Find the right size pet door!

It is important to choose the right size pet door. It naturally has to be large enough to allow the pet easy access, but also as small as possible in order to keep rain, snow, and winds outside.

Most dogs duck their head and lift their legs when they go through a door, so the opening doesn’t have to be as tall as the dog. This can be confusing; it is tempting to install a pet door like we do a human door, with the opening starting at floor level. A dog door or cat door can generally be elevated.

The PlexiDor dog doors and cat door come in four convenient sizes to accommodate a wide range of pets and household needs. Click here to download a size chart as PDF!

Examples of breeds and door sizes are:

Cats up to 24 pounds and dogs up to 9 pounds, such as Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Papillons, Yorkies, and Maltese generally require a small PlexiDor pet door.

Dogs up to 40 pounds, such as Poodles, Corgis, Dachshunds, Beagles, Pekingese, Shelties, Schnauzers, Cocker Spaniels, and many Terriers need a medium PlexiDor dog door.

Dogs up to 100 pounds, such as Labradors, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Boxers, Collies, Setters, Bulldogs, Pointers, and Dobermans require a large PlexiDor dog door.

Dogs up to 220 pounds, such as Great Danes, St Bernards, Rottweilers, Old English Sheepdogs, Newfoundlands, Great Pyrenees, and Irish Wolfhounds need an extra large PlexiDor dog door.

The size chart contains recommendations for installation height from bottom of frame to floor. If you are concerned about the opening size, download this information sheet in PDF format with opening sizes and cut hole sizes for door units as well as wall units.

News release; All Shapes, All Sizes, All Breeds

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“All Shapes … All Sizes … All Breeds”

 

Bradenton, FL, (March, 2014).  PlexiDor® Performance Pet Doors is proud to showcase its family of high quality American Pet Products Association approved pet doors at the upcoming Global Pet Expo in Orlando, FL. The show is held at the Orlando County Convention Center March 12 thru 14, 2014.

For over 28 years the PlexiDor development team has worked closely with pet owners around the world to design a strong, safe, energy efficient and dependable product designed for years of trouble free use.

PlexiDor Pet Doors do not require replacement flaps. The shatter resistant, saloon style door panels are manufactured from K-9 COMPOSITE™ which is specially formulated to resist damage from sunlight, extreme temperatures and high impact. The door panels have been rigorously tested to withstand the harshest outdoor conditions. The K-9 COMPOSITE™ panels are lined with industrial grade weather seal around all four edges to reduce air conditioning and heat loss.

“The development of our exclusive K9 COMPOSITE material has further increased the durability and energy efficiency of the PlexiDor product”, says Robert Wollet, Sales and Marketing Manager.

PlexiDor frames are made of hardened aluminum designed to never rust, bend, crack, or warp. All PlexiDor pet doors come standard with lock, key and steel security plate designed to prevent unwanted quests from entering the home.

PlexiDor Performance Pet Doors are available through a nationwide network of authorized dealers, with prices ranging from $163 to $1,249.  Visit www.plexidors.com to locate a dealer near you or call 1-844-698-6472 to request a PlexiDor catalog, 

About PlexiDor


PlexiDor Performance Pet Doors has manufactured high quality pet doors since 1985 at its facility in Bradenton, FL. PlexiDor Performance Pet Doors are professionally engineered and manufactured from high-quality materials made in the United States and provide years of safe, trouble-free service for consumers and their pets. PlexiDor Pet Doors do not require costly vinyl replacement flaps, and their frames are made of heavy-duty anodized aluminum that will not rust, bend, crack, or warp. Engineered with K9 COMPOSITE™ energy efficient panels, PlexiDor Pet Doors reduce energy costs and are ideal for extreme climates. PlexiDor also offers a 5-year limited residential warranty and a 90 day money back guarantee.

Download the full press release with contact information here.

Fun facts about cats

CatCats have excellent night vision, and can see well at one-sixth of the light level required for humans. They also have excellent hearing  and can hear higher-pitched sounds than both dogs and humans. The cat’s hearing is amongst the best of the mammals.

In addition to these great senses, cats have an acute sense of smell. It might not be as good as a blood-hound, but it’s still twice as good as a human’s.

