Companion Animal Psychology News April 2021

Myths about dogs, making indoor/outdoor decisions about cats, and providing shade for guinea pigs... this month's Companion Animal Psychology news.

Companion Animal Psychology News April 2021

By Zazie Todd, PhD

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My favourites this month

"I know where you read this and it's a myth" Dr. Marc Bekoff on common questions about dogs, and why it's important to recognize dogs as unique individuals.  

“Our message to owners is to start preparing now, rather than waiting until things return more to normal.” Dr. Rachel Casey on preparing your dog for life after lockdown.  

“And while concerning yourself with a toy’s color indicates that an owner is laudably considering their dog’s preference, it’s probably better to let your dog decide what toy they prefer.” Should you really only buy blue dog toys? by Sam Blum. 

“Will your dog stop on cue when trotting, loping or full-out running away from you? I consider it an essential tool for any dog that is ever off leash.“ Teaching the emergency stop (or “flying lie down”) by Dr. Patricia McConnell. 

“There is now evidence of another potential problem with pet ownership during the pandemic—surges in dog attacks on children.” Do school closures cause a surge in dog bites to children? By Dr. Hal Herzog. 

“First of all, let's set some realistic goals” Nobody’s perfect by Julie Bond. 

“No matter the size of your living space, by going vertical, you can greatly increase your cat’s lifestyle real estate.” Cats on high: Maximize vertical space by Sandy Robins at Fear Free Happy Homes.  

“Interestingly, the second most common reason for choosing an indoor-only lifestyle varied by region.” International Cat Care speaks to Rae Foreman-Worsley about her research on people’s decisions on whether or not to let their cats have access to the outdoors.  

“Just like several other exotic pets, some of the health and welfare needs of guinea pigs can be overlooked or misunderstood.“ Five things all guinea pig owners should know by Dr. Daniella Dos Santos.

Pet photographer reveals how adorable dogs and cats look from below with photos by Andrius Burba, text by Emma Taggart. 

Korean artist Jang Koal paints dreamy pictures of women holding cats made of their own hair, and women with cats in their eyes. Text by Margherita Cole. 

33 cute ferret photos that will make you smile at Reader’s Digest. 

Animal Book Club

This month, the Animal Book Club is reading Biology of Dogs: From Gonads Through Guts To Ganglia by Tim Lewis, PhD. It’s an engaging survey of the dog’s bodily systems and how to keep your dog healthy.

You can find this (and all of the book club books) in my Amazon store 

An important message for email subscribers

Since the beginning of Companion Animal Psychology I’ve been using Feedburner to send out emails. It works and it’s free. But Google has announced that it will deprecate Feedburner’s email service soon. So I have to move to a new email service and because there are a lot of subscribers, it won’t be free. This is a good problem to have, but it’s also unfortunate because Companion Animal Psychology is run on a shoe-string.

At some point in the near future you will get an email from me to confirm the change. You don’t need to do anything except read it, hopefully. But the new emails will come from a different email address  so there is a risk they will end up in your spam folder. If at any point you find yourself cut off from CAP emails, go hunting in your spam folder to find them (or search for Zazie), and then move them to your main folder. 

You can help me with the transition by keeping an eye out for the email and making sure you open it. Thank you!


I'm enjoying the warmer weather and looking forward to summer... and thinking of tank tops. Our women's flowy tanks have a relaxed, drapy fit and a racerback style. You can get 10% off tanks and all Companion Animal Psychology merch with promo code SNOWMELT through midnight on Monday 19th April. 

Happy dogs make me smile tank from Companion Animal Psychologt

A portion of all proceeds goes to help the animals at the BC SPCA Maple Ridge. See the tees here:

A Companion Animal Psychology tank, shown in pink

Support Me on Ko-Fi

Companion Animal Psychology is open to everyone and supported by animal lovers like you. Each post takes a lot of work to research and write. Did you know that you can support Companion Animal Psychology by buying me a virtual coffee?

If you’d like to, you can make a one-off or monthly donation at 

This month, I’d like to say an extra special thank you to Cricket Halsey, Cass Davies, Dr. Jill Bradshaw, Liane, Sandy Cooley, Gitta Springer, Sheryl Gamble, Sarah, and several anonymous people for your support. You are amazing and I really, really appreciate it.

Here at Companion Animal Psychology

The most exciting thing to happen in the last month is that Companion Animal Psychology turned 9!  Thank you to everyone who sent me lovely messages about the anniversary.

Over at my Psychology Today blog, Fellow Creatures, I wrote about human vulnerability and the reasons people surrender pets. And inspired by a conversation between writers Amin Maalouf and Marina Warner, I wrote about finding hope in dog training and animal behaviour

I had a couple of posts about dog training: How to prioritize training for a new rescue dog and 13 common dog training mistakes and how to avoid them. Both articles are packed with tips.

And in The Writer’s Pet, award-winning Canadian writer Trina Moyles told me about her amazing dog Holly who keeps her company through long summers at the fire tower, and her new book, Lookout: Love, Solitude, and Searching for Wildfire in the Boreal Forest.  Moyles says, “It’s a love story, of sorts, of learning to love myself and forgive the events that shaped my past, of bonding with a semi-wild dog named Holly, of being tested by extreme weather and dramatic encounters with wildlife.” I’ve got the book and am looking forward to digging in to it this weekend.

Animals in Art

This month’s animals in art is this delightful cat with her kittens. It dates from 1878/1883 and is in the collection of the National Gallery of Art.  

A 19th century portrait of a calico cat and her two kittens

Until next time,


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