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Catnip: More Than A Treat for National Cat Day

Catnip: More Than A Treat for National Cat Day

Tomorrow is NATIONAL CAT DAY! Why not celebrate with kewl schtuff for the cat…like a catnip treat?

I have no doubt that catnip prompted the Cheshire Cat’s grin. My cat Seren used to wear the same expression when she indulged. NATIONAL CAT DAY is the perfect time to indulge your furry friend.

But why do cats find this nondescript herb so attractive? Is it a kitty aphrodisiac, a harmless pleasure or something more sinister?

What Is Catnip?

Nepeta cataria, or catnip, is a strong-scented mint that contains a volatile oil that’s easily released into the air. Biting or rolling on the plant crushes the leaves and releases the oil so Kitty can get a good sniff. It doesn’t take much. Cats can detect catnip oil in the air at saturation as low as one part per billion.

read more
8 Halloween Pet Myths: BUSTED

8 Halloween Pet Myths: BUSTED

With Halloween right around the corner, what a good time to share this round up of 8 Halloween myths. What have I missed? Are there other myth-teries you’d like to debunk? Share in the comments!

MYTH. Halloween costumes are fun for everyone. Even some humans find costumes creepy, so it’s no surprise some dogs do, too. Costumes can be frightening or stressful for your pooch. It’s a good idea to keep your dog safely inside and away from the trick-or-treaters on Halloween night.

MYTH. Raw pumpkin is always good for pets. Pumpkin can be used to treat . . .

read more
Halloween Pet Costumes: How to Dress Dogs in Costumes

Halloween Pet Costumes: How to Dress Dogs in Costumes

Do you enjoy dressing up the house—and yourself—for the holidays? If you want to include Halloween pet costumes, start now to get them used to the notion. Most of the costumes don’t fit Bravo-Dawg, and I’ve not yet tried Shadow-Pup. I’ll share pictures if/when that happens.

Meanwhile, be sure to keep pets safe over Halloween, though. Dogs and cats aren’t always fans of wearing Halloween costumes, but with these tips, you can help pets accept the notion.

Halloween Pet Costumes

Some pets enjoy dressing up, particularly the small dogs already used to wearing coats and sweaters in cool weather. There are many pet costumes available from pet products stores, from fancy to plain. If your outgoing, confident pet is willing, you can have great fun with costumes. But if your pets don’t care for dress up, don’t press it. Many pets may bite over Halloween out of fear of change.

Even reluctant pets may be persuaded to wear a fancy collar or bandana or painted toenails.

read more
Halloween Pets Safety: Protect Pets from Halloween Goblins

Halloween Pets Safety: Protect Pets from Halloween Goblins

Halloween pet safety is needed every year. With the pandemic, many of the traditional trick or treating visits changed but l locally in North Texas (Sherman, new events this year entertain the kids while keeping them safe. There’s also a pet Halloween costume event in Denison on October 30th, but we want our pets to also stay safe from goblins and other dangers. Learn how to get pets to accept costumes in this post.

Halloween at its best is a night of mystery, fun, and thrills for human children and many adults. It’s important to keep your human kiddoes safe with these tips, but no less important for the pets. I write about Halloween pets safety every year because it can be a nightmare for your furry kids.

Why Pets Hate Halloween

The calmest, most laid-back pet may get his tail in a twist when masked villains with flapping capes ring the front doorbell. Cats and dogs identify friends and family not only by scent, but also by appearance. Remember how King barks and growls and doesn’t recognize Uncle Jerry when he wears that baseball cap? Just imagine how King will react to a rubber mask that covers the neighbor child’s face!

Stranger danger can turn confident pets into nervous wrecks. If you know trick or treaters will visit, prepare your pets and put safety first–for you AND the kids. After all, you don’t want frightened pets to lash out at well-meaning kids.

read more
Pudgy Pooches & Tubby Tabbies: How to Slim Down Fat Pets

Pudgy Pooches & Tubby Tabbies: How to Slim Down Fat Pets

Do you live with fat pets? Or maybe you struggle with your weight, like me. A couple of my friends look terrific after they’ve recently lost weight. I found it. *sigh* The problem also affects fat pets, and at my house, that’s spelled KARMA-KAT.

