's wonderful for us isn't necessarily as nice for our four-legged friends, though. Here are some tips on how to keep pets out of the heat.

  • Keep an eye on the water bowl. You might need to refill it more often than usual.
  • Offer cool treats - like a chew toy with frozen peanut butter. 
  • Some dogs like to sit in front of a fan.
  • Never leave your pet in the car. 
  • Stay inside during the heat of the day. If you can't touch the asphalt with your hand or bare foot, it's too hot for the dog. Some breeds might also need doggie sunscreen.

Watch out for heatstroke. Symptoms include panting, lethargy, drooling, fever, vomiting, and collapse. If you think your dog might have heatstroke, go to the vet! Breeds with shorter noses, puppies, and senior dogs are more susceptible than others.

The below infograph comes from petfinder.com. They have many more tips on how to make summer enjoyable for both people and pets.


Signs-of-heatstroke-in-dogs


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

We are going to Barkworld in Atlanta, August 22-24

BarkWorld Expo is the national pet social media conference, established in 2009. The conference covers social media, lifestyle, and technology as it applies to pet owners and businesses. This year, PlexiDor Pet Doors will be there! 

The event takes place in Atlanta, GA, August 22-24. We will be at booth 3, and I hope to see you there! If you see a woman with dark hair bounce out from behind a booth to crawl around on the floor and greet doggies, odds are it's me.

~ Maria Sadowski

Monday, August 5, 2013

Rare Breed Monday: Otterhound

Image from listverse.com
(listverse.com/2007/11/20/top-10-rare-dog-breeds)
The Otterhound is a large and strong dog with rough double coat and webbed feet. They generally weigh between 80 and 120 pounds, and they are known to be tenacious once they pick up a scent.

These dogs are friendly and even-tempered, and the Otterhound is devoted to the family. They might still not be the best choice for families with children because of the size; their hunting instinct is extremely strong, and they're stubborn when it comes to following an interesting smell. They need more supervision outdoors than most breeds, and a child might not be a good choice for dog walker.

There are around 1000 Otterhounds in the world and only around 350 in North America.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Is your dog happy to see you?

I've never doubted that my dogs are happy to see me; each time I return to the house they rush towards the door and bounce on me with wagging tails. I might be mistaken of course, but I interpret that as "Hi mom! We've missed you, we're so glad you're home!"

Dogs are individuals, and some might not express themselves as clearly as my pack of extroverted Border Collies. A group of animal behavior specialists at Azabu University in Sagamihara, Japan, have studied facial expressions of dogs, hoping to chart the way dogs show emotion.

The idea is to track subtle signals. A dog parent might know their pooches inside out and be able to read them, but if there is a generic body language of dogs, everyone might benefit from understanding it.

According to the Atlantic Wire, the dogs in the study tended to move their right ear when presented with an object or person they didn't like.

When seeing a person they liked, the dogs lifted their left eyebrow. Interestingly, toys or food did not elicit this response. Only people.


I'm sure my dogs sometimes move their right ear and lift the left eyebrow at the same time. Not to mention moving the right ear while storming to the door to say welcome home. In order to really read dogs, we need to take the entire body language into account. However, even if the study isn't conclusive or finished, the fact that someone is attempting to study dogs' way of communication warms my heart.

~ Maria Sadowski

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dog of the month: Yellow Labrador

The Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed of dog registered in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. This Canadian breed is also the most popular choice for assistant dogs in a number of countries.

Labradors are typically athletic and love to swim; they even have webbed paws. They enjoy playing catch-and-retrieve games, and they're generally good with children. Many labradors work as guide dogs for the blind, and as police dogs.