The World’s First Smart Toilet for Dogs Has Arrived

Newtons Box
Newtons Box

If training your dog to use a human toilet hasn’t been going as smoothly as you’d hoped, there might be another option. For the price of $696, Inubox—which is being dubbed as the “world’s first smart toilet for dogs”—is now available for pre-order on Kickstarter. The toilet helps keep your pup's bladder and kidneys healthy by letting them relieve themselves whenever duty calls, rather than waiting for you to get home, as New Atlas reports.

The device—which comes from the Austin, Texas-based company Newtons Box—might not make much sense to remote workers or stay-at-home moms and dads, but it’s a game-changer for dog parents who log a lot of hours at their workplace. Instead of holding their bladders for hours or leaving a pile of poop on your kitchen floor, dogs can do their business in the Inubox. When its sensors detect waste on the platform, the device scoops it into an eco-friendly bag and releases air freshener to keep your home smelling clean.

Of course, you’ll have to train your dog to use it first. According to the company, Inubox’s “attractive scent” is designed to lure dogs onto the platform so that they’ll mark their spot. It also uses positive reinforcement and releases a treat each time your dog uses it. Additional training methods may be needed, though, depending on your dog’s personality and behavior.

The design is also discreet. When the platform is lifted up to close the Inubox, no one will be able to tell that it’s a toilet. It almost looks like the kind of futuristic decor you might find in the Jetsons’s home (which, depending on your aesthetic sensibilities, could be another selling point).

Newtons Box

The device is designed for dogs, but similar “smart toilets” have been made for cats, too. The Pet Care Monitor, for example, measures your cat’s weight and urine volume to make sure your fur baby is happy and healthy.

[h/t New Atlas]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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A Wily Fox With a Passion for Fashion Stole More Than 100 Shoes From a Berlin Neighborhood

The smirk.
The smirk.
Brett Jordan, Unsplash

In Berlin, Germany, a fox has embarked on a crime spree that puts Dora the Explorer’s Swiper completely to shame.

CNN-News18 reports that residents of Zehlendorf, a locality in southeastern Berlin, spent weeks scratching their heads as shoes continued to disappear from their stoops and patios overnight. After posting about the mystery on a neighborhood watch site and reading accounts from various bewildered barefooters, a local named Christian Meyer began to think the thief might be a fox.

He was right. Meyer caught sight of the roguish robber with a mouthful of flip-flop and followed him to a field, where he found more than 100 stolen shoes. The fox appears to have an affinity for Crocs, but the cache also contained sandals, sneakers, a pair of rubber boots, and one black ballet flat, among other footwear. Unfortunately, according to BBC News, Meyer’s own vanished running shoe was nowhere to be seen.

Foxes are known for their playfulness, and it’s not uncommon for one to trot off with an item left unattended in a yard. Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife explains that foxes are drawn to “things that smell good,” which, to a fox, includes dog toys, balls, gardening gloves, and worn shoes. And if your former cat’s backyard gravesite is suddenly empty one day, you can probably blame a fox for that, too; they bury their own food to eat later, so a deceased pet is basically a free meal.

The fate of Zehlendorf’s furriest burglar remains unclear, but The Cut’s Amanda Arnold has a radical idea: that the residents simply let the fox keep what is obviously a well-curated collection.

[h/t CNN-News18]