#Puppies Book & Article Winners at #Dogs Writers Association Banquet!

Image courtesy of DepositPhotos.com

Image courtesy of DepositPhotos.com

The Dog Writers Association of America banquet was held last night in New York City. It’s traditionally held the night before Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and I’ve had the great joy and honor to attend both events several times. But not last night–due to travel constraints *cough-BLIZZARD-cough* and work issues, I wasn’t able to attend, despite knowing that I had a couple of entries in the running.

puppiescoverMy book COMPLETE PUPPY CARE was nominated for a Maxwell Medallion in the category of Reference Books. I received the Nomination Certificate some time ago and am deeply honored. You can see all the regular category winners here. I hope that you’ll recommend the award-winning book to anyone with a new puppy in their future!

(Equal time for Complete KITTEN Care!)

Much of the book is based on research and articles I’d written over the past three years for my puppies.about.com site, and so this was particularly sweet for me. As many of y’all know, my contract with that company was abruptly cancelled last summer–for those morbidly curious, details here. Ya know, the best “revenge” is always success, LOL!

So an even sweeter recognition came when I won a DWAA Special Award last night for an article written for the puppies.about.com site titled “AKC Canine Good Citizenship Programs.” The information from that article of course is also included in the book. You can see the list of all the special awards winners here.

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy and Canine Good Citizen Award

Sponsored by the American Kennel Club, this award is for the best writing about the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program or the puppy level of CGC, AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy.

Recognized as the ‘gold standard’ for family dog manners, CGC and AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy focus on teaching good manners to dogs and responsible dog ownership to dog owners. This award is a $500.00 cash award.

CONGRATULATIONS to all of the nominees and winners! I am very fortunate to live in a world and participate in a community of professional communicators dedicated to sharing life-saving and relationship-saving information about the dogs we love!

Now then–how many of y’all have taken your puppy through the CGC or S.T.A.R. Puppy Programs? Or how about the AKC Community Canine program also mentioned in the article?

And…how many of y’all will be watching Westminster tonight and tomorrow night on TV? *raising paw* Magical-Dawg and I will be rooting for the…well, you know. *s*

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Be sure to visit my PetHealthyStore for paw-some products for your furry wonders! Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways, kewl product offers, and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Celebrating #Pets Peeves Newsletter! Subscribe & Get The Cutting Edge Book

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Pet Peeves Newsletter

My “bionote” at the bottom of blog posts mentions this and there’s a newsletter subscription box on the sidebar (and now a separate page), but I’ve not made a big deal about my PET PEEVES newsletter. BAD Amy!

I don’t email the Pet Peeves newsletter more than every few months, or when there’s “breaking news” about a new book or appearance. And it occurred to me that y’all — some of my most faithful readers and passionate pet parents — might not know about it. So here’s the details for all my Sweet Peeps!

Amy’s FREE PET PEEVES E-Newsletter includes health and behavior articles, pet-centric care tips, training tricks, pet news, Amy appearances, thriller-icity info and advice. Pet Peeves comes directly to your in-box every month or so. You can read what you like and pass on to other pet-loving friends. I often give away books or give subscribes sneak peeks to new events, so don’t miss out! (And of course you can unsubscribe anytime at all.)

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

by filling out the form, below. To thank you for subscribing and give a taste of my books, I’ll send you a free copy of my “cutting edge” book, below!

Please share this offer to your other pet-loving friends–maybe as a furry Valentine? *s*

Email Marketing by iContactNEW CUTTING EDGE COVER copy I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Be sure to visit my PetHealthyStore for paw-some products for your furry wonders! Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways, kewl product offers, and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

9 Dental Issues You Share With Your #Cats and #Dogs

Image courtesy DepositPhotos.com

Image courtesy DepositPhotos.com

Could your dog’s breath melt your glasses? Does your cat’s smile look like five miles of bad road? Pet tooth problems are surprisingly similar to their owners’ dental issues. February is National Pet Dental Health Month and a good time to check out your pets’ pearly whites. Here are common dental issues you share with your cats and dogs, as well as ways to avoid them.

