Cat wins fishing app champion title

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This past year, people have spent more time at home than ever before, and while humans have been honing their gaming skills, so have cats.

Enzo the cat playing with app

Enzo, the first ‘Friskies Cat Fishing Champion,’ playing the updated Friskies app, Cat Fishing 2. The game designed specifically for cats is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices.

Abdallah Elayan’s (@abdallahnation) cat, Enzo, was named the first official “Friskies Cat Fishing Champion,” achieving a score of 4,888 points.

Friskies partnered with cat influencers from across the country to launch Cat Fishing 2, including the chance to compete in the Cat Fishing competoition.

The game, which is available for free for iOS and Android devices, provides a simple way to enrich a cat’s life and support mental stimulation, according to Friskies. The game allows cats to prowl for prey in a custom pond stocked with virtual fish and decorations.

The update includes special sounds and schools of fish to keep them clawing back for more. The more fish your cat catches, the more points they rack up.

Users can also now brag about their kitty’s purrfect score by sharing on social media.

“We are so proud to be the winners of this challenge and recommend this game for cat owners looking for new ways to entertain their pet,” said Elayan in a press release. “Not only was this an exciting game for my cat, Enzo, it was such a joy as a pet parent to watch and show off.”

To check out the game, visit your app store or download here. For more information about Friskies gaming options, please visit www.purina.com/friskies/cat-games.

SOURCE Purina


Related:

Me and my cat, Motor, review free apps for cats

 


Me and my cat, Motor, review free apps for cats

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Today, me and my cat, Motor, are reviewing some free apps for cats.

I said in our last video that we were going to review another movie, but this was something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile, so, I went looking for some of the free apps that are out there for cats. There is actually a bigger variety since I first came up with the idea, and there will probably be more released in the future.

So, what did Motor think of the apps we tried? Find out in our newest video (below).

 

Apps mentioned in the video:

HappyCats: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ction.HappyCats

Games for Cats: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.icarusfalling.gamesforcats

Fish Sim for Cats: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ShadyCrypt.FishSimForCats

Laser for Cat Simulator: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dmitsoft.laserforcat


Back to work? Will your dog or cat miss you now that they’re used to you being home all the time?

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According to a press release from the Canadian Association of Professional Dog Trainers, those with dogs spending more time at home due to COVID-19 may have noticed their dogs’ behaviour initially changed when people were present 24/7. Coronavirus may have reduced the number of quiet daytime naps, while sleepy streets meant less to bark at, but, now that many dogs have become at ease with the new routine, it’s changing again as more people return to work.

“There will be yet another adjustment for dogs as families slowly return to work,” said Helen Prinold, Chair of the Canadian Association of Professional Dog Trainers (CAPDT) and behaviour consultant at Dog Friendship Training Academy in Guelph, Ontario.

The CAPDT press release also relates the following:

People may see an increase in house-soiling (as dogs are not let out on demand) and see more signs of boredom. Fun-seeking can include increases in monotonous barking, destruction of couches (or other chewables), and getting into the garbage. For these issues, a dog walker may be a good option.

Boredom can also be managed by increasing exercise before going to work and removing what the dog can get into (such as trash cans or food on the counter).

Rather than punishing dog behaviour (which serves only to increase stress), trainers recommend using tactics proven to create calm. Leave dogs with low volume classical or light pop music playing in the background, plenty of strong rubber food-filled toys to keep them entertained, and a pheromone diffuser.

Pet stores may also sell anti-anxiety treats. Trainers suggest you begin giving food-filled toys and treats at least two weeks prior to your full return to work, so dogs don’t associate them with departures and an empty house. Look for products containing science-backed ingredients like L-theanine, omega-3 fatty acids and milk proteins.

•Keep an eye out for separation anxiety or isolation distress:

Separation anxiety is a dog’s full-out panicked response to being left alone. Genetics, incomplete socialization and weaning, previous anxiety disorders and multiple rehoming when young can all contribute to the development of the problem.

