Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Resolutions for Dog & Cat Owners

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

2015 seems to have gone by in a flash and here we are, welcoming 2016, a brand new year and a brand new start. The slate is clean so let's talk about what we can do for our dogs and cats this year.

Every dog and cat needs an annual veterinary check-up. Most people remember to take their dog in annually but they don't take their cat. Cats need an annual veterinary visit every bit as much as dogs. They are living, breathing sentient beings who need the same amount of attention, love and care.
Photo Courtesy of Susan Bulanda

Make this the year you will ask your veterinarian to show you how to brush your pet's teeth. It's easier if you start with a puppy or kitten but you can very slowly acclimate most dogs or cats to having their teeth brushed. They are subject to the same dental problems as we are and germs leaching down from dirty teeth can cause all sort of health problems.

No matter what sort of climate you live in, plan to do more with your pets. Clicker training is great for exercising the mind as well as the body. Don't just turn your dog out in the yard; take him for walks. It's great bonding time. Play games with your cats using interactive toys. You can also clicker train them to do all sorts of tricks. They'll love the time they spend with you and keep sessions to about 5 minutes about 3 times a day. Be sure your pet is dressed appropriately for the weather. In cold weather small dogs and those with little or no haircoat will need a coat or warm sweater. Hairless cats will also appreciate a sweater even though they are indoors. Walking on treated surfaces means you should consider training your dog to wear boots. Otherwise, wash off the pads of his feet so he won't lick them and ingest the ice melt.In warm weather, hairless cats and dogs will need sunscreen otherwise they will sunburn.

Remember that leaving your pet in the car in cold weather is just as dangerous as in hot weather. That  short errand you're going to run might take longer than you think. 

Plan to groom your cat or dog. Preferably daily but you can do it once a week if she has the kind of short coat that won't mat or tangle. 

Be sure they always have fresh water available. Keep nails and claws trimmed and neat.
Photo Courtesy of Lisette Brodey

When your pets are older they will need to see the veterinarian twice a year, starting with a Senior Wellness visit so your veterinarian can get a baseline.  If there is a problem, it can be found sooner and treatment started before it becomes embedded and is harder to treat and takes longer to resolve. That also means it's more expensive. If your older pets stay on their bed or have problems moving, take them to veterinarian. Telling yourself it's just old age is doing your cat or dog an injustice.

If your cat or dog has the right temperament for it and is properly socialized, this may be the year you want to find out about doing therapy work with your pet and sharing the love. You might try a new dog sport, or feline agility. The possibilities are seemingly endless. 

Remember that your pet is not just your best friend but you are your pet's best friend.

Aimee and I wish you and your pets a Happy, Healthy New Year!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Holiday Greetings & Winners of Up On The Woof Top

It's hard to believe it's December 26th!  Only 364 Days Until Christmas! Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I hope the holidays have been good to you and your four-legged companions. As the New Year approaches, I wish for each of you and your companions Good Health, Happiness and Peace. If you have four-legged companions you have Love, Unconditional Love. It just doesn't get any better than the Human-Animal Bond.

I know you're waiting to find out who won the contest for a copy of the new DVD Christmas Movie, Up On The Woof Top.  The winners are listed below:

James Stagg

Katrina Trent

Lisette Brodey

Gordon Brice

Please e-mail me via my website: PerPETuallySpeaking.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Up On The Woof Top

'tis the Season and is there any of us who doesn't enjoy a good holiday film that the entire family can watch together? This one would be fun year-round, even with its Christmas/Santa Claus theme. 

This year Level 33 Entertainment has released the adorable Up On The Roof Top on both DVD and streaming video but, really, I think you'll want a copy of this one in your video library, not just as a family favorite at Christmas but to celebrate Christmas in July. 

Directed by Joe Clarke, the Film features Dennis Haskins of Saved by The Bell as Santa Claus and Adam Hicks of Disney's Zeke and Luther as well as Lemonade Mouth as the voice of the adorable dog. Yes, the dog talks which doesn't seem to really surprise the kids in the film.

