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Tesco stores nationwide are offering a complete range of quirky seasonal treats for the four-legged members of the family this Christmas. Tesco’s Christmas Pet food range features a selection of merry meals and treats so they can join in the festive fun and enjoy a Christmas dinner with recipes designed especially for them.

This wide range of pet friendly treats in festive flavours includes some truly pawsome treats such as handmade Macaroons, Mince Pies, Christmas puddings and more.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Cocker Spaniel (@cocker_spaniel_ins) on

Tesco Mince Pies for Dogs (€2.99)

An ideal present to sit under the Christmas tree or served as a Christmas day treat for your favourite pooch, these pimped up mince pies are made from a recipe containing all-natural ingredients with a yogurt and carob coating. Paw-fect!

Tesco Macarons For Dogs 8 Pack (€3.00)

Man’s best friend deserves only the best! These all new Macarons for Dogs are a special festive treat for your furry friend, complete with a tasty yoghurt flavour filling and carefully sandwiched together by hand.

Tesco Handmade Christmas Pudding Biscuits for Dogs (€2.99)

While the rest of the family tuck into a festive feast, don’t forget the pup by your side. Treat them with ‘dog-licious’ Christmas Pudding biscuits, made with all-natural ingredients and hand decorated with a yoghurt and carob coating.

Tesco Dog Biscuit Tin with Turkey & Cranberry (€3.89)

Tesco’s Turkey and Cranberry flavoured dog biscuits are made with tasty wheat meal and oven baked for added crunch. Made with no artificial colours or flavours, these crunchy biscuits help keep dogs’ teeth clean and are enriched with vitamins and minerals. Pups will love these Christmas dinner flavoured treats!

Tesco Dog Biscuit Christmas Stars (€2.99)

The paw-fect stocking filler for your favourite pooch. These festive star biscuits are created with a grain free recipe and boast a delicious carob & peanut butter flavour that is sure to have tails wagging.

Tesco Turkey And Cranberry Cat Treats (€3.89)

The purr-fect festive treat for your feline friend. Tesco’s Turkey and Cranberry flavoured cat treats are oven baked for added crunch. Made with no artificial colours or flavours, these Christmas dinner flavoured treats are enriched with vitamins and minerals and help to keep cats’ teeth clean. Win win!

 

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Buying our furry friends a Christmas gift is an essential- judge us all you want. Buying something for the dog is far too fun because pet gifts are too cute. One thing we just can’t get enough of are dog coats, especially festive ones so we’ve conjured up a list of 27 coats for your pup and they’re adorable.

Knitted Dog Jumper by H&M

Knitted dog jumper - Red/Green - Ladies | H&M IE

RRP €12.99

Fairisle Dog Outfit by Penneys

RRP €8

Brown Fluffy Reindeer Doggy Costume by Pretty Little Thing

RRP €14

Polar Bear Grey Dog Outfit by Penneys

RRP €8

Knitted Christmas Dog Turtleneck Sweater by Amazon

 