When cats meet they don’t usually greet each other nose to nose, because that puts both participants in a vulnerable position. Cats who know each other well and have been apart for a while feel safe enough to do this, and through the nose contact they gather information about how the other cat is, where they have been, and what they have been doing.

Most human societies find it polite to meet another’s gaze. Cats do the opposite; they blink and narrow their eyes when they accidentally make eye contact. To make friends with an unfamiliar cat, try to blink and look away when you catch his eyes.

New PlexiDor Dealer Catalog Available Now!

PlexiDor Dealer CatalogThe new PlexiDor Dealer Catalog is available now. The 20 page publication is geared towards resellers and contains information about all PlexiDor pet doors and accessories.

It is complete with size charts and visual aids on measuring dogs to find the correct size door.

The catalog also contains information on security features, energy efficiency, and the PlexiDor retail display.

Download the catalog here: PlexiDor-eDealerCatalog(2-14). If you’re interested in becoming a PlexiDor reseller, visit this page.

Get a food bowl that fits the size of your pet

Get the right size food bowlHave you ever noticed that if you put food on a big plate it looks so little, and by the time the plate is full, the portion is enough for dinner as well as lunch the next day? The same principle is true for dog bowls.  A big bowl makes a correct size portion look tiny, and it’s easy to put on too much.

In 2013, the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine made an experiment with 54 dogs and their owners. Four combinations were tested:

  • Small bowl with a small scoop
  • Small bowl with a large scoop
  • Large bowl with a small scoop
  • Large bowl with a large scoop

Just as one might guess, the servings in the small bowl with the small scoop were significantly smaller than all other combinations.

Does it matter?

Yes. Obesity is a health problem on the rise for pets as well as people, and keeping track of portions is especially important for pets eating dry food. Kibble is generally high in calories, and just a few extra pieces each day can make a small pet gain weight quickly.

Good ideas are to use a graded measuring cup, and to use the large bowl for water. Many pet owners have a small water bowl and a huge food bowl, but pets need much more water than they do food.

Everyday items that should be kept out of reach

Xylitol is poisonous to petsBy now most pet owners know dogs and cats shouldn’t have chocolate, raisins, onions, and macadamia nuts. Many other common every-day objects are also very dangerous to cats and dogs, and they’re so small and common it’s easy to forget they’re easily available in an open purse or on a table.

Human medications like Advil, Motrin, and Tylenol are present in almost every home, and very dangerous to pets. The acetaminophen in one Tylenol is enough to kill a cat or cause severe liver problems in a dog.

Asthma inhalers can also pose a problem if a pet chews on them. If a dog were to bite through the shell, the substance inside is enough to cause an acute, life-threatening poisoning.

Most chewing gums and mints contain xylitol. Xylitol is also common in chewable vitamins, sugar free candy, and nicotine gum. Xylitol is very toxic to dogs.

Also look out for all forms of nicotine. Cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarette cartridges and fluid, nicotine gum, lozenges, anything with nicotine can potentially kill a pet.

Another common item that can be found in many cars, purses, and backpacks is hand sanitizer. These products contain lots of alcohol and can potentially cause coma and death in pets.

Prevention is naturally the best. Create good habits with putting potentially dangerous things away. If you still think your pet got into something poisonous, call your veterinarian at once. If the cat really ate something they shouldn’t have minutes can matter, and the sooner you get the correct diagnose the easier, safer, and less expensive it will be to treat your pet.

American pet spending still on the rise

The American Pet Products Association has kept records of US pet spending since 1996. Ever since then the industry has seen a steady growth of 4 to 6 percent per year.

In 2013, Americans spent $55.7 billion on their pets, and the number is expected to rise to $60 billion in 2014. If the trend stays as strong as during the past 18 years, we will see some 92 million American pet owners by 2018 that will spend at least $70 billion on pets, pet card, and pet products.

The biggest chunk of money in 2013 went to food. $21.6 billion fed our animal friends, and a large amount of it paid for healthier and more expensive food than in previous years.

Other highlights include $14.4 billion for veterinary care and $13.1 billion for supplies and over-the-counter medicines.

 

Cats and dogs may see flashes of light around power lines

A couple of weeks ago the PlexiDor blog reported about cats and dogs being able to see in ultraviolet. The ability makes it possible for many animals to see things humans do not, such as threats that would otherwise blend in with the environment and patterns that can lead to food. 

