Dear Tabby, I think we’re ready to adopt a pet but we don’t want a puppy or kitten. In fact, we’re thinking about adopting a senior animal. Would that be a good idea, or would a puppy or kitten be easier? Ready to Adopt in Ella Lee Forest Dear Ready to Adopt, Is there anything cuter than a puppy or a kitten? Not much that I can think of--but you want to know what’s not always so cute? Having to train and teach them the rules of your home; middle of the night feedings and bursts of energy; destructive behaviors...the list goes on and on. So, what about a senior pet? There are some real benefits to adopting a pet in their “golden years.” Energy levels: An older pet would likely rather cuddle on the couch then run laps around the living room. This is not to say that an … [Read more...] about Adopting a senior pet is a cinch
Dear Tabby, My chocolate Lab loves beer! If he hears someone open up a cold one, he comes running! I’ll often pour some in a bowl for him to enjoy--especially when we’re watching Monday Night Football. Is this ok? A little beer every now and then won’t hurt him, right? Enjoying a Frosty One With Fido in Forest West Dear Enjoying a Frosty One, It’s adorable that you enjoy spending quality time with your Lab; however, I hate to break it to you, but beer (or any alcoholic beverage) is really not ok for your dog. One of the main ingredients in beer also happens to be one of the most toxic to dogs--hops. It’s unknown why hops are so toxic to dogs but the consumption of hops causes violent physical reactions in many canines. We’re talking not only about immediate physical … [Read more...] about Beer is a buzz-kill for Fido
Dear Tabby, My husband and I have an on-going disagreement about whether or not our pets should be allowed to sleep in our bed. I love being surrounded by our pets at night, but he doesn’t. He claims that it’s bad for all of us. Who’s right? Trouble in the Bedroom in Timbergrove Dear Trouble in the Bedroom, You bring up a divisive topic. According to www.vetstreet.com, (a pet-related online newsletter) 83% of Vet Street readers allow their pets to sleep with them. This begs the question: Is it a good idea to let your pet sleep in your bed or not? The disadvantages: Poor quality of sleep: A 75 pound dog, plus 2 adult humans in a queen-sized bed isn’t ideal, so space can become a sleep issue with large pets. Even a small dog or cat who isn’t keen on sleeping for an 8 hour … [Read more...] about Problems in the bedroom, divides owners
Dear Tabby, We adopted a puppy over the summer and my kids enjoyed playing and taking care of her. Now that school is starting, I’m worried that the change in routine will upset the puppy. What can we do to ensure a smooth back-to-school season for our pooch? Reading, Writing and Rottweiler-mixes in Woodland Heights Dear Reading, Writing and Rottweiler-mixes, You’re right. While back to school can spell the return of structure and good habits for humans, it can be a lonely, confusing time for your pet--especially a pet who is new to a family with children. Instead of lazy mornings at home, spent with the pets, now the kids are rushing out the door before the sun is up and often aren’t home until the sun is setting. This spells long, boring days for a dog who has only known … [Read more...] about Is your dog ready for back-to-school?
Dear Tabby, We adopted a dog last year and we love her so; however, we’ve recently relocated overseas and have discovered something alarming: our dog is racist! She acts aggressively toward people of color--men specifically. This is unacceptable behavior and we’re concerned. Help! Embarrassed expats formerly of Garden Oaks Dear Embarrassed Expats, I can imagine how problematic your dog’s aggression toward people of color is but let me first remind you that dogs aren’t racist. Racism is a uniquely human trait (not one of the most endearing ones, I might add) that requires complex thinking and other higher cognitive functions that canines simply don’t possess. However, it’s not uncommon for dogs to be fearful of certain groups of people that they haven’t been exposed to--be … [Read more...] about Tabby tackles a sensitive social subject