RRP £11.99 

Dog's Christmas Elf Costume by Funidelia.ie

RRP €25.95

Knitted dog dress by H&M

Knitted dog dress - Red - Ladies | H&M IE

RRP €7.99

Dog Puffa Jacket by Penneys

RRP €8

Dog Jumper with pompoms by H&M

Dog jumper with pompoms - Light beige - Ladies | H&M IE

RRP €14.99

Dogs Sweater Winter Dog Clothes Red Blue Costume by Mini in the Box

RRP from €6.64

Red Santa Doggy Costume & Hat by Pretty Little Thing

Red Santa Doggy Costume and Hat image 1

RRP €14

Next Matching Family Pudding Dog Jumper by Next 

RRP from €9

Christmas Tree Dog Jumper by Penneys

RRP €8

Red Nosed Reindeer Sweater by Amazon

RRP £9.99 

Gold Faux Fur Dog Puffer Jacket by River Island

RRP €30

Knitted dog jumper by H&M

RRP €7.99

Santa Paws Reindeer Dog Outfit by Penneys

RRP €8

I am Snow Cute jumper by Next

RRP €9

Accessorize Grey Preppy Dog Jumper via Next

RRP €17.50

Christmas Family Penguin Dog Outfit by Dunnes Stores

RRP €10

Chevron Stripe Bone Print Dog Jumper by Marks & Spencer

Chevron Stripe Bone Print Dog Jumper

RRP €27

Dog Dress by H&M

RRP €12.99

Winter pink dog sweater by Mini in the Box 

RRP from €4.74

Reindeer Dog Christmas Jumper in Navy by Pet Connection

RRP from £7.99

Rose gold padded dog jacket by H&M

RRP €22.99

Black Knitted Dog Jumper by River Island

RRP €20

Red Cable Knit Dog Jumper by River Island 

RRP €20

 

 

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The ISPCA is issuing a reminder that pets do not make good gifts and should never be bought on a whim or given as a surprise at any time of year.  

The charity have re-released a thought provoking video called #PuppyDotCon, previously issued by the Irish Pet Advertising Advisory Group (IPAAG), of which the ISPCA is a founding member, which demonstrates how easy it is to be fooled by unscrupulous dog breeders and highlights the dangers of buying a pet after responding to an online advert.

Any new puppy, kitten or even an adult pet placed in a new home during the busy festive season can find the process very stressful, especially young puppies separated from their siblings.

What any new pet really needs is a quiet, calm, safe home where routines can be established straight away so everyone has a good start and can easily adjust to new surroundings. 

During the Christmas festivities is not the best time to introduce a new pet in your home says the ISPCA.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ISPCA (@ispca_official) on

ISPCA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Kelly said: “Responsible pet owners understand the commitment involved in owning a pet but in the lead up to Christmas, it can be easy to give in to pressure from Children looking to get a new puppy or a kitten.

"The ISPCA is asking parents to reconsider giving a pet as a gift this Christmas as taking on a pet is a long-term commitment that can affect your life for the next 15 years so it needs to be a well thought out decision with all the family. Pets do not make good gifts and should never be given as a surprise at any time of year”.

Andrew added:  “There are a number of unscrupulous puppy breeders who cater for the Christmas market and is important to do your research and have adequate time and financial resources to care for a pet responsibly.  This year, the ISPCA is asking animal lovers to consider giving the gift of feeding a dog or puppy, a cat or kitten at one of the three ISPCA animal centres this Christmas.

"When you purchase a Thoughtful Gift from the ISPCA Shop, you will be helping many rescued animals in need this Christmas. 100% of profits from merchandise sales will go towards funding our life-saving work. You can also sign up to become an ISPCA volunteer or help out your local rescue centre this Christmas”.

"It’s not the case that on Stephen’s Day we see an influx of abandoned animals", said Andrew.  "We do see a problem later in the spring and summer months when puppies may have lost their ‘cute appeal’ when they might have started picking up bad habits due to the lack of attention, training, exercise and socialisation."

The charity recommends that you wait until after the festive season and go to the ISPCA for advice where expert staff will ensure that you and your new pet are a suitable match. Pets adopted from the ISPCA National Animal Centre will be health-checked, vaccinated, neutered or spayed and microchipped and the Centre is open to visitors Wednesday to Sunday from 11am – 4pm daily (Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). 

As a charitable organisation, the ISPCA relies on public support for approximately 88% of funds which they receive through donations enabling us to continue our vital work rescuing animals that need help and rehabilitation costs are expensive. If you can this Christmas, please make a donation to support our work here.

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Buying the cat or dog a Christmas present is an essential for most families. You can’t leave the poor thing out at Christmas, right?

Luckily, you won’t have to spend a fortune on a Christmas gift for your furry friend because Aldi have released a huge range of festive presents for cats and dogs.

They’ve got everything from quilted dog coats, luxury blankets to cat cuddle scratchers.

But what we really need is the pet tepee.

A tepee for your pet? Genius.

