Seniors Today Newspaper
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Houseguests vs. Pets

by Sam Mazzotta
Dear Paw’s Corner: My brother is staying with us through the holiday season while he figures out his life. However, he insists on keeping the feeding bowls full for my two dogs, Buster and Charlie. I’ve spoken to him several times already, asking him not to do it. Buster is overweight and on a prescribed diet. What can I do to stop this?
—Darlene in Phoenix, Arizona

Dear Darlene: It’s really strange, and annoying, that your brother can’t seem to follow your request. I’m not sure what’s going on, so I won’t judge the situation. However, if you want him to stay, then for your dogs’ sake, you’ll have to take extra steps to stop this.
Move the dog food to a cabinet or storage bin that you can lock. Take out just the amount of food for that day and portion it out for your dogs’ scheduled feeding times. Then remind your brother that the way you feed your dogs is non-negotiable.

Dear Paws: I’m 11 years old and my cousins are staying with us for Christmas. They want to walk my dog, Reed, all the time. That’s my job, and Reed is my dog. How can I get them to stop? —Carlos in Dallas, Texas

Dear Carlos: Talk to your parents about your frustration. Are your cousins not sharing the lead during walks? Are they mistreating your dog? If it’s a sharing situation, the adults should help negotiate a fair plan for walking Reed.