DEAR DR. FOX: We have a 3-year-old Maltipoo who refuses to eat dog food. We have tried many brands and types, to no avail.
At present, we are feeding her chicken and beef, mixed with rice, green beans, carrots and lima beans. We add several pieces of dry dog food to this mix, and she eats that well.
Her long-term health is a real concern, and we wonder if you have any suggestions. -- A.O., Edenton, N.C.
DEAR A.O.: Your dog may be exercising what I call "nutritional wisdom." She wants fresh, whole, natural food.
Some brainwashed veterinarians and other "dog experts" still insist that only scientifically formulated, highly processed manufactured dog foods are what dogs should eat. The effect on many dogs can be like what would happen to you if you got all your meals from fast-food restaurants for three to six months.
Visit my website, DrFoxVet.com, and pull up my home-prepared dog food recipe for a start; consider some of the dog food brands I endorse, along with the new generation of frozen and freeze-dried dog foods available in some of the better pet supply stores.
DEAR DR. FOX: I am writing to you about my cat Sara. We've had her for two years, ever since we found her in our neighbor's yard when she was a few weeks old.
I am considering moving her to my mother's house (my parents are divorced) for a few reasons:
My first reason is that my father didn't want Sara in the first place. He now has a sort of fondness for her, but he isn't attached to her the way I am. My second reason is that we live in a tiny, three-bedroom house with seven people and another cat. We all have various wake-up times in the morning and after-school activities, too. Half of us aren't home during the week. Add another cat (who tolerates mine), and you get a lot of crazy.
Sara has no front claws and is also fixed. The little kids used to run up to her and get in her face and say her name in annoying voices. She is sometimes very twitchy; her tail flicks and she runs from room to room like there's something chasing her.
I would appreciate your honest opinion: to move or not to move this cat. -- M.R., Fenton, Md.
DEAR M.R.: I think you are a remarkable young person who knows what love really means -- responsible care.
Clearly, your beloved cat Sara is not living in the best environment -- and I wonder about you, too. I would advise you to work things out with your mother to adopt your cat and be sure that you can have visiting rights. Alternatively, call for a meeting with all who live under your roof and share your concerns about Sara, without making judgments; ask the younger ones to treat Sara gently, be quiet around her and respect her space. Teach them how to pet, hold, feed and groom her. Help them grow up as well as you have.
(Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Universal Uclick, 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 DrFoxVet.com.)