It’s time to spoil the furry members of your family this festive season, with a range of practical gifts, on sale in 140 Aldi stores nationwide from Sunday, December 8. 

Check out the pet presents below:

Pet Tepee €14.99
Dog Cuddle Bundle €29.99
Squeaky Christmas Dog Toy €3.49 each
Pet Sofa Bed €44.99
Quilted Dog Coat €7.99
Cat Cuddle Scratcher €5.99

The above products are on sale in 140 Aldi stores nationwide from Sunday, December 8. 

For more information see www.aldi.ie

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With Halloween just around the corner and bonfires, fireworks and more all something our dogs have to deal with, Chris Hanlon of Werewolf Food has provided his top tips for keeping your dog happy and safe. 

He says, “Halloween anxiety in dogs in a very real scenario and although you’ll know when your dog is scared, unhappy or nervous, knowing how to handle it in the moment, or avoid it altogether is key. Every element of the day from the food to the fireworks needs to be considered but planning a little ahead should make for a relaxing evening.” 

  • Walk 

Chris says: “Bringing your dog for a longer walk than usual early in the evening or late in the afternoon, before much of the madness ensues, will help to relax them as much as possible and hopefully mean they are a little bit less angsty if the evening turns out be full of loud noises and have lots of visitors. As we know, the fireworks and noises can be unexpected so it’s worthwhile keeping your dog on its lead throughout.” 

Image result for walking dog gif

  • Hide the sweet treats 

Chris explains, “The next obvious risk to dogs on Halloween night is the sweet treats left for trick-or-treaters. These need to be kept out of reach of your furry friend. We all know our dogs will sniff out every human treat they are not supposed to have and get up to all kinds of mischief in the kitchen when we’re not looking so it’s worthwhile being extra careful and leaving treats in high cupboards or locked away in between trick-or-treater visits. Monkey nut shells can be a choking risk while chocolate and other sweet treats can be poisonous to dogs and cause tummy upset so stick to the dog-friendly treats to include your dog in the fun.” 

Image result for disney oliver and company gif

  • Dangerous décor 

As with the sweet treats, Chris reminds us that dangerous decorations can be a risk too. He says, “The number one risk is lit pumpkins. We all know our dogs are curious and as they aren’t used to inviting lit pumpkins, keep them out of paws reach. Overall, my advice would be not to overdo it – the more the house appears to be unfamiliar, especially with scary statues and hangers, the more your dog will get riled up. Bear in mind too that by wearing a mask, your dog no longer recognises you and your family members so perhaps pop it on out of their sight.” 

Image result for dog halloween gif

  • Stay with them 

Chris explains, “It might seem like the practical option to keep your dog away from the noise in the quietest part of the house but we can underestimate just how scary fireworks, spooky costumes and consistent unexpected visitors can be to dogs so I suggest keeping them close, giving them their favourite toys to keep them as distracted as possible and comforting them with affection as they need it. A handy trick is to turn on music or the TV to try and drown out external noise as much as possible.” 

Image result for dog on sofa gif tv show

  • Ask a friend 

Chris advises not leaving things to chance. He says, “If you have a gut feeling that your dog isn’t going to react well, it might be worthwhile asking a friend in a quieter area if you can pop round for the busy times or even asking them to dog sit. You can also consider a boarding kennels in a rural area that you rate so you can have some peace of mind.” 

Image result for cuddling puppies gif

Husband and wife Christopher and Bridgeen Hanlon, are the duo behind subscription-based dog food company, Werewolf Food. That’s right, you can now have your dog’s food delivered right to your door on a rolling basis as your dog needs it. Werewolf Food, founded in January, has tapped into our growing love for the convenience of subscriptions just like Glossybox, Hello Fresh and Bloom and Wild. 

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As temperatures rise in Ireland this week, the ISPCA is sharing some tips and advice to help keep your pets safe during the hot weather.

ISPCA Public Relations Manager Carmel Murray id, ''We all love the summer sunshine but please plan in advance if you are bringing your pet anywhere with you in hot weather ensuring they won’t be left in a hot car for any length of time.