The mischievous little guy who is one of Santa's dogs, manages to stow away on Santa's sled for Santa's test run before the big night. Unfortunately, things don't go quite the way he thought and he ends up being left behind in a suburban home in Iowa where the film was shot on location. His goal is to get back to the North Pole. He has the monumental chore of convincing the Anderson family of his true identity so Toby can return to the North Pole by Christmas Eve.

It's not all treats and toys. There's a crooked mall Santa along with his elf henchman to deal with and along the way the little dog learns that having a big heart is much more important than being a big dog. How can you not love that message?

Up On The Woof Top has been awarded the "Dove Family Approved Seal" by The Dove Foundation as a film that is considered Family Friendly.

Here's a treat for you: A link to the film's trailer.  Just click in the middle. You have to view it online. And another treat: Thanks to 33 Entertainment I have 4 copies of the DVD to go to 4 lucky winners.  Just leave a comment to be entered.  The Random Drawing will be this Friday!  So hurry!
UP ON THE WOOFTOP Official Trailer from Level 33 Entertainment on Vimeo.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Pets as Holiday Gifts?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Photo Courtesy of Susan Bulanda

This time of year too many people think it's a great idea to give a puppy or kitten as a gift. Generally speaking, it's a very bad idea. A puppy or kitten is a living, breathing sentient being who can live anywhere from 10 to 20 years. 

The first thing to consider is: does the person want the responsibility and can they afford veterinary bills, food, toys, bowls, food, training lesson? In the case of cats, they will also need litter boxes, litter (and those boxes have to be kept scrupulously clean), a sturdy scratching post, a sturdy cat tree with a base that won't topple over, special interactive toys. It all adds up. 

If they live in an apartment, are pets allowed?
Photo by Rabi Dixon

Even if the family has decided to get a pet, the holidays are the worst time to bring them home if you are busy and entertaining. The puppy or kitten is a baby who has left mother, littermates and all she has known and is suddenly thrust into a new, noisy place where she can be stepped on, accidentally let outside because guests are coming and going. It's noisy, confusing and your guest may decide to slip your new family member some food that isn't good for her, or, worst case scenario, someone let her drink an alcoholic beverage.

Photo by Claire Clayton
If you have decided to add a new family member, take time to do your research. Every puppy or kitten i s programmed to behave in a certain way and all babies are curious and mischievous. You need to confine the newcomer to one room with everything he needs and spend time with him. You need time when you can get down to the business of house training. That first veterinary appointment should be arranged within 48 hours of homecoming.

Photo by Anne Hudson

As an alternative to bringing the puppy or kitten home, give your family and IOU for the newcomer. Gifts should be all the accoutrements you will need for your new family member.  Gift wrap toys, bowls or dishes, litter boxes, litter, a book or two about the breed if you're getting a pedigreed dog or papered cat. You will need a book on training using positive methods, preferably clicker training (yes, you can clicker train a cat, too!), a special bed, a safe carrier, toys. 

Photo by Darlene Arden
Many shelters will not allow adoption during this busy time of year but you can buy a gift certificate to go under the tree.

Be very sure of what you are doing. Sadly, January is when those gift puppies and kittens are dumped back on a shelter.

When things have quieted down, and you have time off from work is the best time to introduce a newcomer into the family. You want to get off on the right foot and build a relationship that will last a lifetime. There is nothing as special as the human-animal bond.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Cats Celebrate the Holidays!

Chanukah is in progress, Christmas is on the way and cats are celebrating as only they can. I thought everyone would enjoy this video from HooplaHa showing them at their adorable, mischievous best. I want to point out one glaring warning: whether for Chanukah or part of your Christmas decorations, PLEASE do not use real candles unless you know that you can keep your cats away from them. I was more than a little frightened for the cats in a couple of these clips. Consider those a warning and enjoy the rest.

I want to wish a Happy Everything to my readers!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Whisker Greens Revisited

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This post is sponsored by Pet Grass and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping create awareness about the launch of Whisker Greens but PerPETuallySpeaking only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Pet Grass is not responsible for the content of this article.

