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New Puppy Introductions: New Pets Enrich Furry Lives

New Puppy Introductions: New Pets Enrich Furry Lives

Did you adopt a new pet over the holidays? New puppy introduction to pets — in my case, dog to cat and puppy to dog introductions — is one kind of dog school that everyday dog obedience classes may not teach. While dog to dog introductions are a bit easier in some ways, puppy to cat introductions work very well when both pets are supervised. Puppy school starts in your home with basic dog training. When it involves a smaller pet like a resident cat, safety is also an issue.

On Sunday, May 31, 2020, a stray puppy showed up at our house. We didn’t plan on a new pet, especially since Bravo-Dawg developed major health challenges. As it turned out, Bravo adopted the new baby as his very own comfort-pup. Here’s how to introduce pups to adult dogs so they become fast friends.

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Pawsitively Clearing the Air: Answering Your Top 6 Questions about Amy Shojai Books

Pawsitively Clearing the Air: Answering Your Top 6 Questions about Amy Shojai Books

I get that being a pet parent means being a little careful – and sometimes even a little skeptical – when you’re deciding what ‘stuff’ you or your pet actually needs, like pet books. You’ve got to juggle a lot of decisions, balancing your pet’s personality, health, and well-being, plus the practicalities of budget and lifestyle. That’s where Amy Shojai books come in.

After publishing my first book in 1992, I’ve had decades of feedback and so many incredible conversations with y’all about my books and pet care information. I think I’ve found the top folks tend to ask us about finding the best info-tainment for you to help your cats and dogs. Or simply to provide YOU with fur-tastic fun!

read more
Hack-Wheeze-HONK! Protect Dogs from Holiday Kennel Cough

Hack-Wheeze-HONK! Protect Dogs from Holiday Kennel Cough

Coughing dogs are no fun for you, or your dog. With holidays near, many dogs may spend time away from home being boarded. That can expose your furry friend to kennel cough. Or other newer canine respiratory dog illnesses. Learn how to protect your dog, by understanding more about kennel cough, a very contagious disease.

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How To Give Pets As Gifts

How To Give Pets As Gifts

Giving pets as gifts prompts discussions every time the subject comes up. Most recently, we got our “gift puppy” and “gift kitten” when they adopted us, and we’re so glad Karma-Kat and Shadow-Pup are part of our holidays. But for many folks, this year means a new puppy or new kitten for Christmas. Learn how to gift pets–and please share your experiences in the comments!

The professionals used to say that the holidays were a TERRIBLE time to get a new pet–that impulse adoptions could leave the cat or dog without a home after the cute-holiday-thrills wore off. More recently, though, the ASPCA conducted some surveys and discovered that when done properly, these adoptions can be lasting, loving adoptions. So I had to re-think my advice.

Holidays tend to be hectic times when normal routines go out the window. Whether a baby, adult, or senior rescue cat or dog, new animals need the stability of knowing what to expect. In fact, some holiday schedules may allow you to be home more during this time to help the new kitty or pooch adjust.

Holiday pets take more work, true. But just think: you’re not only giving the pet to a person—you’re giving a special human to a waiting cat or dog, a fur-kid hungry for a loving, permanent home. Happy holidays, indeed!

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Mystery Canine Respiratory Disease? What We Know

Mystery Canine Respiratory Disease? What We Know

Each fall and winter heralds a rise in respiratory illnesses in people–and also in dogs. Like humans, dogs can contract a number of hacking, wheezing, coughing, yucky illnesses that make them feel bad. Canine respiratory diseases get lumped together as canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC). These are a constellation of different illnesses resulting from viral, fungal, or bacterial infections.

One of the most common, kennel cough, spreads easily from dog to dog. It gets its name because dogs housed closely together in kennels, boarding facilities, shelters, and similar places provide the perfect transmission opportunity. But recently, an apparent increase in dog respiratory disease has owners, and many vets concerned.

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Merry Cat-Mas & Doggy Ho-Ho-Ho! Here’s How to Create a Tree for the Pets

Merry Cat-Mas & Doggy Ho-Ho-Ho! Here’s How to Create a Tree for the Pets

Have you decked the halls yet with your howl-iday decor? What do the pets think? Have they joined in the spirit of ho-ho-ho and wreaked havoc? Or do they ignore the festivities?

The Christmas tree might as well be an early holiday gift to your cats and dogs. Pets can’t resist the urge to sniff, claw, water—and scale the branches to reach the highest possible perch. Don’t blame your cat or dog. It’s normal for cats to compete for the top spot (literally and figuratively) to secure their place in kitty society, and dogs may want to “mark” the convenient indoor doggy signpost.

Protect your precious memories by pet-proofing to prevent breakage (yes, this happened to me!) And give your pets something “legal” to enjoy. Here’s how to create pet safe holiday fun for cats and dogs.

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Puppy Temperament Tests: Guide to Understanding Puppy Testing

Puppy Temperament Tests: Guide to Understanding Puppy Testing

Many breeders and shelter workers swear by puppy temperament tests–or they swear AT them! Learn what puppy temperament tests offer, and how best you can use them to find the pup of your dreams. If a new puppy figures in your 2022 plans, take a look at what you need to know about puppy temperament tests.

What Are Puppy Temperament Tests?

When Magic was a baby, his breeder conducted a series of puppy temperament tests to better predict his future personality. Many professional breeders do this best match each pup to future owners. We won that lottery, in part because Magic was an opinionated, head-strong, smart-aleck pup with test indications predicting he’d make a great Schutzhund dog. Because we’d had a German Shepherd in the past, and my background in behavior, the breeder figured we’d know how to channel that drive. Even so, Magic still nearly drove us crazy when the normal delinquent behavior began! That’s when many dogs lose their homes.

