Why are cats such super snoozers?

Cats sleep up to 18 hours a day. No one knows exactly why, but it's likely that they need to rest frequently to be able to hunt in bursts. Among mammals, predators such as cats spend the most time in REM sleep, characterized by rapid eye movements, dreaming, rapid pulse and breathing, and body movements such as paws twitching or tail swishing. If your cat is in this phase of sleep, you may notice that it's difficult to awaken it. But while its body may be limp, its brain is highly active. Kittens and senior cats sleep the most, but most cats enjoy a nice nap after a bit of play or a meal.

Bye bye, birdies

Headed to the beach? You might want to look for one with a canine "poop patrol." A study published last month in the Journal of Environmental Quality found fewer beach closings in areas where dogs are specially trained to keep away seagulls, the droppings of which are a main source of E. coli bacteria levels leading to beach closings. During the study, dogs and their handlers patrolled Lake Michigan beaches in Indiana daily for one month in 2015 and from June through September in 2016. The presence of gulls dropped by nearly 100 percent, resulting in fewer beach closings.

Avoid hot dogs

With summer comes one of the biggest health threats for dogs: overheating. Dogs don't sweat the same way people do, and it's much more difficult for them to regulate their temperature when it's hot and humid outside. Short-snouted breeds such as bulldogs, French bulldogs, Pekingese and pugs are at high risk of heatstroke, but other dogs that can have problems with high temperatures include those with dark coats and those with coats more suited to extreme cold, such as Siberian huskies or Alaskan malamutes. If you think your dog may be overheated and notice it panting, drooling and acting frantic or confused, get it to a vet.

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