5 Pet Products For People Who Probably Shouldn't Own Pets
Let's face it: A time will come when our pets will rise up and annihilate our asses. Your cat may be a cuddly ball of mildly sociopathic fur right now, and your dog's entire offensive arsenal consists of drooly face-licking attacks and the occasional fart that can strip paint from the walls. But one day, one of their kin will figure out the Internet and stare in deep horror at the various idiotic costumes and surgeries and human ceremonies we force upon our four-legged "best friends." That's when shit will be on.
And really, can we blame them? One day, you and I will find ourselves in the chain-gang marching to the camps where we will be forced to perform funny tricks for our new overlords to gawk at on PawTube. Our gazes will meet, and we will remember these products that our kind once forced on our pets. And we will know that our punishment is just.
Bullshit Fad Diets
Quick: What do pets eat? If you're thinking of a dog, your answer is most likely "kibble and whatever he can beg off the dinner table." If it's a cat, well -- cat food, right? Maybe an occasional rodent. And for the most part, it's true. Of course, the real answer is more complicated -- there are all sorts of dietary restrictions and supplements that a particular pet might have to adhere to, and it's a sign of a good owner that they keep a careful eye on their fluffy companion's nutritional needs.
Too bad that some owners completely forget that a pet's diet is about the pet's needs and instead force them into whatever nutritional ideology they happen to buy into. Sometimes, this manifests itself through spending extra cash to buy holistic pet food for the pet that will surely know and care about the difference. Other times, an owner might put their mutt on an Atkins diet, which is actually kind of impressive, because unless your pet is sick or otherwise handicapped, the only possible reason for him to become fat in the first place is you.
But some people aren't happy just going fad diet or obnoxious organic food on their pets. Some people are so self-centered that they actually want their pet (who is physically incapable of giving a shit) to share their beliefs and ideologies. And that, friends, is why we have vegan pet diets.
"Fucking lettuce again? For this impudence, I shall not bring you
my regular gift of a half-eaten mole tonight."
I'm not going to explain why subjecting poor animals to fucking veganism is a horrible idea. I don't need to, because here's veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker doing that exact thing with way more authority. Unless your pet is a bunny or something (in which case, damn, dude, it's already a vegan) its engine is basically built to run on animal protein. This is -- or at least should be -- common sense, or at the very least one of the first things anyone getting a pet should read up on. Yet there's a certain segment of the population that gives zero shits about facts and force-feeds their kitten rice milk and potatoes.
What's worse, it seems like this kind of thinking is spreading -- my town is not exactly known for animal-food fads, but we had a food fair a few months ago, and one large, central stall manned by the lankiest people I've ever seen in my life gleefully sold vegan dog food and treats. They handed out samples to four-legged passersby, and never have I seen so many disappointed dog-looks in one place.
In other news, I'm now banned from my town's food fairs.
Manners Minder Remote Reward Behavior Training System
When I was growing up, my family fostered guide dog puppies. You know, those really patient dogs leading the visually impaired and completely failing to bite the face off every drunk fuck that wants to pat them as they're attempting to guide their human through traffic unharmed. The way you turn them into such friendly-yet-efficient task machines is by letting them live with a normal family until they're 18 months or so old, and when they have the "humans must not be chewed" thing down, they're off to tests and training.
On one hand, it was kind of heartbreaking to let the pup du jour move forward, but on the other, they were going to help people. Also, nigh-annual puppies. This lifestyle eventually died down when we got a particularly clever black lab that seemed like a surefire pass but quickly figured out his options in life were being a highly trained service animal or a lifetime of belly rubs and idle farting. So he proceeded to flunk his test by basically refusing to do anything until he was returned to us.
I'm telling you my background as a semi-professional puppy friend because I want to make it clear that I'm not basing the following argument(s) on 15 minutes of idly browsing shitty dog blogs:
You need to personally interact with your dog in order to train it.
