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Woof Wednesday: Making Fleas Flee

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magic in paintbrush 2

I couldn't resist another Magic picture (when he was much younger) in spring Paintbrush.

It’s time for my annual flea rant. This year the terrific rain that made wildflowers resurrect in drought-parched North Texas also provides lush habitat for bugs. Magical-Dawg has been scratching like crazy, even though he’s on a flea preventive. There’s just too darn many bugs out there. The cat flea (also infests dogs) can cause allergies, anemia, and transmit tapeworms as well as the agent that causes cat scratch disease. And even though Seren-kitty doesn’t go outside, Magic generously shares any hitchhikers with her.

KEEP REFILLS A-COMING!

I’ve also had some frustration getting refills on Magic and Seren’s medications. It used to be that the monthly spot-on or oral heartworm medications could be picked up from my veterinary office. For convenience sake they’ve gone to an online website with a “store” that keeps track of the pets’ Rx which can be refilled with the click of a button. Only the past couple of times the pets have been ready for a refill, their meds either were “unavailable” or missing from the online store. Grrr!

So instead of a separate heartworm preventative along with a flea medication I finally broke down and purchased Revolution, a product formulated to take care of most all available parasites. Hopefully that will quell Magic’s itch–I do believe that the fleas build up resistance to certain treatments and it’s not a bad idea to rotate products when possible.

FLEA PRODUCT DANGERS!

Choose flea and tick products with care. Even those that ARE safe (when used according to directions) can cause problems if you fail to use good judgment. Age of the pet, health status, and species determines the type of product you should choose. Look at the label to make sure the flea or tick protection says it’s safe for your individual pets.

Dogs tolerate certain types of pesticides better than cats. Products containing permethrin or phenothrin labeled for dogs can kill your cat. Kittens and puppies must be old enough to tolerate the treatment (the label will say the best age). And using more than one product at a time on your pet can add up and poison him when one alone might be fine.

NATURAL FLEA PREVENTION

The safest and most “natural” flea control technique involves using a flea-comb. Frequent vacuuming of the carpet removes up to 90 percent of flea eggs and 50 percent of larvae, and gets rid of incidental ticks, too. Don’t neglect washing pet beds, carriers, blankets, and throw rugs as well as any sofa cushions or other favorite dog and cat resting places.

For outdoor habitats, cut the grass short to allow sunlight to shoo away the bugs. Remember all those wildflowers and waist-high grass in the pictures on Monday Mention blog? Yesterday the fields were mowed, and that should cut down not only the pollen count but reduce parasite habitat. Keeping your pets from problem areas and treating the bug habitats helps reduce the pest population. Nematodes—worms that eat immature fleas—are available from lawn and garden supply outlets.

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Can you see the flea in the picture? Yes, it's there! Ewww!

FLEA BIOLOGY BITES

The adult flea you find crawling through Fluffy and King’s fur represents only the tip of the buggy iceberg. Adult fleas don’t hop on and off your pet. They stay there unless involuntarily dislodged, but they represent only five percent of the total flea population. The remaining 95 percent composed of flea eggs, larvae, and pupae lurk in the environment poised to belly up to the furry banquet.

Fleas can lay 20 to 40 eggs per day, and ten female fleas can create almost a quarter of a million different life stages in a month. Newly emerged flea larvae can survive two weeks without a blood meal, and pre-emerged (pupae/cocoon stage) can survive six months without feeding.

Flea products may address the egg, larvae and adult stages, but no insecticide can kill the cocoon stage. You must wait until it hatches to kill it. It takes fourteen to twenty-one days for the lifecycle to be complete.

Consult with your veterinarian to decide how best to protect your furry family in the bug wars. Some products only are available by prescription. If you choose an over-the-counter product, look at the label and follow product instructions to ensure the health and safety of your pets. You can learn more about fleas and appropriate products in this article, and learn more about ticks here.

How to you keep your dogs itch free and safe from parasites? Do you use “natural” methods along with preventatives? What tips can you offer to others dealing with these nasty vampires? Please share.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with excerpts from the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!

Woof Wednesday: False Pregnancy & Zinc Neutering

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Everyone knows that pets get pregnant if precautions aren’t taken, but did you know they also can suffer false pregnancy? Today’s Ask Amy address this situation, but I’ve got a BONUS VIDEO for you as well.

ZINC NEUTERING

The girls still require spay surgery and in most cases the boys are surgically neutered. But a new procedure that uses injections can neuter your boy dogs with very little muss or fuss. I’ve wanted to interview these folks for some time and we keep missing each other on schedule so hopefully sometime in the future you’ll hear a radio interview.