Fat Pets & What To Do

Is your pooch pudgy or fat? Are your cats slim athletes or fat cats? Obesity is defined as exceeding ideal body weight by 20 percent, and today about forty percent of pets are considered overweight. If you can’t feel the pet’s ribs, and/or she has a pendulous or bulging tummy, your pet is too plump. Obesity increases risk for diabetes, and is an aggravating factor in heart problems, arthritis, and skin problems. Puppies are cute when chubby but that puts them at risk as well…

It’s not that I don’t know how to eat right, I do. It just takes more thought and planning, and I’ve let a lot of that slide as I tried to meet deadlines. It’s a whole lot easier to stay on top of the pet’s nutrition and waistline than my own.

read more
Halloween & Black Cats: Kitty Myth-Teries Explained

Halloween & Black Cats: Kitty Myth-Teries Explained

Cats As Gods (Even Black Cats!)

Egyptians loved and revered all animals, and considered many to be emissaries of gods. The large wild cats including leopards and lions represented virility and power, but the common housecat came to be worshiped as a god of pleasure and happiness. Called alternately Bast, Bastet and Pasht, this human-shaped goddess (with a cat head) rose to prominence in the ancient city of Bubastis, and her temple cats (much like the one sleeping in your lap) were considered emissaries of the goddess.

The name “Bast” can be translated as “the tearer” or “the render” which referred to the goddess’s nightly battle with the sun’s mortal enemy, the Serpent of Darkness. Bast was symbolized by the moon—which waxed and waned like the cat’s eye—and each day when the battle was won, the sun rose again…

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How to Make Pets Vomit

How to Make Pets Vomit

A dog vomits more easily than nearly any other creature. So why in the world would a pet parent want to make pets vomit? When dogs or cats eat the wrong thing that could cause harm, you can save your pets’ lives by inducing vomiting. 

Pets vomit for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes it’s because of illness, while other times the dog vomiting or cat hairball upchuck is more innocuous. Some pets eat grass to induce vomiting, or they get into dangerous candy that makes them sick. However, sometimes making pets vomit means life or death. That means you need to know how to make pets vomit.

With a new puppy in the house, we have to be better about puppy proofing. Shadow-Pup likes to play with cat toys–but they’re so small, they present a choking risk for big dog Bravo. When dogs swallow the wrong object, getting rid of it prevents more dangerous risks. Here’s how to make dogs vomit…

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National Pet Wellness Month & How Cats And Dogs Impact Our Lives

National Pet Wellness Month & How Cats And Dogs Impact Our Lives

October is National Pet Wellness Month which celebrates caring for our pets. That means you’ll want to:

👨‍⚕️ Schedule a visit with your veterinarian
🆘 Watch your pet’s weight
🥎 Don’t skip exercise
👌 Keep up-to-date with pet prevention
🐾 Invest in pet insurance

For those who adore cats and dogs or other critters, our animal companions impact us in so many ways we can’t imagine living in a world without them. That begs the questions, how (and why) pets are so important to us. I covered this a bit in what makes people happy, but wanted to go beyond that post.

The Love Connection

As social creatures, humans crave companionship. We are tactile beings, relishing contact with others. During the COVID pandemic, with opportunities for human contact curtailed, our pets became even more important. While we couldn’t reach out and touch each other, petting a beloved dog or cat, horse or hamster filled up our empty emotional tanks with the love we need to thrive and survive…

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Adopting “Other-Abled” and Less Adoptable Pets

Adopting “Other-Abled” and Less Adoptable Pets

September 19-25 is National Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet Week, founded by PetFinder.com. The organization encourages shelters and rescues to create special week-long events devoted to giving overlooked pets like those with disabilities a better chance at finding homes.

This struck a chord with me, especially after living with a tri-pawd dog when Bravo lost his leg. He didn’t act disabled, though. Have you ever adopted an other-abled pet or less adoptable pet?

What Is A Less Adoptable Pet

Why less adoptable? They’re the wrong breed or have special needs. Overlooked pets include deaf dogs or deaf cats, blind pets, or those missing a limb. Many folks prefer the ‘perfect’ cute puppy or kitten and don’t want a crippled pet, or just don’t like the color of the dog or cat. Of course, we know black dogs and cats, and those with only one eye, or three legs, still love us with all their furry hearts! Read on…

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Recent Posts

Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Cancer. We whisper the word, fear the consequences, and our hearts break when cancer touches loved ones, including furry family members. But according to veterinary specialists, cancer is the most treatable—and curable!—of any chronic pet disease.

