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Petwigs

Now You Can Buy Adorable Wigs For Your Pets

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Petwigs

Unless you’ve got an animal that will willingly undergo a lion cut, it can be hard to style your pets. At least, it was. Now, thanks to actress Leisha Hailey (The L Word), anyone can have a perfectly coiffed companion: Her company, Petwigs, creates adorable and stylish wigs for the critters in your life.

Hailey tells mental_floss in an email that she came up with the idea 12 years ago. Pet costumes were dominating the market, but the wigs that would complete the looks were lacking. “There weren’t any pet wigs conveniently available, nor did they come in a wide selection of colors and styles,” she says. She didn’t act on her idea, however, until she met Melissa Carbone of Ten Thirty One Productions; the pair launched Petwigs, then brought on collaborators Regina Carpinelli and Sofu Snow.

Though Hailey had never designed wigs before, they weren’t completely foreign territory: She drew on her background as a musician who, in her 20s, was “basically raised by drag queens in the East Village.” Her band opened up for performers at the Pyramid Club, and it was there, in the backstage area, that she learned how to use the arts as a means of transformation. “It has to be incredibly executed with a twist of humor,” she says. “I have the same vision for Petwigs: High style, classic looks. Put it on an animal and the laughing ensues.”

The "Party in the Back" wig. Image credit: Petwigs.com.

 
To figure out how to make the wigs, Hailey and her colleagues met with Hollywood-based wig makers. First, they designed a sizing system that uses a net as a base. “The base comes in 3 sizes: Small, Medium, Large,” Hailey says. “They fit comfortably between the ears of your pet depending on what size your animal is. The hair falls around the ears, and that’s where the magic begins.”

Next came the design of a strap and clasp system that keeps the wigs on (and allows them to easily come off) without irritating the animals. “Every friend with a pet was brought in for sizing and strap system analysis,” Hailey says. “We landed with the final design by trying different straps.”

Finally, they created prototypes of the styles; each wig took about a day to build. The company settled on synthetic hair, which held the shape and style of the ‘dos best. “The styling process was meticulous,” Hailey says. “We want our wigs to be high end, like your pet just walked out of the salon.”

The "Headbanger" wig. Image credit: Petwigs.com.

 
Picking the styles that would become Petwigs’ first collection was of paramount importance. “We are coming out with our Original Collection, which consists of the most iconic hairstyles of the decades,” Hailey says. “From there, we will always stay with the times and plan to have an ever evolving selection of styles.”

Petwigs range in price from $35 to $43 and come in styles like “The Bombshell,” “The Editor,” and “The Tigerbeat.” Hailey’s personal favorite style is “The Supreme,” a red beehive. For adorable photos of animals in wigs, you can follow the company on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook—or you can just preorder your very own PetWig here (make sure to read the fit and safety information first!) to bring the fun home, just in time for Halloween.

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Animals
Owning a Dog May Add Years to Your Life, Study Shows
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We've said that having a furry friend can reduce depression, promote better sleep, and encourage more exercise. Now, research has indicated that caring for a canine might actually extend your lifespan.

Previous studies have shown that dog owners have an innate sense of comfort and increased well-being. A new paper published in Scientific Reports and conducted by Uppsala University in Sweden looked at the health records of 3.4 million of the country's residents. These records typically include personal data like marital status and whether the individual owns a pet. Researchers got additional insight from a national dog registry providing ownership information. According to the study, those with a dog for a housemate were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease or any other cause during the study's 12-year duration.

The study included adults 40 to 80 years old, with a mean age of 57. Researchers found that dogs were a positive predictor in health, particularly among singles. Those who had one were 33 percent less likely to die early than those who did not. Authors didn't conclude the exact reason behind the correlation: It could be active people are more likely to own dogs, that dogs promoted more activity, or that psychological factors like lowered incidences of depression might bolster overall well-being. Either way, having a pooch in your life could mean living a longer one.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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Big Questions
Why Don't We Eat Turkey Tails?
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Turkey sandwiches. Turkey soup. Roasted turkey. This year, Americans will consume roughly 245 million birds, with 46 million being prepared and presented on Thanksgiving. What we don’t eat will be repurposed into leftovers.

But there’s one part of the turkey that virtually no family will have on their table: the tail.

Despite our country’s obsession with fattening, dissecting, and searing turkeys, we almost inevitably pass up the fat-infused rear portion. According to Michael Carolan, professor of sociology and associate dean for research at the College for Liberal Arts at Colorado State University, that may have something to do with how Americans have traditionally perceived turkeys. Consumption was rare prior to World War II. When the birds were readily available, there was no demand for the tail because it had never been offered in the first place.

"Tails did and do not fit into what has become our culinary fascination with white meat," Carolan tells Mental Floss. "But also from a marketing [and] processor standpoint, if the consumer was just going to throw the tail away, or will not miss it if it was omitted, [suppliers] saw an opportunity to make additional money."

Indeed, the fact that Americans didn't have a taste for tail didn't prevent the poultry industry from moving on. Tails were being routed to Pacific Island consumers in the 1950s. Rich in protein and fat—a turkey tail is really a gland that produces oil used for grooming—suppliers were able to make use of the unwanted portion. And once consumers were exposed to it, they couldn't get enough.

“By 2007,” according to Carolan, “the average Samoan was consuming more than 44 pounds of turkey tails every year.” Perhaps not coincidentally, Samoans also have alarmingly high obesity rates of 75 percent. In an effort to stave off contributing factors, importing tails to the Islands was banned from 2007 until 2013, when it was argued that doing so violated World Trade Organization rules.

With tradition going hand-in-hand with commerce, poultry suppliers don’t really have a reason to try and change domestic consumer appetites for the tails. In preparing his research into the missing treat, Carolan says he had to search high and low before finally finding a source of tails at a Whole Foods that was about to discard them. "[You] can't expect the food to be accepted if people can't even find the piece!"

Unless the meat industry mounts a major campaign to shift American tastes, Thanksgiving will once again be filled with turkeys missing one of their juicier body parts.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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