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Dogs Beat The Gym

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If you're looking to lose some weight this year, consider spending some extra cash on adopting a new dog rather than getting a gym membership. A recent study in the UK has shown that dog owners take their pups on walks an average of two times a day for 24 minutes each. Their research also showed that most dog owners also went on a longer walk with their four-legged friends an average of three times a week. All in all, dog owners averaged around eight hours of exercise a week.

Their study also showed that half of people without dogs got no exercise throughout the week and of those who did walk, jog or hit the gym, the average weekly workout time was around 80 minutes. Better still, most dog owners liked taking their pets on walks, whereas most gym people did not enjoy their workout time.

Any American dog owners want to weigh in? Does anyone really spend 48 minutes (or more) each day walking their dog?

[Image courtesy of dearbarbie's Flickr stream.]

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Animals
It’s Illegal to Own Only One Guinea Pig in Switzerland
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Denying your pet the chance to make friends with members of its own species could be considered an act of cruelty—at least in Switzerland. According to Techly, an animal rights law introduced there in 2008 makes it illegal to own just one guinea pig at a time.

The law was part of a legislative push to grant “social rights” to pets that tend to get lonely. Guinea pigs, for example, are herd animals, so having at least one furry companion to share a cage with should supposedly boost their quality of life.

Because it’s unlikely that two guinea pigs will die at the exact same time, pet owners can find themselves in a legally sticky situation when one of their animals passes away. Fortunately, there are now rent-a-guinea pig services in the country that provide partners to live with lonesome guinea pigs for the remainder of their lives.

There are other pets in Switzerland that are forbidden from living in isolation. Goldfish are also required to have at least one tank-mate and parrots must either live or have the opportunity to socialize with other birds on a regular basis. And though most cats may seem like solitary creatures to their owners, their social wellbeing is also protected in Switzerland; the law doesn’t go so far as to say that pet owners must have more than one cat, just that single cats should be able to see other cats when prowling outside or staring though a window.

[h/t Techly]

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Animals
Suit Up Your Cat or Dog in Pet-Sized Samurai Armor

Your pets may not be going into battle any time soon, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look the part. As Bored Panda reports, the Japanese company Samurai Age sells samurai armor built to protect the cuddly warrior in your life.

Even though traditional samurais didn’t have four legs and a tail, these outfits were designed with historical context in mind. The red get-up in the photo below, for example, channels the armor of real-life warrior Sanada Yukimura of the Senoku period.

This isn’t the first time someone has redesigned old-school battle gear for pets. Artist Jeff de Boer won over the internet when he shared images of his hand-crafted suits of armor for cats. Intended more for display than everyday use, those pieces cost as much as $25,000. The Samurai Age armor, which runs between $125 and $146, seems like a deal by comparison.

Suits come in black, red, gold, and silver and can fit cats and small dogs. Custom orders are also available through the Samurai Age website.

Cat in silver samurai armor in front of door.

Small dog in samurai armor sitting on a man's lap.

Cat in red samurai armor.

[h/t Bored Panda]

All images courtesy of Samurai Age.

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