Buddy & Porky’s Pet Health Column: Rawhide Chews, Crazy Cat

Dear Buddy,

My dog Sammy loves loves loves rawhide chews. But I keep hearing horror stories about them not being safe.  What is the truth?  Should I look for something else?


Dear Joe,

I love love love love them too, but I decided to give them up for several reasons.  First, I almost choked  on one once and that was no fun, so if you want to give them to Sammy, be very sure that you keep him supervised.  Second, according to information on Humane Society of the United States website, www.HSUS.org, there is a danger of salmonella poisoning from them, and there is no effective way that you can check for that at home. That can be pretty icky. Finally, you don’t really know what chemicals have been used in processing them.  They are a by product of the tanning industry which is notorious for using harsh, cometimes poisonous chemicals, such as arsenic and formaldehyde.  Who wants that on their snack?

Instead, I now love love love my kong.  I can’t chew it up, at least not right away.  Sure it’s plastic, but plastic can be delicious, especially if you put  a biscuit inside, and I just  don’t have to worry about all those other problems.

Dear Porky,

Help, my cat Sweetpea likes to wait until I get home from work and then she jumps up on the mantle and knocks everything off. I know I shouldn’t yell at her, but why is she doing this and what can I do to stop it?


Dear Linda,

It sounds like Sweetpea is bored and she is probably doing this to get your attention and it probably works.  Try this.  First move everything off the the mantle for awhile so that you can redirect her attention to something else that is less destructive.  Then make sure that she has lots of play things to keep her occupied when you are not there.  In spite of our reputation, we really don’t nap all day long, (just part of the day).  Cats like different toys so you may have to experiment a little.  I am particularly fond of those flat round things with a ball in a groove that I can chase mindlessly for hours and some scratching cardboard in the middle.  Does she have a window seat or perch where she can look out during the day?  There are videos of birds that some cats just love.  I think they are boring myself, but that’s just me.

When you get  home, try spending some play time with her first thing, before she has to do something naughty for attention.  A feather on a stick, a ball to chase, whatever she likes.  And finally, is she an only cat?  Maybe it’s time to think about finding her a companion to play with.  Depending on her age and temperament, it might do wonders for her.

You can find her (and you) a new love of both your lives at the Oswego County Humane Society Cats of Summer Adoption Day, on Saturday, August 9th from 11 to 3 at the TRactor Supply Company in the Price Chopper Plaza in Oswego. Or check out our adoptable pets at www.oswegohumane.org

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County. Our office is located at 265 West First Street, Oswego, New York. Phone (315) 207-1070. Email: [email protected] Website: www.oswegohumane.org.