“Think of nature as a gun,” says Prinold, “with environment pulling the trigger.”

Signs of separation anxiety and isolation distress include:

  • pacing and refusing to settle or eat,
  • high pitched barking and whining,
  • destruction aimed at scratching or digging around doors and windows in order to escape.

For these dogs, confinement in a small room or crate tends only to make the problem worse.

If your dog has not had separation issues in the past (but you have recently noticed clingy “Velcro dog” behaviour) or you have a pup who has never been alone before, now is a good time to check with your veterinarian to ask if there might be a significant problem.

You can also check for isolation distress with the following procedure:

•Start by practicing short departures of less than five minutes for a day or two.

•Then set up an in-home videocam that captures the area your dog usually sleeps in (add another camera near the door if the two areas are separate).

•At least two hours after a meal, hide 3 – 4 handfuls of dog kibble mixed with a few dry treats in easily-found locations, press record and head out for about 20 – 30 minutes.

•Review the video on your return.

If your dog has devoured the kibble, barked or explored the house for a bit and settled for a nap afterwards, there is unlikely to be a significant problem. However, if Fido paces, becomes more frantic and refuses to eat, it’s important to consult with a specialist as soon as possible.

A directory of training professionals (including specialists in treating problem dog behaviour) committed to a strong professional code of ethics and humane training methods can be found at www.capdt.ca.


And, in a related press release, this one from PetPR.com, Kristen Levine, a nationally-known pet parenting expert, pet advocate and creator of Pet Living, partnered with Great Pet Care, an online publication for expert-sourced pet health information, to create The Pet Parent’s Back to Work Guide, a free online guide for pet parents returning to work after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last month I started hearing from my friends and Pet Living readers that they were concerned about how their pets would react to them leaving the house for work and other activities once social distancing ends,” said Levine. “That’s what sparked the idea to create a guide to help all pet parents with that same concern.”

The guide, divided into sections for dog and cat parents, includes advice from veterinary and training experts. Topics include:

  • Re-establishing a routine by implementing back-to-work schedules,
  • Providing distractions for your pets like toys for independent playtime or a safe space to relax,
  • Trying anxiety-reducing practices and calming products to see what works best for your pet.

“Our pets have provided endless love and comfort during this stressful time of quarantine and social distancing, and it’s important that we return the favor and make sure they don’t feel anxious as we go back to working outside of our homes,” said Deidre Grieves, Director of Content for Great Pet Care.

To learn more, visit The Pet Parent’s Back to Work Guide at www.kristenlevine.com/back-to-work.

Featured photo by Ella Snyder on Unsplash

 

 

How to prevent dog bites

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“Education and responsible pet ownership is key. It is not only important to understand how dogs behave, it is important to understand how our own behavior may be interpreted by a dog.”

Because even the gentlest dog can bite under certain circumstances, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA),* a founding sponsor of the National Dog Bite Prevention Week Coalition, created a toolkit of fun/interactive materials designed to keep everyone safe.

Dogs like Miley have very gentle temperaments and their owners trust them with their children. Still, the AVMA recommends teaching your kids to recognize when dogs need some space.

 

The kit includes

For kids:

For adults:

“Dog bites are not a breed issue but an economic, cultural and very human issue,” said AVMA representative, Dr. Patrick Melese, a board certified veterinary behaviorist and director of Veterinary Behavior Consultants, a Southern-California based veterinary practice dedicated to preventing and solving behavior problems in animals since 1988. “Education and responsible pet ownership is key. It is not only important to understand how dogs behave, it is important to understand how our own behavior may be interpreted by a dog.”

These miscommunications result in most people being bitten by their own dog or a dog they know. For example, the average child may interpret a dog’s yawn as ‘sleepy’ and licking as ‘kissing’ while they are often signs of stress.