It has been a few weeks since WhiskerGreens arrived. The three pots of already grown - and still growing - organic wheat grass was packaged beautifully in a resealable plastic bag. It came with three little cardboard boxes in which each plant could be placed. Since I don't exactly have a green thumb, I wasn't about to try to create my own little garden for Aimee.
Mine. All mine.

My sixteen year old cat had never experienced cat grass in her life. I had seen cat grass kits in pet supply stores but I wasn't about to try to grow something. Aimee and I would both be disappointed in the results. This was easy, when you put it out for however long, you can pick it up, take the plant out of the cardboard holder and place the plant pot in a dish of water. Once it was "watered," I would pick it up and put it back in the plastic bag. I rotated the kit's plants so Aimee always had a "fresh" one. If you have more than one cat, you can opt to put out more than one plant.

A typical feline, Aimee was not about to let me see her nibbling on the Whisker Greens. I could catch her going past it. If she saw or heard me coming, she would deliberately turn around and walk away. It was as funny as it was frustrating because i had promised pictures of her with it as well as a video. I have blurry pictures and a short video!  Aimee wouldn't talk to the press even when the press was her Mama.
I wasn't doing anything!!

I had to sleep eventually and she knew it. You'll have to take my word for it. It was moving as she walked away. She may not have been talking but obviously the pet grass gossips.

The wheat grass is certified organic and there's an auto-ship option at the website. I'm hiding my credit card from Aimee.

Bring a little of the outdoors,indoors, in a very healthy version with Whisker Greens!

The company has been generous enough to offer a 10% discount to my readers on their first order!  Just use this coupon code: perpetually10

You can find Whisker Greens on Social Networks:

Twitter: @petgrasslove

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Morris "Paws It Forward" - You Can, too!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Morris is Hard at Work on His Website

We visited with Morris the Cat a few months ago when he showed us how cats and their humans could Live Well and Prospurr. Morris' website is well worth a visit. Morris is back with a new project. This time, for the holiday season, he is "Pawing It Forward." You and your kitty can help him do exactly that.

Cats enjoy their food but many cats aren't as lucky as ours, or Morris. They don't have enough food, or any food at all. Cats who have made it as far as a shelter have to eat until their forever human comes along and adopts them. Morris, who enjoys a good meal as much as the next cat, is sharing his dining tips and even better, donating food to shelter kitties via the ASPCA.  

Morris the Star Relaxing in front of his bag and cans of 9Lives

Morris has starred in over fifty 9Lives Cat Food commercials. The orange tabby has gone from shelter to star and he wants to paw it forward. Since today, Tuesday December 1st, is Giving Tuesday it's the perfect day to kick off Morris' new campaign. If you belong to Twitter you're set to go, if not, this is a great excuse to join!  Just tag your tweets #MorrisFeeds and Morris will donate a bowl of yummy food to the ASPCA. 

Morris, every the clever kitty and entrepreneur, has created a video in which he tells you exactly what his new project is about and how you can help donate food and it won't cost you a penny.

Enjoy the video and help Morris Paw It Forward during the holiday season. There's no better time to start than now!

NOTE: Morris sent Aimee a box of 9 Lives. Since her Mama (yours truly) is an ethical journalist, Aimee and I donated the box of food to a local cat shelter. We were happy to do so.

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Life and Times of a Therapy Dog

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Our friends at HooplaHa! brought a new YouTube series to my attention. For everyone who has every wondered what life is like for a Therapy Dog, this series follows Sullivan, an adorable Golden Retriever, as she goes about her days, bringing love, happiness, stability and security to a wide range of people. 

The first episode, which is below, from HooplaHa! and Inclusion Films, finds Sullivan at a nursery school in California. Sage was trained as a puppy at Project Chance in Jacksonville, Florida. I found it a little jarring that a dog named Sullivan would be voiced by a woman but apparently he is a she. Further on in the video, Sullivan is seen having snacks with the children. It bothered me to see the Golden having popcorn which is not something most of us would recommend since the kernels can either get caught in the dog's throat or scratch the throat. I hope they'll pay more attention to such small details in the future.

