Happy Cyber Monday! It's the perfect time to share some of my favorite go-to places for puppy-licious products and information. You'll also want to check out some of the product reviews and books listed here on puppies.about.com.
Most of y'all know that I also write books and am a huge fan of staying up to date on good information. If a puppy is in your future, or you'd like to "gift" someone with a physical book, PetCareRx has some nice options for puppy lovers. My colleague Teoti Anderson's book Puppy Care & Training (there on the left) is a good place to start, and for those looking for more to do with their puppy, check out the book 50 Games to Play With Your Dog. I think my Magical-Dawg would enjoy some of those, too!
I'm also a HUGE fan of audio books especially for those that don't have the time to sit down to read. With an audiobook, you're hands free and can listen to that dog-training or puppy behavior book while working with your furry wonder on leash. Full disclosure--some of my books are available as audio books with Audible.com, so if you're interested in the dog behavior (or cat behavior) titles, you can find them there.
I discovered Grammarly this past year, too. It's a software program for writers to help with grammar and more, and if you (or someone you know--a student? a business person?) would benefit from some copy editing or grammar help, you can try it out and see how it works for you. I suspect that there are a number of y'all with stories you'd like to write about YOUR puppies and maybe get published. Well, here's your chance to get some help with that!
Check out the Animal Den site for gifts designed especially for dog lovers. You may find the perfect stocking stuffer for your pet loving friends--or for you.
And for those wanting to stock up on all those must-haves for puppies, such as heartworm preventive medications, flea products and more, check out the PetcareRx site. They're also running some holiday specials.
I suspect many of you have already hit the road for Thanksgiving travel this week. Is the baby dog with you, or do you plan to take the new puppy along to show him/her off to the relatives?
I've put together a round up of all the must-knows for traveling with your puppy. You'll find tips on everything from crate training and soothing car sickness to car travel safety--or leaving the little guy home with a pet sitter. Whatever your holiday plans, just be sure your furry wonder stays happy and safe. Learn all about safe travel with puppies here.
Image © John Moore/Getty Images
The specific products include:
It's reported that 280 cases of affected treats were sold in bulk at pet food stores across Canada. HOWEVER--some of these treats may have been purchased in Canada and brought to pets that live in the United States.
Consumers should contact Your True Companion Pet Products at 1-855-260-5024 if unsure if the product you have is affected or not. All products affected have been disposed of in the market place as of November 8, 2013.
Images © True Raw Choice
I was honored this week to be invited to the first-ever (and I fervently hope not the last!) BETTER WITH PETS summit in New York City, hosted by Purina. For those of us who practically live-and-breathe all things pets, this was as close as it comes to the perfect day celebrating the animals who make us better people--and, it was argued, we make them better, too. The only thing that might have improved the experience was for us to have our own furry wonders at our sides or on our laps.
What is a Better With Pets summit? TED talks for pet people. *s* This was not the typical nerd-science-lectures-for-press meetings of the past (although I have to confess, I adore nerd-icity when it comes to veterinary stuff). No, the summit featured 16 movers-and-shakers of pet-icity who have a common interest in animals, and a wide range of folks took part. Today's blog is simply an overview, because the presentation wasn't suited to a taking-notes-writing-feature sort of event. But stay tuned for more in depth coverage of some of the topics in the future. Hey, I'm a journalist, I know how to track people down! (be afraid....NOT!).
The day began with a welcome from Steve Crimmins, the Chief Marketing Officer of Nestle Purina PetCare Company. He said the company shares the belief that pets and people are better together--and the purpose of the summit was to celebrate the pet-human bond through the experiences and perspectives of the speakers. He introduced the Better With Pets emcee, NPR host and advocate for service dog accessibility, John Hockenberry. Mr. Hockenberry was brilliant at introductions and speaker interviews following their presentations, and truly made the event that much better.
Dr. Brian Hare began the presentations with a fascinating and entertaining discussion of canine cognition. He's the author of The Genius of Dogs and founder of Dognition, a way to understand how your dog thinks. I'll be writing more about Dognition in the weeks ahead, after testing out the program on my Magical-Dawg.
Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, spoke about the explosion of pet pictures on the Internet. Hey, admit it--we all go AWWWWwww! whenever we see animal cute-icity online.
Judy Finnegan shared about the Puppies For Parole program that saves dogs that otherwise would be euthanized by placing them with prisoners who rehab the dogs--and in turn, the dogs help rehab the prisoners. How cool is that?
One of my favorite presentations came from Dr. Robin Downing, a veterinarian and pain specialist who explained, "Age is not a disease," and that pets do NOT have to hurt.
Dr. Sandra Lyn, a behaviorist, shared some of her experiences with the "true nature of cats" both domestic and wild.
Dr. Steve Hannah provided some awesome information about the canine genome--I told you that I love the nerd-stuff! You should, too, because decoding these puzzles not only helps that puppy on your lap, it can also improve your health.
Those who enjoy Simon's Cat on YouTube (and now in books) were delighted to have cartoonist/author Simon Tofield compose samples of his feline characters on stage. Hey, I know you're all puppy lovers but admit it...these videos tickle you as much as they do the cat folks, right?
Beth Stern, animal advocate and spokesperson for North Shore Animal League, spoke about how fostering needy pets has changed her life--and that of husband Howard Stern.
The host of PBS's "Idea Channel" Mike Rugnetta presented a fast-talking riff on pets and the Internet--some of which "hissed off" cat lovers--and posed the question, do you cruise the Dog-Net or the Cat-Net...or the Pet-Net?
Dr. Arleigh Reynolds offered a passionate and moving tribute to the dogs that have changed his life for the better, through his study of sled dogs and canine endurance.
