Dear Dr. Fox: I’ve been using your homemade dog food and would like to try the meat alternatives you mention in the recipe: “cottage cheese, well-cooked lentils, garbanzo beans, lima beans or a dozen organic eggs.”

How exactly are these alternatives incorporated into the recipe? Do you simply add the respective meat alternative as you would the actual meat, and simmer with the other ingredients? Does the “well-cooked” description only apply to the lentils, or to the other items as well? If using organic eggs, are they precooked (scrambled?) before adding them, or are they added raw?

By the way, my miniature schnauzer loves this recipe and looks great. B.C., Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Dear B.C.: I am glad that your dog is doing well on my home-prepared dog food recipe. Your dog joins many others who are reaping the benefits of good nutrition and a healthful diet.

I would add the raw eggs, at room temperature, to the basic recipe once it has been cooked, letting the eggs become lightly cooked as you stir them into the hot mix. Ditto for the cottage cheese. Overheating the eggs will destroy some nutrients, while feeding raw eggs can cause other problems. The lentils or chickpeas you can cook in with the basic ingredients, but be sure to add around 250 milligrams of taurine per serving at feeding time when using such pulses/beans as the main source of protein.

I do not advocate vegan diets for dogs, and advise a “rotational” diet using different sources of protein week by week.

Good news in Maryland

A federal judge has upheld Maryland’s ban on pet stores selling puppies and kittens, which went into effect Jan. 1, and which was protested by store owners and commercial breeders. This is a victory for these animals and for animal rights advocates.

California had been the first state to ban such sales. Several municipalities across the country are initiating similar prohibitions.

Invasive species

Rats, feral hogs and other non-native animals are making themselves at home in America’s national parks, to the detriment of native wildlife and plants, according to research published in the journal Biological Invasions.

The report’s authors call for a coordinated, system-wide approach to man-aging invasive species; the approach would include visitors, park neighbors, National Park Service leaders and everyone in between. (CNN, Dec. 4)

United Feature Syndicate

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