, Salem, MA


May 31, 2013

Ask Dog Lady: Grandma thinks daughters pamper pets too much

Dear Dog Lady,

I am part of the so-called Greatest Generation. I raised five children who have given me many grandchildren. I love being called “grandma.” I have a problem with “doggy grandma.”

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy dogs. But I come from an era when dogs had their proper place in the family. They ate whatever I remembered to put in their bowls and they slept in the garage. They lived amongst us happily on the periphery. They didn’t command the center of attention. Now, I see my age 50ish daughters pampering their pets, feeding them organic foods, treating them like children. I wonder if I should be the cranky voice of reason here.

A: When the granddogs visit your house, you can set your own boundaries. But feel proud of your pooch progeny. Your daughters obviously acquire their canine nurturing instincts from growing up in a home where they saw animals treated with kindness. Maybe the family dogs slept in the garage but you must have given them your own brand of loving attention.

Dear Dog Lady,

We have two cute, excited, rescue miniature pinscher (min-pin) mixes, Tink and Bailey, whom we love very much. When buying chew bones made of leather, which our dogs love, I’ve become alarmed because some packages say “have been irradiated” with the advisory to wash hands after touching. If I have to wash my hands after touching I know that can’t be good for my dogs to eat. The first time I saw this, the chew bones were from China so I immediately put them back. Now I have seen this on leather bones from an American company. Could you please comment on this and advise.

A: The leather you speak of can be pig’s ears or chicken-basted rawhide bones or any other body parts left over at the slaughter house. Certainly, chew bones from China are suspect because dog food made in China poisoned dogs some years ago. But no matter where it comes from, nearly all of this overage and offal is irradiated to kill off salmonella and other bacteria. So pick your poison.

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