Some interesting--and sometimes shocking--doggy designs were presented by Julia Huang for Architecture for Dogs. Would your puppy love this? Stay tuned for an article about this!
Dr. Joseph Wakshlag pointed out the benefits of pet rehab partnered with appropriate nutrition.
Black Label Movement, an incredible dance troupe, presented a moving piece entitled DAD & DOGS: A CO-EVOLUTION.
The day wrapped up with one of my longtime friends Dr. Marty Becker (very top picture) pointing out the secrets behind the bond you share with your pet. Oh, he was upstaged by that fluffy white dog with him--available for adoption--and determined to get the last bit of applause (and treats).
I hope this whetted your appetite for more! There are actual full-length videos of the talks to come, and I'll share as they become available. I can't wait to get in touch with some of these speakers to get even more insight into how life is always better with pets!
Images © Amy Shojai, CABC
Have you ever been in a car accident with your dog? Maybe you've taken all the proper steps to ensure your pet's safety--but how do you know that dog harness will do the job?
In 2004, Lindsey Wolko slammed on the brakes to avoid an accident. She had restrained her dog Maggie with a harness, but instead of preventing injury, the harness made things worse.
"She had wrapped the line around her back leg," says Wolko, and the braking car launched Maggie off the seat. "She was hog tied from behind when she hit the back of the front seat. She was screaming her head off, and I had to keep navigating."
The accident with Maggie inspired the creation of the Center for Pet Safety (CPS). "I wanted to try to figure out what went wrong. I didn't know we were going to found CPS this way. It's been almost 10 years."
The CPS effort strives to make pet owners aware there's a problem, and inspire pet products manufacturers to improve their products. "The quality of these products matters so much to us as pet lovers, but it's completely overlooked, and there's very little oversight," says Wolko. This past year, the CPS partnered with Subaru to crash test some of the top selling dog harness products on the market, and the results may surprise you. Read all about it here.
Wolko's Center for Pet Safety is a true labor of love, and none of the people involved have accepted any salaries. She's grateful for Subaru's funding of what she hopes will be only the first of many pet safety studies.
"We looked at pet travel first because it can impact human life in case of an accident," she says. "We're hopeful pet owners can help with donations or fund raisers to help us take the next steps." For instance you can go here and type in Center for Pet Safety and a percentage of sales will go to CPS.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it's a good time to take a look at pet safety during travel. Doesn't your baby dog deserve the very best? Read the article and then make informed choices for your dog's car harness.
It's a nightmare scenario--You stop for a puppy potty break at the park on your way to Grandma's Thanksgiving dinner, and your new puppy gets away from you. I hope that never happens but if it does, refer to these lost dog tips to recover your furry wonder.
But what about those dogs that miraculously seem to find their way home, even over long distances? How do they do it? My new article on puppy navigation explains how dogs find their way, but don't rely on luck! Tips are included to keep your puppy safe so he'll never have to find his way home. Read all about it here.
Image © Getty Images
Has your puppy ever suffered from car sickness? He's not alone, that's a common issue with baby dogs. And with the Thanksgiving holiday coming up and many folks wanting to travel to Grandma's and take Junior Dog along, it seemed a good time to address the issue. Here's my latest article with 6 tips to cure puppy motion sickness.
Image © Mark Metcalf/Getty Images
Image © Shannon Esposito
Here are two more "breed at a glance" articles, from the small and cute to the massive and dignified...well, sometimes dignified! These gorgeous dogs arise from very old breeds, but have been updated (so to speak). Learn all about the personality, size, grooming care and potential health issues of the American Mastiff (left) and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (right) in these newest articles.
Image © Chris Allard
I've just posted two new articles that offer some of the high points about Yorkshire Terriers and Tibetan Spaniels. If you're interested in either of these breeds as a potential pet for your family, you can find out the personality traits, care and grooming issues and potential health concerns in these new articles. Let me know if you have other cute puppy breed photos, for future articles!
Tibbie puppy Image © Barbara Killworth of Cabal Canine Photography
Yorkie puppy Image © Denise Russell Owens
I get a LOT of press releases from pet products companies and often they're offering PAW-some promotions. Sadly, I don't have time to get all of them announced but I did want to offer a shout out for a fun one in partnership between Purina ONE and Good, celebrating hero pets in a contest that benefits non-profits.
Now until November 11, 2013, submit a photo or video and a true story about how your pet has helped someone in need. Judges will review applications and select 15 hero pets for the finalist round and the GOOD community votes on the 15 finalists from December 2-9, 2013.
What's In It For You?
The hero pet with the most votes from the GOOD community gets a year's supply of Purina ONE brand pet food, and a featured post on Good to share their pet's story. Hey, your puppy could be the next Internet pet sensation!
What's In It For Others?
The winner can choose who to gift with a $5,000 donation to one of the following non-profit pet service organizations:
- Pet Partners
- Support Dogs, Inc.
- New Horizons Service Dogs, Inc.
- Working Dogs for Conservation
Christina Schneider, Assistant Brand Manager, Purina ONE, says, "Whether in small ways or in bigger ways, all cats and dogs are heroes to the people who love them. We look forward to seeing the inspiring stories that pet owners submit to the 'Hero Pets to the Rescue' Challenge."
"We're constantly amazed by how pets help people with even just the smallest of gestures. We're excited to recognize the heroes that pets are," said Jay Ku, Head of Partnerships, GOOD.
How To Enter?
Submit a story here along with a photo or short video about how your pet has been a hero to someone in need. DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 11th. The winner will be announced on or before December 16.