W.N.M., Lewisville, NC
Jun 11, 2012
My cats refuse to eat canned food. They merely lick off the gravy and leave the balance. (They eat Friskies.) I've had the vet check their teeth, check for worms and perform a complete physical exam. They all passed with flying colors. We live on a horse farm. The cats bring dead birds, moles and squirrels home to lay at the doorstep -- intact, no parts eaten.
I've heard that cat food manufacturers add ears, ground-up hooves, tails and hair of other animals to their cat food formulas. Is this true?
W.N.M., Lewisville, NC Jun 12, 2012
I encourage you to try your cats on different varieties of canned cat food. Our two cats like only two varieties (chicken/herring and salmon/turkey) of Organix cat food. They dislike beef, lamb and lobster.
Cats don't always drink sufficient amounts of water, so consuming moist canned or home-prepared cat food is important. Alternatively, soak some dry food and flavor their water with a little milk or salt-free chicken bouillon or chicken stock.
The instinctual but needless killing of wildlife by cats -- which they bring home as gifts -- should be prevented by keeping the cats indoors. They may enjoy outdoor walks on a leash or time in an enclosure in your yard. Your cats' hunting may be curtailed by having them wear a bell on a breakaway collar, though some cats learn to tuck in their chins to silence the bell! You can also buys a CatBib, which deters cats from killing.
Pet foods that contain "meat and poultry byproducts" include some processed skin, tendons, bone and other body parts, and these add up to an inferior quality of protein. Until fairly recently, feathers from processed poultry were also included. The remains of road-killed and euthanized animals can also end up in some pet foods and livestock feed.
G.S., Lewisville, NC
Tags: dog Lewisville NC
May 09, 2009
I have two Japanese Chin dogs -- a 12-year-old male and an 11-year-old female. The male weighs about 13 pounds and the female 21 pounds. I have had them since they were puppies, and they have lived all their lives together. Something strange happened a year ago: My male would not eat when my female was in the kitchen. He acts as though he is afraid. If she is not around and the coast is clear, he seems to feel safe enough to eat his food. But he always checks her bowl first and eats what may be left before he eats out of his bowl. What would you suggest I do to make dinnertime easier for all concerned?
G.S., Lewisville, NC May 10, 2009
Old as your dogs may be, you are witnessing the dynamics of the canine pack where new behaviors can develop at almost any age when social relationships change. The female has become the one to assert dominance over her mate when they are eating. So it''s either divorce (which, at their age, is beyond question) or you leash the male until her ladyship has finished eating. They may eat together with a solid barrier between them -- a dog gate may not work, since Lady Chin could make eye contact with Mr. Chin and it would be over for him.
G.S., Lewisville, NC"
Tags: dog Lewisville NC allergies
Jun 14, 2008
I have an 11-year-old, female Japanese Chin. In November, she had her teeth cleaned, and some were extracted. That night, we had a flood in our bathroom from a leaking pipe that overflowed into the master and guest bedrooms. The disaster-recovery people came and cleaned up the water and shampooed the carpet the next day. Two days later, my dog developed a bad, hacking cough. She has been coughing ever since. I took her to the vet, and he examined her and took an X-ray. He said she had pneumonia and put her on antibiotics and a cough suppressant. He also gave her a shot to stop the coughing. She was on the medication for two weeks, and the coughing stopped until the cough suppressants and antibiotics were finished. The vet keeps telling me she's congested, but from what? He keeps giving me a prescription for the cough suppressants and the antibiotics. It has now been three months, and my dog is still coughing. I feel that the vet is treating the symptoms and not the source of the problem.
G.S., Lewisville, NC Jun 15, 2008
Your poor dog is like the proverbial canary in a coal mine. New carpets give off toxic fumes, from formaldehyde to thyroid-damaging, fire-retardant bromide compounds. Carpet cleaners that are not "green" can leave residues of potentially toxic, allergy-triggering chemicals. Find out what the carpet cleaners used and let me know. Have the carpeting shampooed again, but apply a thorough sprinkling of baking soda two to three hours before cleaning with hot water only. Ventilate the rooms well as the carpets dry. Cover them with cotton sheets for a few days. This may help your dog recover from what seems like an allergic bronchitis. It could also have a psychogenic component associated with the emotional stress of the invading carpet cleaners, compounded by the trauma of major dental surgery.