by Michael d'Estries, Mother Nature Network
Is your dog a couch potato in desperate need of some quality television programming while you're at work? If you and your four-legged friend happen to live in the San Diego area, you're in luck.
DOGTV, the nation's first cable network dedicated solely to viewers with a penchant for bones and kibble, has recently launched. Co-founder and chief content creator Ron Levi says the goal of the channel is to "provide companionship for dogs and reduce stress caused by an owner's absence."
Related: The dog that ate 100 rocks, and other tales of odd edibles
"A lot of people laugh and think it's funny or a gimmick," Levi told MSNBC. "But then we explain the research and the science behind it. This is a great opportunity to makes dogs happier and their lives more pleasant while they are home alone during the day."
DOGTV not only features programming shot from the point-of-view of man's best friends, but also in colors they can see best (yellow,
Blog Posts by Mother Nature Network (mnn.com)
by Michael d'Estries, Mother Nature NetworkRead More »from First Cable Network for Dogs Launched
By Matt Hickman, Mother Nature Network
"Slumdog Millionaire." "Dog Day Afternoon." "Children of a Lesser Dog." Over the years, more than a couple of films with "dog" in the title (OK, maybe not that last one) have emerged as Oscar heavyweights, but none, alas, has actually featured pooches in prominent roles. For shame! 2011 was a bit different for cinematic canines, however, as a handful of (non-dog-titled) films in the running for different awards including Best Picture do indeed co-star adorable and talented four-legged thesps. And as you've probably heard, there's been a campaign for one of these fine performers, Uggie the Jack Russell terrier, to receive an honorary statuette on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' big night on Feb. 26. Just a hunch but unless Björk or Cher circa 1986 show up, we think we know who's going to garner all the attention on the red carpet.
Scroll down to learn more about the top dogs appearing in three of 2011's most celebratedRead More »from Dogs that Deserve an Academy Award
by Matt Hickman, Mother Nature NetworkRead More »from 7 Drool-worthy Designer Doghouses
After taking a good look at the competition showing at the 2011 Barkitecture doghouse design-off in Austin, Texas, we got around to thinking: What other doggy domiciles out there give new meaning to the phrase "creature comforts?"
Turns out, there are plenty. From tricked-out canine crash pads costing a quarter of a million dollars to eco-friendly backyard kennels with presidential pedigrees to celebrity-owned menagerie manses, the designer doghouse trend is apparently here to "stay" despite the trying economic climate. Sure, a couple of these featured doghouses cost more than the average American home (!) while others were built for significantly less using reclaimed/recycled materials and plenty of architectural flair.
Whatever you do, don't let your own pooch get a glimpse of this article. Otherwise, you'll have Princess Fluffybutt begging you not for a bacon-flavored treat but for a bespoke English cottage complete with central air and a
By Morieka Johnson, Mother Nature Network
Known for their courage and loyalty, German shepherds consistently rank among the most popular breeds in the United States. A dog named Rin Tin Tin also helped solidify German shepherds as a household favorite. Before prized pooches hit the show ring for Westminster Kennel Club's annual dog show on Feb. 13, we offer a little primer on German shepherds.
Originally bred as farm dogs, German shepherds gained popularity in the late 1800s due to their intelligence and striking features. Captain Max von Stephanitz of Germany is credited with registering the first German shepherd in 1899, and breed standards maintained an emphasis on intelligence. As Germany transitioned from farming to manufacturing, von Stephanitz found that the dogs served as capable police dogs. German shepherds also were recruited to serve as guards, messengers and trackers during the war.
U.S. soldiers returned to the states with stories of theRead More »from Meet the German Shepherd
By Stephanie Rogers, Mother Nature Network
Cold, whipping winds and dry indoor heat join forces in the winter to deprive your skin of its moisture, leaving you with scales, flakes, more visible wrinkles, itching and discomfort. Severe cases can even cause painful cracking and eruptions of skin rashes like eczema. Heavy moisturizing creams can help, but there are plenty of other ways in which you can keep your skin soft and supple during the coldest months of the year. Learn how to fix dry winter skin with these eight simple tips.
