Winner of the Book: DOG FACTS The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia by Amy Shojai

Thanks to all who entered our give-away for:

Cover Courtesy of Amy Shojai

Cover Courtesy of Amy Shojai







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Win DOG FACTS The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia by Amy Shojai !





Cover Courtesy of Amy Shojai

Cover Courtesy of Amy Shojai


Have you ever read a book and when finished,  you found yourself saying “WOW!” out loud?

That is how I felt after I perused one of author Amy Shojai’s latest books, DOG FACTS The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia.

I am honored to know Amy Shojai, and (have reviewed a few of her fabulous books.  Dakota also had the distinct honor of winning a contest where his name is the name of one of the dogs featured in Amy’s suspense-filled thriller, Lost and Found),  and to me, and many others, she is one of the most knowledgeable and trusted experts in the pet industry. 

 If I sat here telling you I read EVERY PAGE of this OVER 600 PAGE INVALUABLE RESOURCE THAT SHOULD BE A PART OF EVERY HOME WHERE DOGS ARE IN RESIDENCE, I would be lying. THIS BOOK IS “HUGE!!” When I say “HUGE” I mean it is chock-full of information/resources that are needed and information/resources that those who share their lives with dogs DON’T EVEN KNOW THAT THEY NEED!!!!
I recently reviewed CAT FACTS The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia by Amy Shojai,  and have assigned that book the honor of being my MAIN “go-to” (in addition to   my Veterinarian), for all of my cat questions/concerns. DOG FACTS is even more so for me.  I have owned a cat for most of my adult life, but Dakota is the FIRST dog I have had as an adult. When I say that I DESPERATELY needed this book when Dakota first entered my life that would be an understatement. I am beyond grateful, as Dakota is now in his early “Senior” years, to have this most comprehensive resource.

Think you have read every standout dog reference book that exists? THINK AGAIN! 

FROM DOG FACTS:The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia:

More than 78 million pet dogs today are kept in fifty-four million U.S. households. Now, from one of the most trusted cat care authors of the last twenty-five years comes the definitive reference for adopting, keeping, and maintaining a healthy, happy dog.

DOG FACTS: The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia is designed to answer all your questions. How do I choose the right dog? What holistic help and preventive care should I give? Why do dogs act the way they do, and what dog behavior indicates illness? What constitutes an emergency, and how/when can I safely treat my dog with home care and first aid? Inside you’ll find an easy-to-reference for that has:

Alphabetical A-to-Z listings

Each letter of the alphabet that begins a section, is attractively drawn and eye-catching.  There are  more than 200 entries, covering everything from bloat and CPR to whiskers!!! Do you know what Nutrigenomics is? Or Jacobson’s Organ? (Be honest, and don’t Google it!) What about zoonosis? I didn’t either, but I do now!

Dog Facts Flea Allergy

Courtesy of Amy Shojai


There are charts (many dog lovers have requested repeatedly that there be a chart showing poisons, from plants to household items. Now you have it!), that list symptoms for a particular condition, the corresponding home care or first aid, the comparative veterinarian and holistic treatments, and preventive advice.

As I mentioned above, it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE  to list EVERYTHING of importance that is in this book. I went through it page by page and read about topics that interested me, or that I need to be concerned with in order to be prepared for what I may have to encounter with my own dog such as:

Chasing Animals/Vehicles

Dakota used to do this when he was younger. He would jump and lunge at cars and people riding by on bicycles. I was pleased to read in DOG FACTS that the corrective measures that I had taken when walking Dakota were exactly what is advised to do to stop this unwanted behavior.

Territorial Aggression

Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)

“this is an inherited condition of Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs, and is an interruption in the development of the eye which impairs vision. Also referred to as collie eye defect, this is an inherited congenital condition affecting 70 to 90 percent of smooth and rough Collies in the United States and Great Britain. The condition also affects 2 to 3 percent of Border Collies, and it’s seen in Australian Shepherds, Shetland Sheepdogs and other herding dogs.”

