Animal Radio® is America's Most Listened To Pet Talk According To ArbitronAnimal Radio® Show #632 January 14, 2012





My Cat From Hell 

Jackson Galaxy, The "Cat Listener"

Jackson GalaxyOne night the shelter cats where Jackson Galaxy worked gave him the gift that dubbed him the "cat listener." While working late during a violent storm, he heard all of the cats in the stray cat impound area screaming. He had heard somewhere that a "slow blink" means "I love you" in feline; a slow blink exchanged by cat and human establishes a link between the two. He went to the impound area to try it, and if nothing else, perhaps it would quiet down or reassure a few of the cats.

Forty-five minutes later, the room was filled with sleeping cats, and Jackson sat in the dark corner, knowing that his life had just taken a turn. Jackson's fascination and empathy toward cats blossomed. A musician, songwriter and actor, Jackson began accessing the deep emotionality of creativity to help him rehabilitate stray and surrendered cats.

Jackson doesn't think there is a formula for the right amount of cats, or too many cats in one household.  He has seen cases of a 900 square foot house having 12 cats that got along just fine.  He states it's all in how you prep the environment and enrich the cats' lives, with all of them getting equal amounts of exercise.  However, he states that there is sometimes one cat who starts peeing all over if you add one more cat.

The main issues that Jackson sees are aggression and litter box problems.   He states that cats can be trained and that you can use the same operant conditioning that you would use for dogs.   Jackson doesn't like to use clicker training for any other reason than to get a cat to do something that they would actually normally do.

If you have a cat that won't leave you alone, is in your face when you are preparing their food, are in and out of your stuff and you can't get anything done, you're constantly putting them on the floor and they jump right back up, you can train your cat to have a "sit area" and you have them sit right there while you are preparing their food.  This is the kind of thing that encourages compromise.

Jackson states that cats are more difficult to train, because cats are built to please us!  You have to make it worth the while of the cat.  But once they get it, and figure it out that they will get a treat if they sit, while it may take them a few times (again, because they're not programmed to do jobs for us), they will do it automatically.

Now, cat behaviorist Jackson tackles the most catastrophic cat cases he's ever encountered in six all-new, one-hour episodes of "My Cat From Hell" on Animal Planet.  Armed with 15 years of experience, a proven training program and his signature guitar case filled with cat toys, Jackson is on a mission to help cat owners find the source of conflict with their furry friends. Whether it's the cat or the owners behaving badly, leave it to Galaxy to save the day!

Currently, Galaxy shares his life with three cats and a dog.



Another Guinness World Record

Joey Herrick, Natural Balance

Natural Balance Tournament Of Roses Parade Float "Surf's Up"Breaking Guinness Worlds Records is nothing new to Natural Balance Pet Foods.  In 2010, they broke the record for the longest float in the Tournament Of roses Parade; in 2011 they broke the record for the heaviest float; and this year, they broke both of those records with the longest and heaviest float ever at 119 feet and 7 inches long and 132,000 pounds. 

"Nothing like it has ever been done before," said Joey Herrick, founder and president of Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Pet Foods, which is sponsoring the float. "It's a monstrosity."

Just shy of 120 feet, "Surf's Up" is about three times longer than the typical float and seven feet longer than the record-setting float Natural Balance sponsored in 2010, and about 8 tons heavier.

Previous Natural Balance floats featured company mascot Tillman skateboarding, snowboarding and jumping into a pool.  On this latest float, Tillman was actually surfing.

"Surf's Up" wasn't simply a mobile version of a wave pool like those on some cruise ships, where surfers remain stationary while the water is pushed underneath them. Instead, Herrick wanted Tillman and his canine companions to really surf - to give spectators an eye-popping experience.

Herrick said he already has ideas for the next two parades.  He wouldn't divulge details, but said he's not out to break more records.

"It's nothing like that," he said. "It's going to be a very, very special float."  In fact, he has already started working on it, but it won't be unveiled until September.




The Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Joey VillaniPrep Your Pup For A Good Grooming Experience

Now that you have received your new puppy for the holidays, you need to realize that grooming time will soon arrive.  After your puppy has had it's second set of shots, most salons will allow them to come in. 

But don't forget about the prep time that you need to do at home before you take them to a professional salon, especially if you want them to have a good experience.  Having a good first experience in the grooming salon is key, otherwise they may never want to be groomed again. 

You need to first de-sensitize your puppy to the grooming experience.  Start by obtaining a brush and a comb.  Put these items on the floor in front of the pet and let them see and smell the items.  Then, pick up the items and actually start with the back of the brush, without using the bristles, and rub it on them.  Eventually, you can turn it over and start using it slowly, especially on the areas where they might not want to be touched, such as their feet, tail, underneath their tail, and maybe their ears and muzzle.  Get them used to being touched in these areas.  You don't want them to bite at the brush, you want them to enjoy it.

Puppy getting shampooed at the groomersYou can get your pet used to being handled in these sensitive areas by putting your fingers in their ears; playing with their feet so they don't mind being touched there; and even play with their nails, so that they don't mind having them trimmed. 

Getting them used to the sounds at a groomers is also essential.  If you have something that buzzes, like an electric razor, turn it on and set it down in front of your pet.  Let them get used to that buzzing noise, which is similar to the clippers a groomer will use. 

When you are ready to take your dog to the groomers, the groomer should approach your pet with a lot of love and praise, so your pet feels like it is going to be a fun time. 

If you don't do the prep, some puppies won't mind going to the groomers, but a good majority will hate the experience.  They will become frightened while at the groomers and it will take a lot longer for them to be groomed.