Besides learning to read your dog’s body language, other ways to prevent bites include:

  • Use positive, not negative, training methods
  • Adults should always actively supervise children and dogs, even if that dog is considered well behaved and kid friendly
  • Socialize your pet
  • Place your pet in another room when deliveries are being made to your home
  • If you have concerns about your dog’s behavior, visit your veterinarian to see if your pet is in pain or has a medical condition
  • Ask your veterinarian about selecting a local trainer or if a referral to veterinary behaviorist is warranted

“Dog bite safety doesn’t just protect people,” said Dr. Kwane Stewart, chief veterinary officer for American Humane. “It protects everyone including the dogs themselves since biting dogs may be euthanized.”

Some bite statistics:

Approximately 800,000 seek medical attention for bites and more than half of those are children. The total number of postal employees bitten by dogs nationwide was 6,244 in 2017 — more than 500 fewer than 2016.

“We’re encouraged by the decrease,” said USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo. “That’s still too high, but we’re confident that with continuing education and dog bite prevention training, along with advancing technology, we can keep more people safe and keep attacks trending downward.”

While the number of postal employees bitten decreased, dog bites (and other dog-related injuries) accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners liability claim dollars paid out in 2017, costing in excess of $700 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm. State Farm reported that California had the most dog-related injury claims (468 claims totaling $18.7 million) in 2017. State Farm does not refuse insurance based on the breed of dog someone owns.

“We believe that educating dog owners about being responsible will reduce dog-related injuries because under the right circumstances, any dog might bite,” said State Farm Insurance agent Tracey Rivera.

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/prevent-dog-bitesyour-veterinarian-can-help-300625164.html

More free stuff for parents:

American Humane offers a free online booklet, “Pet Meets Baby,” with valuable information on introducing a new child to a home with a pet or a new pet into a home with a child.

 

Creating a free pet portrait online

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Commissioning an artist to paint your beloved pet can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars — more than the average pet owner might be able to pay.

There are some great artists out there who will create your pet’s picture in a variety of styles for much less though. Check out deviantart.com as one site where numerous uber talented digital artists can be found, many of whom are offering their services at budget prices.

But, we wondered if those on no budget or who just want a trial portrait could get a free one using one of the online photo-to-painting apps. So, we tried some out using the picture of Trent and Sweat Pea below:

white peahen and turquoise peacock

 

The results:

1. Photo to Painting Converter (our best result from this site is shown below) was quick and easy to use. It allowed for changing the hue, saturation, brightness and contrast and for strengthening/softening as well as boosting the colors with easy to use sliders.

We weren’t overly impressed with the results, but, hey, it was free.

 

2. The Antique Oil Painting was super quick and didn’t require any input other than uploading the photo. We’re not thrilled about the photo mark in the lower corner, but, other than that, it came out pretty neat.

antique oil version of peacock painting

 

3. Snapstouch.com is a great place to go to experiment with your pet photos or other photos. Besides photo to painting, you can also get photo to pencil sketch, photo to drawing, and some other options. You can also customize each one somewhat. Just be sure to read the directions at the bottom for best results. We got two different painting versions at this site:

peacock painting from Snapstouch

second peacocks painting from Snapstouch

4. But we had the absolute most fun with Fotor, which lets you turn your photo into artwork similar to a variety of famous artists, including VanGogh, and styles, such as Cubism. The first (below) is in the Magic Cube style, the second is Metaphisics, the third is Realistic, and the fourth is Color Fantasy.

Generated for free online or not, the results are actually all images we wouldn’t mind having real prints of and framing!

peacock artwork

peacock impressionism painting

peacock realistic painting effect

peacock painting Color Fantasy effect

For more cool things you can do with photos of your pets, check out this post: https://wowmypetdidthat.com/what-can-you-do-with-your-pet-photos/

Five FREE pet apps that you’ll want to try

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From decorative to lifesaving, here’s a list of five free pet apps that we have tried and recommend for other animal lovers:

1) If you’re looking for a screensaver that will make you smile, Neon Animals Wallpaper Moving Animals probably fits the bill. The app offers a cat, a lion, a hummingbird and more in glowing neon on a dark background.