(I had heard about this condition when Dakota entered my life, and am grateful to have a Veterinarian who specialized in the eyes in Veterinary school.)

Dog Facts Eyes

Courtesy of Amy Shojai



Artificial Respiration





Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

In DOG FACTS :The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia, by Amy Shojai, it states that the “condition most frequently occurs in middle-aged dogs. The Basenji, Boxer, Chinese Shar-Pei, German Shepherd and Rottweiler breeds appear to be more prone to inflammatory bowel diseases than others”,  (but I have known an unusually high number of Soft Coated Wheaton Terriers who have this disease as well).


There is More!!

Dog Facts Heat Stroke

Courtesy of Amy Shojai

 Also Included:


Where you will find DOG ASSOCIATIONS and BREEDS AT A GLANCE,  RESOURCES FROM ANIMAL EXPERTS TO ORGANIZATIONS and SYMPTOMS AT A GLANCE (that helps you identify what ailments might be bothering your dog.

Dog Facts Appendix

Courtesy of Amy Shojai

Easy-to-use Index

The comprehensive, easy-to-use index makes quick reference a snap !!!!!!


Accessible, yet comprehensive, DOG FACTS can be used with ease and trust. And doesn’t your dog deserve the very best?
FROM DOG FACTS:The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia: the author has taken great pains to compile the most up-to-date information currently available for dog lovers on the care of their dog; however, veterinary medicine is constantly improving. Please consult with your veterinarian on a regular basis to provide the best care for your dog.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amy Shojai, CABC is a nationally known authority on pet care and behavior, a certified animal behavior consultant for cats and dogs, and a former veterinary technician. She is a founder of the Cat Writers’ Association and the author of more than 30 award-winning pet care books including pet-centric thriller series. She shares her North Texas home with a 20-year-old Siamese wannabe, delinquent silver shaded tabby, and smart aleck German Shepherd.

CONNECT WITH AMY! Drop her a line at her blog  or her website . Follow Amy on Twitter (@amyshojai) and like her on Facebook.

 DOG FACTS: The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia by Amy Shojai makes me, and will make ALL dog lovers  feel secure/comforted to have so much information available at their fingertips. It  is yet another vital “tool” to add to my responsible dog owner tool box, and I can’t stress enough that it is one that should be a part of yours as well! 

GIVE-AWAY!! ONE lucky reader who is 18+ and who resides in the U.S. (apologies to our International readers, but the size/weight of this MUST HAVE RESOURCE makes shipping out of the country cost prohibitive), will win a copy! (An approximate $25 value which is a BARGAIN for all of the information that is in this book!)  Entering is easy! Simply enter on the Rafflecopter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway







In full disclosure: I was not compensated for this review. I was sent a “PROOF” version of DOG FACTS: The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia in exchange for my always honest review. Some of the information that I mentioned might be slightly different in the published edition.


How Many of These Pet Eye Facts Do You Know? (Guest Infographic)

Your pup’s eyes are the window to their soul. While you no doubt have great difficulty saying ‘no’ to those adorable eyes, how much do you really know about them?

You may not know this, but dogs, cats and most other animals actually have a third eyelid. We humans are actually the odd ones out! Take a look at the infographic below to learn more facts about your pet’s eyes – including why they seem to glow in the dark, and how they see the world.

Lenstore designed this infographic as part of their #LoveYourPetsEyes campaign, supporting Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s new vet hospital. This campaign raises awareness of common eye conditions in dogs and cats.

Infographic source:

9 Amazing Facts About Your Pet

9 Amazing Facts About Your Pet’s Eyes [Infographic] by the team at Lenstore




Book Feature: Dr.Jack’s Dog Facts:A Guide To Common Canine Ailments by John Bloxham, D.V.M.