We want to protect our pets especially in warm weather – so follow these rules and keep them safe.

1. Avoid walking your dog during intense heat, early morning or evening walks is always best when it’s cooler. 

2. If the pavement is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws. 

3. Always have fresh cool water available and access to shade from the sun.

Walk when cooler (1)

Carmel said, ''If your pet is showing signs of severe overheating, move them to a cooler area immediately, spray with cool (not cold) water, and give a small drink of water and contact your vet.''

She continued, ''It is important to know the signs of overheating such as increased heart rate with excessive panting and drooling, drowsy or out of sorts, vomiting or diarrhoea”.

Don't leave dogs in hot cars. 

5. It is important to always have fresh water available for your pet; refresh and refill more often than on a normal day and leave extra if you are going out. 

Summer Pet Hazards (1)

6. Make sure they have access to shade and keep them indoors in cooler rooms when the heat becomes too extreme.

7. All caged animals, even if they are indoors, should be kept out of direct sunlight.

8. Keep an eye on aviaries or birdcages, which are near to a window.

9. Remember household chemicals and common summer foods can be toxic to pets. If using sunscreen or insect repellent, please ensure the product is labelled as safe for use on pets.

10. If you are unsure about certain products consult your vet. Alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, chocolate, coconut, grapes or raisins, onions, raw meat or excessively salty foods or foods containing the sweetener xylitol can be toxic or cause serious health issues for your pet. 

11. Keep them away from your pet during summer barbecues.

12. If you do witness an animal locked in a car on a hot day, try to establish how long the dog has been left in the car first, look for a pay and display a ticket on the dashboard. 

13. If the pet is showing signs of distress and overheating contact the local Garda station immediately or dial 999 /112 in an emergency and call our National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515.

Enjoy this bit of nice weather and just ask sure to keep on eye on your pets – you want them to enjoy it too. 

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This little bit of new research is very heart-warming.

As much as we all love our siblings, it turns out we love our dogs a little bit more than them.

Image result for dogs gif

In an unsurprising, but lovely study, it was confirmed that even though we love our siblings, we actually trust dogs more.

The research was carried out on 77 12-year-olds in the UK, and found that pets not only make kids happier, but they also get along better with them, too.

Girls in particular are closer to their pet pooches, and also have a higher level of companionship with them, compared to boys.

Image result for dogs gif

Matt Cassells, one of the researchers, said: “Anyone who has loved a childhood pet knows that we turn to them for companionship and disclosure, just like relationships between people.

“Even though pets may not fully understand or respond verbally, the level of disclosure to pets was no less than to siblings.

Related image

“The fact that pets cannot understand or talk back may even be a benefit as it means they are completely non-judgmental.”

We'll forever love our pups.

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A new report ‘Taking Dogs into the Office' sponsored by Purina Human-Animal Bond Studies sponsorship program and conducted by researchers at the University of Lincoln (UK) shows that employees who often take their dog to work report 22 percent higher satisfaction with working conditions. This new research is the first to quantify the benefits and the impact of dogs in the office on work-related and dog-related outcomes.

It measures parameters such as employees’ engagement and wellbeing or their control over decisions at work, and analyses how the bond between dogs and their owners can be reinforced by being together as well in the office.

 A common myth until now has been that taking dogs into the office could be distracting. This new research shows that employees who take their dog to work report increased absorption in their work by a significant 33.4 percent and in their dedication to work by 16.5 percent – compared to the norm, with an overall increase in work engagement of 14.4 percent.  In fact, researchers suggest that the presence of a friendly dog may increase motivation and attention to set tasks 

Nestlé UK & Ireland, Purina’s sister company, has been welcoming dogs into many of its offices since 2015, with its main offices in Dublin, Gatwick, and York now has over 100 four legged colleagues on the payroll. The company is committed to promoting dog-friendly workplaces to help more people and pets enjoy the benefits of spending more time together. To support more organisations to become dog-friendly, Purina has developed the Pets at Work Alliance, a framework for other companies to follow and enable their employees to bring their pets to work. 

