Companion Animal Psychology Turns 11

The past year had highs and lows, but happy dogs and cats continue to be the theme as this blog celebrates 11 years.

A ginger and white cat sniffs the top of a steel thermos bottle with a treat on top of it
Photo: Lalandrew/Shutterstock

By Zazie Todd PhD

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Companion Animal Psychology is 11 years old today. Apparently 11th anniversaries are symbolized by steel, so I went looking for a photo of a dog or cat with something stainless steel. Can you guess why I picked this photo? I love that we can see how the photographer used a treat to lure the cat to come and pose with the thermos bottle. They have a set of similar photos with this gorgeous cat, including one in which we see the treat being eaten, but this one seemed the most fitting for this blog since the idea of using food to train cats (and dogs) is a regular theme. 

The last year has had some highs and some lows. The biggest high, of course, was the publication of my book Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. I am so thrilled that this book is out there to help cat guardians understand their cat better and use the tips in the book to have a better relationship with their cat. The paperback of Purr will be published on June 6th and is available for pre-order now if you prefer a paperback.

Another high was accepting an offer to write my third book, Shiver, about how to help fearful dogs. If you like the way Wag blends science with practical tips, you’ll love Shiver. It’s tentatively scheduled for publication in the Fall of 2024.

I continue to enjoy chatting about books with the Animal Book Club, where we are just finishing up our discussion of Ed Yong's An Immense World. Thanks to everyone who has taken part in these fun and interesting conversations over the past year. 

The low was having to call an end to The Pawsitive Post. I absolutely loved writing about canine and feline science (including the practical uses of it) for this, along with all the webinars we hosted and Kristi Benson’s fun and educational columns on dog training. But unfortunately, thanks to a declining subscriber base (people told me it was the cost of living), it had to close. Honestly, I'm still sad about it.

Although I have not been finding much time to write new posts so far in 2023, I do have some in the works. Kristi, this blog’s amazing Special Correspondent, continues to write beautiful posts that are sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartfelt, and often both. Kristi and I decided to keep recording episodes of The Pawsitive Post in Conversation despite what happened to The Pawsitive Post. We have several episodes in progress with some fabulous guests and I look forward to sharing them with you very soon. 

Thank you, as always, to you for supporting Companion Animal Psychology. I find it cheering to know that there are so many of us who care so much about improving dog and cat welfare with appropriate training methods and enrichment. 

If you love this blog but haven’t yet subscribed to my newsletter, please do. Sometimes I send out a newsletter instead of publishing a post, and in any case, it’s the best way to stay up-to-date with the latest from this blog. Thank you!

Zazie Todd, PhD, is the award-winning author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy and Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. She is the creator of the popular blog, Companion Animal Psychology, and also has a column at Psychology Today. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband, one dog, and two cats. 

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