Even though this may be more marketing than science, we can’t help but like the results of this experiment in Australia.
Researchers, in an experiment funded by Pedigree, found that not only do our heart rates lower when we and our pets are together (as everybody knows by now), but they begin to mirror one another.
True, only three dogs and owners were involved in the study. True, the main interest of the company that sponsored it is to sell dog food. And true, what’s new about their findings — how closely the heart rates align — is probably of more poetic than practical use.
But still … It’s good to have a little science (if it can be called that) confirm our feelings of being in sync with our dogs.
In the experiment, three Australian dog owners separated, and then reunited with their pet in a staged but homey setting to see what kind of effect they had on each other’s heart rate.
Both dogs and owners were equipped with heart monitors.
“There was a really strong coherence in the heart rate pattern of both the owner and dog. Upon being reunited within the first minute, each heart rhythm became almost directly aligned and we saw a reduction straight away,” Mia Cobb, canine scientist and demonstration co-conductor told The Huffington Post Australia.
“This project is a really good illustration of what most owners experience every night when they come home from work and are reunited with their companion,” she added.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 4th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: align, aligned, alignment, animals, australia, beating, benefits, dog, dogs, experiment, health, heart, heart rate, heart rates, heartbeat, human, in sync, lower, owners, pedigree, pets, science, stress, study
We’re not recommending you do, and we’re not recommending you don’t. We’re only taking a quick look at the subject because, pure and innocent an act as hugging your dog might seem, it is not without controversy.
Stanley Coren, author of many dog books, stirred up a little of it in his column this month for Psychology Today, citing “new data” that shows getting hugged raises the stress and anxiety levels of dogs, and the possibilities of someone getting bitten.
Some people who have been hugging their dogs for years (and insist their dogs enjoy the affection) found his conclusions laughable, labeled him a party-pooping old fuddy duddy, and said his research techniques were anything but scientific.
We’d agree only with that last part — because Coren’s “new data” was gathered by looking at 250 random photos on the Internet of people hugging dogs.
“I can summarize the data quite simply by saying that the results indicated that the Internet contains many pictures of happy people hugging what appear to be unhappy dogs,” he wrote.
“In all, 81.6% of the photographs researchers scored showed dogs who were giving off at least one sign of discomfort, stress, or anxiety. Only 7.6% of the photographs could rate as showing dogs that were comfortable with being hugged. The remaining 10.8% of the dogs either were showing neutral or ambiguous responses to this form of physical contact.
That’s when you can see the white portion of the eyes.
Here’s the problem, though — or one of them, anyway. How does Coren, or anybody else, know that the dogs pictured are stressing out because of the hug. Couldn’t it also be a reaction to WHO is hugging them? Or a reaction to the camera?
The simple fact is some dogs like being hugged, some tolerate it, and others don’t like it at all.
For the latter group, it might be the amount of pressure applied during a hug that they are reacting to — enough to make them feel restrained. It might be that hugs tend to be spontaneous and come out of nowhere.
Then, too, mood could be a factor. Sometimes dogs, and humans, feel like being hugged and sometimes they don’t.
There are just too many variables to make a sweeping conclusion — especially when it’s all based on what photos turn up in your Internet search and your subjective interpretation of those photos.
Hard to read emotions through that many wrinkles, but he seems to be digging it.
We’d agree with the experts who say hugging a dog you don’t know or have just met is not a good idea — and that children should be taught that early on.
But beyond that, we’d be hesitant to put the kibosh on dog hugging altogether, especially when it’s based on Flickr’ed or Facebook’ed photos posted by dog owners wanting to show how much they love their dogs — whether their dogs like it or not.
In this writer’s life, he has been creeped out by some hugs, tolerated others, found some both warm and comforting, and gotten truly enthused by a few.
Probably, some old photos exist of him showing half moon eyes while being squeezed by his big sister.
Does that mean he doesn’t like hugs?
Of course not. He just prefers to make the decision on a case by case basis. Dogs should have that freedom, too.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 26th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: affection, animals, behavior, dog, dogs, emotions, health, hug, hugging, hugging your dog, hugs, internet, interpreting, mood, pets, photographs, photos, psychology today, safety, stanley coren
A man’s daring rescue of a dog hanging out the balcony window of a 13th floor apartment in Bogota, Colombia, was caught on video.
The video was posted earlier this week on the Facebook page of Love for the Animals, an animal rights group in Bogota.
The dog, named Luna, had apparently gotten stuck between the rails that covered the window, with most of her body hanging out the window.
Luna’s owner wasn’t home so the only way to get to reach her was from the outside.
Diego Andrés Dávila Jimenez first tried to use a broom to push the dog back inside, while leaning out the window of an apartment one floor below. When that didn’t work he climbed one story up the face of the building as a crowd below watched and shouted encouragement to him.
“People on the ground were screaming. They had a mattress out just in case,” said Jimenez, according to The Dodo. “The truth is, I did not think about the dire consequences. I did not look down.”
Jiminez climbed up the building, over the rails and into the apartment, then pulled the dog to safety.
“When I had Luna in my hands and looked down, a thousand thoughts flew through my mind,” Jimenez said. “My girlfriend was a little upset, yelling at me ‘You stay there! Do not climb back down!'”
When Luna’s owner came home and found out what happed, “she was in tears,” Jiminez said. “She is very grateful, because she just adores that dog.”