In future episodes, of Sullivan's Travels, Sullivan will be seen with handicapped adults at work with his dad, Joey Travolta, at Inclusion Films a really wonderful company that deserves attention. Sullivan also visits nursing homes. 

I wrote one of the first article - if not the first - on therapy dogs. It's nice to see that their work can now be so easily understood through the use of video.  

If you enjoy this, you can click to subscribe to the series.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Safety & A Special Treat for You

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Happy Thanksgiving to you and those you love. It's time to stop and think about everything for which we are grateful, for the special people in our lives and the special people and pets who have graced our lives. I am very grateful for my sixteen year old Chartreux, Aimee, who makes every day special.

We love our companions and as the holiday season starts, we have to be aware of keeping them safe and healthy with so much food around. Some people food is definitely not good for pets! Even if you think it's out of reach, chances are it isn't. Never underestimate a clever and agile dog or cat.

There are things you must be sure they don't ingest. Be sure you warn your dinner guests not to give them any of the following:

  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Caffeine
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Nuts like Pecan, Walnuts, almonds contain high amounts of fats causing vomiting and diarrhea
  • Alcohol - Some guests think it's amusing to let the pet drink alcohol. It's potentially lethal.
  • Citrus peels, leaves, fruit and seeds of plants 
  • Coconut and Coconut Oil
  • Coconut Water is high in potassium which is not good for pets
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chives
  • Salt
  • Salty snack foods
  • Yeast Dough rises and can result in gastrointestinal problems including bloat among other issues and is potentially lethal
  • Xylitol is in sugarless chewing gum and is showing up in peanut butter. Read candy and gum labels carefully
Your pets may be consuming small amounts of some of the above but please be careful. Better safe than sorry. Avoid possible death and definite veterinary bills. There's a reason why veterinary hospitals are so busy during the holidays.

Obviously, keep trash sealed and put where your pets cannot possibly get into it.

Now, as a treat for you, here's a chance to watch a couple of Golden Retriever puppies eat and grow. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dogs on Deployment Donation Match

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that i've written about Dogs on Deployment. This post is a little late but, thankfully, not too late! Pet's Best Insurance is matching donation to Dogs on Deployment through the month of November. Why November? Simple. It's in honor of Veteran's Day. It's never too late to think about our veterans and our men and women still serving in our armed forces.

Pet's Best is a leading sponsor of Dogs on Deployment and will match donations this month up to $1000. 

Dogs on Deployment connects military members with volunteers who will take care of their pets while they are on deployment. This is so important for their peace of mind, knowing that their beloved companions will be cared for until they can return to them. 

This is the second year that Pet's Best has teamed with Dogs on Deployment.  If you've been reading my blog for awhile you may remember that the 2015 Dogs on Deployment Military Pet of The Year is Leonidas. He and his dad, Tim Johanssen, are both war veterans, having served time in Afghanistan. Leonidas is protected by Pets Best Insurance.

Friends of Dogs on Deployment save 5% on pet health insurance plans from Pets Best and $40. will be donated to the non-profit for every submitted pet insurance application.

Thank our veterans and donate!

For more information about Pets Best visit:

NOTE: I received no compensation for this post, nor am I a spokesperson for Pets Best. I wanted to pass along information that I think is important. Your choice to donate to any charity is, of course, your own.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

It's Always a Good Time to Take Your Dog To Work!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I'm a huge fan of taking your dog to work. Dogs help us lower our blood pressure (and we lower theirs when we pet them), they help us smile and take the stress out of the day for everyone. As long as your dog is well-mannered, he or she should be a welcome addition to any office. 

This "Chicken Soup for The Soul" moment is a HooplaHa original.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Whisker Greens? Yes! It's #PetGrass

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This post is sponsored by Pet Grass and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping create awareness about the launch of Whisker Greens but PerPETuallySpeaking only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Pet Grass is not responsible for the content of this article.