‘Taking Dogs into the Office’ research demonstrates that bringing pets to work increases employees’ performance and productivity and reduces employees’ intention to leave their job. These outcomes highlight potential benefits for companies that allow employees to bring their pets to work. Their employees may be more engaged and productive, and the company might be able to reduce their recruitment costs by avoiding the potential loss of their own talent. 

The findings also show that employees who often take their dog to work report 14.9 percent higher satisfaction with their home-work interface (i.e. in accommodating family and work commitments). In addition, they report 16.9 percent higher scores in their overall work quality of life compared to the norm and 16.6 percent higher control at work, which includes their perceived control over decisions being made at work.

Overall, employees scored 13.1 percent higher for their job-career satisfaction and 4.7 percent higher for their general well-being, with greater levels of happiness and life satisfaction. 

From the dog’s perspective, being able to go to the office with their owner may also be beneficial. Many dogs are left alone for long periods of time, and separation related problems are recognised as one of the most important threats to domestic dog welfare. Therefore, spending more time together also helps strengthen the bond between pets and pet-owners. 

Professor Daniel Mills, Professor of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine, Director of The Animal Behaviour Clinic at the University of Lincoln, and one of the authors of the research along with Dr. Sophie Hall says: “If you told employers there was a simple way to increase their workforce overall satisfaction with the working conditions, they’d be very keen to learn more.

"Our results show that far from being a distraction, (a fear expressed by some in our earlier work) allowing dogs in the workplace has the potential to improve employees’ focus and probably productivity too. Forward-thinking companies should consider very seriously if they can accommodate dogs in the workplace and the Purina Pets at Work programme can enable them to do this efficiently.” 

“Currently, 22 countries have established Pets at Work programmes in Purina and Nestlé offices”, states Bernard Meunier, CEO at Nestlé Purina PetCare Europe, Middle East and North Africa.

“At Purina, we have also supported 80 partners across Europe to implement our framework, become dog-friendly and join our Pets at Work Alliance. Our objective, as part of our commitment to promote pets in the workplace, is to support pets at work initiatives and help 200 companies join our Pets at Work Alliance by 2020”, Meunier confirms. Companies including UniCredit in Italy, wework in France, AFB International in Netherlands and McCann in the UK are already members of this global Alliance.

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Kate Middleton's dapper brother James has made his Instagram public, and it's full of the cutest animal photos you can find.

The 31-year-old is allowing the public to see his social media, including images which date back to 2013 as well as his charity work with animals.

His dog Ela as recently becoming a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog, and his pride is palpable;

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by James Middleton (@jmidy) on

He captioned his latest snap, dated New Year's Eve;

“Proud of Ella for becoming a PAT dog this year. Animals can provide a sense of calm, comfort, or safety and divert attention away from a stressful situation and towards one that provides pleasure.”

He shared photos of at least eight other dogs, among his own pet family includes a gorgeous Golden Retriever, a black Labrador, and multiple Cocker Spaniels.

“The ever growing pack,” James captioned the snap, adding a paw print emoji for good measure.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by James Middleton (@jmidy) on

Looking through his posts that offer an insight into his Scotland life, three main themes which emerge about the future Queen Consort's little brother are; animals, selfies and celebrity cameos.

Many candid family moments are also on display, such as those from charity events with Pippa and even some images of his ex-girlfriend Donna Air.

James also features chickens, birds and even a little white lamb on his unreal page. We wanna see the royal lifestyle we can never afford, TBH.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by James Middleton (@jmidy) on

He also shows off his travel pictures, such as ski trip shots and throwbacks to his extravagant holidays, with Pippa included.

Last week, James visited St. Barths with his sister Pippa and her husband James Matthews, who recently welcomed their son Arthur Michael William.

We're hugely excited to see even more insight into the Middleton brother's lifestyle. This is some MAJOR good stalking content.

