Dogs Consolidate Memories When They Snooze, Just Like Us

It’s been a strong few weeks for furthering our knowledge of our favorite faithful friends. We’ve learned that dogs use facial expressions just for us when they know we’re watching and that they can smell our emotions and then adopt them. Now, we’ve discovered another way dogs are similar to us: they consolidate new memories when they snooze.

In a delightful scientific study, researchers at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary tracked dogs’ brain activity while they snoozed to see if, like humans, dogs use sleep – specifically short bursts of activity called sleep spindles – to retain new information.

Using electroencephalography (EEG) monitors attached to their scalps, the researchers discovered the dogs’ also showed signs of sleep spindles during non-REM sleep. Again, like humans, the frequency of the sleep spindles also indicated how well a dog had retained the new info it learned before its nap. The results are published in Scientific Reports.

Sleep spindles in humans are linked to learning and memory. They only last around half a second and block information from the thalamus, which relays sensory information, from reaching the cortex, where it would be processed properly.  

“When sleep spindles happen, the brain is being shielded from outside information, which is very important for memory consolidation because when you want to remember something, you don’t want it to mix with outside information,” co-author Ivaylo Iotchev told Live Science.

“It’s the first time that we can actually show this in a dog,” he confirmed.

The researchers used 15 pooch participants across a range of breeds, recording them napping to get a baseline for brain activity. Then they got the dogs to practice actions like “sit” and “lie down” in familiar Hungarian first, and then in unfamiliar English.

After these sessions, when the dogs snoozed, the researchers recorded their brainwaves. After the nap, the dogs repeated the commands, this time just in English, to see how well they’d retained the new info.

Iotchev and colleagues discovered the brain activity looked very similar to that of humans when consolidating memory and experience. Dogs with more frequent sleep spindles performed better, proving they had retained the information more effectively.

Previous studies have suggested that dogs dream, and because humans make up a large part of their everyday experiences, and are one of the main causes of their body’s rewards system, it’s quite likely they dream of us.  

And dogs sleep a lot. On average, they will dognap for between 12-14 hours a day, and puppies up to 18-20 hours a day. That they’re condensing and consolidating all that they learn and experience, just like humans, makes sense.

Tired puppers need up to 18-20 hours sleep a day to retain how to be a good boy. Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock


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American woman’s mission: Rescuing dogs from Bali volcano

An animal welfare organization founded by a Californian woman is making daily forays into the danger zone around Bali’s menacing volcano to feed hungry temple dogs and rescue village dogs left behind by fleeing communities.

Pura Besakih, known as the “Mother Temple” by locals, is usually busy with tourists and stalls hawking spicy meatball soup, but it is now deserted — bar its canine residents.

Janice Girardi, who has lived on Bali for over 30 years, said she’s nervous about getting close to Mount Agung, but is still making sure the animals are treated humanely.

More than 140,000 people have fled from the surrounds of Mount Agung since authorities raised the volcano’s alert status to the highest level on Sept. 22.

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Dogs home couple face 450k fraud charge

Image caption Simon Price was the chief executive of the Birmingham Dogs Home in Solihull

The former boss of a dog charity and his wife have been charged with fraud after £450,000 of donations went missing.

Simon Price was chief executive of Birmingham Dogs Home in Solihull and his wife Alayna was commercial manager, before their arrests last year.

The pair have now been charged with fraud by abuse of position after initially being arrested for theft.

They are due before magistrates in Birmingham on 1 November.

Image caption The charity helped more than 3,000 dogs in 2015 before moving to bigger premises last year

Mrs Price is also charged with concealing, disguising or converting criminal property, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Both have been released on bail.

John Wheatley, chairman of the charity, said the team “remains hopeful the funds can be recovered”.

The charity provides care and support to thousands of stray and neglected dogs and moved to a new £5.5m 12-acre site in October 2016.

It cost more than £1.85m to run the home in 2015.

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Dogs ill after supermarket postal promo

Image copyright Dan Dugdale
Image caption Dan Dugdale contacted Sainsbury’s after spending a “stressed evening at the vet’s” with Suzie

Pet owners have complained to Sainsbury’s after their dogs have fallen ill from eating promotional chocolate sent through the post.

The supermarket chain has posted free Green & Black’s chocolate bars to its reward card holders in recent days.

Vets have warned that dogs only need to consume a very small amount of chocolate to find themselves in an “emergency situation”.

Sainsbury’s says it is investigating complaints “as a matter of urgency”.

Sarah Hayward’s cocker spaniel Jarvis was rushed to the vet after he tore into the promotional box while she was at work.

