While there’s much to scoff at when it comes to the industry that has blossomed around bidding farewell to our dead pets — especially those that promise life after death — I’m not quite ready to scoff at this idea.
In fact, I may even like the concept of turning your deceased dog into a tree.
But just so you can be sure I’m not shilling for the company behind this product, I would point out that you could probably do the same thing with your dog’s ashes without a special, fertilizer filled, biodegradable, $90 “Geos” urn.
The Geos urn — one of four offered by a company called Limbo Zoo — is designed to hold a pet’s ashes and serve as the medium in which a seedling (you supply it) can grow into a tree.
“The nutrients that conform this handcrafted earth-made urn combine with those of the fertile ashes to form a beautiful tree,” says the website.
The company also offers the “Nu” urn, which is made of sea salt and designed for burials at sea, and the “Samsara” urn, made of fine sand and designed for burials in fresh water, like a lake or river.
The urns are advertised as an environmentally responsible alternative and billed as both “durable,” and “biodegradable.” They’re designed to stay intact for a while, and then disintegrate over time.
The company is headquartered in Spain, and the urns are made there, but they have a U.S. distributor in Texas.
The Geos urns are made from a hardened organic compost and mineral soil bound with natural plant extracts. None of the urns include any animal products.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ashes, biodegradable, burial, compost, cremains, cremated, cremation, death, dog, funeral, geos, grieving, growth, industry, lake, life after death, limbo zoo, new life, nu, nutrients, ocean, pet, pet death, product, river, samsara, sand, sea, sea salt, seedling, tree, urns, water
A company whose candy you’ll probably be handing out next week announced the introduction today of a genetic diversity test, aimed at allowing dog breeders to lessen the chances of bringing unhealthy pups into the world.
“Optimal Selection,” despite its somewhat eugenic-sounding name, is a first-of-its-kind tool that actually seeks to broaden the gene pool of various breeds, and thereby avoid the kind of purebred health problems that have become too common as a result of inbreeding closely related dogs.
With the new test from Mars Veterinary, a division of Mars Inc., breeders will be able to select the physical and behavioral traits that are important to them, then, through a DNA test on the blood of potential mates, compare chromosomal similarities and differences.
Based on those results, Mars said in a press release, “the breeder is given the opportunity to diversify the genetic makeup of their puppies and reduce the risk of recessive medical conditions.”
A story (written by me) on those risks and problems, and how, as an issue, they’ve never seemed to reach a tipping point in the American public consciousness, appears in the current issue of The Bark.
Pet products and tests are not new ground for Mars. In addition to pet foods (Pedigree, Whiskas, Sheba, Cesar and Royal Canin), Mars Veterinary was one of the pioneers in doggie DNA testing, coming out with a test to determine what breeds are in a dog, and later with tests to verify the heritage of purebreds and designer dogs.
For mutts, Mars Veterinary offers both a swab-based mixed breed test, called Wisdom Panel Insights, and a blood based test, Wisdom Panel Professional. The company says those tests can help predict a dog’s future health problems, based upon the breeds that are in him.
With the Optimal Selection test, though, Mars seems to have stepped beyond appeasing dog owner curiosity to actually addressing the kind of health problems that inbreeding has led to — from bulldogs with heads too big to be born naturally to spaniels whose brains outgrow their skulls.
“For centuries, dedicated breeders have worked to improve the temperament, conformation, and health of their purebred dogs,” their press release says. “However, this can cause a decrease in genetic diversity leaving the breeding community to contend with concerns such as smaller litter size, puppy mortality, and other health issues, in addition to a negative consumer perception around breeding practices.”
The analysis provided by Optimal Selection ($95) uses a scoring system based on the compatibility of the chromosomes of potential mates.
“We have leveraged our extensive knowledge of the genetic structures across breeds to closely examine the DNA of dogs within each breed and help owners take their breeding programs to the next level,” said Dr. Angela Hughes, Veterinary Genetics Research Manager at Mars Veterinary.
“Optimal Selection has the potential to transform dog breeding so that the genetic diversity within a breed or family line can be protected and maximized,” she added.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, breeders, canine, chromosomes, designer dogs, diseases, diversity, dna, dogs, genetic, health, health problems, hybrids, inbreeding, linebreeding, mars, mars veterinary, mates, mating, maximize, mixed breeds, mutts, optimal selection, pets, practices, product, purebred, test, wisdom panel
We love repurposing. It’s so much more fun than recycling. Tossing cans, paper, etc., in a bin and hauling it to the curb — while we all should do it — is a bit of a chore.