Vet Creates Handy Health Guide for Dog Lovers Everywhere

New book informs dog parents on common canine ailments

FROM DAKOTA’S DEN: We present to you another book to that you may wish to add to the collection of books that you have in your personal libraries that you can refer to when(if) needed. It is important to have a variety of resources that will help you  research common ailments that dogs might experience. Because this is a reference/informational book, and because neither Dakota or I are Veterinarians/health professionals, we are presenting this book as a “feature”, rather than a review. It is our pleasure to introduce you to books that you might find to be interesting and beneficial.

Photo Courtesy of Dr.Jack's Dog Facts. Click to visit the website

Photo Courtesy of Dr.Jack’s Dog Facts. Click to visit the website


John Bloxham, D.V.M., has been practicing veterinary medicine in various capacities for over 50 years. Just like his clients, Dr. Bloxham has a profound love for all of his patients and a special soft spot for canine companions. He has turned his many years of patient visits into the simple new guide, “Dr. Jack’s Dog Facts: A Guide to Common Canine Ailments.”


“I did not want this guide to read like a textbook with lots of complicated diagrams and jargon,” Dr. Bloxham said. “This is meant to be informative for both new and seasoned pet owners, so they can be better equipped to care for their dogs and have a better chance at understanding what their vet is talking about when they visit.”


“Dr. Jack’s Dog Facts” is easy to navigate by having each chapter attributed to a particular body part of the dog, i.e. the neck, back, chest, etc. This way if something seems off about their four-legged friend, any owner can flip open the book and get right to what they are looking for.


“An informed pet parent is a better pet parent,” Dr. Bloxham said. “And a better pet parent leads to a healthier, longer life for man’s best friends.”


For more information, please visit Dr.Jack’s Dog Facts Website


“Dr. Jack’s Dog Facts: A Guide to Common Canine Ailments”

By: John Bloxham, D.V.M.

SC-ISBN: 978-1-4969-2135-2

SC-Retail price: $13.95

Available at, and


About the author

Dr. John (Jack) Bloxham received his pre-veterinary education from South Carolina and Clemson universities before heading to Auburn University to become a doctor of veterinary medicine. He has received many accolades as both a diagnostician and surgeon in his field. He enjoys building long-lasting relationships with both clients and their pet patients. His main goal in life is to help people be the best pet owners they can be for their furry family members.


#BtC4A: Alopecia in Dogs Commemoration for Children with Alopecia Day, A Guest Blog By: Jessica Claudio, DVM

Blog the Change

The earliest veterinary article I remember writing was entitled, “Becoming a Veterinarian” in grade school in 2000.  I gave Artemis, my first feline patient, subcutaneous fluids for his chronic kidney disease twice a week in undergraduate school.  I worked as a zookeeper in Indiana, and then spent a year researching implications of golf course expansion on two toad species from Arizona. I was enrolled into Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2009. During veterinary school I was an intern at zoos in Ecuador, Maryland and Ohio. I also worked at a rescue center for retired laboratory chimpanzees, and wildlife centers in Belize and Virginia. Memorable procedures include surgeries on cats and dogs; anesthetizing birds, bunnies, and turtles; yearly physical examinations on chimpanzees and wild Virginia black bears; and venipuncture on turtles and owls. My favorite memory is intubation of a cheetah for a physical examination.


Today I would like to draw attention to Alopecia areata and other possible diagnoses of alopecia in dogs. Yesterday was Children with Alopecia Day. This article can show children that they are not alone in their struggle with alopecia.


What is Alopecia?


Alopecia is fur or hair loss.

Jade Shedding. Photo courtesy of

Jade Shedding. Photo courtesy of


Meet my dog Jade.  She just got done getting brushed. You can see her fur that came out on the brush. Your pet normally loses fur through cycles. This is not the type of  fur loss I will be discussing today. Alopecia causes areas of baldness on your animal’s skin.

