California's Barkingham Hotel for Dogs Offers Plush Beds, Gourmet Food, and Pet Pilates

iStock
iStock

The next time you take a vacation, why not give your dog one, too? As Travel+Leisure reports, the Barkingham Pet Hotel in Palm Desert, California, is just as luxurious as any Four Seasons or Park Hyatt resort—at least by canine standards.

As a high-end alternative to traditional boarding kennels, Barkingham gives furry guests the chance to stay in their own private suite replete with double beds and live webcams, should customers want to check in and see how their pet is doing. However, more modest arrangements, like “mini” and “junior” suites with a traditional dog bed on the floor, are also available.

"We believe your pets deserve as great a vacation as you do," owner Lori Weiner tells Mental Floss. "We pamper them the same as would a human hotel."

A double bed and mini couch inside one of the bedrooms
Barkingham Pet Hotel

Beyond the plush sleeping arrangements, pampered pets will also eat like royalty, with menu items including Greek yogurt parfait for breakfast and turkey “muttloaf” for dinner. A range of desserts, such as “corgi cannolis” and “pumpkin and cranberry delight”—all free of wheat, soy, and corn, naturally—are also on offer.

After eating to their heart’s content, dogs can hit the gym and shed some calories on the treadmill or in the pool. There’s also a “pawlates” class, which is described as “a core strengthening and muscle conditioning program” for active and arthritic dogs alike.

Traditional grooming services can all be booked at Barkingham, as well as more unconventional pampering packages like mud baths, skin treatments, and even massages. For $70, dogs can receive a “raindrop technique” massage, which uses essential oils to achieve "energy alignment" and stress relief.

Luxurious pet hotels are a growing trend, not just in California but nationwide. Florida’s Chateau Poochie offers movie nights and blueberry facials, and the New York City branch of the D Pet Hotel chain sends a chauffeur to pick up your pooch in a Ferrari, Porsche, or other luxury car of your choice. After all, you wouldn't want your Princess seen in a Prius, would you? 

[h/t Travel+Leisure]

Keep Your Cat Busy With a Board Game That Doubles as a Scratch Pad

Cheerble
Cheerble

No matter how much you love playing with your cat, waving a feather toy in front of its face can get monotonous after a while (for the both of you). To shake up playtime, the Cheerble three-in-one board game looks to provide your feline housemate with hours of hands-free entertainment.

Cheerble's board game, which is currently raising money on Kickstarter, is designed to keep even the most restless cats stimulated. The first component of the game is the electronic Cheerble ball, which rolls on its own when your cat touches it with their paw or nose—no remote control required. And on days when your cat is especially energetic, you can adjust the ball's settings to roll and bounce in a way that matches their stamina.

Cheerable cat toy on Kickstarter.
Cheerble

The Cheerble balls are meant to pair with the Cheerble game board, which consists of a box that has plenty of room for balls to roll around. The board is also covered on one side with a platform that has holes big enough for your cat to fit their paws through, so they can hunt the balls like a game of Whack-a-Mole. And if your cat ever loses interest in chasing the ball, the board also includes a built-in scratch pad and fluffy wand toy to slap around. A simplified version of the board game includes the scratch pad without the wand or hole maze, so you can tailor your purchase for your cat's interests.

Cheerble cat board game.
Cheerble

Since launching its campaign on Kickstarter on April 23, Cheerble has raised over $128,000, already blowing past its initial goal of $6416. You can back the Kickstarter today to claim a Cheerble product, with $32 getting you a ball and $58 getting you the board game. You can make your pledge here, with shipping estimated for July 2020.

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A Prehistoric Great White Shark Nursery Has Been Discovered in Chile

Great white sharks used prehistoric nurseries to protect their young.
Great white sharks used prehistoric nurseries to protect their young.
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Great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) may be one of the most formidable and frightening apex predators on the planet today, but life for them isn’t as easy as horror movies would suggest. Due to a slow growth rate and the fact that they produce few offspring, the species is listed as vulnerable to extinction.

There is a way these sharks ensure survival, and that is by creating nurseries—a designated place where great white shark babies (called pups) are protected from other predators. Now, researchers at the University of Vienna and colleagues have discovered these nurseries occurred in prehistoric times.

In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, Jamie A. Villafaña from the university’s Institute of Palaeontology describes a fossilized nursery found in Coquimbo, Chile. Researchers were examining a collection of fossilized great white shark teeth between 5 and 2 million years old along the Pacific coast of Chile and Peru when they noticed a disproportionate number of young shark teeth in Coquimbo. There was also a total lack of sexually mature animals' teeth, which suggests the site was used primarily by pups and juveniles as a nursery.

Though modern great whites are known to guard their young in designated areas, the researchers say this is the first example of a paleo-nursery. Because the climate was much warmer when the paleo-nursery was in use, the researchers think these protective environments can deepen our understanding of how great white sharks can survive global warming trends.