From leaving pets while you go on vacation to a nodding cat
Its mission is to help our pets. . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.
Sean, who is the chief veterinarian of Tails.com, a bespoke pet food company, has been answering questions from owners for a decade.
He says, âIf your pet is acting funny or is in bad weather, or if you want to learn more about nutrition or exercise, just ask. I can help keep pets healthy and happy.
If you want him to answer a question for YOU, just email him at [email protected]
Q) SOON, I will be leaving my kitten Sally, which I had during the first confinement, for two weeks.
I am visiting my daughter abroad and I am so afraid to leave my pet in a cattery.
Do you have any advice? It seems so long and I don’t know if she will make it.
Carla Finn, Telford, Shropshire
A) There are great services that allow you to find a trusted home and pet sitter when you go.
This means increased security, as your house is not empty and no stress for Sally of being taken out of her own surroundings.
If you don’t like someone staying in your home, there may be local pet services that will come visit them twice a day to feed and interact with them.
Your local veterinary practice will most likely have recommendations if you can’t find someone online.
Have a question for Sean?
SEND your questions to [email protected]
Q) I recently adopted a two year old cat named Minnie from a local rescue center.
She is so gentle by nature but there is one thing that she does that is a bit strange. She keeps pushing me.
A cat loving friend said it was a sign of affection. Is it really?
Sheila Barnett, Keadby, Lincolnshire
A) Yes it is! Consider yourself privileged to have entered her inner circle of trust.
Cats love to head butt and rub their faces alongside their mates and friends to release a feel-good pheromone called a âfeline facial fractionâ.
This helps them bond with others and familiarize them with the smell of the colony. It is mainly released by the scent glands on the forehead and cheeks.
So kiss those nudges and maybe share a sweet one with Minnie to return the favor.
Q) MY 11 year old cat, Cotty, is very stressed when he has to go to the carrier.
She pees, poops, saliva and the last time she was violently ill, panting like a dog and her heart was beating so fast I was afraid she would have a heart attack. Is there anything I can do to help?
Jean Hughes, Walsall
A) It is stressful for you, your cat and definitely your vets too when he walks in like this. There are a few calming aids you can put in their food on the day and before a trip on the carrier.
There is also the Feliway spray which has a calming effect, but with this harsh reaction I’m afraid these aids are barely touching the sides when it comes to his anxiety.
Anxiety medication may be prescribed by your vet if it is a necessary visit but you do not mention why you are putting her in a baby carrier. If you take her frequently on vacation or travel, I recommend leaving her at home with a cat sitter rather than stressing her out like that.
Q) I HAVE an Alsatian called Barney who is four years old and started to limp after a long walk.
I’m afraid it’s his cross. How do you know if this is the case or not? It is often after a long walk. What else could this be?
Sam Winters, Blackpool
A) Technically, it can range from the toe to the spine, which is why a physical exam by your vet is a great idea to try and determine the exact spot where it’s painful.
A limp certainly says pain is involved. It could be her cruciate ligament in her knee. This ligament often tears when dogs suddenly stop during strenuous exercise.
German Shepherds (or Alsatians to use their old name) can also be prone to hip dysplasia. Again, a visit to the vet is the best option.
Star of the week
The BRAVE Bart police dog is not only a canine crime fighter, he also helps protect other dogs.
Bart, seven, is with the Cheshire Police Dog Unit and his partner is PC Kelly Walker, 37, from Broughton, North Wales.
Bart tracks down suspects, is trained to support gun officers and earlier this year he sniffed at a man who assaulted his partner and was threatening officers with a knife.
Bart cut his toe after stepping on glass in the search, but continued, winning a Thin Blue Paw Award for his bravery.
He has since tested bulletproof vests for dogs.
Kelly said, âBart and I worked with a design company to develop armor that dogs wear as a harness.
“He is my partner – we have built such a bond.”
To be won: grooming kit
Pamper your pooch with the durable dog grooming kit from The Clean Dog Co. Try a bottle of cruelty-free shampoo, a light towel, a travel bag and a fur massager.
Each kit is worth Â£ 50 and we have five to give away. See thecleandog company.com.
To participate, send an email titled CLEANOGCO to sundaypets @ the-sun. co.uk.
The T & Cs apply. Registration closes on October 10.
Play hide and seek with your chicken
TIPS aren’t just for dogs to learn – chickens can be just as talented.
Animal trainer Joe Nutkins says she taught her feathered friends to respond to food and drink signals and jump through hoops and tunnels and even play cuckoo games.
There are 1.5 million pet chickens in the UK, according to figures from the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, and around 65,000 battery hens are relocated each year.
Joe, 42, from Harwich, Essex, says: âTeaching them tricks enriches your chickens and means you improve your bond with them.
âChickens are easy to train as long as you have food – they love peas, sweetcorn, blueberries, or a small pot of toasted corn. “
Joe, who lives with 26 rescued hens, 12 ducks and two Norfolk terriers, founded National Pet Tricks Day on September 30.
She says, âThe tips have practical uses for all kinds of birds and little furry ones.
âHaving a cooperative pet giving a paw or a claw is useful for cutting nails or checking paws.
âHelping animals relax when being handled means it’s easier to give medicine and check their teeth. “