But giving an object a whole new reason to exist, a whole new life, that’s an achievement.
That’s one of the reasons we like this whisky crate dog feeder — the first item to be spotlighted in ohmidog’s “Pick of the Litter,” in which we will feature every month a dog-related product we find particularly cool.
Said item will, for a fee, be showcased at the top of our leftside rail for an entire month. That is where we normally keep our paid advertisements. But we’ll also — to allow you to see it a little better and learn more – do a post about it, like the one your reading now.
If your dog has any legs at all (sorry, corgis), he or she should probably be using an elevated feeder. If you don’t believe me, try eating from a bowl on the floor, or even on the table. The stress it puts on your neck and joints — for you or your dog — is significant.
Many elevated dog feeders are boring affairs, such as my dog Ace’s, which is made of gray plastic and resembles something between a UFO and the creature that might come out of one.
This one, available at Forloveofadog.com, is made out of genuine vintage Black & White Scotch Whisky pine crates from Glasgow, Scotland.
Foam gaskets have been applied to stabilize the dog bowls and protect the storage compartment that’s inside.
We see only one downside — the scotch is not included.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertisers, advertising, animals, black & white, cool stuff, dog feeder, dogs, elevated, feeder, for love of a dog, glasgow, link, marketing, ohmidog!, pets, pick, pick of the litter, product, products, recycling, repurposing, scotch, scotland, sponsors, sponsorships, text link, whiskey, whisky, whisky crate
(Warning: This video contains disturbing images and profanity.)
A North Carolina grand jury has returned indictments for 14 felony counts of cruelty to animals against four workers at a private research laboratory in North Carolina.
PETA, which first brought to light abuses at Professional Laboratory Research Services (PLRS), said the indictments mark the first time in U.S. history that laboratory workers have faced felony cruelty charges for their abuse of animals in a laboratory.
PLRS was the subject of a PETA undercover investigation last fall.
Those indicted were Mary Ramsey, who had been employed as a PLRS supervisor, and Jessica Detty, who were each charged with five counts, and Christine Clement and Tracy Small, who were each indicted on two counts.
The accused, PETA says, are among those caught on the video above, kicking, throwing, and dragging dogs; hoisting rabbits by their ears and puppies by their throats; slamming cats into cages; and screaming obscenities at animals.
One of those named is the worker seen trying to rip out a cat’s claws by pulling the animal from the fence onto which he or she clung, PETA said.
The state charges follow extensive citations by federal officials for violations of animal welfare laws. The lab was closed last year, and more than 200 dogs and 50 cats were surrendered.
For nine months, a PETA investigator worked undercover inside the facility, located in Gates County, in rural northeastern North Carolina.
PLRS tested insecticides and other chemicals used in companion-animal products for Bayer, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Schering-Plough (now Merck), Sergeant’s, Wellmark, and Merial.
The PETA investigation found that toxicity tests were just part of what the animals endured. Laboratory workers cursed at animals, used pressure hoses to spray water (as well as bleach and other harsh chemicals) on them; and dragged dogs through the facility.
Dogs at PLRS spent years in cages, either to be used repeatedly in tests or to be kept infested with worms for some future study, PETA says.
To cut costs, PETA says, PLRS killed nearly 100 cats, rabbits, and dogs. The company had decided that some of these animals’ six daily cups of food were too expensive.
PETA says the case is only the second criminal prosecution in the U.S. of laboratory workers for animal cruelty. The first also stemmed from a PETA investigation — that of the infamous Silver Spring Monkeys in 1981.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuses, animal cruelty, animal research, animals, cats, charges, chemicals, christine clement, dogs, drug companies, drugs, experiments, felony, gates county, grand jury, indictments, jessica detty, lab, lab workers, laboratory, mary ramsey, north carolina, peta, pets, plrs, product, professional laboratory research services, rabbits, research, testing, toxicity, tracy small, undercover, veterinary, video, workers
A dog collar that will allow pet owners to map their pets’ location on their computer or other wireless devices will soon be hitting the market, Apisphere, Inc. and AT&T announced.
“The dog collar, with an embedded wireless SIM, will leverage Apisphere’s award winning geo-mobility platform to transmit location-aware data across AT&T’s nationwide wireless network directly to a pet owner’s wireless handset or personal computer,” according to an AT&T press release
In other words, what the communications company is saying, I think, is that the new gizmo will tell you where your dog is.