As a cat owner, I've made a point of giving Aimee a healthy diet, fresh water available at all times, lots of environmental enrichment. Okay, that may be a bit of an understatement. She has two full toy boxes and other toys scattered in every room in the house because a kitty girl never knows where she'll be when she wants to play. We have interactive play sessions and lots of snuggles and cuddles and kisses. She is, of course, indoors only, no declawing. I practice what I preach. What's missing from this picture?

For years I saw cat grass kits in pet supply stores but, frankly, I had no idea of what kind of grass it was, what sort of seeds and to be brutally honest, I'm not exactly good with plants. Pets flourish here. Plants, not so much. 

Then, along came the opportunity to try the brand-new Whisker Greens™ from Pet Grass®. The difference? It's certified organic Wheat Grass grown from 100% certified organic seeds. It contains lots of nutrients. Protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes and antioxidants. The seeds are planted by hand in real soil and I didn't have to plant it. They rotate the little seeded pots through their greenhouses where they get the perfect amounts of sunlight and water. We know darned well that I couldn't do that because my house doesn't get enough sunlight and I'd probably love it to death with too much water.

It arrives, already grown and is sold in packs of three for a one-time price of $24.99. If you opt to join the Pet Grass® subscription service you will pay only $22.49 per delivery and you decide when it ships: weekly, every two weeks, every three weeks or monthly. The little plants come sealed in a resealable plastic bag and stays fresh in your refrigerator for 2 weeks. Or you can leave the plants out for your cats to enjoy whenever they like. There are individual pot holders included with the shipment.

At age 16, this will be Aimee's first experience with cat grass. Little Miss. I-Don't-Talk-To-The-Press-Even-WhenIt's-Mama will be videotaped for your enjoyment (and mine) in a future post.

Meanwhile, if you can't wait to order Whisker Greens™ for your kitty, here's where you can find ordering information and more: Whisker Greens™

For 10% off on your first order, Use Coupon Code: perpetually10

You can find them on various social networks:

Vine:           pet grass

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thai Street Paws and Contest Winner

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Dogs in need of help are everywhere. It seems that every corner of the globe has a problem with homeless dogs. It's heartbreaking. Many people wonder why "someone" doesn't do something. We are, each of us, "someone." One woman who has changed her life in order to help street dogs in Thailand, is Tamara Johnston.

Tamara originally went to Thailand from her native Australia, to teach. A qualified primary school teacher, Tamara taught eleven years in Australia and five years in Thailand and Malaysia, bringing her teaching skills to children in other lands. This is her second time teaching in Thailand. While in Thailand the first time she began to see the problem with the Thai street dogs. Her "lightbulb" moment came when she found a puppy, a mere four weeks old, outside a Temple. The little one was in danger of being run over by cars. Tamara brought home the puppy she called Bella and they have been together ever since. This meant going through the work of getting Bella into Australia when she went home and back to Thailand when she made up her mind to sell everything and return to Thailand. Tamara's passion for helping the street dogs of Thailand began the day she rescued Bella. 

Tamara had continued to help the street dogs from Australia but she knew it would be easier to accomplish her goals if she were on the ground in the country. While there are a couple of big rescues in a major area, Tamara is in Songkahla where no one helped the dogs. No one but Tamara.When she moved back she moved to Bangkok but when she went back to visit Songkahla she knew that that was where he help was most needed. She started Thai Street Paws Rescue.

The problems are enormous. Veterinary bills can quickly add up. Even though it's less expensive in Thailand, she lives in Thailand, consequently, her life is also tied into their economy so it is just as expensive for her as for any other resident. 

Social media allowed her to show people the dogs, raise funds, arrange adoptions. Ah, but the devil is in the details. Raising funds puts her in competition with everyone else who wants money to help various causes. If you've been reading my blog for awhile you know that I advise against donating to organizations so big that they are on TV and promising gifts when you donate. Gifts? You're buying them. What about the payment to the various staff members from the Director on down? Better to donate to a grassroots organization. It doesn't matter if it's in your backyard or on the other side of the world, they are the ones who are truly in need and are usually functioning on a shoestring. Then there are the dogs who need veterinary care, those who need to stay in a foster home. Tamara fosters some herself and cares for about 30 dogs that are on the street near her residence. She obviously needs volunteers.