Being able to see like they see would probably be both convenient and amazing in many situations. Flowers, for instance, may have patterns we will never be able to discern. However, due to human interference the ability to see in ultraviolet might also be terrifying.

The Guardian reports that UV cameras can pick up coronal discharges around power lines that humans cannot see with the bare eye. These lights and flashes correspond with the humming we can sometimes hear around power lines.

 

Naturally, what we see with the aid of a camera is still not the same as animals able to detect ultraviolet frequencies would see, and the cameras can see a narrower range than most animals, but at least it gives us an idea.


 

We have known for a long time that animals in the wide prefer to avoid power lines, and the popular explanation has been that the corridors cut to accommodate the lines expose animals to predators. However, with power lines looking like glowing and flashing bands across the sky, they might have an unforeseen worldwide impact. Besides disturbing our domestic friends like cats and dogs, they might interfere with migration routes for birds and prevent mammals from going where they need to be.

Burying all power cables does not seem a realistic alternative, but one idea is to put a non-conducting shield around the cables to screen them from view.

Are there hypoallergenic dogs?

Hypoallergenic means that something is less likely to cause allergic reactions. It doesn’t mean that the food, pet, or rug never causes allergies. The word hypo means lower than normal.

So, are there hypoallergenic dog breeds?

Not really. There are hairless dogs and dogs that shed very little, but allergies aren’t necessarily connected to the pet’s coat. Most allergies are caused by proteins in a pet’s saliva and dander.

A study at the Henry Ford Hospital has analyzed dust samples collected from almost 200 homes. Sixty dog breeds were involved in the study, and eleven of the breeds are considered hypoallergenic.

The conclusion? There is no significant difference between breeds in how much allergens are produced. There can, however, be a difference between individuals of the same breed. Thus, a person with allergies can be able to have one specific pet, even if they’re allergic to other individuals of the same breed.

Most dog lovers will argue that pets are good for children. This is true when it comes to allergies as well; exposure to a dog early in life will provide a certain protection against developing dog allergies.

Some tips to battle allergies:

  • Bathe the pet often. This reduces the amounts of allergen related proteins on both the dog itself and in the air. If a person in the household is allergic, bathing the pet at least twice a week can minimize the allergic reaction.
  • Clean and vacuum often. Use air filters, and consider constricting the pet to certain rooms, so the allergic person can have a safe haven.
  • Smaller dogs might produce less allergens than larger dogs.
To read more about this subject, check out these links:

Pets are welcome

As society changes, pets are evolving into family members – a process called humanization – and a steadily increasing number of people choose to travel with their loved furry friends. According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, 61% of hotels in the US now permit pets. 

Girl and dogOn the website Travelocity, more than 20,500 hotels are listed as pet friendly. The Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group estimates more than 100,000 pets stay in their 60 hotels each year, and 99% of these pets are dogs. The Essex Resort and Spa in Vermont has between 10 and 15 animals each night, and that makes up around 10% of their business.

Going back just a few years, pets could be allowed at a hotel, but people weren’t encouraged to bring them. This has also changed.

Today, many hotels welcome furry visitors with water bowls, pet-icures, dog Reiki, pet sitting, and more. It’s not just a gimmick; many hotels get a decent extra income from catering to pets. On the other hand, pet lovers can bring Speckles and Fido, and having the pet by one’s side provides company, comfort, joy, and freedom from worry.

If you’re looking for a pet-friendly hotel, the websites petswelcome.combringfido.com, andtripswithpets.com can assist in finding the right place.

PTSD amongst military dogs

Amongst 650 military dogs deployed with American combat forces nearly five percent came down with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These dogs have been subjected to gunfire, explosions, and other combat scenarios, and react just like humans do.

Military veterinarians say it can show through dogs becoming clingy or aggressive, they might refuse to enter areas where they used to be comfortable, or become hyper-vigilent and set off alarms whether there’s something to worry about or not.

Dogs affected should be taken off their patrol duty, given lots of exercise, play time, and gentle obedience training.

Another similarity with humans is that dogs don’t have to go to war to enter a state of extreme stress. Other causes for PTSD in both species are natural disasters, car accidents, and physical or emotional trauma.