But in the meantime, check out the awesome video below of the procedure–fellows, I can see you crossing your legs now. Don’t be a weenie, this isn’t an ooky procedure at all and is a great paw-step forward.

At what age did you have your fur-kids neutered? Or have you decided not to sterilize them–could you share why? If it were available, would you elect to go with zinc neutering?

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with excerpts from the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!

Monday Mentions: Reading Monkeys, Chocolate Diet & Musical Cure

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Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Some of this “schtuff” can be hard to categorize and may fit more than one topic so I urge you to at least scan them all.

I’m THIS CLOSE to releasing the next book in the COMPETABILITY series, this one on solving cat-to-cat problems. Also, I’ve written a whole series of pet food articles as we;; as first aid tips for the puppies.about.com site and will share the latest links in the Woof Wednesday and Feline Friday blogs so please bookmark and come back. The regular busy-ness will quadruple shortly because I’m due to receive edits on my LOST AND FOUND thriller by tomorrow, yay! Therefore, you may not see me around for a few days as I work hard to regain consciousness and then work through the suggested changes. Hey, that’s a regular part of the book process, don’t let anyone tell you any different.

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

Research on Reading & Writing Trends

The Chocolate Diet why is this under writer-icity? because it’s a well-known fact that chocolate is BRAIN FOOD that fuels writers. Just sayin’

Poetry.com Returns–Beware! or at least caution. Read the Writer Beware post to learn more info.

Audible for Self-Pub’d Authors, is your book a candidate for an audio book?

Short Story Sales Tips still a good way to promote long fiction? Hmnnnn. Leads right into the next links.

World Of Myth looking for short stories and here’s a Short Story Contest for emerging writers

ITW’s “Love Is Murder” Collection Trailer Go to the Facebook page to “like” it to see this exclusive trailer–writers can learn some tips with this kewl video.

Blog Give-Aways, what to do and what not to do

MAN-DAY with hunks galore at Jillian Dodd’s awesome blog where today author Jen Talty expounds on her books’ hunky heroes (photo examples, squee!)

PET-ICITY SCHTUFF

Do Pets Go to Heaven? on the heels of Easter, three theology experts comment–a fascinating read. And that segues nicely into the next section about ghosts.

“Mag the Ghost wasn’t  any easier to deal with in death than Mag the Terror had been in life. Living in Love, Texas, in her childhood home, wasn’t the end of the world, but Tali Cates can’t see the good things with her eyes clouded by murder and mayhem. Now living at home with her son and her mother and trying to support her family, Tali is faced with a vengeful ghost, intent on ruining her life unless she solves her murder. Now some very human elements are showing violent intent and Tali has to come face to face with the very things she tried to leave behind, her gifts and violence.” Privy to Murder by Carol Shenold

This fun mystery (yes, a ghost appears in an outhouse!) also includes a cat, so I asked my friend–author Carol Shenold–how pets figure in her fiction. I think many writers could learn something from her response:

The Cat Said What? I don’t mean you and your cat will sit down at a computer and write together.  But, what if your cat shows up in your current WIP. How do you handle that? I know many writers who make animals into main characters in the books, complete with dialogue. Not good at that. Animals do sneak in because I live with three, but not as major players, more for comic relief, or just for fun. Besides, life is not complete without them.

I do feel like you have to judge your book, setting and character before putting in a pet, since the main character has to take care of it. It you are writing a thriller, adventure,  horror story, will your character remember to feed and water the animal, take it for a walk, scoop the litter? If not, make sure someone else is around to take care of the cat or dog. Mention it once or twice. Or, make it the neighbor’s irritating pet that shows up at awkward times. The way your main character interacts with animals might give insight into character, or lack of.

Since my animals are part of my life, they do come into the books and have a little fun.  I have to watch them or they might take over. In PRIVY TO MURDER, Tali’s kitten, Chaos, tries to take a bath with Tali whenever she can, preferably with bubbles.  But when Aiden was around, she made herself scarce, not fond of males? Cat’s rule and Aiden has disappeared.”

Monkeys Taught To Read! Well, sorta kinda in a way–they do recognize words, how cool is that? I predict a whole new audience for my work…

National Fire Dog Memorial Statue Planned

New Kitten URI Treatment get ready for kitten season with this new info from UC-Davis

More DON’T HUG YOUR DOG DAY from dog behavior expert Marilyn Wolf, a similar take on the Purina Beneful bad promotion.