Does that sound obvious? Yeah, I think so too. Unfortunately, the people behind Manners Minder Remote Reward Behavior Training System apparently think otherwise.
The Manners Minder (fuck you, I'm not going to repeat that stupid-ass name in full) is basically a remote-controlled treat system that enables you to, and I quote, "reward your dog's good behavior instantly by remote control, and it automatically feeds a treat every few minutes while you are gone." Basically, your pup's food bowl will be replaced by a feeder that'll beep every few minutes, feeding the dog a kibble or two at a time instead of an actual meal, presumably with the implied message that it's precisely 1/128th of a good boy. That is, unless it malfunctions (and according to Amazon reviews it does), in which case your loyal friend can just starve for all the manufacturer cares.
A cat version of the robot feeder was researched but quickly found vulnerable to repeated maulings.
From what I can tell, this product is mainly meant as a tool for agility dog training (those complicated obstacle courses you see dogs blazing though on obscure sports channels) -- a hobby that I incidentally have deep-seated reservations against, largely due to the fact that 30 percent of the doggies in the game wind up with injuries. However, it's available for anyone to purchase, which of course means it will inevitably wind up in the hands of well-meaning idiots that have no idea how to deal with their pets. And that's how poor Buster wound up having to dance for his sustenance, forever a slave to his Pavlovian reactions to the voice of the Holy Kibble Dispenser that keeps him alive one kibble at a time until the machine jams.
As anyone who has ever spilled beer on the floor when a dog is present is aware of, that shit will disappear in a hurry. I'm generously going to assume that you've never done it on purpose, because otherwise I'd be forced to perform a disgusting Mortal Kombat-style finishing move on you, and I'd really like to avoid that because the mess it causes -- ugh. Awful. Bits of you everywhere.
There are two kinds of people who purposely give beer to their mutts: assholes and people who are doing their level best to convince the world that they're not assholes. The latter folks get around the whole "give some to the dog, it's fun" aspect by creating their own brands of beer made specifically for dogs. Luckily, dog beer is not technically beer, for it is non-carbonated and alcohol-free.
Spot's debauched drunken escapades are going to need some explaining
when he finds out dog beer is non-alcoholic.
That's not to say it's not a stupid-as-fuck invention, though; the logic behind dog beer seems to be the dubious "hey, our mutt sure seems to like beer, so we figured we might as well make 'im his own." Then, they wander away to brew whatever broth-malt cocktails they pass as dog beer and sell them at the price of craft brewery IPA, hopefully to some snotty hipster who thinks the "dog" part of the name is ironic and will spend the rest of the week attempting to get drunk off beef-broth-tasting hound brew.
Here's the problem with this line of thinking: A couple of years ago, I wrote an article about pet owners who willingly tattoo, pierce, and dye their pets. This has led me to harbor a deep-seated belief that a commercially significant percentage of pet owners are and will forever remain dropkick-worthy jerkasses, prepared to subject their pets to the slightest of their whims that range from "adorable" dog weddings in doggie tuxedos and dresses to straight-up dying your cat pink.
What do you think these folks' reaction is when they see that there are actual more-or-less qualified animal nutritionists who peddle dog beer? Will they carefully read the product description, place an order, and wait for these bottles of glorified broth to arrive? Nope. They will go, "Awesome! Beer is good for animals now!" And then make Fido do a keg stand.
BowLingual Translation Device
Who wouldn't want to understand what their pet is trying to say? Put your hand down, guy at the back who screamed, "Me!" You're clearly lying.
If you're a responsible pet owner, you can totally learn to understand your faithful animal companion by learning and paying attention to the animal's eyes, body language, and the sounds it makes.
Or, you know, you could just purchase a fucking BowLingual translator device.
"You're an idiot."