"The plan is to live here for many years," says Tamara. "I even moved my dogs from Austrlia to here and that was a big step." It was, indeed.

With homes lined up in various countries, the problem has become getting the dogs to their adopters. She needs volunteers who are flying out of Thailand. She will take care of all the paperwork. It costs them nothing. They just need to accompany a dog on the flight, otherwise, they can't leave.

When a friend in the U.S. wanted to send her beds and blankets for the dogs it was outrageously expensive and nearly impossible. She ultimately mailed them but the money that went to the post office could have gone to feed or vet the dogs. 

Tamara still works as a teacher. She teaches at a Thai university and she has her own tutoring centre. She would dearly love to work full-time with the dogs. She has three dogs of her own now, and she takes three foster dogs at a time, the rest are boarded out in private facilities. Her goal now is to open a safe house for the dogs, separate from her own home, where they will be able to recover and wait for their forever homes, off the streets and into loving arms.

Tamara knows she can't save every dog but each one is a victory. She is one woman in an adopted country, with a heart of gold who has the courage of her convictions and has put her life where her heart is: saving as many street dogs as she can.

For those who want to help, every little bit counts, it is put with the donations of others and it adds up.  You can donate through her You Caring fundraising site:

Here is the link for the YouCaring Site so that you can donate to this life-saving cause:

Thai Street Paws Fundraising

You can follow her on Twitter: @oztam76  


Facebook: Thai Street Paws Rescue

Contest Winner: The winner of last week's contest to win a copy of Simon Tofield's newest book, Simon's Cat Off to The Vet... and Other Cat-astrophes is Nancy Dionne!  Please contact me through my website:, with your name and address to send to Akashic Books. Congratulations, Nancy!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Simon's Cat Off to the Vet..And Other Cat-astrophes & A Contest

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

The first time I saw Simon's Cat on YouTube I was hysterical and hooked. Here was a cartoon that utterly captured the feline personality without speaking a word. Whether waking his owner or trying to get one over on a kitten, it was obvious that Simon Tofield, the artist who created Simon's Cat, knows and loves cats. He doesn't need words to express his cat's feelings or moods, the cat makes tiny vocalizations just as a real cat would. He gets into mischief and romps through life leaving everything in his wake, and some of it still standing.

Since 2007, Simon and his team have created nearly 40 short videos much to the delight of cat people everywhere. To date, his YouTube channel has over 3 million subscribers and more than half a billion total views. It's mind-boggling but completely understandable. As a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant, Simon is as familiar to me as any cat I've been called to see. Simon's deceptively simple drawing of a cat come to life whether in animation or in a book.
Simon Tofield & his creation
His first book, Simon's Cat in Kitten Chaos was quickly followed by Simon's Cat vs. The World, released 6 months apart in 2013. Now, his vast audience can enjoy Tofield's newly released Simon's Cat Off to The Vet. It has been his most-requested topic which is not surprising. Every cat owner knows what it's like to take their cat to the vet, from wreaking chaos in the exam room to coming home wearing an Elizabethan Collar, better known as The Cone of Shame. Tofield, who is in the U.K.  hits just the right note with cat owners worldwide.

All three books are published in the United States by Akashic Books. Simon's Cat Off to the Vet retails for $27.95 in Hardcover and $16.95 in Trade Paperback.  

The nice people at Akashic Books have made a sneak preview available:

I suspect most cat owners will recognize this scene

Here's a preview in color:
In the Exam Room

Akashic Books is giving a copy of Simon's Cat Off to the Vet to one lucky reader of this column! Please leave a comment below telling us why you want to win. I'm sorry but it is restricted to U.S. Residents only. You can enter through Sunday. The winner will be announced next week so don't forget to check back.

This is bound to be a popular gift choice for the holidays whether for the cat owners in your life or for your veterinarian.

NOTE: I was given a review copy of this book. The review is mine. I received no monetary compensation.