  • Stinky mouth odor referred to as halitosis develops when bacteria grows on the tooth surface or tongue. Mouthwash and chewing gum may mask your halitosis but dogs and cats don’t gargle. They don’t spit, either, making fluorinated products dangerous for pets when they’re swallowed. There are rinses that can be added to pet water bowls that help freshen breath, and dogs benefit from “dental” chew toys that offer some cleaning properties or incorporate bacteria-killing enzymes.
  • Plaque develops when bacteria mineralizes into hard yellow to brown deposits on the teeth, often at the gum line. People typically remove most of this by brushing, flossing, and even chewing “detergent-type” foods like apples. Some dogs enjoy carrots and apples but most pets tend to gulp mouthfuls of food without too much chewing. Cats and dogs also lack opposable thumbs that make brushing or flossing possible.
  • Gingivitis—redness and swelling of the gums—happens when the bacteria in the plaque releases enzymes that cause inflammation. People might see blood on the toothbrush. Owners might see blood on the dog’s chew toy.
  • Receding gums develop as a result of the inflammation, and forms pockets around the tooth that expose bone, leading to loose teeth and bone loss. People with painful mouths and loose teeth complain to the dentist. But cats and dogs generally eat through the pain without showing much discomfort until it’s very bad.
  • Periodontal disease (decayed teeth, sore gums, bleeding mouths) affects 80 percent of pets by the age of three. Besides mouth and tooth problems, chewing pumps bacteria into the bloodstream and that damages the heart, liver and kidneys in both people and pets.
Image courtesy of DepositPhotos.com

Image courtesy of DepositPhotos.com

  • Cavities don’t affect pets in the same way as people, but cats can develop a sneaky kind of cavity called resportive lesions. The decay is hidden and starts at or below the gum line, eating the tooth from the inside out and leaving a fragile shell that can break. Up to 75 percent of cats with dental disease have one or more lesions that usually can’t be fixed.
  • Brushing teeth, as with people, is the first line of defense. Yes, you can teach pets to tolerate or even welcome tooth brushing (complete how-to details in Complete Puppy Care–works for cats, too!). Meat-flavored toothpastes with plaque-retardant enzymes and pet-size brushes used after each meal—or at least a couple of times a week—help enormously to reduce bad breath and plaque control.
  • Dentistry treats pet teeth in a similar fashion as humans but since dogs and cats won’t open wide and say “ah” a professional veterinary dentistry requires anesthesia.  Trying to clean pet teeth without anesthesia can be much less effective. Most veterinarians provide ultrasonic scaling, polishing, tooth extraction and antibiotics with pain medication when necessary. Veterinary dental specialists also perform root canals, provide crowns and even offer pet orthodontia (braces) to correct misaligned teeth that cause the pet discomfort.
  • Dental “treats” and specially formulated diets are available to improve cat and dog dental health. Look for the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance, which endorses such products.

Keep both your relationship and your pets’ breath smelling sweet. Don’t limit it to this month, either, but use the opportunity to “brush up” on the facts of your pet’s tooth health.

Uschi with toy
(This article originally was published by the Huffington Post).  I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Be sure to visit my PetHealthyStore for paw-some products for your furry wonders! Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways, kewl product offers, and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

5 #Blizzard Tips from the ASPCA to Save Your #Pets Life!

DogSnowTied_39630455_original

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Last week I posted about cold weather dangers for pets and since that time, N. Texas has enjoyed some sunny, warm days. But in other parts of the country–yet another blizzard threatens. Thank you to the ASPCA for sending this important and insightful infographic designed to keep your dogs and cats safe!

You’ll find life saving first aid tips for hypothermia, frostbite, CPR, even cat fan belt injuries and more in The First Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats — but prevention trumps after the fact every time. So please SHARE this post far and wide, and get our fur-kids the protection they need!

ASPCA_1ASPCA_2ASPCA_3ASPCA_4ASPCA_5I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Be sure to visit my PetHealthyStore for paw-some products for your furry wonders! Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways, kewl product offers, and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Valentines & Pets? What if Fluffy Hates Your Date!

Cat sitting on multicolored hearts

Photo courtesy of DepositPhotos.com

If you really want to please your partner this Valentine’s Day buy catnip and chew toys (and pet-centric books!) instead of chocolate. Love me, love my pet is the new Valentine rule of paw.

