Jeff de Boer
Jeff de Boer

Protect Your Cat With a Suit of Armor

Jeff de Boer
Jeff de Boer

In case you haven't seen it yet: suits of armor for your pets. Artist Jeff de Boer has meticulously crafted protective ensembles for cats, and—to even the playing field—mice. He draws his ideas from different time periods and countries, including Edo period Japan and Medieval England. He's even made a futuristic rocket mouse. These marvelous suits are substantial works of art; the cat armor can take up to 200 hours to create.

Boer first started making the suits while attending Alberta College of Art and Design. The artist had an extensive knowledge of armor, so he created a cat suit in his sculpture class. Feeling he could do better, Boer sought to make real armor. Thanks to his major in jewelry design, he had access to all the necessary tools.

If you're looking to purchase one of these works, you will need a big wallet and a lot of patience. Boer does not frequently sell his work but when he does, it costs as much as $25,000.

Jeff de Boer

Boer has never put a mouse in the armor, but he has put one of his cats inside and has "the scars to prove it." 

Jeff de Boer

You can buy a book filled with his art here, or like his Facebook here.

Jeff de Boer

Jeff de Boer

[h/t: BoredPanda.com]

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New Subscription Service Will Give You 24/7 Access to Veterinary Expertise for $10 a Month
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iStock

When your dog eats a sock at 9 p.m. on a Friday night, you have very few options. You could take her to the 24-hour emergency vet, but those visits are expensive. You could look online and obsess over whether the advice you find about helping her puke it up at home, DIY style, is at all credible. Or you could just cross your fingers and hope that this, too, shall pass.

A new subscription service is designed to lend a hand in stressful pet-related situations like this, as Fast Company reports. Fuzzy Connect provides a direct line to a veterinarian 24/7 for $10 a month.

The smartphone app offers an unlimited live chat through which you can send videos, photos, and texts to get help with whatever pet-related issue you have. Though the vets on staff will definitely help you figure out what to do if your cat ate a string or your dog ate an entire chocolate cake, the service isn’t just for emergencies. You can chat with a vet about your pet’s diet, house-training issues, or vaccinations. You can even ask broader questions, like what paperwork you need to take your dog out of the country.

If you're in the San Francisco Bay area, you can also take advantage of the Wellness plan, which includes two in-home vet checkups a year, a medication mailing service, and basic vaccines for $39 a month.

If you’re a fairly relaxed person with a pet who doesn’t go around eating strange objects on a regular basis, Fuzzy Connect might not be that worth it, especially if you already pay for pet insurance. But if you’re a neurotic cat dad or dog mom whose beloved friend often gets up to no good, having a professional on hand for reassurance and guidance might not be the worst investment.

[h/t Fast Company]

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How to Protect Pets From Fireworks Stress This Summer
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iStock

New pet owners quickly become familiar with how animals react to auditory changes to their environment. Fire trucks can provoke howling and wailing, and the sound of food cans being opened can make them frantic. And a handful of times a year, pets being disturbed by noise can become a little more concerning.

Fireworks displays during the 4th of July and other holidays can be highly stressful for animals due to their frequent, powerful stretches of explosive sound. Owing to the proximity of the blasts, 5000 birds fell out of the sky following a fireworks display in Beebe, Arkansas in 2011. Deer and other wild animals can panic and run into roads, causing accidents. That’s because fireworks can reach up to 170 decibels, far past the 120 decibel pain threshold for sound. In some cases, very loud noises can even prompt seizures in dogs and cats.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help mitigate your pet's reaction to neighborhood celebrations. Pets best cope with the stimulus by being kept in an interior room without windows and having a radio or television turned on to help distract them from the noise outside. Owners should also remain with pets so they don’t experience increased anxiety from being left alone.

If your pet has any point of exit and becomes agitated by the fireworks, there’s a strong possibility for escape: Animal shelters routinely report an increase in the number of admissions on July 5 due to runaways. If this is a possibility, it’s a good idea to make sure your pet’s identification tags are updated with your current contact information.

For dogs, be mindful that too much time in one room could cause some rebound anxiety. If they’ve been stuck in one place too long, getting a chance to survey the house or mingle with any house guests can ease their nerves. Exercise earlier in the day may also help keep them calm when the fireworks begin later that evening.

You’ll need some vigilance the next morning, too. Pets may chew on fireworks debris, which can be toxic. Be sure to clean up any residue before allowing them to roam on your property.

[h/t WLNS]

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