November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month. We lost our Bravo-Dawg in the winter after a valiant fight, and you can read the first post here. The amazing folks at Morris Animal Foundation address many kinds of cancer and have funded numerous studies and even trained researchers to continue the search for the cure.

According to Dr. David Haworth, president and CEO of Morris, “One in 2 dogs will develop cancer, and 1 in 4 dogs will die of the disease.  The Foundation leverages the best minds in veterinary medicine and science to work on understanding the cause (funding over 40 studies on cancer in dogs at any given time…).” Read more about what you need to know …

Pet Veteran Love: 8 Reasons to Adopt Senior Cats & Dogs

There’s a good chance if you visited your local shelter today, you’d meet a pet who prefers couch cuddling to counter surfing, knows that shoes aren’t for chewing and is eagerly waiting to show you how to slow down and soak up life. I’m talking about senior pets!

November is #AdoptASeniorPetMonth, so if there is room in your 🏠 and ❤️, now is the perfect time to head to the shelter to find a grey-muzzled pet with plenty of love left to give!

How to Read Dog Poop: Normal Dog Poop to Dog Poop Problems

How to Read Dog Poop: Normal Dog Poop to Dog Poop Problems

Everyone who shares a home (and heart) with a dog at some point must deal with dog poop problems. Learning what’s normal, to yellow colored stool, or learning how serious blood in dog’s stool diarrhea may be helps get your dog help. While it may not be the most appealing topic, learning about your dog’s “creativity” offers important insight into his health.

Not only his food, but also your dog’s environment and emotional state, affects how his body works. Fear, anxiety, and stress can change a dog’s behavior, but also can disrupt digestion and cause enteritis. That in turn affects his poop.

Recognizing healthy elimination helps pet owners alert to abnormal eliminations. That way, when necessary, you can get your dog prompt medical help to diagnose and treat problems before they become worse.

November is National Pet Diabetes Month: Learn The Symptoms & Treatment for Diabetic Pets

Pet diabetes affects many cats and dogs, and this month we celebrate National Pet Diabetes Month. I’ve compiled this information for you from my books because I believe a happier world starts with healthy, joyful pets. So I help scaredy-cat pet lovers wag up their confidence with genius at-home advice—that banishes embarrassment while improving pet relationships with award-winning pet care books like CAT FACTS and DOG FACTS.

Diabetes mellitus is a common disorder of the endocrine system in cats and dogs. The pancreas, a gland near the stomach and liver, produces the hormone insulin, which stimulates the movement of glucose (sugar) from the blood into the cells of the body. Cat and dog diabetes can develop if something suppresses the action of existing insulin (Type II, non-insulin dependent). Diabetes in cats and dogs also happens when something interferes with the production of insulin (Type I, insulin dependent). Without insulin, the body can’t use the food pets eat. The disease develops slowly, with subtle signs that you may not notice until it becomes quite advanced.

Pet obesity increases the risk of diabetes for dogs and cats, because…

Catnip: More Than A Treat for National Cat Day

Tomorrow is NATIONAL CAT DAY! Why not celebrate with kewl schtuff for the cat…like a catnip treat?

I have no doubt that catnip prompted the Cheshire Cat’s grin. My cat Seren used to wear the same expression when she indulged. NATIONAL CAT DAY is the perfect time to indulge your furry friend.

But why do cats find this nondescript herb so attractive? Is it a kitty aphrodisiac, a harmless pleasure or something more sinister?

What Is Catnip?

Nepeta cataria, or catnip, is a strong-scented mint that contains a volatile oil that’s easily released into the air. Biting or rolling on the plant crushes the leaves and releases the oil so Kitty can get a good sniff. It doesn’t take much. Cats can detect catnip oil in the air at saturation as low as one part per billion.

8 Halloween Pet Myths: BUSTED

With Halloween right around the corner, what a good time to share this round up of 8 Halloween myths. What have I missed? Are there other myth-teries you’d like to debunk? Share in the comments!