She told BBC Radio 5 Live: “My parents, who came home to let the dogs out at lunchtime, found the empty packet on his bed – and obviously they were trying to work out what it was initially.

“They realised it was chocolate and the second they called the vet they were told to rush him straight in.

“He was put on various drips to flush fluids down him to try and induce him to be sick and, yes, it was a bit of a worry”.

Image copyright Sarah Hayward
Image caption Sainsbury’s has apologised to owners of the dogs affected, which include Jarvis

Meanwhile, Sammy Taylor, from Kent, wrote on Facebook that she was “furious” with the supermarket chain.

She said her puppy’s stomach was pumped after it ate the chocolate.

Dan Dugdale, from York, said he contacted Sainsbury’s after spending a “stressed evening at the vet’s” with his dog.

He said that the actual reward card-holder did not live at his address.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said the company was “extremely sorry for the distress caused”.

“We know chocolate is unsafe for pets to eat and that’s why we had measures in place to safeguard against pet owners receiving this promotion,” they added.

Green & Black’s declined to comment.

‘Big threat’

Dr Huw Stacey, Director of Clinical Services at Vets4Pets, explained that chocolate can be toxic for dogs – especially dark chocolate as it contains higher levels of chocolate solids.

Chocolate contains theobromine, a naturally occurring chemical found in cocoa beans. It is fine for humans to eat, but dogs cannot metabolise it.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It only takes a very small amount of dark chocolate to pose a big threat for dogs.

“The important thing is that the sooner you can do something about it, the better. If they’ve just eaten it you can give them drugs to make them vomit it back up again and get it out of their system”.

According to the British Veterinary Association (BVA), chocolate can be poisonous for any animal but dogs are the most commonly affected pets:

  • They usually show signs of poisoning within 12 hours but symptoms can last for up to three days.
  • Symptoms include excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhoea and restlessness.
  • They can develop into hyperactivity, tremors, abnormal heart rate, hyperthermia and rapid breathing.
  • In the worst cases, dogs can experience fits and in some cases can fall into a coma or die.

Owners who know their dogs have consumed chocolate are advised to call their vets “even if they look well in themselves”, as the symptoms may not show up in the first hour or so, Dr Stacey said.

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Four Disney World hotels to allow dogs

The happiest place on earth is about to get a whole lot more furry.

On Oct. 13, Walt Disney World Disney announced that four of its hotels will now open its doors to canine guests. Better yet, there’s barely any wait: the pilot program will begin on Sunday, Oct. 15.


Dog-toting guests of the Art of Animation Resort, Port Orleans Riverside Resort and the Fort Wilderness Resort cabins will be charged a $50 fee per night, while Yacht Club Resort visitors will be billed $75 per night. This additional fee will go to extra cleaning for the dog-hosting rooms.

“For years, families have struggled with the decision whether to bring their four-legged companions along on vacation to the Most Magical Place on Earth,” Melissa Halliburton, president and founder of pet travel site, told MarketWatch. Further, she believes that Disney has made the move not just to keep up with other Orlando-area resorts, but millennial consumers.

“They are choosing to have children later in life – but their dogs have taken that spot in their hearts, and they want to travel with them,” Halliburton added.


According to Disney’s official statement, a maximum of two dogs will be allowed per room in the designated “dog friendly” hotel floors or sections. The pups must be properly vaccinated, leashed in public spaces and well behaved.

Upon check in, four-legged family members can expect to be treated with the signature Disney hospitality that their owners look forward to, and will receive their very own Pluto-approved welcome kit. Dog walking maps, disposable bags, food bowls, an ID tag, and the like will start their trip off on the right foot. In addition, guests will be given a hang tag for their door to indicate that animal is inside.


Twitter users reacted to the news with mixed emotions, as the dog-lovers rejoiced, and the dog-averse bemoaned the announcement. 

No word yet as to how cats feel about being excluded from the festivities. 

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The rich dogs of Instagram: How popular pups earn big money on social media

Image: jon huang/tracy wong/katie sturino/mashable

Manny has achieved a lot for a six year old.

He’s a philanthropist and social media influencer with more than a million followers on Instagram, including Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart. He’s appeared on Good Morning America and had his own booth at a music festival. He has numerous licensing and sponsorship deals with brands like Turtle Wax and Dremel.

Oh, and he’s a French bulldog.

Manny the Frenchie, as he’s known on Instagram, is not alone. He’s part of a growing breed of pet influencers that include other pedigree personalities like shih tzu Potato McTater and Cavalier King Charles spaniel Toast Meets World — they’re pictured above, doing their adorable thing.

Each of these doggos have achieved fame thanks to a distinctive personality trait.