Purina Stinko Again? This time they did apologize for comparing a neighborhood to a stinky litterbox in a TidyCats NoMorePU campaign. Are the ad guys playing with catnip? Don’t tell me you didn’t inhale!

Is Cesar Milan Going To Fix Your Dog? an excellent post from veterinarian Dr. Rayya who explains the difference between behavioral problems and problem behaviors.

Some of y’all know that music is a HUGE part of my life. It seems to heal us and make us whole on so many levels. A friend sent me this video and I had to share with everyone. HANKY alert!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with excerpts from the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!

Monday Mentions: Thrillers, Pets & Writing

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Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the TASTY neato-torpedo links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Some of this “schtuff” can be hard to categorize and may fit more than one topic so I urge you to at least scan them all.

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

Why Small Presses Fail–and what to watch out for, from Writers Beware

Congrats to fellow ITW Debut Author Donna Galanti. Her thriller A Human Element released this month. This story, like its characters, is a hybrid that combines science fiction, suspense and romance. As a twin myself, I found that aspect of the story both chilling and fascinating. Read more here–and aspiring authors may wish to take a closer look at this publisher, too!

For more thrilling romance from well known authors, check out the upcoming collection. That’s a must-read, to be sure, cain’t wait! PW Starred Review says, in part: “If a person is known by the company she keeps, then the company of the 30 romance and suspense writers in this stellar all-original anthology speaks volumes about bestseller Brown. From Lori Armstrong’s sexy “Holding Mercy” to Vicki Hinze’s sweet “Wed to Death,” there’s romance aplenty. But there’s also loads of suspense, including Lee Child’s “I Heard a Romantic Story” and Cindy Gerard’s “Dying to Score.” Hankering for a flight of romantic fantasy? Take a trip to a bizarre Savannah neighborhood in Dianna Love’s “Deadly Fixation” or to the Chicago of Patricia Rosemoor’s “Hot Note.” The action spans the globe, imparting a real feel for locales as diverse as the Mexican jungle; Halifax, Nova Scotia; London, England; and south Texas. There are familiar characters such as Allison Brennan’s Lucy Kincaid (“Vacation Interrupted”) and new ones readers are sure to want to see more of, like William Simon’s Nicholas White (“Spider’s Tango”). Chockablock with nifty plot twists, these stories aren’t to be missed. (June)”

More from ITW--some of your fav thriller authors, check it out!

WEIRD-ICITY & FUN SCHTUFF

You Type, She Says in any language, fun to play.

Middle Eastern Poetry Meets Bollywood & More from my friend Carol Shenold’s blog

Google to End Ebook ReSeller Program

Amazon Ebooks in Spanish

PET-ICITY SCHTUFF

10 New Cat Health Studies Funded by Winn Feline Foundation

Ally Cat Allies Petition Re: Loews Hotels Killing Cats Animal friendly? really…

Cat World Records–most toes, longest whiskers, loudest purrs, oldest (38 years!) and more

ALLEY CAT RESCUE Hosts International Free Feral Cat Spay Day April 27, 2012

Scottie the Flower Shop Kitty

Lost German Cat Returns Home After 15 Years

High Cost of Cutting Edge Vet Care–would you do it?

I covered a lot of this cutting-edge care in my book. And I got my first hate mail as a result from somebody deeply offended that so much $$ might be spent on mere pets. What do you think? Have we gone too far? Or would you go into dept to fund health care for YOUR dogs and cats? Do tell!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with excerpts from the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!

Woof Wednesday: Big Hairy Deal & Stop Litter Box Snacking

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On Monday Mentions you saw my Hairball Celebrity Creature, and a number of folks had terrific guesses. Today you can find out just WHO that was supposed to be–featured on PeoplePets.com, a gallery of 9 of the hairy hopefuls are profiled.

To see the whole gallery plus the five finalists, and vote for your choice of winner, click on the logo, above.

In the spirit of Woof Wednesday, but with a nod to the cats, today’s Ask Amy has a cross-species problem to address. Does your dog (urk!) snack from the litter box? Learn why dogs eat dung in this article. How do you keep Poochie away from the poo?

I’m in the process of completely revising my ComPETability book to be even more prescriptive, and some of the tips from the book are presented in the video, below. What are some other ways you handle the problem? Do tell!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with excerpts from the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!

Ask Amy-Why Is My Dog A Licking Maniac?