Inappropriate expectations by prospective pet owners are a major risk factor for relinquishment. Owners fall in love with a barking bundle of joy, or a needy shivery stray. They dream of the Lassie-beneath-the-fur, but end up with a headstrong aggressive delinquent, or a clingy anxious pooch that eats through doors. That’s where temperament tests can help, not just for professional breeders, but also shelters and rescues.

Kitten Play Aggression: Stop the Madness!

Did you adopt a new kitten over the holidays? It never fails when a new kitten arrives. We oooooh and ahhh and the lil’ snuggle baby seduces us with purrs and sweet whisker kisses, and looks so darned innocent when she falls asleep on our lap. But all of that pet play antics means kitten play aggression is on the horizon.

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

In the past I’ve blogged about cold weather dangers for pets and this past week North Texas has enjoyed some sunny, warm days. But in other parts of the country–yet another blizzard threatens.

Bizzard tips for pets help you prepare and keep cats and dogs safe during the worst weather. Thank you to the ASPCA for sending this important and insightful infographic designed to keep your dogs and cats safe!

Cold Weather Pet Protection Tips

Cold weather pet protection becomes more in winter weather. Here in North Texas we’re bracing for temps to drop. Forecasts predict dangerously cold weather all over the country. Wind chill makes it even more uncomfortable or even dangerous for our dogs and cats.

Outside animals, like feral cats or stray dogs, suffer greatly from hypothermia or frostbite. House pets used to warm indoor temps need extra help, too. It seemed like a good time to remind everyone about cold weather pet protection.

2024 New Year Goals–from the Pets

It’s another circle around the sun. How did that happen? New Years comes faster each time, and for me provides a time to reflect, remember, savor the “wins” and explore the “not greats” and make plans for the next 12 months. Rather than making New Year resolutions, I make new year goals—and hope that the journey along the way proves equally rewarding.

For instance, rather than say, “lose weight” I strive for good health. In 2023, my health improved and along with a healthier weight, more energy, and less achy-schtuff. That’s a win, for sure! This year, I plan to continue that trend, concentrating on what gives me and my family joy, letting go of past angst, and challenging myself to grab for that next shiny object. I’m at the age when I’ve let go (well, still trying!) to not care so much about what others thing–and focus on what I want and need to stay happy and human.

Here’s my annual yearly recap, plus New Year Goals…from the pets!

Scared Cat? Here’s How to Solve Feline Stranger Danger!

Do you live with a scared cat? Does your new kitten hide under the bed? Do your adult cats disappear when visitors ring the doorbell—or thunder and fireworks BOOM? Does the new puppy send kitty into hiss-terics? It’s important to keep your cat happy, or else she can’t learn, and the stress can make her sick. Learning why a scared cat acts that way helps you know how to avoid “fright night” triggers.

A scared cat reacts with fear to unfamiliar people, places or situations. If kitties haven’t had a good experience—they assume the worst. Many kittens are clueless but as the cat matures, this “stranger danger” behavior protects kitties so they don’t walk up to hungry critters, dogs or people….

New Puppy Introductions: New Pets Enrich Furry Lives

Did you adopt a new pet over the holidays? New puppy introduction to pets — in my case, dog to cat and puppy to dog introductions — is one kind of dog school that everyday dog obedience classes may not teach. While dog to dog introductions are a bit easier in some ways, puppy to cat introductions work very well when both pets are supervised. Puppy school starts in your home with basic dog training. When it involves a smaller pet like a resident cat, safety is also an issue.

On Sunday, May 31, 2020, a stray puppy showed up at our house. We didn’t plan on a new pet, especially since Bravo-Dawg developed major health challenges. As it turned out, Bravo adopted the new baby as his very own comfort-pup. Here’s how to introduce pups to adult dogs so they become fast friends.

Pawsitively Clearing the Air: Answering Your Top 6 Questions about Amy Shojai Books

I get that being a pet parent means being a little careful – and sometimes even a little skeptical – when you’re deciding what ‘stuff’ you or your pet actually needs, like pet books. You’ve got to juggle a lot of decisions, balancing your pet’s personality, health, and well-being, plus the practicalities of budget and lifestyle. That’s where Amy Shojai books come in.

After publishing my first book in 1992, I’ve had decades of feedback and so many incredible conversations with y’all about my books and pet care information. I think I’ve found the top folks tend to ask us about finding the best info-tainment for you to help your cats and dogs. Or simply to provide YOU with fur-tastic fun!

Why Tabby Wears An M–A Christmas Cats Story

It’s become a tradition on the blog (and in my PETiQuette newspaper column) to share my favorite Christmas cat story this time of the year. This touching legend, included in Complete Kitten Care book, tells the story of a simple Tabby cat, and her gift on the very first Christmas day to a special mother and child. My own special tabby boy honors this page–notice the “M” on Karma’s brow…Enjoy!

Please be safe if you’re traveling. And help keep your cat calm during the holidays with these tips. May your holidays be blessed.

6 Holiday Tips to Keep Kitty Calm

Do your cats enjoy the holidays, or does it add stress to their world? With the holidays fast approaching, it’s a good time to offer some tips for keeping your cats (and guests!) happy. Read on for 6 holiday tips to keep cats calm (say that fast five times, LOL!)

Visit Amy’s Website

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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