With some puppies, even if you do the proper prep, it may take 5 or 6 grooming experiences before they start to enjoy it.   Don't think this is only going to make your groomer's job easier, it is also going to make your puppy's life a lot easier!

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Animal Radio® News with Stacey Cohen 

Chicken Jerky Alert
Reports of illnesses in dogs given chicken jerky treats have spiked dramatically following a new government warning about pet snacks made in China.  We told you about this warning in November.  The federal Food and Drug Administration has logged at least 353 reports of illnesses tied to imported chicken jerky products, also sold as chicken tenders, chicken strips or chicken treats, a spokeswoman said.  Dog owners and veterinarians are reporting that animals have been stricken with a range of symptoms within hours or days of eating chicken jerky, including serious problems such as kidney failure   Because the agency has not identified any particular products as the culprit, no recalls have been issued.  In the meantime, FDA officials are warning pet owners to avoid chicken jerky treats imported from China.

Couple on date with dogLet Your Dog Sniff Out Your Date 
If a man owns a Mutt, he is typically happy-go-lucky and will make a good mate, says Wendy Diamond author of, How To Understand Men Through Their Dogs.   "They are not concerned about pedigree," she said. "They are very secure with (themselves) and love children." In her book, "What A Lucky Dog," Diamond provides personality characteristics about men who have various types of dogs. She also gives insight on not-so-good behavior and a new trick a woman may want to teach the owner.   If you are looking for marriage material, consider the Doberman Pinscher, Collie, Chinese Crested, Beagle or Rottweiler, she says.  Aside from dog owners that would make a potential long-term mate Diamond gives snippets of useful information such as noting that a guy with a Bichon Frise is "Great with children," and is the type of man who will dress up as a clown on birthdays or as Santa at Christmas.   A woman seeking an immensely affectionate man may also want to stay away from the Pomeranian man.   Let Dog Sniff Out Dates.  She said if you are looking for love, a dog might be able to sniff out a good date. "Even though dogs have 220 million smell receptors to our 5 million, I’m not talking literally sniff(ing) you a good date, but trust your dog’s instincts," she said. "Look for the receptiveness of your dog being comfortable around your potential date."

Share Body Heat With Your Pet
People fight the cold with heavy coats, long underwear and wooly mittens. And if it's too cold for people, a fur coat won't protect pets from weather extremes, either. Just like human frostbite and human hypothermia, pets also can suffer from these cold weather dangers. While frostbite causes discomfort and damage to the extremities, hypothermia happens when overall body temperature falls below normal. In people, hypothermia is defined as a body temperature lower than 95 degrees and treatment is vital to survival. When body temperature falls too low in pets, they can die. The best protection against human frostbite and hypothermia is to provide shelter from the wet and cold. The same holds true for pets. Bring cats and dogs inside during severe cold. Why not snuggle together, share body heat and protect each other safe from Old Man Winter's dangers!

Pet portrait created with cremainsAshes To Ashes, Or, In The Case Of Some Pet Owners, Ashes To Art
Christine Johnson started Pet Art Memorial as a way for grieving pet owners to memorialize their beloved pooch, pig or parrot in paint. "I have been thinking about it for about a year now, and at first when I told my husband my idea, he thought I was totally crazy."  But Johnson didn’t think the idea was totally crazy, after all, a quick Google search revealed businesses that will put pet ashes in glass, turn them into gems or mix them into cement. At Pet Art Memorial, the animal’s ashes are mixed into the paint, which the artist uses to create the commissioned artwork. Pet owners tell Johnson about their pet’s qualities, describe what they would like to see, from subject to style, and send a vial of their pet’s ashes. The idea for the business first came to Johnson, an animal lover, as she was thinking of what to do with pet ashes.  She recently launched the business through her web site,, and plans to donate profits to charities after meeting costs. Costs range from $165 to $940, depending on the size of the work, which most often involves dogs and cats. Though the new business hasn’t filled any orders yet, she’s confident it could fill a niche market.  "Would you put your pets ashes in a painting?
Newt Gingrich with animalPets With Newt 
As the 2012 Republican primaries approach, White House hopeful Newt Gingrich is scrambling to stay atop the heap of contenders. But the former House speaker has vowed to avoid negative ads, but many of his recent policy ideas, such as sending federal agents to arrest "activist" judges, have drawn bipartisan criticism. So he's trying a new strategy, hoping voters will relate to another of his pet issues: Gingrich is already known for his love of zoos; he claims to have visited 95 in the U.S., and as a child he dreamed of becoming "Either a zoo director or a vertebrate paleontologist." He abandoned that dream long ago to pursue politics, but he hasn't lost his soft spot for animals.  Now, he hopes the two interests can make for a winning combination with primary voters.  Gingrich has created a new website called "Pets With Newt," which aims to highlight his "Lighter side" as a presidential candidate, Hugh Hefner, Ex-fiance Crystal Harris and Cavaliar King Charles dogPets With Newt is now live. The site lets users submit photos of their pets, provides links to Gingrich's campaign website and lists his favorite zoos.

Hugh Hefner's Custody Battle – For A Dog! 
Hugh Hefner and his ex-fiancée, Crystal Harris, are in the midst of a custody battle over their dog. The Playboy founder tells People Magazine that they're still trying to determine who should be the owner of their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Hefner says following their break-up, he told Harris that if she wants to keep the engagement ring and the Bentley, then it would only be fair if he got the dog. Hef notes that while the dog's valuable, it's not worth $100,000. Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris were planning to get married before their engagement came to an end in June. Hefner has since told Entertainment Tonight that he dodged a bullet by not tying the knot with Harris.

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