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Sebastion and Mabel

Sometimes licking goes a wee bit overboard! This is Sebastion and Mabel (thanks to Copr. Esagirl for sharing!)

Dogs lick for all kinds of reasons. We like to think of those slurpy tongue-swipes as canine kisses, and certainly they can be a way for your pet to show affection. In puppies, licking can be a way to show deference to an older dog and even adult dogs may use licks to show respect to their people. It may even be a way for dogs to show their love.

Dogs also use lip licking as an appeasement gesture. These are signals that other dogs  interpret, “I mean no threat.”You may catch your dog lip-licking when he feels stressed in a strange environment at the vet, for example.

Licking also is used to self-groom, but that can get out of hand when a dog lick-lick-licks a sore such as a hot spot. Other times, dogs just lick out of boredom when it becomes a habit or they’re rewarded in some way for the behavior.

Magical-Dawg loves to lick my hands after I’ve used lotion. Or when I’ve eaten (by hand) KFC or something similar. I’ve also heard reports of dogs who lick-lick-licked a particular spot on the owner that–once examined by a human doc–turned out to be cancer! While licking has many potential reasons, from serious to innocuous, it shouldn’t be shrugged off, either.

Today’s Ask Amy describes yet another licking issue. Yes, dogs can have OCD problems. Have you ever had a dog who displayed obsessive-compulsive behaviors? Magical-Dawg is pretty obsessive about his Frisbee (he has a 6-Frisbee-A-Day habit). That’s the way I keep Magic happy–how do you know your dog is happy? How would you deal with a dog that licks everything all the time?

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Woof Wednesday: Putting On the Dog at Dog Shows

Yorkie in papers

Yorkshire Terrier backstage at Westminster.

Last week, I’m sure a number of readers watched the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on television. I’ve attended this event several times–I shot most of the pictures in today’s blog at Westminster–and it’s even more exciting and impressive in person.

In an email communication that mentioned the show, though, one passionate pet advocate expressed the hope that folks NOT watch the show. A finger was pointed at shows for promoting the sale of pets for profit, labeling the practice to be cruelty to animals that created the need for rescue organizations and shelters to deal with the cast offs.

White poodle in show wraps

This Standard Poodle is not yet ready for his close-up! Again, taken in the benching area at Westminster.

Wow. I have to applaud the passion, and I actually agree with some of the comments. I also would like to see an end to the need for rescue and shelters, but I don’t believe banning dog shows (or cat shows) would stop indiscriminate breeding. Just take a look in the paper at the “free puppies” section—those are not dog show animals being bred for profit. Punishing the folks who research pedigrees, perform expensive genetic and other health tests before doggy match-making, fund ultrasounds, support research to improve health of all dogs (or cats) doesn’t account for numbers found in rescue, foster and shelter organizations. I know many breeders who include in their contract that should your circumstances change THEY will take back the dog or cat.

beagle

Notice the saw dust on the floor--the BEST pictures (without people traffic) can be taken at the Westminster doggy potty spot.

The only folks who actually make money breeding dogs and cats would never get one of their dogs into Westminster or a comparable show. If you heard my colleague David Frei comment during the broadcast, you learned that a majority of the exhibitors at these high-venue events are ALSO into rescue work, support shelters, do therapy dog work, visit prisons, are hunting dogs or SAR emergency teams, and help fund health studies that benefit all dogs and cats including shelter animals.

komondor

Corded coats as on this Komondor served to protect the dogs as herders, but critics suggest the emphasis on appearance may not be good for the dogs.

What’s the deal with showing dogs, anyway? The earliest record of a dog show dates to June 1859 in England and featured hunting dogs, while today the show world has expanded to include a much greater variety of breeds, types, and fun canine sports.

Conformation dog shows are the beauty contest of the dog world, like the Westminster show. But conformation goes beyond simple looks. Show judges must know what constitutes the breed “ideal” and measure each competing canine against that mind’s eye image to select the winner that comes closest. Besides looks, the dog’s health, ability to move, and even personality must be up to snuff.

Golden 1

Appearance doesn't have to be extreme--there can be "hidden" issues as in this gorgeous Golden Retriever, a breed known to have a very high incidence of cancer.