 Alopecia areata in dogs is thought to be an autoimmune disorder similar to the disease in humans. It appears as patches of fur missing on a dog. Two dog breeds that more commonly get alopecia areata are the English Setter and the Dachshund. Alopecia areata must be differentiated from many other diseases that cause alopecia. Today, I will go over some common causes of alopecia, and shine light on a very special and beautiful alopecic dog breed.

 Three common reasons in dogs for getting alopecia:


1) Endocrine Diseases


Some common endocrine diseases that can cause alopecia include: Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s Disease, and Alopecia X.


2) Food Allergies


Jade has food allergies.  If your dog is itching, scratching, and developing alopecia with no cause in sight, it could be food allergies.


3) Parasites and Fungus


Flea Allergy Dermatitis, mites and ringworm can cause hair loss on your pet. Flea allergy dermatitis causes alopecia at the hind end, neck, and tail. Ringworm and some mites are transmissible to humans.


If you see unexplained hair loss on your pet, do not hesitate to make a visit to the veterinary office. There is one circumstance of alopecia, which if brought to the attention of a veterinarian would make her smile. One special breed has fur loss in their genes. This dog does not need fur to be naturally gorgeous.

Chinese Crested Dog - Powderpuff



   The Chinese Crested dog is a breed that has the hereditary alopecia trait. They are just beautifully blessed free of fur in certain areas of their body! My mom adopted an extremely sweet and beautiful little Chinese Crested mix, named Sweet Pea. She did not inherit that alopecic trait, but you can see the resemblance in her facial features.


"Sweet Pea" Photo Courtesy of

“Sweet Pea”
Photo Courtesy of

 Thank you to my gracious hosts, Caren  and Dakota, for allowing me to guest blog in their den. If you liked this article, you may also like other recent important healthcare articles from Caren, Dakota and their guests, such as Canine Flu Cases for 2015 on the Rise  and April Is Pet First Aid Awareness Month. I have also recently written an article on Pet First Aid that is part of a short, three part article series on how to prevent and provide emergency care for a pet that is in a hit by car accident. Have you ever though of adopting a special care shelter animal with hair loss? 


Canine Flu Cases for 2015 on the Rise

What You Can Do to Keep Your Pet Safe and Healthy

  sick dog

Flu season may be winding down for humans, but there have been over 1,000 reported cases of canine influenza in Chicago in the last few weeks. Our friends Will, Eko and Penny recently blogged about this, and when we received this press release from the American Veterinary Medical Association, we were more than happy to share.

To help dog owners better understand the virus, here are some key facts from the American Veterinary Medical Association:

What is canine influenza?

Canine influenza (CI), or dog flu, is a highly contagious infection caused by an influenza A subtype H3N8 virus first discovered in 2004.


What are common symptoms of the infection in dogs?

In the mild form, the most common sign is a cough that persists for 2-3 weeks. However, some dogs can develop signs of severe pneumonia, such as a high-grade fever (104°F-106°F) and faster breathing. Other signs in infected dogs include nasal and/or ocular discharge, sneezing, fatigue, and refusing food.


Is every dog at risk of infection?

All dogs, regardless of breed or age, are susceptible to infection.


How does it spread?

Canine influenza is spread from dog to dog through the air, contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes), and people interacting with infected and uninfected dogs. On surfaces, the virus is alive and can infect dogs for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and on hands for 12 hours.


Can veterinarians test for canine influenza?

The most reliable and sensitive method for confirmation is serologic testing. Antibodies to canine influenza virus can appear in blood as early as 7 days after symptoms begin, and the virus may be identified in nasal or pharyngeal swabs during the first 4 days of illness.


Any treatment options?

In May 2009, the USDA approved the first influenza vaccine for dogs. Trials have shown that it can significantly reduce the duration of illness, including the incidence and severity of damage to the lungs. Dog owners should consult with their vet to determine whether the vaccine is appropriate for their dog.


Can canine influenza infect people?

There is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted from dogs to humans.


For more information about canine influenza virus, visit