Moisture doesn't just make your skin look younger and healthier, it provides a protective barrier. When this barrier is stripped, you're more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections as well as friction that can cause irritation and further drying. Aside from environmental changes, factors like age, genetics, smoking, health conditions and hot showers can contribute to dryness. Areas of the body with the fewest oil glands, like the lowerRead More »from Smart Tips for Fixing Dry Winter Skin
zBy Morieka Johnson, Mother Nature Network
Cat eating grass
Cat-proofing your home can be a challenge, especially when frisky felines get access to every nook and cranny of the house. Start by limiting access to stringy items such as dental floss, shoelaces or yarn that can get caught in a cat's intestinal system. It also pays to remove toxic items from your home, particularly plants. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA.org) operates a poison control hotline (1-888-426-4435) that handles more than 160,000 calls each year for accidental poisoning. Many of the calls involve consuming potentially toxic plants. According to the ASPCA, these are the most toxic plants to cats. (You can find a full list with photos at ASPCA.org).
[ Related: What would happen if all the world's cats vanished? ]
Lilies (Lilium sp.): Easter lilies, stargazers and Oriental varieties can cause vomiting, severe kidney failure and death. If your cat ingests any part of a plant from theRead More »from Beware of These Plants! They're Toxic to Cats
By Chanie Kirschner, Mother Nature Network
Q: I was recently at a concert with my husband and had to take a potty break at intermission. The crowd at the arena was, shall we say, a bit grungy (it wasn't exactly a James Taylor concert, if you know what I mean). I've thought about this before, of course, but the thought crossed my mind again that night while I was hovering over the toilet seat. What diseases can you catch from public restrooms, and more specifically, public toilets?
A: Like many people, I get the heebie-jeebies from public bathrooms. When I'm roadtripping, I'll hold it in for miles to avoid having to go at some nondescript gas station bathroom that requires a key to unlock (What exactly do they think we're stealing from there anyway? Toilet paper? Do they think we're going to rip the air dryer off the wall?). And don't even get me started on what might be lurking on the key itself (shudder).
So what exactly can you catch from a public bathroom? Well, aRead More »from What Can I Do to Avoid Germs in Public Restrooms?
By Laura Moss, Mother Nature Network
Harry Potter's headaches have finally been diagnosed - not by a healer at St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, but by a regular old muggle doctor.
It seems the world's favorite boy wizard doesn't suffer from migraines as leading headache specialist Dr. Fred Sheftell suggested in 2007, but from nummular headaches. In the article "Harry Potter and the Curse of Headache," Sheftell diagnosed Harry with migraines, noting that the boy wizard didn't have headaches prior to the age of 11, a common age of onset for primary headache disorders. However, Sheftell acknowledged that Harry's attacks didn't quite meet all the criteria for migraines.
[Related: What exactly is a headache?]
Now, Dr. Matthew Robbins, an assistant professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, says that Harry's intermittent stabbing head pains are nummular headaches. This type of headache has only recently been identified, andRead More »from Doctor Diagnoses Harry Potter's Headache Problem
- Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) | Pets – Tue, Feb 7, 2012 2:38 PM EST
By John Platt, Mother Nature NetworkRead More »from Four Breeds that Have Never Won the Westminster Dog Show
When this year's Westminster Kennel Club dog show convenes at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 13, a record 186 breeds will be competing for the coveted "best in show" award.
But while somewhat obscure breeds like the Scottish deerhound and Kerry blue terrier have taken home recent trophies, many popular breeds have never earned the top prize, according to Pets Adviser.
Take the Labrador retriever, for example. The most popular breed in America for more than a decade, the lab has never won "best in show" in the more than 90 years since the breed was first recognized. It has come close though, most recently placing fourth in 2009 and 2010. Last year's top lab, Kaltrav Caribbean Cruise, won "best of breed" and is currently out to stud. Maybe one of his progeny will be a future winner.
[Related: Meet 6 breeds making their debut at Westminster]
Another popular breed, the golden retriever, has done even worse than the lab, with only three near-misses
By Morieka Johnson, Mother Nature Network
Boxers consistently rank among the top 10 breeds in the United States, but how much do you really know about these four-legged athletes? The annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show kicks off Feb. 13 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Here's a primer on the boxy breed before the show begins.
These cute and cuddly pooches were bred to help hunters in Germany during the 19th century. Strong and athletic, the dogs were bred to run up to 20 miles, then use that infamous underbite to catch and hold their prey until hunters arrived. True to the name, boxers actually do stand on their hind legs and bat their front paws.
"Get two boxers together that like each other and eventually they will get up on their hind legs and they will box; that's the way they play into their old age," says championship breeder Judy Boran of Strawberry Boxers in Arizona.
[ Related: 7 incredibly loyal dogs ]
AppearanceRead More »from Meet the Boxer