Interestingly, after the 2012 Westminster winning Pekingese Malachy was crowned, quite a bit of outcry resulted not only from folks like rescue and shelter organizations, but also from those in the “show” world. You see, dog shows have a public relations problem—as evidenced by the comments that prompted this column. The breeding of some dogs to extravagant extremes that meets a “show” standard but may impact the health and well- being of the dog has been in question for years, from veterinarians and forward-thinking dog lovers. While the Peke breed was developed to be a lap dog/pet in ancient China, and the winner certainly fit today’s standard, the little guy epitomized all the complaints about purebred dog breeding favoring form over function. The coat alone would be crippling and lethal in a Texas summer!

Thank you to everyone who does their part for companion pets everywhere. It shouldn’t be an “us against them” mentality. I just wish that all the “good guys” from every arena—show, shelter, rescue, feral TNR, foster and more—worked together for the mutual benefit and against the common enemy—abuse, neglect, and more.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Tuesday Tips: A Roundup for Valentine’s Day

Cats of Egypt--helping Egypt's animals . . .

Monday Mentions didn’t happen yesterday because I was head-down on final edits for my THRILLER. I sent it to the publisher last evening, whew! And then I hurried off to KURVES rehearsal and didn’t even get to watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show when I got home. Yep, these days I meet myself running, but it’s all good.

I’ve got news! I learned that my new Puppies Website won a MAJOR AWARD, the Maxwell Medallion, from the Dog Writers Association of America, woot! The awards were presented Sunday night in New York and since I’m in rehearsals, I couldn’t be there but some seriously talented dog-savvy folks were honored.

Today just for Valentine’s Day I’ve compiled a mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Some of this “schtuff” can be hard to categorize and may fit more than one topic so I urge you to at least scan them all.

PET SCHTUFF

Lorraine Chittock celebrates Cairo’s cats, with glorious photos–and donations to a wonderful Egyptian animal welfare organization. Check out the book Cairo Cats! pictured above.

International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants annual behavior conference, all about cats, dogs, therapy animals, horses and parrots! Early bird registration goes away in 6 days . . .

California Roll-Back on Pet Protection Laws? from terrific blogger BJ Bangs

14 Ways Your Cat Loves You from my good friend and cat behavior expert Sally Bahner

Inking for Dollars–tattoos benefiting shelters!

Dogs Deserve Better sent 19,000 Valentine cards to dog owners who chain their dogs all day long!

WRITING SCHTUFF

Books-A-Million and Indigo Books join B&N in the Amazon boycott  along with Amazon may open brick & mortar store in Seattle

Helpful post about How to “Gift” an Ebook for Reviews

OKC University Creative Writing Festival the art of laughter and thrills in creative writing

Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society Writing Contest

Why HATING FACEBOOK Costs You Book Sales, you really need to read this

Dreamin’ with Jennifer Lawler, how her editing/publishing dream came true and she wants YOUR book, too! from

Keeping Current Without Being Overwhelmed, from Lorie Huston’s blog for Socially Savvy Pet Bloggers

Dirty Fighting, techniques to spice up your fiction, from the awesome Jenny Hansen, plus heart-pounding visceral responses from guest blogger Margie Lawson

How NOT to Get Burned Out from Kristen Lamb, social media maven

Dirty Publishing–DON’T DO IT! Great post on independent author’s ethics from Jeremy Robinson

Updating Your Ebook--how to do it.

Writers Guide to E-Pub now features the awesome Jen Talty from WhoDaresWinsPublishing.com, SQUEEEE!

Score Your Book Title, some great tips for designing a winner (with a very cool “test”) from great blogger Linda Joyce

Overdone Plotlines–yikes! Is yours in there?

Gene Lempp’s Blog Treasures, even more good stuff!

Babe the Sheep Pig has nothin’ on Champis, the bunny–wowsers!

Don’t try this at home–unless you’ve got year’s of experience, trustworthy dogs, and lots of supervision but–wow, ain’t this a fun video?!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways! NOTE a special Valentine’s Day issue will go out later this afternoon.

Woof Wednesday: How To Brush Puppy Teeth

Chewing is my passion

Special dental chews can help with tooth care.

Pungent pet breath goes beyond offending houseguests; it signals the beginning of dental disease that’s not only painful, but can cut short your pet’s life. February is National Pet Dental Health Month so it’s the perfect time to “brush up” on recognizing and preventing tooth trouble.

Eighty percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop dental problems (periodontal disease) by the age of three. Pets don’t brush their teeth, so bacteria grow in left-behind food, mineralize, and forms plaque. The bacteria also release enzymes that cause receding gums that loosen teeth, and redness and swelling (gingivitis). If that’s not enough, chewing pumps bacteria into the bloodstream through the raw gums. That damages your pet’s heart, liver and kidneys.

