Why Do Dogs Kick Their Feet After They Poop?

o_sa/iStock via Getty Images
o_sa/iStock via Getty Images

Though they’ve been domesticated for thousands of years, dogs still exhibit behaviors that can prove puzzling to their human companions. They dig seemingly at random. They’re prone to hiding under beds. They sometimes make a snack out of other dogs’s excrement. And when they empty their own bowels, some kick their feet afterward. Roughly 10 percent of canines do it.

Why? It’s instinct. Dogs are ever-vigilant of other canines encroaching on their territory—be it in their backyard or the park. They consider defecation a message to other dogs that the pooped-on property belongs to them. By kicking up dirt after the deed, they’re compounding the scent by stirring up the bathroom scene along with pheromones, which come from glands on their feet, to create a strong smell. The kicked-up grass is also a visual cue. All of this poop and disrupted earth is a warning to other dogs that they’re treading on hallowed, stinky ground.

The pheromones from the kicking are actually stronger than the odor from urine or feces. Alongside territorial claims, the pheromones can let other dogs know things like possible food trails or even potential danger. While it may ruin your carefully landscaped lawn, it’s best to let them get on with the behavior. If you interrupt, they might begin to feel more vulnerable. It’s wise to just stand out of the line of fire and allow nature to take its course.

[h/t Simplemost]

Flamingo Yoga Is on the Itinerary at This Bahamas Resort

Courtesy of Julianna Vezza/Grand Hyatt Baha Mar
Courtesy of Julianna Vezza/Grand Hyatt Baha Mar

In recent years, the practice of yoga appears to have been co-opted by the animal kingdom. A series of programs offering everything from goat yoga in Oregon to cat yoga in Illinois have sprung up, promising a workout that involves communing with non-human participants.

You can now add flamingo yoga to the list. Visitors to the Baha Mar Resort in the Bahamas are invited to attend yoga classes featuring a small group of feathered assistants. A total of four pink flamingos—Baha, Lynden, Indy, and Luca—take an active role, climbing over guests and investigating their poses with prodding beaks. A flamingo handler is on hand to manage the birds while the yoga instructor takes care of the human population.

The flamingo cay at the Baha Mar Resort in the Bahamas is pictured
Courtesy of Maddie Winters/Grand Hyatt Baha Mar

Flamingos are social creatures with a large presence, reaching four or five feet in height but weighing just four to eight pounds. A pink flamingo’s color comes from the beta-carotene in the seafood they eat. Without it, they would turn white.

The class is held every Wednesday morning. The cost is $40 and is open to all guests of the three Baha Mar resorts, including the Grand Hyatt, Rosewood, and SLS Baha Mar. There are also private flamingo yoga classes available upon request, or you can just enjoy a daily marching parade. If you can’t make it, consider heading to Manitoba, where Alpaca dance classes promise to give you an equally intriguing vacation story.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

The 10 Most Popular Dog Names of 2019

Veronika7833/iStock via Getty Images
Veronika7833/iStock via Getty Images

Your dog may be one of a kind, but their name could be a different story—especially if your very good girl or boy is named Bella or Max. As we hurtle toward the end of 2019, Banfield Pet Hospital, the largest general veterinary practice in the U.S., combed through its database of pet patients to determine the most popular dog names in America, and which monikers are on the rise.

As usual, pop culture played a big role in pet-naming trends: Game of Thrones may be over and done with, but fans are still paying four-legged tributes to the epic series by naming their pets after favorite characters; 24 percent more dogs were named Sansa in 2019 compared to 2018. The Avengers made a superhero-sized impact, too, with 44 percent more dogs being named Spider-Man and 12 percent more canine Thors in the world than there were last year.

Is your pupper’s name among the country’s most popular? Take a look at the list below to see the 10 most popular dog names of 2019.

  1. Bella
  2. Max
  3. Luna
  4. Coco
  5. Charlie
  6. Daisy
  7. Lucy
  8. Bailey
  9. Buddy
  10. Rocky

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