The Signals Dogs Use to Tell Us What They Want

A study published in the journal Animal Cognition has identified multiple “signals” dogs use to indicate when they want our attention.

Signals are defined as requests made with an object and/or a part of the body.  They also need to be directed at an individual and repeated.

After studying dozens of potential canine signals, the researchers identified 19 that clearly indicated specific requests.  The most common were related to going outside, getting food, drink or a toy, and wanting to be scratched.

Common signals include pawing at something (or someone), jumping up, and turning the head between a person and a desired object.  Many dogs will also pick their toys up and toss them a short distance or give a gentle “chomp” on a person’s arm.

How does your best friend get your attention?!

You can read the full article HERE and watch a brief video on the study from National Geographic here:



Noise-Cancelling Kennel a New Option for Sensitive Pets

Is your pet upset by loud noises like fireworks or thunderstorms?  There will soon be a new high-tech option to consider in addition to tranquilizers and calming coats…

The Ford Motor Company has taken its noise-cancelling technology to the dogs!  Ford has developed a prototype kennel that is designed to provide your pet with a quiet haven when things get a little too loud.

According to an article in The Verge, the kennel uses a combination of noise-cancelling technology, cork, and an automatic door.

In cars, noise-cancelling technology works by picking up sounds like engine noise, and then uses speakers to play sounds in the opposite frequency to cancel them out.

The article notes that because dogs have much more sensitive hearing than humans, developing an effective kennel is a challenge.

While the prototype is not available for sale yet, you can watch a video about the kennel now!


Holiday Pet Safety Tips from the AVMA

Are you keeping your pets safe this holiday season?  Lots of tempting food and decorations around the house could lead to an unexpected holiday visit to the vet!

Here are a few common-sense holiday pet safety tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Certain people foods are toxic or unhealthy for our dogs and cats.  Make sure these popular holiday food items are out of reach:

  • Chocolate, sweets, and baked goods (the artificial sweetener xylitol is toxic to dogs)
  • Turkey skin and bones
  • Onions, raisins, nuts, and grapes
  • Alcohol
  • Raw yeast dough

Some holiday decorations can pose health hazards to pets, including:

  • Unsecured Christmas trees (and Christmas tree water that contains additives)
  • Tinsel, lights, and ornaments
  • Flowers and plants (including amaryllis, mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias)
  • Potpourri and lit candles

Here’s a cute infographic on holiday pet dangers from the AVMA that you can keep as a reminder!