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Legendary rapper Snoop Dogg has melted hearts across the world after offering to adopt an abandoned doggo who was named after him.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, named Snoop, was left isolated in Stoke-On-Trent and was caught on CCTV after being cruelly deserted by the couple.

The poor little pet attempted to climb back into his owner's car but didn't succeed, and the heartbreaking footage caught the attention of Snoop Dogg himself.

He said he simply can't stand by, telling the Daily Star that there's "always room for another dog in Casa de Snoop."

The 47-year-old commented that;

"If he really needed a home then he has one with us. But I don’t think there is going to be any shortage of loving homes after all the exposure he has got."

The pooch could end up living in the Doggfather's Los Angeles mansion after the RSPCA shared the footage.

The Inspector of the RSPCA, Natalie Perehovsky, spoke to Good Morning Britain last week about the footage of the couple who unclipped his lead and ran away:

"This is heartbreaking, it’s the way he runs after the owner — he clearly loved who was there. He was obviously distressed," she commented on the ruthlessness of some owners.

She said: "I don’t know what was going through their mind when they did that. It could be the expense, it could be family changes, there’s hundreds of reasons."

"But there’s places that help people, you can take him to charities or dog homes. There’s no excuse."

Fair play Snoop, he even donates money to dog charities and has his own French Bulldog.

Adorable.

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Miley Cyrus has been left 'devastated' at the loss of her beloved Malibu home to the California wildfires, it has been reported.

The wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes across the west coast of America, ravaging land and leaving 230 people missing and a death toll of 31 so far.

In a series of tweets on Sunday night, the 25-year-old pop star confirmed the news of her home's destruction, and has stated her gratitude for the survival of her pets and 'love of my life', Liam Hemsworth.

Her pets were safely removed from the premises, and the singer called for fans to donate to the emergency services to prevent any further damage at all costs, especially loss of life.

She took the time to thank those who are supporting the relief efforts:

"Sending so much love and gratitude to the firefighters and LA country Sheriff’s department! If you are interested in getting involved see next tweet…. Donate $ , Time , Supplies I love you more than ever , Miley."

Other celebrities whose homes have been affected include Gerard Butler, Simon Cowell, Kim Kardashian West, Lady Gaga, Robin Thicke and Neil Young.

Actor Gerard Butler shared footage of the wreckage surrounding his home on social media, saying it was a "heartbreaking time" for Californians.

Caitlyn Jenner revealed to fans that the fire came within metres of her home.

"It was devastating out here in Malibu," she told Instagram followers. "You can see the hills are totally scorched. We're very, very lucky."

The fires have burned collectively over more than 6500 square kilometres, the rough equivalent to half the size of Sydney. 

US President Donald Trump has blamed the horrific wildfires which engulfed the state on "gross mismanagement".

The estimated amount of people who have been forced to flee their homes is roughly 300,000.

To give assistance to the emergency services, donate to the Red CrossThe CCF Wildfire Relief FundHumane Society of Ventura County, Baby2Baby or the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation

Feature image: ew.com

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Cats and dogs have been, for a long time, man’s companions, pets, a part of your family. But with the new technology wave spreading nowadays, the digital era brings a new type of invention, a new type of ‘pets’: robot pets.

Robot pets – What are they.

An artificial intelligence, AI for short, inside a machine, a robot pet is, as the name implies, a robot designed in the shape and size of a common pet: dog, cat or even bird. Made to be similar in attitude and behaviour with a real animal, robot pets are used to help elderly people that, for various reasons, cannot keep a pet.

The robots are supposed to help with dark emotions, like depression, to keep the elderly active, maintaining their wish to live, fresh. But with the creation of such robot pets, comes the question everyone asks at the end. Can robot pets really replace real dogs and cats? The answer is simple: it depends on the individual.

There are numerous benefits when it comes to owning a robot pet:

Helps with several mental illnesses

Several mental illnesses, like depression or dementia, are, in the long run, hard to cure. By using robotic pets, there has been an increase in relaxation and lack of stress in the elderly people diagnosed with such illnesses.