We've briefly touched on the existence of this baffling product before, but let's expand the insanity a little: It indeed claims to be a gadget that "turns" your pet's "speech" into "human words," not unlike that collar Dug and the other dogs in Up wore, except that the real thing is significantly clunkier and comes with a separate text display screen. However, look a little closer and the cracks start to show. The apparatus is said to translate your dog's barks into a base emotion (happy, sad, frustrated, on guard, assertive, or needy), and then provide an approximate phrase to represent what your dog might say in this particular situation.
"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thy mail so lovely, so eas'ly displaced.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
So come at me, I'll fucking eat your face."
Shockingly, pet translators are little more than glorified Magic 8-Balls that pair the dog's noises with useless phrases like "I want help" or "You just don't get it," which incidentally double as fairly stealthy "fuck yous" to the sad segment of pet owners who purchase this thing. But hey, if a person is buying collars that make pets talk, I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess they're well beyond comprehending blatant marketing lies any more than they can understand their pets' true needs. Buster's a fucking Tamagotchi now, as far as they're concerned, and Buster damn well better like it.
Absolutely Anything To Do With Poop
Pets poop. They can't exactly help it, and although the when and where of their toilet habits can be controlled to an extent, it's not like they can put a cork in it for our convenience. Pet ownership is like working for a tabloid paper; regular contact with steaming feces just goes with the territory.
While disliking pet waste and wanting to have as little to do with it as humanly possible is understandable, the desire to let us off the poop hook is bad news to our pets' nerves and dignity. Many have a tendency to ignore the issue completely by just letting it lie (as evidenced by your left shoe last Tuesday), and those of us who do pick up our pets' droppings are keen to invent all sorts of poop-scoops and turd vacuums to minimize shit-to-finger contact.
Few things will make a pet poop faster than a large vacuum cleaner patiently hovering by their ass.
And if that was the end of it, I would have no beef with our natural aversion to fecal matter. But, naturally, the human tendency to go over-engineeringly apeshit on the tiniest problems has long since taken over -- and where our dainty little poop-fearing hands benefit, our pets lose.
Consider pet diapers. At heart, they're perfectly legitimate products for pets suffering from incontinence, but the previously mentioned confused segment of the pet-owning public has apparently taken the product to mean, "Holy shit, awesome! We will never have to even see poop again!" And that's how we now have things like diapers for birds and cats, and you can bet your ass that not every poor pet subjected to these things suffers from any ailment other than a criminally stupid owner that is keen to remove all non-doll-like elements from their pwetty, fuwwy pwecious.
The "I've seen some shit" facial expression also applies when the exact opposite is occurring.
And then there's PooTrap, a harness system designed to tightly strap a bag against a dog's asshole. It's luckily unavailable these days, but you just know that somewhere, a very confused Pomeranian is spending its days as a social outcast at the local dog park, thanks to this doggie equivalent of a wedgie preventing anyone from sniffing its butt.
I'm not saying that these people are insane for not wanting to actively touch their pet's poop. In fact, I'd be far more suspicious if the opposite was true. It's just that, in the long run, literally none of the products mentioned above do jack shit to help the, uh, shit situation. As anyone who's ever changed a diaper can attest, they don't exactly magic the crap away, and I suspect the fact that the subject's butt is covered with fur/feathers doesn't exactly help with the "oh hell, it's literally everywhere" issue that pops up every once in a while. As for the "convenient" turd vacuums and pooper-scoopers, the former looks to be the size of a leaf blower, and using the latter leaves you holding a brown-stained ladle in public.
Look, no one expects you to enjoy dealing with your pet's poop, but no one will think less of you for taking care of it -- it's just a sign you're a good pet owner. So why over-complicate things? Just bag it and hope onlookers don't think you're going to save it as a snack for later.
Be the hero your pet thinks you are.
For more from Pauli, check out 5 Creepy Crimes From History No One Can Explain and 4 Pop Culture Icons Entertainment Industry Will Ruin Next.
Are you on reddit? Check it: We are too! Click on over to our best of Cracked subreddit.
Cracked is up for a Webby Award! Click here and give us a vote for "Best Humor Website."