Bites at Animal Planet

Dogs 101

1 Apr

Tokyo's Pet Rental Service Lets You Pay to Play with Dogs

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Photo: Avava/Veer

Dog Heart, the Japanese doggie daycare rental center, gives pet lovers the chance to "rent" pets. 

Full of beagles, toy poodles and one golden retriever (as of now), guests can come in and pay $8 to hang out with them. People can even take the pups for hour walks in the nearby Yoyogi Park starting at around $30, and going up from there for longer walks.

Since Tokyo is crowded and apartment space is limited, it can be hard for most Tokyoites to own pets. Owner Yukiko Tsuchiya, 50, says the Japanese capital needs her shop. 

"In the suburbs, it is easier to get in contact with dogs, but in Tokyo, there is a demand for a places like this... People bring their kids here, couples come for dates, men and women come on their own... and elderly people as well, because they feel too old to have a pet at home," Tsuchiya said.

Before renting dogs for walks you have to sign a waiver and then you're given appropriate supplies: water and poop bags. You can then begin the day with your new pup in Yoyogi Park! 

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25 Mar

D.C. Recruiting Border Collies to Scare Away Geese

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Photo: Thinkstock

Like a scarecrow protecting its crops from crows, that's what Washington D.C. has in store for border collies and its Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool.  

The National Park Service is recruiting collies under its goose harassment service, hoping to rid the area of an exceeding amount of goose poop, from our neighboring goose: the Canada goose. 

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Photo: Thinkstock

The Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool is especially in danger as the defecation "is leading to the degradation of the pool water... in and on [the] walkway near the pool," said the National Park Service in their note to Implement Environmentally Friendly Canada Goose Control.

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9 Mar

Irish Setter Dies After Dog Show, Feared Poisoned

After competing in a preliminary competition at the Crufts dog show, a 3-year-old Irish Setter became ill and passed away Friday shortly after returning home to Belgium.

Thendara Satisfaction, known as Jagger, placed second in his breed at the famous dog show, NBC News reports, then collapsed upon his return home. A veterinarian who performed a postmortem examination found poison-laced pieces of meat in the dog's stomach, CTV News reports.

"We are led to believe that there's no doubt the dog was maliciously poisoned," the dog's U.K.-based co-owner Dee Milligan-Bott told BBC radio on Monday. "We are all devastated."

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Milligan-Bott wrote, "We can't and we won't think that this was the act of another exhibitor, if we thought this we couldn't go on, and the last 30 years would be a complete waste. So I ask all of you to unite in finding the perpetrator who did this, And let's continue to produce and breed our gorgeous dogs who we are all so proud of."

Crufts' organizers, The Kennel Club, are awaiting the results of a toxicology test on the dog's death, which could take several days. Authorities in England and Belgium are aware of the situation, but have not yet been asked to investigate.

In a statement, The Kennel Club said it was "deeply shocked and saddened," but wouldn't be able to move forward until the results were in from the toxicology report.

Milligan-Bott also wrote on her Facebook page: "The timings from the autopsy make it clear the only place this could have been given to Jagger was while on his bench at Crufts."

She told "Dog World" that she believes another Irish Setter she owns, Thendara Pot Noodle, may have actually been the target of the alleged attack. The dog had just won best in breed at Crufts, while Jagger finished second in a preliminary competition.

Learn more about the Irish Setter breed:

4 Mar

Forget Superstitions: Black Cats (and Other animals) Could be Born Lucky

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Photos: Black Dog: m01229/Flickr; Black Cat: TraumTeufel666/Flickr

Toss your superstitions aside. It turns out that being a black cat or dog (or other animals) is actually incredibly lucky since it helps these animals live longer, new research shows.

Discovery News reports that the dark or black coloration in these animals stems from melanism, "or development of the dark-colored pigment melanin in the skin and its appendages (fur, hair, eyelashes, etc.)." However, it's still a mystery as to how or why melanism leads to better health.

"We don't know for certain," Gregory Barsh of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, co-author of the study that appeared in PLOS Genetics told Discovery News. "Factors such as foliage, humidity, temperature, and/or infectious agents are all possibilities, and could affect camouflage, resistance to heat or thermoregulation, or resistance to infections."

The dark-peppered moth is a great example of melanism working to help a species. The moth's coloring helps camouflage it from prey since it can blend in better with its surroundings.

For even more information on this story, we encourage you to visit the full article on Discovery News!

Learn more about black-furred dog and cat breeds in the videos below:

2 Mar

The Top 10 Most Popular U.S. Dog Breeds

America still loves its Labrador retrievers.

Labs have reigned as the nation's top dog last tear for the 24th year after breaking poodles' decades-old record in 2013, according to American Kennel Club rankings set to be released Thursday.

Bulldogs are climbing their way up the leader board to a new high - No. 4 - and their bat-eared cousins, French Bulldogs cracked the top 10 for the first time in nearly a century.