Cats and dogs show affection and devotion in very different ways. What some folks might find objectionable actually is the ultimate in a kitty or canine compliment! Here are a few examples:

  • Cats hop on our laps—then present their ass-ets for a sniff. (It’s sort of a backwards kitty compliment).
  • Dogs jump up and knock us down or ruin outfits. They’re trying to reach/lick your face, a way of saying “you’re the boss, I love you.”
  • Cats claw your most favorite chair—marking something that smells like you as their most favorite territory.
  • Dogs chew up your favorite purse—again, it smells like you and he wants to be close to his beloved.

I’ve written and lectured and been quoted about dog and cat behavior and care more times than I like to admit—in dog years, I should be dead! Lately, though, I’ve branched into fiction writing to bring the “good news” about pets to a whole new audience. People who have no interest in a how-to pet care/behavior book lap it up like BACON when presented as doggy (or kitty) litter-ature.

My dog viewpoint thrillers LOST AND FOUND and HIDE AND SEEK feature a German Shepherd service dog, a trained Maine Coon cat, and an animal behaviorist. I adore my main characters in these stories because they’re real to me. Shadow-dog and Macy-cat love their human, September Day unconditionally just like Magical-Dawg, Seren-Kitty and Karma-Kat love me. What we’d do for those we love—human and furry—really drives these thriller stories. And in real life, we love our pets back. Some of us wish our human loves were more like the pets.

Portrait Of Couple Relaxing On Sofa With Pet Dog At Home

Photo courtesy of DepositPhoto.com

VALENTINE’S FOR PETS

Don’t believe me? Get a load of this! A few years ago, a joint global poll by Reuters/Ipsos of 24,000 people in 23 countries found 21 percent of adults would rather spend February 14 with their pet than their spouse. And the American Kennel Club (AKC) surveyed dog owners and found even more startling results. Nearly 90 percent of women wish their boyfriend or husband was more like their dog. More than a third of women said, “If my dog was a man, he’d be my boyfriend!”

Men also wish their significant other shared some of the same qualities as their dog, especially the quality of “always being in a good mood.” Only 23 percent of men surveyed agreed with the statement, “If my dog was a woman she’d be my girlfriend.”

Based on the results, men and women should go to the dog for hints on pleasing the special humans in their lives. In fact, people have such strong bonds with their dogs and cats that the human in your life may become jealous. Reasons include dedicating “too much” time to the pet, preferring to cuddle with the dog rather than their mate, or that the dog “likes me better.”

Canine qualities women look for in men include a perennial good mood, willingness to spend time together, eagerness to cuddle on the couch, and being happy to eat her cooking without complaint. The survey also indicated women appreciated how dogs helped motivate them to exercise. Canine qualities that men appreciate in women include being as happy to spend time at home as out on the town, offering enthusiastic greetings when he returns home, and not getting mad when he wants to watch sports. Men also liked it that dogs were “up” for anything he wants to do.

So this Valentine’s Day, let your romantical inclinations take into account the cats and dogs that your two-legged honey adores. That’ll have them wagging their virtual tails in purrfect bliss!

DogHatesDate CatHatesDateHELP! MY PET HATES MY DATE!

Dogs and cats are considered a part of the family, but what do you do when your pet interferes with love and romance? When your dog or cat hates your date, but you’re smitten, what’s a caring pet owner to do?

I’ve published two quick-tip guides for the perfect pet book gift for Valentines to preserve your love and romance. My Dog Hates My Date and My Cat Hates My Date are available on Amazon. KINDLE VERSIONS ARE FREE FEB. 6-10!!!

You’ll learn:

  • Why Some Pets Hate New People
  • Tips to Fix Furry Jealousy
  • How Dogs or Cats Show Love
  • Health Benefits of Pets & Why Kids Benefit Most!
  • Pet-to-Baby, Toddler & Kid Introductions
  • Breaking Up? Tips When Fido (or Sheba) Misses Your Ex
  • Why “Acting” Like Dogs or Cats Makes You a Great Romantic Catch!

Now it’s your turn. Have you ever had a situation where your pet hated your new love? What did YOU do? And if you know someone that needs help–please share this post with them!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Be sure to visit my PetHealthyStore for paw-some products for your furry wonders! Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways, kewl product offers, and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!