Take Chloe the mini Frenchie, who is about half the size of a typical French bulldog. Her petite stature garnered her thousands of adoring fans, and eventually led to sponsorship deals in beauty and fashion. 

night night from an extra mini chlo nugget 🐣 #fbf

A post shared by Chloe The Mini Frenchie (@chloetheminifrenchie) on

Inspired by Chloe, her owner, Loni Edwards, has founded The Dog Agency — an agency that manages internet-famous pets. 

Potato’s famous costumes, meanwhile, included Hillary Clinton for Halloween, and have helped earn him notoriety. He has since appeared on the Today Show

Toast, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel rescued from a puppy mill, had to have all of her rotted teeth removed. This caused her tongue to flop out of her mouth, and the internet to fall in love with her.

my plan for the weekend…#carbs #FBF 🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞

A post shared by TOAST MEETS WORLD™ (@toastmeetsworld) on

Her ensuing fame has led to a book deal, merchandise, sponsorships, and even a fashion campaign. While her following largely grew organically without the help of management, she is now managed by Edwards’ Dog Agency. 

“I have a background in PR, and I started sending out pictures of her in little outfits to different magazines, and it took off,” said Toast’s owner, Katie Sturino. “It became a really fun, cool thing.”

Manny got the internet’s attention with his sink naps. 

Long weekend calls for long sink nap! 💤

A post shared by Manny The Frenchie (@manny_the_frenchie) on

“That’s really what started to go viral,” said Manny’s owner, Jon Huang. “From there, celebrities started following up with him, giving him shout-outs. He got followed by the cast members from Glee, and then local media started picking him up.”

The corporate sponsorships

The money pet influencers can make from sponsorships varies based on follower count, but it can be a cash cow. Pets with a comparable number of followers to Manny can make anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 per sponsored post, according to Edwards.

“Of course there’s many variables that go into it — the rates pets can make per post depend on the following, the engagement, and what’s involved in the campaign,” Edwards said. “But generally those with a couple hundred thousand followers are making $3,000 to $5,000 per piece of sponsored content, while those in the millions make $10,000 to $15,000.”

Those figures are comparable to human rates; Forbes reported in April that an influencer with 100,000 followers can expect around $5,000 per post.

Hey girl, I know frenchies fart alot, but don’t worry I got us covered! 💨😉 . . @turtlewax #turtlewax #promoted #Shinesquad

A post shared by Manny The Frenchie (@manny_the_frenchie) on

While one might reasonably expect these pet influencers to promote products for animals, that’s not usually the case. Toast is best known as a fashion model; she did the entire look-book for Karen Walker’s Spring 2015 eyewear campaign and, as a result, was featured on posters all around the world. 

Though it might seem odd that a fashion brand would choose a dog to model its new merchandise, Edwards said it actually makes good sense.

“A lot of the brands we work with are human brands as opposed to pet brands,” she said of her agency. “Brands are seeing the value that pet influencers are providing; they have higher engagement levels, they’re relatable across all demographics, and they offer all the traditional benefits of influencer marketing.”

Modeling hasn’t been Toast’s only foray into the human world. She also has brand deals with Stainmaster, Febreze, and Swiffer. Chloe also has her own distinct Instagram persona, focussing on topics that might not seem typical for an animal.

“Travel, fashion, and food,” Edwards said. “Chloe’s content tends to revolve around those themes, and the brands she partners with are based on those themes as well.”

photoshoot ready thanks to @UrbanDecayCosmetics 💄💁🏼 #UrbanDecay is cruelty-free & doesn’t test on animals. how could anyone? #ad

A post shared by Chloe The Mini Frenchie (@chloetheminifrenchie) on

Manny, unlike other famous pets with such large followings, is managed by his owner Huang.

“We try to partner exclusively and strategically with partners who are organic to us, and who kind of share our mission,” Huang said. Manny’s partners are based in both the human and pet worlds, and range from Halo organic pet food to power tool brand Dremel, which makes a special nail filing attachment.

“We take all of Manny’s photos,” Huang said, explaining how the process works. “We write all the captions for the organic posts. If it’s campaign related, we write them in Manny’s voice and if the partner wants to change or edit, then they can choose to.”

Corporate partnerships and appearances aren’t the only ways these pets make money. Toast and Manny both have book deals and merchandise available in their online stores. Manny even did a campaign with American Apparel — his first partnership. 


Of course, it’s not all take, take, take. The humans behind the Insta pets generally use the social media platforms to give back where possible. 