Apisphere is a provider of “location-smart technologies” for mobile applications and devices.
Pet owners who use the technology will be instructed to register their pets and important contacts as soon as they attach the collar. Owners may establish a “geo-fence” around the home where the pet can roam freely. Through the technology, owners can locate their dog if he strays outside of his established parameters.
Apisphere software will transmit street level data for easy pet location. Owners will have the option to program text, email, video or audio alerts, to be distributed as often as they like.
“There are few things as important to my daughter as knowing the whereabouts of our dog,” said Glenn Lurie, president, AT&T Emerging Devices, Resale and Partnerships. “The peace of mind that a wirelessly connected collar will bring my family and pet owners across the country is long overdue. We’re extremely excited about this product and its possibilities.”
Pricing, distribution, and design details of the collar will be made available at launch, expected later this year.
(Art: From Peterclarkcollage.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 24th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, apisphere, applications, at&t, collage, collar, communications, computer, devices, dog, dogs, inc., launch, location, lost, map, news, ohmidog!, peter clark, pets, product, software, stray, tracking, wireless
It pains me to report that the PooTrap, a strap-on device that catches your dog’s poop before it hits the ground, is not a comedy bit, but a real product.
Its website, pootrapusa.com doesn’t seem to be working right now, which I hope isn’t a result of high demand for the device, because it’s downright silly. I’m not certain dogs can feel embarassment, but if they can’t, a few hours in one of these get ups should do the trick.
Other than its possible use on an ill dog, ala diapers, the PooTrap, gets our nomination, sight unseen (other than in the video) for the dump.
A look at the website’s FAQs, as reported by Crunchgear.com, indicates the makers of PooTrap aren’t real knowledgeable about dogs, or the English language:
Posted by jwoestendiek August 27th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: catcher, catches, device, diapers, dog, dogs, environment, feces, harness, pollution, poo, poop, pootrap, pootrapusa, product, scoop, shit, strap-on, technology, video, waste
We don’t usually run advertisements for free on ohmidog!, so don’t bother asking. But there was just something about this one I came across while trolling YouTube.
Curt Fournier, of GreenDog LLC, is ready to start marketing the “PowerLoo,” an outdoor, flushable toilet for dog waste.
It lists at $1,000 a unit, which I’m assuming includes the required tie-in to your home’s water and sewer lines.
The PowerLoo works just like an indoor toilet. It sits mostly below ground level and taps into sewer lines that lead to waste treatment centers. An optional heating unit to prevent freezing is available for colder climates, according to the Detroit Free Press.
You can view a commercial for the product at the PowerLoo website.
Fournier and his fiancée and business partner, Victoria Januszewski, say their product provides a solution to the environmental and health problems associated with dog poop. It’s set to launch next month.
“Both the Centers for Disease Control and Environmental Protection Agency say pet waste should be flushed down a toilet, but up until this point, there was really no safe or convenient way to do so. Carrying dog poop into your house can be unsafe, and not to mention gross,” Januszewski said.
“Vicki and I were getting tired of cleaning up the mess left by our two dogs and thought that being able to flush it down a toilet in the backyard would make things easier,” Fournier said.
Of course — unless you train your dog to do it – you still have to pick up the poop, carry it to the PowerLoo, open it and flush (both of which can be done with your foot), but otherwise, the company literature boasts, disposal of dog waste is “hands-free.”
“There are 75 million dogs in the U.S., and each produces, on average, one pound of waste per day,” Fournier said. “Most of it is either left on the ground, where it is exposed to humans and has the potential to contaminate water sources, or it gets thrown away in a plastic bag and ends up taking up space in a landfill.”
GreenDog expects to produce 500 PowerLoos in 2009. In addition to homeowners, the company hopes to market the PowerLoo to dog breeders, doggy day care centers and pet-friendly apartment complexes.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 24th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: company, curt fournier, dog, dogs, feces, flushable, greendog, hands-free, mess, new, outdoor, poop, powerloo, product, sewer, system, toilet, victoria januszewski, waste
The pet products retailer said the affected products contain peanut paste made by Peanut Corp. of America, whose Blakely, Georgia facility is currently the focus of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration salmonella probe.
PetSmart said it is not aware of any cases of illness related to the dog biscuits, and was conducting the recall as a precautionary measure.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 20th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alert, biscuits, customer service, dog biscuits, exchange, fda, grreat choice, news, ohmidog!, peanut paste, pet food, petsmart, product, recall, refund, return, salmonella, treats, voluntary