Posted by John Woestendiek April 20th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 13 stories, 13th floor, amor por los animales, animals, apartment, balcony, bogota, building, climb, climbed, colombia, dangling, daring, Diego Andrés Dávila Jimenez, dog, hanging, health, hero, high rise, luna, pets, railing, rescue, safety, saved, video, window
A survey conducted for Milk-Bone says more Americans than ever are including their dogs in their New Year’s resolutions.
To which dogs, could they respond, would probably do so with a sarcastic “Gee, thanks.”
But fret not canines. Putting you on a diet ranks all the way down at nine in the top 10 list, and the most popular resolutions are mainly ones dogs would wholeheartedly support.
And keep it mind, we humans hardly ever carry out our resolutions, anyway.
Three thousand pet owners were surveyed, and the most popular resolutions were:
1. I will spend more time with my dog. (52%)
2. I will help my dog to have better health and wellness. (42%)
3. I will take my dog on more trips with me. (34%)
4. I will brush my dog’s teeth regularly. (31%)
5. I will help my dog get essential vitamins and nutrients.(30%)
6. I will help my dog become less anxious and stressed. (29%)
7. I won’t feed my dog food from the dinner table. (25%)
8. I won’t leave my dog home alone for quite so long. (23%)
9. I will help my pet lose weight. (21%)
10. I will take my dog to dog training class. (15%)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 31st, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attention, canine, diet, dog, dogs, happy new yea, health, milk-bone, new year, new year's resolutions, new years, pets, resolutions, survey, time
Rowdy has been poisoned by river water and shot by police officers, but it’s a far less threatening skin condition that gives the 13-year-old black Lab his unique look
Rowdy has vitiligo, a disease whose most famous victim was Michael Jackson. In Rowdy’s case, it causes him to lose color in different patches on his body.
“He’s like our own little celebrity around town,” Rowdy’s owner, Tim Umbenhower told KPTV. “Everybody loves to stop us and wonder what we did to him or if we painted it on there.”
Umbenhower and his wife Niki, who livein Canby, Oregon, say Rowdy survived poisoning by river water and had to have his stomach pumped.
He was also once accidentally shot by police during what they thought was a burglary.
Niki, on her Facebook page, mentions the possibility of appearing on The Ellen Show and in a movie — and while she might just be joking, stranger things have happened.
(Photos: Niki Beiser Umbenhower’s Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 18th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, black lab, canby, condition, disease, dog, dogs, health, labrador, mask, michael jackson, patches, pets, retriever, rowdy, skin, skin condition, veterinary, vitiglio, washington
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a device that allows blind people to better monitor the health and well-being of their guide dogs.
The researchers are fine tuning a vibrating harness that monitor a dog’s breathing and heart rate and shares the information with the dog’s handler, according to NC State News.
“Our goal is to let guide dog handlers know when their dogs are stressed or anxious,” said Sean Mealin, a Ph.D. student at NC State and lead author of a paper describing the technology.
Mealin is blind and works with his own guide dog, Simba.
“This is important because it is widely believed that stress is a significant contributing factor to early retirement of guide dogs and other service animals,” Mealin said. “The technology may also be able to help handlers detect other health problems, such as symptoms of heat exhaustion.”
The researchers developed a specialized handle, equipped with two vibrating motors, that attaches to a guide dog’s harness.
When the dog’s heart rate increases, so does the rate at which the motor beats.
The second motor is embedded in the handle near the handler’s pinky finger, and vibrates in synch with the dog’s breathing. The vibration increases and decreases in intensity, to simulate the dog breathing in and out.
“Dogs primarily communicate through their movements and posture, which makes it difficult or impossible for people who are blind to fully understand their dogs’ needs on a moment-to-moment basis,” said David Roberts, an assistant professor of computer science at NC State and co-author of the paper.
“This challenge is particularly pronounced in guide dogs, who are bred and trained to be outwardly calm and avoid drawing attention to themselves in public.”
The paper, “Towards the Non-Visual Monitoring of Canine Physiology in Real-Time by Blind Handlers,” was presented yesterday at the Second International Congress on Animal Computer Interaction, in Johor, Malaysia.
(Photos: NC State News)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 17th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beat, blind, breath, breathing, device, dog, dogs, guide dogs, harness, health, heart rate, monitor, motors, north carolina state university, pets, pulse, sean mealin, technology, vibrations
According to the FDA, Salix Animal Health has expanded its earlier recall of Good ‘n’ Fun Beefhide Chicken Sticks.
The initial recall pertained only to the lot in which Salmonella was discovered during sampling by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
Now, the company, out of what it calls an abundance of caution, is recalling other lots made around the same time.
The recalled Good ‘n’ Fun – Beefhide Chicken Sticks were distributed nationwide to Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar retail stores. The recalled product is packaged in a 2.8 ounce bag stamped on the back side with an item code number of 82247 and with an expiration date ranging from 02/2018 to 07/2018.
Salmonella can affect animals eating the product and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated products.
Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.
No other Salix product is affected by the recall. Customers who have purchased the recalled product are urged to dispose of it or return it for full refund.
For more information, contact Salix Animal Health’s consumer affairs team at 1-800-338-4896.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 27th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beefhide chicken sticks, chicken, chicken sticks, chicken treats, contamination, dog, dog treats, dogs, dollar general, dollar store, dollar tree, family dollar, fda, good 'n' fun, good n'fun, health, pets, recall, safety, salix, salix animal health, salmonella, snack, treats, voluntary, warning