Q: I've had a lot of dogs in my 58 years and sometimes I am confronted with the reality of having to put one down. It has never been an easy decision, and what works for me does not always work for anyone else. I've found that it is a lot better for me to get another "buddy" as soon as possible. Coming home to an empty house seems to only exacerbate an already bad situation. Nothing is worse than staring at the favorite toy that lies static in the same place day after day. The long and short of it is that dogs are so much like humans in that every being is distinctly different. This is what makes dogs so special. The late comedian George Carlin once said, "Life is a series of dogs." He's so right on that one.
A: Immortal words from George Carlin. Although Dog Lady advises against getting another "replacement" dog too soon after the death of a cherished pet, there is really no rule about it as you gently point out. Dog lovers should do what they have to do if they want to get by with a little help from their fur friends. Yes, life is a series of dogs.
Q: What do you suggest for my two Lhasa apso puppies who won't eat? We have tried several different dog foods with no results. When we first got them, they ate the Pedigree Puppy Chicken and Rice wet food with a scoop of Puppy Chow twice a day but got sick of it. We have tried doing different combinations of each of the above brands but to no avail. We have heard from the veterinarian that sometimes they just don't want to eat. Should we try yet another dog food and risk wasting money if they don't eat? Should we feed them once a day?
A: Your Lhasa apsos will never go hungry — not when they have you burning up the pet food aisle in the supermarkets. Choose one food and stick with it. Make sure the ingredients list always starts with a meat, such as chicken, beef or lamb. Always feed less than the bag advises because you want your dogs on the lean and hungry side rather than overstuffed and picky. Feed them twice a day at the same time. Take up the bowls if they choose not to chow down at the appointed hour — even if they leave some bits behind.
Measure the kibble. For your small dogs, never feed more than a quarter-cup to each in the morning and at night — a total of one half-cup per dog per day. Festoon the dry food with a teaspoon of canned or boiled meat.
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Monica Collins offers advice on dogs, life and love. Her website is www.askdoglady.com. Contact her at email@example.com.