Bulldogs rise can link from their unmistakeable push-faced expressions and generally calm demeanor. The French Bulldog has also surged in popularity from 49th to 9th in a decade. Could appearances in movies, TV shows and advertising be the reason of their recent success?

German shepherds, golden retrievers and beagles are usual repeats, with Dachshunds slitting out of the top 10, to 11th.

The top spot is unmistakable. Labrador retrievers hit the top 10 in the 1970s and haven't left since.

10. Rottweiler

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9. French Bulldog

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18 Feb

Beagle Miss P Wins Westminster Best in Show

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Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Congrats to Miss P (registered as Tashtins Lookin For Trouble), who took home Westminster's top title, Best in Show.

The 4-year-old 15-inch beagle is the grand-niece of Uno, the first beagle to win the title in 2008, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"She never let me down. She didn't make any mistakes," her handler Will Alexander told the outlet.

Miss P is co-owned by Eddie Dziuk, who also co-owns Uno, and Lori Crandlemire and daughter Kaitlyn.

While there is no prize money for winning Westminster's top prize, winners earn prestige in dog show circles, plus potential for lucrative breeding rights. Miss P will also be quite busy today - appearing on morning talk shows, meeting with Donald Trump, a lunch date at Sardi's, and a small part in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots.

Want to learn more about beagles? Visit our Dog Breed Selector!

3 Nov

Dogs in Cars: Capturing Canine's Happiest Moments

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Chulo, Dapple Chiweenie (Lara Jo Regan)

What do dogs love almost as much as their best friend? We're guessing probably long car rides with their heads out the window, with the wind blowing through their fur. Photographer Lara Jo Regan captured these extreme moments of happiness in her new book Dogs in Cars, which you can purchase here. We've got a few photos as a sneak peek, though, and the book is not only adorable, but it also is a guaranteed way to make you smile as you see dogs in their purest form of happiness.

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Napoleon, Lulu and Stitch, Pugs (Lara Jo Regan)

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23 Oct

Which Breed is the 'Hot Dog'? New Book Tracks Data

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Click to see a higher-res version. Courtesy of HarperCollins

In addition to being animal lovers, most of us here at Animal Planet are creative types who find inspiration from a variety of places - the news, the Web, other TV, books - you name it! So when David McCandless's new book Knowledge is Beautiful came across our desks, we obviously geeked out.

Even greater was that McCandless's visually appealing infographics played to our animal-loving-side as well. We loved looking through his "Best in Show" graphic (shown above) to learn more about specific dog breeds. Using data that ranked dogs by popularity, intelligence, etc., McCandless was able to show which breeds come out on top, which ones are perhaps overlooked and others that were rightly ignored. It's an interesting look at how breeds "rank" compared to one another. Perhaps we can see about adding in his information to our Dog Breed Selector...

To see more of McCandless's beautiful infographics, check out his blog. You can also purchase your own copy here.

Learn more about the Border Collie, the "Hot Dog!" in the above infographic, below!

14 Jul

Together Counts Want You and Your Pets to Have a Healthy Summer

The Together Countstm program helps children and families maintain an active, healthy lifestyle through energy balance: balancing the calories you consume with the calories you burn.  Energy In and Energy Out – It’s as simple as that!

However, it isn’t just people that need to be active and healthy: our pets need to be as well. It’s a classic example of treat others as you would like to be treated! Our pets are our best friends and we need to keep them in the best shape possible. Apl-together-counts-kids-dogs-field-500w

But it isn’t always easy! How much exercise does a dog need? How much exercise does a cat need? Why are there so many different kinds of food? What’s the benefit of dry food vs. wet? All of these questions seem impossible to answer. Well, we are here to help with our many guides about pet health and the best ways to care for your pet while also caring for yourself. Check out some of our guides now to get started on optimizing your pet’s health!

Check our Facebook page every Monday for tips and activities to keep you and your pet healthy. Make sure to tag your pics and progress with #movemondays! We know how hard it is to motivate yourself on Mondays, especially in the summer, but with your workout buddy (or buddies) and a little push from us, both of you will be active and balancing your energy in no time!

Check out the Together Counts website for more information about how you and your family can lead active and healthy lifestyles this summer.

10 Jul

Celebrities Love Their Pets, Too!

We are all ferociously dedicated to our pets and celebrities are no exception. Yes, they are busy with filming and concerts and promoting their newest endeavours, but they will always have time for their pets! Check out some of the stars and the newest additions to their families!

Pop Star Lady Gaga and her French Bulldog, Asia:

One thing is for sure: Lady Gaga is obsessed with the newest addition to the Little Monsters family. Her French Bulldog puppy, Asia, has dominated her Instagram and Facebook pages since she got her in late April. And why wouldn't she?? Just look at that face. 

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Welcome to the Bites @ Animal Planet, where you can connect with the people who bring Animal Planet to life. Find out what's in the works here at Animal Planet, share your feedback with the team and see what's getting our attention online and in the news.

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