They not only respond better to the caretakers, but they also are more active, more sociable, engaging in discussions and interaction with other fellow patients. The pets provide the necessary emotional support for the patient to take a step forward in a positive way.

Does not bring additional costs aside its acquisition

Once you buy the robotic pet, there are no other future costs. It will not require medicine, treatment, food or water to survive. With several types of robotic pets already on display, there are sure to be some affordable robot dogs or cats you can ‘adopt’ and bring into your family.

Is ideal for those who suffer from allergies, as it does not shed

Allergies are not something you can control fully. Some people are born that way; some acquire allergies in their lifetime.

Those who are allergic to animal fur, but still wish to have a pet, can now have their dream come true. They do not need to compromise anymore, as the robotic pets do not shed and have no real fur.

According to what model of robot you choose, they might have a synthetic coat over their mechanical body that imitates the way real fur looks like, on the one hand. On the other hand, if you prefer a more mechanical look to it, you can choose one that will satisfy your taste.

Does not need cleaning

As they do not eat and drink, they do not defecate. So you do not have to take them outside for them to do their business, nor do you need to clean after them while indoors.

They will not misbehave

Everyone who owns a real pet, be it dog or cat, has come face to face with the situation in which the pet misbehaved.

A friend came to visit you and your dog jumped up and down, barked and tried to bite your friend? Did your cat act aggressively, trying to scratch the one who wanted to pet it?

With the robot pets such misbehaviour does not exist. They are programmed to recognise you as their owner no matter what, their expressions and actions already installed in their memory. Or, if you are good at computers, you can also download and instal several other tricks for your robotic friend to perform.

In contrast to the benefits a robotic pet can have, there are a series of downsides that, for many, are just a deal breaker.

However, there are also undeniably drawbacks in terms of owning a robot pet:

It only has a limited set of actions and cannot respond to you directly

They already have programmed in their memory what type of actions trigger what effect. For example, a cat will only purr if you pet it on the back, while a dog will wag its tail only if you pet it on the head. If you do any other type of action and expect the robots to either purr or wag their tail, you are going be disappointed as they will not do anything.

It may break down unexpectedly

You never know when it might break down. Some products do need to recharge their ‘energy’, but others may use a more advanced and complex system that does not require batteries or recharging. If one of such products breaks down, the only way to repair it might be to send it back to its producer and have it replaced with a new one.

No walk

Robot pets do not need to be taken out for a walk. And while this might seem attractive at first, on the long run it is a major drawback. Walking your dog is highly beneficial to both yours and your dog’s health. You get to exercise, you have a way to meet new people, and you relax and avoid over-stressing while the dog gets his energy level down a notch while doing its ‘doggy business’. But with robotic pets, your healthy lifestyle might suffer.

Does not provide the emotional achievement of training or interacting with a real pet

Pets, no matter what type, have their own way to show their affection, to communicate and interact with you. Moreover, when you finally manage to train your dog or you receive your cat’s affection, you get a feeling of fulfilment, of serenity, of achievement.

When robot pets are concerned, there is no such feeling. They are already programmed to do certain things and to offer you their ‘unconditional love’. But at the end of the day, robots do not have feelings, and they cannot compensate for yours.

No emotions

A pet will feel sad when you leave it alone for too long and will be a cute, furry joy-ball when it sees you. There is no dog that will not wag its tail as soon as it sees its owner. It will do anything in its power to grab your attention in order to receive a few affectionate words or a pat on the head.

A robot pet, however, is another story. If left alone it will enter a standby state, in which it will try to imitate ‘sleep’. It might fall under the ‘cute’ category at first, but as the time passes, you might feel the need to be ‘asked’ for attention by your pet.

A robot is not capable of doing so while putting feelings and emotions into the act itself. Sure, it might emit certain sounds and noises to get your attention because its battery is running out, but it will never behave like a true, real, animal.

In conclusion, despite being a new trend, and despite having their own benefits, robot pets still have a very long road ahead before there is any chance for them to replace a breathing, loving cat or dog.

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