If you want to read more about dogs with PTSD, these websites provide a good starting point:

Sunshine story; police officer adopts five deaf dogs

A Virginia Detective, Mac Adams, has been involved with rescuing deaf dogs since 2010 when he adopted his dog Pickles from the Richmond Animal Care and Control. Since then, he has gotten four more; Nea, Piglet, Opal, and Mortimer.

Detective Mac Adams with his five deaf dogs. Photo from Facebook

Adams says there are 56 breeds of dogs prone to deafness. The puppies are born deaf and don’t know they’re supposed to hear, but it can be an obstacle in first figuring out a means of communication. Once the connection is made he thinks they pay a lot more attention to their person than hearing dogs, and might even be easier to train because they’re not distracted by sounds around them.

Four of the deaf dogs in the Adams’ household are Pitbulls, and he works on educating people about the breed. He says they are a great breed, generally gentle, calm, and good natured, but used for nefarious purposes by a small potion of the population.

Read more about Mac Adams and his dogs in this article on dogheirs.com.

Fun dog facts

Kooikerhondje

  • The Greyhound is considered the fastest dog on Earth. They can run 45 miles per hour.
  • The Irish Wolfhound is the largest dog breed.
  • The Great Dane is the tallest dog.
  • The Great Dane really originated in Germany, not in Denmark.
  • The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed.
  • The St. Bernard is the heaviest dog breed.
  • The oldest dog in the world was an Australian cattle-dog named Bluey. He lived to be over 29 years.
  • Dogs have twice as many muscles for moving their ears as people.

Dogs are sensitive to the Earth’s magnetic field

Dogs are sensitive to the Earth's magnetic field
Supercomputer model of the Earth’s magnetic field. Source: nasa.gov

The Earth has a magnetic field. Many people only come in contact with it through the use of a compass, but it has great importance for every living being on the planet. Amongst other things, it shields us from solar radiation.

In theory, the field is straight and neat with a magnetic north pole close to the geographic north pole, and a magnetic south pole close to the geographic south pole. In reality, it’s a bit more complicated, but for the sake of discussion, north and south are quite sufficient.

So, what does this have to do with pets?

Good question. Scientists at the Czech University of Life Sciences along with the zoology department at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany have studied dogs doing the “potty dance” and found that dogs prefer to align their body axis with the planet’s magnetic field. They prefer the North-South direction, and avoid the East-West direction.

While the reason for the magnetic preference remains unknown, this is the first time magnetic sensitivity has been proven in dogs. It is also the first time a mammal has been unambiguously proven to be sensitive to small changes in magnetic polarity.

The scientists believe there might a biological explanation to the phenomenon. Birds are thought to navigate with assistance of the magnetic field, and dogs might also have a “magnetic map” aiding them with their sense of direction. This could explain how some dogs are able to hike home across the country after being separated from their owners, or after a move.

70 dogs from 37 different breeds participated in the experiment, and their habits were studied over a period of two years. You can read more here, and see the report here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Earth’s magnetic field, this Introduction to Geomag can be a good starting point, along with this article on Nasa’s website.

Velcro dogs

Most dogs want to be with their person and some are virtually glued to their human. It is important to understand that a dog following their person around isn’t necessarily a sign of separation anxiety. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be.

Humans are social being, to a certain extent. Most of us value alone time, even if it’s just a few stolen minutes in the car or taking a bath. Dogs have no concept of “alone time.” They want to be with their pack at all times, and for a domesticated dog that pack equals their human.

Protect paws from snow and ice

Spring is just around the corner, but parts of the world are still living through a cold and snowy winter. Many dog owners reason that it’s natural for dogs to be outside in the snow, and that wolves are outside in the snow all winter long, so dogs shouldn’t need special winter protection. The problem with this line of thought is that humans have created an artificial environment where dog’s feet come in contact with substances that don’t exist in the forests where wolves run.

Most northern dog owners are aware of lumps of snow catching on their dogs’ paws. It is less known that most de-icers are toxic to dogs. A sidewalk that looks clean and pleasant might be covered in salt or other chemicals which can hurt the dog’s feet. The paw pads can dry out and crack, they can get frostbite, and chemical burns.

