This time around, veterinarian/researcher/animal-rights activist Fox has put together a combined guide to dog and cat care, and integrated into it his understanding of the psychological and sociological implications of human/animal interaction. Fox starts with some helpful tips on choosing a pet, from a one-pound ""teacup"" Chihuahua to a 185-pound English mastiff, and then heartily recommends, for most, the ""All-American Mutt."" He offers feasible solutions for special pet problems--growing fresh grass for cats who eat house plants, or leaving a radio on as company for an excessive barker. There's advice on how to find lost pets, how to care for pets during hot summer months--plus basic data on everything from nutrition to euthanasia. Fox also takes up such moral issues as animals' rights and emotional needs, and keeping pets in over-crowded cities. He points to the roles that pets play as companions to the elderly, or lately as ""cotherapists"" in new programs to treat the mentally ill; and reiterates their value as humanizing influences on people. Irresponsible breeding, we learn, can lead to such deformities as the English bulldog with chronic breathing problems, a Persian cat that can't possibly groom its own coat, and a host of personality complexes. Some of the material was taken directly from Fox's monthly pet column in McCall's, and there is quite a bit of unnecessary repetition--euthanasia is broached five times. But the book is far less strident than Fox's last, Understanding Your Pet (1978); it usefully amalgamates the pointers in Understanding Your Dog (1972) and Understanding Your Cat (1974); and it makes a good all-round choice for those pet-owners newly conscious of Fido or Snowball as fellow-creatures.