Pros: Nice, neon graphics that light up your phone and are fun to look at.

Cons: Expect ads.


2) Probably one of the coolest ideas for an app ever! Dog Scanner lets you take a picture of any dog whose breed you don’t recognize and helps figure it out for you. It then gives you a pie chart showing how much of a certain breed a dog likely is.

This girl (below), who is one of our pets, was identified as having a 75 percent likelihood of being an American Pit Bull Terrier (we figured as much).dog with funny expression

The app also gives a description of the primary breed and a link to more info about that breed on Wikipedia.

The second dog we attempted to ID through the app was also one of our dogs, a beagle mix named Lilly.

our pet dog Lilly

For the first picture, the app identified her as 36.5 percent likely a Schweizerischer Niederlaufhund, a breed we had never even heard of but one which did have some striking similarities to her appearance. We then uploaded a pic of Lilly from a different angle, and she was identified as possibly being a Maltese, which we doubt we could pass her off as to any real-life Maltese experts, even from a good distance as she is short haired and dark in color.

Pros: Both practical and fun-to-experiment with applications.

Cons: More of a helpful suggestion-type app for getting clues as to type of dog than a definitive breed identifier.


3) APPC by ASPCA: My pet ate what? Yeah, we’ve all been there. And Google searches aren’t always that helpful when you are sifting through all kinds of results frantically trying to find out whether what Rover swallowed was toxic, slightly aggravating to his belly or not problematic whatsoever.

The app provides a database of plants, hazards, foods, medications, and other materials that are toxic to your dog along with a calculator to determine the severity of the poisoning based on the size of your dog. Or cat, horse, and bird.

Pros: Great idea and a good resource to keep pets safe.

Cons: User reviews site a somewhat limited list of things animals might ingest. (The app is described as “not meant to be all-inclusive, but rather a compilation of the most frequently encountered toxins.”)


dog rolling on back4) Rundogo: The app can be used in a variety of ways, one of which is to keep track of how much exercise your doggy is getting. The app can also be used to track human exercise. So, if you or Fido has been putting on some pounds lately, this might be a good way to get motivated to start going on regular walks, and then an overview of progress.

Starts out free; the paid upgrade is $9.99)

Pros: Well-rated as easy to navigate by users.

Cons: Expect ads with the free version.


5) Weather puppy: Forecast + Dogs: There are a lot of ways to get the weather online, but we recommend this app, which brings you the weather along with lovely photos of puppies, so that, even when the weather is gloomy, you still have to smile a little.

Starts out free; can purchase additional puppies and themes, which will remove the ads.

Pros: Users describe this app as having accurate, localized and easy-to-read weather information. Lets you easily share your local weather/dog pic on social media.

Cons: We’d love to see some animation with the dogs since there are only still images.



Apps that use pet facial recognition to help you locate your lost pet

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When a pet runs away or gets lost, many owners face the agony of constant worry about whether it will ever be found again, especially if the pet has not been microchipped or wasn’t wearing an ID tag.

And, while the traditional method of posting signs in your neighborhood may yield results in locating your lost animal, the Internet might also be able to help, especially as companies adapt existing technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, to the pet world.

Finding Rover, for example, is a U.S. company created to reunite pets and owners via pet facial recognition.

On the Finding Rover site, users can report a lost pet and search pictures of lost pets.

Screenshot from Found Pets section of FindingRover.com.

Users can also do a Facial Recognition Search using a photo of the missing pet.

Screenshot of Facial Recognition Search.

Here’s one of Finding Rover’s success stories.

 

As a precautionary measure, you can also register your pet for free, so that, if it ever does get lost, you can simply click a “Report your Lost Pet” button on the Finding Rover website or app.