“Manny is known as the most philanthropic pet celebrity in the world,”Huang says. It’s a grand claim, but he insists that they’ve donated some $105,000 to various charitable causes. The proceeds from Manny’s merchandise go to animal rescue organizations and the pair purchased a new van for an animal shelter. Manny also visited a cystic fibrosis patient whose only wish was apparently to meet the dog.

Huang plans to launch Manny’s non-profit foundation before the end of the year, which will benefit whatever causes “touch [his] heart.”

“We visit a lot of retirement homes; Manny’s training to visit kids now.”

“We visit a lot of retirement homes; Manny’s training to visit kids now,” Huang continued. “We want to work with kids with disabilities and fighting cancer. We want to cheer them up with Manny.” 

According to Chloe’s website, she has used her celebrity to raise money for the Humane Society of NY, mostly through fashion-based collaborations.

“[Chloe] recently collaborated with luxury scarf line Donni Charm to create dog scarves, as well as worked with a factory in NYC to create Pawtty Bags, essentially little dog purses to hold poop bags,” her website states. All proceeds went to the Humane Society. 

For Sturino, the most important use of Toast’s platform is encouraging dog adoption. She began the account not to seek fame, but because she felt more people needed to be aware of rescue dogs like Toast. 

“She just had a very special energy — she just did,” Sturino said. “People were always very drawn to her.”

In addition to monetary donations to the humane society, she frequently uses Toast’s account to advocate for the removal of pet stores from New York City. 

The future for Insta-pups

The Instagram pet community has ballooned in recent years, with newer pet owners seeing the mass appeal enjoyed by famous animals. 

“I think that there was a first wave of Instagram famous dogs,” Sturino said. “And now that world has bloated so much.”

Take Potato, whose owner Tracy Wong started his account after following San Francisco’s Daily Dougie. “I became obsessed [with Dougie],” Wong said. “I said, ‘When I have a dog, he’s totally gonna be Instagram famous.’ It started as a joke, and it was just me following other dogs on Instagram and getting a lot of joy out of that; we never thought it would escalate to the point it’s at now.” 

Draw me like one of your #FrenchFries 🍟 Happy #NationalFrenchFryDay! What’s your favorite way to eat #Fries? 😉 #CurlyFries #Ketchup #Mayo 😍

A post shared by 👻🐤Potato_McTater | Shih Tzu (@potato_mctater) on

Much like any niche community, Wong said, there’s always a bit of drama. Sturino agreed. “It’s like the Toddlers and Tiaras of dogs,” she joked. 

The issues stem from owners of rescue dogs versus those of dogs who were bought from a store or breeder. “A lot of store bought dogs on Instagram hide a little behind dog rescue, acting like they didn’t buy a dog,” Sturino said.

The ASPCA works closely with a lot of these canine celebs. “Instagram pet celebrities have a large influence on their fans, which is why the ASPCA often collaborates with them to spread awareness about key animal welfare issues including the importance of pet adoption, how to end puppy mills, and the cruelty of dog fighting, said Olivia Melikhov, ASPCA director of social media strategy.

Lil Bub, for example, does a great job raising awareness about special needs pets, while Marnie the Dog helps raise visibility about the value of senior pet adoption. So while simply being famous on Instagram is a celebration of pets in general, we feel the true potential impact of these wonderful animals is their ability to advocate for fellow dogs and cats in need and at risk.”

All of the owners said their pets’ fans made running the accounts a fulfilling experience. 

“Potato’s fans are the sweetest people in the world,” Wong said. “You see this goofy-looking, fluffy dog — just his existence makes us happy. It’s cool we get to share that with everyone else.”

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These dogs traveled from all over the U.S. to bring some much needed comfort to Las Vegas

Technology has changed the music industry (for better or worse) at its core. But along with the rise of digital audio and innovations like livestreaming, there came some challenges.

With livestreaming, it’s delay. There are always a few brief moments of nothingness when you decide to go live on Facebook, and the band The Academic decided to use that delay to record loops for a performance of their song “Bear Claws. 

The song blew up, receiving over 1.2 million views in just a week. We were able to catch up with the band, to get a behind the scenes look at how the band was able to create the rendition of this song. 

I would love to know how this idea came about?

We love technology and we obviously love music and we wanted to find something that could bring both together. We came across a little hack that uses a Facebook Live stream in a way that Facebook themselves never intended. We thought how cool would it be if we can turn Facebook Live into a video and audio sampler. Musically, it’s very similar to using a loop pedal – you stack layers of the same length on top of each other, indefinitely. The cool thing is the video picture loops too, so you’re building both loops simultaneously – live, within the Facebook platform.

What was the hardest part about recording the live loop?