MYTH. Halloween costumes are fun for everyone. Even some humans find costumes creepy, so it’s no surprise some dogs do, too. Costumes can be frightening or stressful for your pooch. It’s a good idea to keep your dog safely inside and away from the trick-or-treaters on Halloween night.

MYTH. Raw pumpkin is always good for pets. Pumpkin can be used to treat . . .

Halloween Pet Costumes: How to Dress Dogs in Costumes

Do you enjoy dressing up the house—and yourself—for the holidays? If you want to include Halloween pet costumes, start now to get them used to the notion. Most of the costumes don’t fit Bravo-Dawg, and I’ve not yet tried Shadow-Pup. I’ll share pictures if/when that happens.

Meanwhile, be sure to keep pets safe over Halloween, though. Dogs and cats aren’t always fans of wearing Halloween costumes, but with these tips, you can help pets accept the notion.

Halloween Pet Costumes

Some pets enjoy dressing up, particularly the small dogs already used to wearing coats and sweaters in cool weather. There are many pet costumes available from pet products stores, from fancy to plain. If your outgoing, confident pet is willing, you can have great fun with costumes. But if your pets don’t care for dress up, don’t press it. Many pets may bite over Halloween out of fear of change.

Even reluctant pets may be persuaded to wear a fancy collar or bandana or painted toenails.

Halloween Pets Safety: Protect Pets from Halloween Goblins

Halloween pet safety is needed every year. With the pandemic, many of the traditional trick or treating visits changed but l locally in North Texas (Sherman, new events this year entertain the kids while keeping them safe. There’s also a pet Halloween costume event in Denison on October 30th, but we want our pets to also stay safe from goblins and other dangers. Learn how to get pets to accept costumes in this post.

Halloween at its best is a night of mystery, fun, and thrills for human children and many adults. It’s important to keep your human kiddoes safe with these tips, but no less important for the pets. I write about Halloween pets safety every year because it can be a nightmare for your furry kids.

Why Pets Hate Halloween

The calmest, most laid-back pet may get his tail in a twist when masked villains with flapping capes ring the front doorbell. Cats and dogs identify friends and family not only by scent, but also by appearance. Remember how King barks and growls and doesn’t recognize Uncle Jerry when he wears that baseball cap? Just imagine how King will react to a rubber mask that covers the neighbor child’s face!

Stranger danger can turn confident pets into nervous wrecks. If you know trick or treaters will visit, prepare your pets and put safety first–for you AND the kids. After all, you don’t want frightened pets to lash out at well-meaning kids.

BITE Prevention for Halloween: 9 Ways to Keep Fangs At Bay

Have you thought about dog bite Halloween safety? and I’m not talking about vampires, either. Many dogs enjoy the howl-idays. But dogs biting kids happens more often at this time of year than any other.

This is a timely subject so I try to revisit the information every year. I write about this every year because it’s so darned important. With Halloween in the offing, this is the perfect time to brush up on dog safety issues and protect your kids, too.

To give equal time, there are many kitty-centric Halloween myth-teries you’ll find fascinating, especially about black cats.

While nonstop doorbell rings and visitors showering attention may be doggy bliss for your pet, even friendly laid back pooches get their tails in a twist over the disruption to routine. That can be dangerous for the pet—and for the human. Learn more about dog bites and kid safety here…

Pudgy Pooches & Tubby Tabbies: How to Slim Down Fat Pets

Do you live with fat pets? Or maybe you struggle with your weight, like me. A couple of my friends look terrific after they’ve recently lost weight. I found it. *sigh* The problem also affects fat pets, and at my house, that’s spelled KARMA-KAT.

Fat Pets & What To Do

Is your pooch pudgy or fat? Are your cats slim athletes or fat cats? Obesity is defined as exceeding ideal body weight by 20 percent, and today about forty percent of pets are considered overweight. If you can’t feel the pet’s ribs, and/or she has a pendulous or bulging tummy, your pet is too plump. Obesity increases risk for diabetes, and is an aggravating factor in heart problems, arthritis, and skin problems. Puppies are cute when chubby but that puts them at risk as well…

It’s not that I don’t know how to eat right, I do. It just takes more thought and planning, and I’ve let a lot of that slide as I tried to meet deadlines. It’s a whole lot easier to stay on top of the pet’s nutrition and waistline than my own.

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Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author.  You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website. 

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