Are you looking for a great present for a new pet parent? Pick up a copy of Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right. Dr. Sophia Yin has written a book with lots of excellent advice for first time pet parents as well as those of us who have spent more time with puppies than we can remember.

Yin has done a top notch job of taking us through the pups’ developmental stages and showing the best way to move them through their socialization to become the best possible companions. The directions are very thorough with many helpful pictures.

What I really appreciate about Perfect Puppy in 7 Days is Yin’s attitude towards puppies as individuals. These are not “one-size-fits-all” directions. Instead, Yin explains how dogs develop and learn. This info helps us to tailor the training for the behavior, not the age,

There is something for everyone to learn from Yin’s book. Even the most experienced dog lover can pick up tips but Perfect Puppy in 7 Days should be in every puppy starter kit.

Watch Tip: New Cat Introductions

Posted on March 18th, 2012 by Anna Nirva

Watch Tip LogoIf you adopt an adult cat and you already have adult cats living in your home, manage the introduction process carefully to avoid fighting and eventually achieve harmony. Remember that cats are territorial animals and most will reject newcomer cats with extreme drama and noise. Follow these steps when introducing an adult, tame adoptive house cat to your home cat tribe. Your goal is “100% safe acceptance,” no clumps of fur found anywhere, no wounds of any kind, no emergency trips to the vet! If your cats actually become friends who sleep side by side, consider yourself lucky; it doesn’t happen often.

Consider adopting a cat who has lived with other cats to minimize the amount of adjustment time and effort needed.

1. Create a private room for the new resident.

  • Provide the shelter or current owner with two items of bedding (small blankets, towels, t-shirts) a day or two in advance of pickup, with a request that the bedding be placed in your new cat’s sleeping space as bedding. When you pick up your cat, pick up the  bedding too. Put the bedding in your cat’s travel crate. Read the rest of this entry »

Please help Naoto Matsumura, a 52-year-old former Japanese farmer, feed the farm animals and pets left behind in Tomioka in the wake of the tsunami and nuclear disasters in Japan in March  2011. He lives and works alone in the “mandatory exclusion zone” near one of the destroyed nuclear reactors, feeding and watering the animals who would perish without him. His body is completely contaminated by radiation but he ignores that. He declares he will never leave except for short excursions to purchase food and maintain contacts with supporters. This photo was taken from a presentation he made about his work that is posted on YouTube. The “animal army” is becoming aware of this selfless hero and I ask you to share in supporting his work. Please share.

Chip-in site to help him buy food for the animals he cares for

A web site to share news of his activities

YouTube video captured from a presentation he made in Japan about the needs of the animals in the mandatory exclusion zone where he lives

Huffington Post article (Aug. 2011)

Watch Tip: Integrating a New Dog into a Household

Posted on March 11th, 2012 by Trish Roman-Aquilino

Watch Tip LogoAdding a new dog to the family, especially when there is already a resident dog or dogs, should be a thoughtful process, and should incorporate several crucial tenets:

  • Preparation
  • Patience
  • Pack Management

Many humans require time and guidance to acclimate to new situations, learn new rules, understand each other’s ways of communicating, and to form bonds…why wouldn’t a new dog require the same kind of courtesies? (When deciding to bring a new dog into the family, proper introductions to a resident dog are a must – please read these tips and make sure your new addition will be compatible with your resident dog). Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Tip: Pet Manners in the Shelter

Posted on March 4th, 2012 by Anna Nirva

Watch Tip LogoWhile looking for a new pet at an animal shelter, get information and guidance from the shelter workers and volunteers about dogs or cats you are interested in. They know the animals. Don’t overlook an animal who might be just perfect for you because it has one behavior that you don’t like. Take a second look. Remember: shelters are crowded, noisy, smelly environments that cause unwanted behaviors that will disappear once outside.

Meet Sadie, the shelter cat with “Cattidude”

Sadie lives in our home now, but she had formerly lived in the no-kill shelter where I volunteer for well over a year. She was admitted as a stray cat and surprisingly, she was declawed. Normally a declawed cat is adopted quickly, but Sadie didn’t “show” well. She had “cattitude” with a capital C. Read the rest of this entry »