What can dog owners do to protect their pooches?

Dog booties make great winter protection and work against both frostbite and salt. As a bonus they also give some protection against the burning hot asphalt in summer. Using the booties can take some practice. Praise the dog for having them on, start with short periods of time inside the house, and gradually increase the length of time. When it’s time to move the training outside, start with short walks.

If booties isn’t an option, there is paw wax specially formulated to create a barrier between the dog’s paws and whatever might be on the ground. This might not be as effective as boots, but it is definitely better than nothing at all.

Trim the hair around the paws and between the paw pads. This helps prevent snow and ice balls that can hurt the dog’s feet. Also make sure the nails are trimmed, because long nails will force the paw pads to separate when the dog walks, and this increases the risk of snow and ice building up between the pads.

When the walk is over, whether the dog wears boots, wax, or nothing, it is important to wash the paws with warm water at once. If they’re given a chance to lick their feet they might ingest salt and other dangerous chemicals.

Good to know: Dogs are susceptible to both frostbite and hypothermia. Use common sense and watch out for the dog shivering, appearing anxious, or moving slowly.

Why do dogs eat grass?

Most dogs graze away at plants and grass at some point in their life. But why? Many dog owners believe the habit is solely to throw up, and a dog gulping down large amounts of grass might be doing it for that reason; the grass blade tickles the throat and stomach lining. In most cases though, dogs nibble on grass and chew on it for a while.

Dogs aren’t exactly carnivores. For tens of thousands of years dog ancestors ate anything and everything that fulfilled their basic dietary requirements. For essential nutrients not available in meat, wild canines eat fruits, berries, and other vegetables. Domesticated dogs generally only have grass to choose from.

If your dog is very interested in eating grass or even plants, consider introducing natural herbs and cooked vegetables into the diet. Outside greenery can contain pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals from the household’s gardening or the neighbor’s yard work. In addition, many plants are poisonous.

Most popular dog breeds in 2013

The AKC releases a list of dog registration statistics each year, revealing the most popular dogs of the breed. The list for 2013 is here, and even if there weren’t changes in the top ten, positions eleven to twenty saw many differences from 2012. 

 Breed  2013  2012  2008  2003
 Labrador Retriever  1  1  1  1
 German Shepherd  2 2  3  4
 Golden Retriever  3 3 4 2
 Beagle  4 4  5  3
 Bulldog  5 5  8  16
 Yorkshire Terrier  6  6 2  6
 Boxer  7  7  6  7
 Poodle  8  8 9  8
 Rottweiler  9  9 14  15
 Dachshund  10  10  7  5
 French Bulldog  11 14 26  54
 Doberman Pincher  12 12 18  22
 German Shorthair Pointer  13 15  16  21
 Siberian Husky  14 16 23  23
 Shih Tzu  15  11  10  9
 Great Dane  16  17  22  27
 Miniature Schnauzer  17  13  11  11
 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel  18  20  25  35
 Pomeranian 19 19  13  13
 Australian Shepherds  20  22  29  34

Some breeds have been on decline over the past decade but made strong gains in 2013. Giant Schnauzers rose from position 96 to 83. Keeshonden climbed from 103 to 86, and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever from 104 to 97.

Big and small in the dog world

Dogs come in many shapes and sizes. Zeus is currently the biggest of them all. This world record holder is a Great Dane from Michigan and with 44 inches from foot to withers he measures the same size as an average donkey. If he stands on his hind legs, he reaches 7 feet 4 inches.

Zeus weighs 155 pounds and eats around 12 cups of food every day. He’s too big to ride in the back of a car, and his family had to buy a van to be able to transport him.

The world’s smallest dog is a 2 year old Chihuahua from Puerto Rico. Milly stands 3.8 inches tall when measured from backbone to paw, and weighs around 1 pound. She is shorter than a can of soup.

When Milly was born, she weighed less than an ounce and fit in a teaspoon. She was too small to nurse from her mother, and the family gave her milk every two hours from an eyedropper. Today she eats twice a day and prefers small meals of salmon or chicken.

The smallest dog in terms of length is also a Chihuahua. Brandy lives in Florida, weighs two pounds, and measures 6 inches from her nose to the tip of her tail.