HE is on a mission to help our pets . . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.
Sean, who is the head vet at tailored pet food firm tails.com, has helped with owners’ queries for ten years.
He says: “If your pet is acting funny or is under the weather, or you want to know about nutrition or exercise, just ask. I can help keep pets happy and healthy.”
Q) JUST over two years ago I rehomed Freddie, my French bulldog, when he was one.
Despite having him “done”, he still keeps scenting in some places.
He frequently does it at my daughter’s house, where there is also a neutered male dog.
He goes on her bed and sofa — and is really embarrassing.
When we had a beach walk recently Freddie even did it on a woman’s bag and coat. She also had dogs and I was mortified.
He is so clean at home and most other places, so why is he doing this? And how can I stop it?
Freddie is the softest, most loving dog anyone could ask for. I hope you can help.
Dawn Luke, Somerset
A) First, I would ask if Freddie is scent-marking territory, or just weeing when he needs to go to the toilet.
Male dogs will always look for a vertical surface or object to wee on.
So on a flat beach, handbags and coats that are lying on the sand are fair game.
He probably didn’t realise he was doing anything wrong there.
You need to ensure the temptation to urinate is removed, by making sure his bladder is empty when he is indoors — so lots of walks, and praise for going outdoors.
Cleaning up where he’s gone before is so important, using an odour- neutralising product so he does not smell any trace.
That’s like a beacon to him to go there again, as dogs’ noses are much more sensitive than ours. They “see” in smelly-vision. If all that fails, go to a behaviourist.
Q) I RECENTLY lost my husband and am now thinking of adopting a rescue dog.
I’m in my sixties and so confused as to what type of dog would be suitable.
I accept that, by rescuing, I won’t know the medical history of the dog, but I do want to give an unwanted pet a home.
Is there any breed you would recommend? I am active and have a daily one-hour walk.
Sandra Roberts, Anglesey
A) Without knowing more about you and your lifestyle, I can’t recommend a specific breed.
But you sound like you would give a rescue dog a wonderful new home.
Despite the common myth, rescue dogs don’t automatically come with health or behavioural issues.
There are plenty out there to suit all households.
So go along to your local shelters and tell them more about yourself.
They will work with you to find a wonderful companion, crossbreed or pedigree, just a dog that suits.
And here is a little secret from me: “Rescued” is my favourite breed of dog by miles.
Q) I HAVE a 15-year-old Puggle called Maisie.
During the past month she has been eating mud and chewing up anything she can find. Any ideas why this is happening?
Sandra Twyman, Essex
A) Have you changed Maisie’s diet? Are you feeding her a complete and nutritionally balanced diet formulated by qualified animal nutritionists, and tailored to a dog of her age and breed?
If not, a deficiency is possible.
This is a behaviour called pica — basically meaning eating strange objects or substances.
It can be a sign of underlying disease, especially when it suddenly happens, so at her age I’d recommend a health check at your vet’s.
Star of the week
BUTTON is a real newshound – and her favourite trick is carrying The Sun on Sunday home for her owners.
The shihpoo lives with Anita and Pete Giles in Bristol and every week joins them on their walk to the newsagent’s.
The adorable pooch – a shih tzu poodle cross – then woofs until she is given the paper to carry home.
Anita, 61, a retired customer service manager, said: “She loves carrying the newspaper and once you give her it, she’s a dog on a mission.
“She’s carried the paper home every day since she was a pup. People say how cute and clever she is.
“Button makes us smile every day.”
Workers’ sickies as pet anxiety rises
EIGHTY-FIVE per cent of owners would take a day off if they felt their pet needed them at home, a Paws and Claws survey has found.
With a rising number of dogs suffering separation anxiety as people return to the office, sickies are expected to sore.
A whopping 75 per cent said they got a dog in lockdown and 54 per cent would quit their jobs if employers did not allow them to take their pooches to work.
Julie Naismith, a dog trainer and separation-anxiety expert who conducted our survey, is urging people to talk to their bosses before they lose their jobs.
Julie, from Harrogate, North Yorks, said: “Employees need to be honest and not fib to bosses – and bosses need to understand pet owners’ anxieties.
“Two things over the last year have led to a rise in separation anxiety – either puppies who never learned how to be alone or adult dogs who forgot.
“But we can still teach these dogs how to handle being alone.”
Julie, author of Be Right Back, a book for owners of dogs with separation anxiety, said: “You need to send your dog to day care or a pet-sitter if you can.
“Day care will help them remember there’s more to their world than being with you.”
Win a smart feeder
MAKE feeding time fun by using a smart feeder.
It’s a gadget that serves your cat the right amount of food at the right time.
Two lucky owners can win a Catit Smart feeder and Catit Nuna food, worth £125.99 each.
To enter, send an email with CATIT in the subject line to [email protected] the-sun.co.uk by September 6. T&Cs apply. See catit.com.
Source: The Sun