This all sounds wonderful and very high tech, so we decided to give the Finding Rover site a try. As you may know from some of our recent posts, we recently adopted a cat that we found without a collar and assumed was a stray. We’ve done searches in Facebook missing pet groups in that area to see if anyone was reporting her missing, but haven’t seen anyone posting a lost report meeting her description.

We decided to upload her picture to Finding Rover to see if anyone reported her lost on that site or if she was in any of the shelters Finding Rover provides pictures of pets from.

It’s a pretty simple process: We clicked on Found, typed in the city and state where we found our cat, along with her species and gender, and then uploaded her picture, after which a facial recognition search started. We were then given the chance to Register a Lost Pet and peruse photos that came up as matches.

Although some of the cats looked a lot like our kitty, none who came up were close to us. The nearest was about 70 miles away. This is probably because the app hasn’t yet caught on in enough areas to make it easy to find pets anywhere in the U.S. and we were searching in a very small city in North Carolina.

Also, some of the cats looked nothing like our cat. In the screenshot below, you can see our cat on the left and some of the matches shown on the right.

However, we will say that it is certainly a helpful resource for many and, given time for usage to spread and more developments with pet facial recognition, this app could probably prove invaluable to a very broad base of people and their pets.

If your local shelter is not a Finding Rover partner, you can click here for instructions on how a shelter can get set up to let lost pet owners search current shelter pets using the app.

For more about Finding Rover and pet facial recognition, check out the WBPS news story below:

 

Meanwhile, in China, according to an iCrowd Newswire press release, Megvii, a Chinese AI startup that supplies facial recognition software for the Chinese government’s surveillance program, has expanded its technology beyond humans to recognize different faces of pets.

As reported by Abacus News, Megvii’s new program recognizes dogs by their nose prints.

The company says it can register a dog simply by scanning the canine’s snout through a phone’s camera. Similar to the way a phone registers your fingerprint, the app asks you to take photos of your dog’s nose from multiple angles.

Dog snout photos for AI recognition.

The app has more than one use, however. Megvii says its can also monitor “uncivilized dog keeping” to fine civilians who don’t pick up after their dogs or allow them to walk without leashes in public.

 

New free cat and dog fonts from Wowmypetdidthat.com

Reading Time: 2 minutes Those looking for a way to stand out when designing pet-related materials or sending a message to a fellow dog or cat lover, are in luck, as Wowmypetdidthat.com has recently made two new fonts available for free.

Designed to be decorative, but still highly readable, one new font features small cats on most letters, numbers and characters. The other font features characters decorated with dogs and dog bones.

wowmypetdidthat.com cat font letters and characters
Wowmypetdidthat.com Cat Font letters and characters

Wowmypetdidthat.com Dog font

“We’re happy to make these free resource available to cat and dog lovers everywhere,” said Barbara Bullington, wowmypetdidthat.com editor and the graphic designer who created the fonts. “I think people will enjoy using these fonts in special pet-related projects, such as newsletters or websites about animals, or just when looking for something different for typing a message to a fellow cat lover.”

Both fonts — Wowmypetdidthat.com Cat Font and Wowmypetdidthat.com Dog Font — were created through calligraphr.com. They can be downloaded from the following links and easily installed for use on any computer.

 

[download id="4820"]

 <code>[download id=”4842″]</code>

Need help installing: The instructions at the following link explain how to install and uninstall fonts on a Mac computer: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201749

 

More paper doll clothes!

Reading Time: < 1 minuteHere is the newest addition to the collection of clothes for our paper doll we created to go with the paper doll cat care and paper doll dog care (and dog bath) sets we made. Our doll character can be printed out from either of the dog or cat care doll links. And, if she’s bringing her dog or cat (or both) along to any fancy events she’s wearing these dresses to, the pink pet carrier can be printed out from the dog care kits.

 

three paper doll evening gowns