PetSafe Pet Author
Amy Shojai, CABC
Amy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant and a nationally recognized pet care expert. She’s an award-winning pet journalist and author of 30 best-selling pet care books that cover furry babies to old-fogies, first aid to natural healing, and behavior/training to Chicken Soup-icity.
Amy published thousands of columns and articles spanning the past two decades—in dog year’s she should be dead! She created puppies.About.com, wrote behavior content for cats.About.com, and writes a weekly PETiQuette newspaper column as well as her own Bling, Bitches & Blood Blog. She also writes pet-centric suspense novels featuring a dog viewpoint character.
As a pet industry spokesperson, Amy works with Perfect Litter and the PetHealthyStore.com and has written for CatChow.com, HomeAgain.com, PawNation.com, Woman’s World and many others. She has been featured as an expert in hundreds of print venues including The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Newsweek, Ladies Home Journal and Family Circle, as well as hundreds of radio and television appearances including the Today Show, CNN, Animal Planet’s DOGS 101 and CATS 101.
She hosts Pet Peeves radio, a Pet Talk CBS TV segment, and brings her pet-centric viewpoint to public appearances including presentations at writing and pet care events. Sometimes she actually finds time to sleep.
Amy lives somewhere in North Texas surrounded by 500 weed-challenged rose bushes, a smart aleck German Shepherd named Magic, a 17-year-old Siamese wannabe named Seren, and a delinquent silver-shaded tabby cat called Karma—all provide furry and prickly inspiration.
Articles by This Author
Do your pets dream? While we can't know for sure what they dream about, dogs and cats certainly appear to go through the motions of paws paddling, whiskers twitching, and even whimpering or hissing in their sleep. We speculate that our pets re-live experiences during dreams that made an impact on them while awake.
Could your dog's breath melt your glasses? Does your cat's smile look like five miles of bad road? Stinky mouth odor not only interferes with how you interact with your cats and dogs, it points to potentially painful, dangerous pet dental problems. February is National Pet Dental Health Month and a good time to check out your pets' pearly whites.
When the temperature drops, people pull on sweaters. Dogs and cats don't have the benefit of pulling something out of the closet to wear. While Texas winters tend to be mild, abrupt changes in the weather often leave pets shivering in shock. So, does your pet need a sweater? The answer is--it depends.
January is National Train Your Dog Month, but don't forget about training cats. We expect our dogs to know basic manners, and rarely feel surprise if King offers a "sit" on command, or a paws-up to "shake" when asked. But folks guffaw at the mere mention of cat training.
Puppies are notorious chewers while teething, But most dogs won't out-grow the chewing urge. They use chewing to relieve boredom, explore their world, manipulate objects, and because it feels good. So how do you deal with dogs who destroy squeaky toys?
'Tis the season for visitors and guests. And your dog is ready and willing to add barking to the celebration. While that may prove aggravating to you or even scary to your visitors, it's important to realize barking is a normal part of canine communication. To figure out how to muffle the noise, first we must understand why dogs bark.
People become separated from pets during disasters in any number of ways. To be reunited with your missing pets, follow these tips. I pray only one tip will find your missing fur-kids, but don't stop there until all avenues are exhausted. Your pets want to come home just as much as you want to find them.
There are many reasons dogs becomes anxious. Even confident, well-adjusted dogs may suffer from anxiety from time to time. Anxious behavior during new experiences is perfectly normal but overly anxious dogs become miserable and their behaviors may be challenging for their people. Here's how to help anxious dogs and prevent separation anxiety.
Missing the litter box is the top complaint of cat owners. A sudden loss of litter box allegiance means either the litter box is unacceptable, the cat feels bad, or the other cats make her avoid the bathroom. Here's why your cat's not using the litter box anymore and how to stop litter accidents.
People who love cats understand that felines are emotional beings. Nearly anything can put Kitty's tail in a twist, and a stressed out upset cat becomes more prone to physical health issues as well as behavioral acting out. We want to meet our cat's behavior needs in order to keep pet purrs rumbling. The first step to improve kitty quality of life is to understand just what cats need. Here's what you need to understand in order to keep your cat in a happy emotional place.
