The Animal Doctor

DEAR READERS: Dry food is dangerous for cats. Too many people assume that if it’s for sale, it must be good for their pets. Ditching dry cat food may be the most important decision a person can make for their cat. For details, visit: Please share this article, and help change what cats are fed.

Dogs can also be harmed on an all-kibble diet, which can lead to obesity, endocrine and inflammatory conditions, and other chronic health problems that reduce longevity and quality of life. They also increase veterinary expenses for various “nutrigenic” diseases.

DEAR DR. FOX: Thank you for your article about vaccinations that appeared in the Asbury Park Press recently.

In 2016, my dog Reilly had a rabies shot; seven days later, he was hospitalized. Well, now 2019 comes along. I had him vaccinated, and he is in the hospital again. The doctor said it was not from the vaccination.

I was up for three nights; my dog would not eat, and he drank very little. I took him to the vet and they gave him some liquid under his skin. That did not work, so instead of paying $1,600 for a one-night stay at an animal hospital, the vet said he can do it at his office overnight for half that.

It was 2 o’clock in the morning, and I was reading your article -- it confirmed I was not crazy. I wish you lived near me to help Reilly. You are so open-minded when it comes to proof.

Thank you again, and I hope my dog makes it this time. -- P.F., Asbury Park, New Jersey

DEAR P.F.: Your experience is all too common. I regret that some of my veterinary colleagues still have a cavalier attitude toward routine vaccinations, much like many members of the medical profession.

The evident denial by your veterinarian of any association with your dog’s sudden malaise and being given the anti-rabies vaccination, which should have been reported to the manufacturers and the FDA, is ethically unacceptable.

Visit to find a holistic veterinary practitioner in your area, who is likely more informed and willing to write a waiver for future anti-rabies vaccinations on the grounds of adverse reactions in your dog.


Dogs belonging to people with high levels of the stress hormone cortisol also have high levels of cortisol, suggesting that dogs become chronically anxious in response to their owners’ anxiety.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, did not find that anxious dogs create chronic stress in their owners, nor did the study authors suggest that chronically stressed people avoid adopting a dog. (The Associated Press, 6/6; National Geographic online, 6/6)

(Send all mail to or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.

Visit Dr. Fox’s website at

More like The Animal Doctor