There are many products out there for dogs to help keep those teeth pearly white. But the absolutely best way to prevent dental issues is to GASP! brush your dog’s teeth.

I can see y’all quivering in your socks at the thought. But it really isn’t all that difficult. I’ve just posted a step-by-step how-to in this article on how to brush puppy teeth (it works for adult dogs, too). You’ll also want to take a look at the video, below, from my friend Dr. Jim Humphries.

Do you brush your dog’s teeth? Does he have breath that’d knock over a moose? How do you manage Poochie’s dental care? Please share!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!  NOTE: the Pet Peeves newsletter will have a special VALENTINE’S DAY ISSUE you won’t want to miss!

Monday Mentions: Better Late Than Never Edition

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. And I’ve got a BOATLOAD of links today, so take your time, bookmark the entry for later if you like, and share with your friends.

Sorry this is a day late, but I’ve been head-down busy with the KURVES orchestration. Today is a catch-up day, and the Tuesday Tips next installment will be posted this afternoon.

WRITING SCHTUFF

Kindle Format 8 Launches in KDP    Kindle Format 8 (KF8), the new format for Kindle, allows you to take advantage of highlighting, colored text, text wrapped around images, bulleted lists, tables, and more! I understand the formatting guide has been simplified, and they also have conversion resources available.

Beware iBooks Author Contract!  Read this to learn what’s in the contract before you sign up (you give ’em the rights before you read the contract, yikes!)

Interview With Mark Coker of SMASHWORDS  Have you considered self publishing? SMASHWORDS allows you to create 9 different formats, from Ebooks to print-on-demand (POD). Here’s an awesome Power Point presentation from the man presented at California State Writers conference. Thanks to cat book author (Cat Mulan’s Mindful Musings) Margie Yee Webb for posting to Facebook!

Thrillers vs Mysteries, what’s the diff?

Writer Beware Blog on Copyright Infringement  Be careful you’ve got your OWN RIGHTS BACK when you self publish–some authors are getting sued. (HarperCollins vs Open Road)

Self-Pub’d Author Beware from the brilliant blog by JA Konrath (you MUST read this!)

“RESCUE” YOUR GOODREADS BOOKS! “At Goodreads, we make it a priority to use book information from the most reliable and open data sources, because it helps us build the best experience for our members. To that end, we’re making a major change. On January 30, Goodreads will no longer display book information that comes from Amazon. This includes data such as titles, author names, page counts…”

Authors, To keep your books I’m told you need to “rescue” your book. Click on the OTHER EDITIONS of your book listing and follow the steps.

Confessions Of A Publisher “We’re In Amazon’s sights and they’re going to kill us. . . ”

DOG SCHTUFF

Is Your Dog A Zen Master? Kewl study…includes why some German Shepherds may have a problem with impulse control (that explains Magical-Dawg’s ADD…)

Art and Science of Animal Training Conference in Denton, Texas has been extended to close February 1st due to technical difficulties with our website.
The schedule of events for the weekend is now available.

Dr. Ian Dunbar (he’s DA MAN!)  celebrates SIRIUS® Puppy Training’s 30th birthday with the launched of a new Puppy Raising Initiative at www.DogStarDaily.com in an attempt to coordinate all dog professionals — breeders, veterinarians, retailers, trainers, and shelters/rescues — to support and promote an educational program for prospective and new puppy owners.

Golden Collar Awards Nominations Announced This is for canine stars who appear in theatrical releases (movies, TV, stage). Fun stuff!

Stop Canine Flu in Shelters from the great folks at Morris Animal Foundation

CAT SCHTUFF

Oxygen Masks for Pets to save a life in case of fire. Do your fire fighters have these? Great blog from Chris Davis’s blog.

Feline-Alinity 101 from the ASPCA helps shelters evaluate kitty personality to provide the purrr-fect adoption match.

Reducing Kitty Colds in Shelter Cats  from the awesome Morris Animal Foundation

The Cat Coach has a shiny new website! Congrats to my writing/consultant colleague Marilyn Krieger (Note: she has an AWESOME book called Naughty No More).

JUST ONE DAY when euthanasia technicians put down their lethal syringes and instead pick up a camera to post pictures–and get those pets adopted! What are YOU doing on June 11, 2012? Spread the word–see who in your community will “take the pledge” for just one day of no-kill.

A friend shared this video and it made me giggle–DON’T TRY THIS WITH YOUR BIRDY FRIENDS without extreme caution.

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