Our dogs and cats give us unconditional love, and never care that we have a bad hair day, forget to change our socks, or don't brush our teeth. Actually, they might like that! That's one of the many reasons pet lovers consider them part of the family. It's only natural for us to return the affection during pet appreciation week.
All dogs bite. In fact, canine jaws can easily tear flesh and break bones. Don't be fooled by size, either. They may be tiny, but even Chihuahua-size pooches expertly use their choppers. And when they're big dogs, the damage can be severe. Learn these tips to prevent dog attacks and bites. That protects both your human family members, and the dog--because the pet that bites usually loses his home and his life.
April 11th is National Pet Day, but at my house, it's "pet day" all the time. Here are my top 5 ways to celebrate your cats and dogs on National Pet Day or any day.
When dogs and cats live together, they often snack from each other's food bowls. A taste now and then probably won't upset your pets' nutrition, but it can hiss off the cat or put the dog's tail in a twist. While we love them both, their nutritional needs are not the same, and eating each other's food can make them sick or worse.
As I write this, snow flurries dance outside my office window, while my 20-year-old cat, Seren, curls up on a blanket on the desk under the lamp's warm glow. Magical-Dawg adores playing outside in cold weather, but could easily overdo if I didn't limit outdoor excursions. It's not just about the cold and potential for frostbite or hypothermia. Winter also means indoor furnaces that dry skin, burn risks from fireplace use, and toxic antifreeze under vehicles. So how do you keep your special pets safe from winter's danger?
The New Year is a time of beginnings for both people and their pets. For cat lovers, keeping cats slim is a priority that has many health benefits, and healthy food, healthy eating habits, and (yes!) healthy treats are ideal. For cats that have packed on the pudge, now's the time to put resolutions in place to help slim your cat.
Happy New Year! The entire month of January is an opportunity for putting resolutions and goals in place, but of course you can do this at any time. Eating right and getting healthy tops the resolution list for people, so why not extend that to your dog, especially if your chubby dog needs to slim down and lose weight?
Are pet sitters right for your fur kids? Each year as the holidays approach, pet parents consider their options about vacation plans. While time off from work and routine offers people some stress release and fun times, our pets don't always feel the same way. And if our dogs and cats aren't happy, we can't relax and enjoy our vacation, either. Preparing for your pets' comfort during your vacations gives you peace of mind so you can enjoy your time free from worries. After all the joy they bring you throughout the year, don't your cats and dogs deserve happy howl-adays, too?
Holidays should be a joyful time for your entire family, including the cats and dogs. Put yourself in your pets' "paws" when you decorate to help keep them happy and safe. When holiday decorations come out, the risk of dog and cat injury goes up. Pets explore their world by tasting, sniffing, chewing, climbing and pawing objects. They can turn your celebration decor into toys or treats that hurt them or even damage your home. Learn how to keep your two-legged and four-legged family members safe during the holidays.
Cats are natural born clean freaks, with kittens using the litter box by the age of 3 weeks. Hit or miss bathroom behavior, though, is a wake-up call that something has gone wrong. It's bad enough when she leaves nasty "gifts" under the piano bench, but truly disgusting if she targets your bed. Peeing or pooping on your bed has very specific triggers. While every cat is different and combinations of reasons may be involved, here are the top reasons why cats turn beds into a litter box.
Missing the litter box is the top complaint of cat owners, but offering cats the right equipment to "hit the spot" goes a long way to preventing mistakes. You'll need one or more litter pans, and an appropriate cat box filler. But how much can you expect to pay for different kinds of litters or fillers and litter boxes?
An automatic litter box offers many benefits to you, as well as your cat, including convenience and an always clean potty. It may take some time to convince your cat to try out the new facility.
A normal adult cat on average visits the litter box to make a deposit about 5 times a day. The amount of waste multiplies and makes cleaning a greater chore when you have more than one cat. Some years ago when I traveled a great deal for work, I became a fan of automatic litter boxes in part because my husband wasn't always as faithful at scooping.
As a certified animal behavior consultant, the #1 complaint I get from cat owners involves litter box woes. We expect our cats to come programmed to use their feline potty at the right time and the right place, but a cat's idea about the perfect litter box may not agree with the human's. Refer to these basic litter-ary FAQs to create and maintain litter box allegiance, whether you have one cat or a kitty clowder along with dogs.