The Reason Dogs Dig (and How to Make Them to Stop)

iStock/boschettophotography
iStock/boschettophotography

Digging is a totally normal canine behavior, but that doesn't make it any less annoying. If your dog is spending hours tearing up the backyard, or attempting to burrow holes into your couch, you're no doubt anxious to find a way to make it stop. The most effective way to get to the bottom of the problem, and curb your pup's desire to destroy everything in the path of their overactive paws, is to first understand why they are digging, according to The Dog People.

If your dog is digging random holes throughout your yard, it is most likely because they smell or hear something underground and are trying to get to it. In this case, digging a larger hole where it is acceptable for them to dig can keep them from digging all over the yard. Train them to dig only there by burying treats in that hole for them to find.

Another cause of unwanted digging is boredom and a lack of exercise. Puppies and high-energy dogs need a certain amount of exercise to work off all the energy they have. If they aren’t getting enough, they might turn to digging to take care of that. Make sure your dog gets plenty of playtime and take them on walks when you can.

Like a toddler, dogs can easily be distracted by a toy. If your dog seems to be digging out of boredom, try giving them a new tennis ball or dental chew.

Dogs that have very specific spots in which they dig can be stopped by adding digging deterrents to soil, especially those that are strong-smelling or uncomfortable-feeling. Burying flat rocks or plastic chicken wire will make it uncomfortable for a dog to dig, for example, and burying citrus peels, cayenne, or vinegar will make the smell while digging very unpleasant to them.

A dog could also be trailing the smell of a gopher, squirrel, rat, or other rodent while digging up your backyard. One sign of this is if they are digging near trees or plants. If this is the case, try getting rid of the rodents and see if your dog’s behavior changes.

Some dogs will dig in order to find a spot to cool down during hot weather. By helping your dog cool off, you can prevent the bad habit.

The Reason Why Baking Makes You Feel Good, According to Psychologists

Liderina/iStock via Getty Images
Liderina/iStock via Getty Images

Whether you're nibbling a slice of zucchini bread or an extra-chewy chocolate chip cookie, it’s always fun to be the taste tester for a friend or relative who loves to bake. And, while eating products created with love (and sugar) probably makes you feel good, the baker is reaping some psychological benefits, too.

Studies have shown that creative activities like baking and knitting contribute to an overall sense of well-being. Boston University associate professor of psychological and brain sciences Donna Pincus told HuffPost that there’s “a stress relief that people get from having some kind of an outlet and a way to express themselves.”

Baking is also a great way to practice mindfulness, because it requires you to focus on following very straightforward directions in a specific order. In other words, most of the decisions have already been made for you, allowing you to concentrate on the details while nudging your mind away from the stressors and anxieties of your life outside the kitchen. Julie Ohana, a licensed clinical social worker and culinary art therapist, explained to HuffPost that baking is therapeutic because it helps you practice the “balance of the moment and the bigger picture.” While you’re measuring and mixing ingredients, you’re probably visualizing how they’ll all come together to create a fulfilling final product, and deciding how and when you’ll share it with others.

Sharing your desserts—altruistically rather than for attention or competition—is another mood-booster, making you “feel like you’ve done something good for the world, which perhaps increases your meaning in life and connection with other people,” Pincus said. It can also function as a mode of communication. Susan Whitbourne, professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts, told HuffPost that “it can be helpful for people who have difficulty expressing their feelings in words to show thanks, appreciation, or sympathy with baked goods.”

If baking just isn’t for you, that’s OK, too—try one of these other stress-reducing tactics instead.

[h/t HuffPost]

The Reason Why Objects in a Car’s Side-View Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

aydinozcanbaz/iStock via Getty Images
aydinozcanbaz/iStock via Getty Images

“Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” It's a warning you see in basically every car, but why can't passenger-side mirrors display objects accurately? Well, it's actually a careful design choice made with safety in mind.

The way we see things is dependent on how light reflects off objects around us. An object's color, texture, shape, and other characteristics influence the direction and intensity of light that bounces off them. If the objects are reflected off an intermediate object, like a mirror, our perception of the original object may be distorted.

The shape of the mirror also makes a difference in our perception. In the U.S., passenger-side mirrors are convex (curved slightly outward), whereas driver-side mirrors are flat. A convex mirror placed on the passenger side reduces the driver's blind spots on that side of the vehicle by presenting a wider field of view, but it also makes other cars appear farther away due to a slight distortion caused by the shape. The flatter mirror on the driver’s side produces a more accurate depiction of what’s behind the car with a more narrow field of view, since light bounces off in the same direction that it hits the mirror and doesn't distort the reflection of the object.

When the two mirrors' reflections are combined in the driver's point of view, drivers have the ability to both see wider areas on the passenger side while keeping their eyes (mainly) on the road. The flat-convex combo has been the U.S. standard for years, though the U.S. Department of Transportation is looking into the safety benefits of two convex mirrors, which European cars usually sport.

For now, always remember to check your mirrors frequently, and look over your shoulder before you change lanes. (Don't forget your turn signal!)

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