It probably looks a lot easier than it actually was. The hardest part about it? The timing! We had one take to make sure that we were completely in sync with each other. If a single beat, part or note was missed, that mistake would obviously loop for the whole video and it would have been a mess.

How much planning did it take?

We took a bit of time to plan the song arrangement and work out some of the choreography but we only had one shot to make it work as a live take.

How did you plan it? 

We tried to arrange the song in an interesting way. Introducing instruments and vocal hooks First that are not prominent and don’t make much sense until the end. For example introducing the drums towards the end gives the ending some explosiveness!

What has the feedback been like?

The reaction has been crazy. We knew we had created something that had never been done before and we had hoped it would get a good reaction but not to the extent of interest the video has generated. We have had hundreds of messages from around the world which has mind-blowing.

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‘Big Bang Theory’s’ Kaley Cuoco ‘sick’ over abandoned dogs

If there’s one thing that gets Kaley Cuoco fired up is the idea that anyone can hand over their pet to an animal shelter after years of loyalty.

“It makes me sick,” the 31-year-old actress told the Los Angeles Times. “They act like dogs are trash. They act like dogs are a water bottle you can just throw away.”

A post shared by @normancook on

The “Big Bang Theory” star is so determined to rescue dogs in need that she began working with pit bulls 10 years ago. Cuoco was hoping to shed light on the common misconception that all pit bulls are dangerous and deserve mistreatment.

“I just found them to be so incredible,” she explained. “I realized what great dogs they were, and how horribly they were seen. And I just didn’t want that to happen anymore. So it became a passion.”

He always knows what to say 💭 #norman

A post shared by @normancook on

And in between acting or “playing pretend,” she works with Paw Works, her nonprofit rescue organization that collaborates with shelters in Los Angeles to place abandoned animals in loving homes.

“You know, an animal is so innocent,” she said. “They have no voice… I want to kind of be a voice for them, and speak up for them. “It’s because they’re old. So many people come in and drop off dogs they’ve had for years and they don’t want anymore because they’re old.”

A post shared by @normancook on

The equestrian has adopted her own pit bull named Norman, after English DJ Norman Cook of Fatboy Slim. She even named her Instagram page after the pooch, where she has 3.2 million followers.

But Norman isn’t the only star in Cuoco’s household. The publication added she has 10 pets and has developed social media personalities for each of them during her spare time.

#bts with my @bigbangtheory_cbs brothers ⭐️ many moons together! ❤️

A post shared by @normancook on

She doesn’t ever regret dedicating her life to dogs.

“I live by this saying,” she said. “I don’t know who quoted it, but it’s like: Who rescued who? And I just think that’s the sweetest thing. Because it’s true. It changes your life.”

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Former Colombian Model Has a New Career And It’s Fitness For Dogs

It brings joy to us knowing that our pets are healthy and active. But sometime, we ourselves don’t have time to make that possible. Luckily, someone thought of the perfect way in which dogs can get the active lifestyle they need. Former Colombian model Gustavo Montagut came to Sydney seeking adventure, and he is taking plenty of four-legged friends along for the ride. 

  • Via: Fitness Dogs

    When Montagut came to Sydney he realized something very early on. Sydney was a place obsessed with dogs, just like him! So he decided to combine his passions of fitness and healthy living and his love of dogs and the outdoors. And that is how Fitness Dogs came to be!

    Fitness Dogs provides real dog adventure, which Montagut calls DogXperiences. This includes DogAdventures, a 45-minute cardio session jogging, hiking or swimming in parklands and dog-friendly beaches across Sydney from the eastern suburbs to the north shore.

  • Via: Fitness Dogs

    “We don’t only walk dogs, we take them on adventures,” Montagut says. “DogAdventures is a group of experiences tailored to your dog’s needs. Some of the journeys include hiking in NSW national parks, going for a jog with our trainers, or taking a dip at some of Sydney’s most beautiful beaches.”

    This is perfect for keeping active and letting him participate is such adventures that sometimes an owner just can’t.

    “The aim is not just to keep your dog in shape but to create different experiences for them,” Montagut says.

  • Via: Fitness Dogs

    DogAdventures targets energetic dogs that love new experiences in the great outdoors, and it is also a place where they socialize with other dogs! So this also builds their social skills! Montagut surprisingly started Fitness Dogs only 10 months ago! We know, that’s insanse. He started it after realizing just how many dogs were out and about in Sydney looking for a bit of adventure.

    It’s a pretty known fact that all dogs need a physical outlet, to expend energy and maintain good physical and mental health. Luckily they have DogAdventures that has more mainstream training programs available as well as the intense outdoors ones.

     Something for each dog!

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