HE is on a mission to help our pets. . . and she 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) OUR rabbits Bob and Boris get the “zoomies” around the garden and run around like crazy.
But then Bob flops down, almost like he’s playing dead – although he seems OK.
Does he need a check-up? He’s eating well and seems fit.
Liz Holick, Reading
Sean says: Sounds perfectly normal to me. I see this with a colony of wild rabbits near where I live.
Most likely, they want to get some adult playtime.
Rabbits are extremely sociable, and will play together, platonically and otherwise.
I don’t think it sounds like Bob needs a check-up. If all is normal and unchanged then he’s probably just fine.
Q) OVERNIGHT, my 11-month-old Labrador called Wren has turned into a digger and chewer.
Our pine kitchen table now has one leg less than it did a week ago!
She is a lovely dog and we’d had no issues with her until the past week.
What would you put this down to? Could it be her age?
Or the recent hot weather?
She is in the dog house—and she knows it!
Fiona Longstaff, Richmond, North Yorks
Sean says: Boredom and boundless energy mainly, I reckon. She needs lots of physical exercise and mental stimulation.
Being indoors more often than usual during this hot weather, it’s even more important to come up with games and training that occupy dogs and wear them out mentally.
You need to redirect these behaviors to where they are allowed, a variety of chew toys and puzzle feeders, plus maybe a dog-friendly sandpit in the garden.
Q) I HAVE a grumpy cat.
I cook Sox fish, try to give him cuddles (he hates them), he has plenty of toys, a deluxe scratcher, loads of love and good health.
It’s a family joke that he has always been a bit cantankerous, but now he has got to ten he’s getting more like Victor Meldrew every day.
We are just there to feed him and do his bedding and if we are lucky we will get a scratch as thanks.
Any suggestions to cheer him up?
Aimee Bullen, Exeter
Sean says: Have you considered leaving him alone? Some cats don’t want mithering and attention.
Maybe he might actually come for a bit of affection if you play it cool for a while?
You know, treat him mean, keep him keen.
Sox is an independent gentleman and you’re clearly cramping his style. Welcome to cat ownership.
Sometimes they are cuddly pets, sometimes they just want you to fetch and carry for them.
Q) MY two-year-old sibling Jagdterriers Ted and Dolly normally get on very well, but several times in recent months they have had some almighty fights.
I have had to intervene to pull them apart which has not been easy.
They have both suffered some bad bite injuries, with the last one resulting in a visit to the vets for Dolly.
They are both neutralized. Is there anything I should be concerned about or are they just being overexuberant?
Mark Kavanagh, Basildon, Essex
Sean says: That’s far from ideal, and quite upsetting, I imagine.
Sometimes with canine siblings in the same household there can be challenges for resources (favorite toys, places to sit, food) and if neither dog backs down there’s a breakout leading to actual full-on fighting.
This is as much about what’s triggering these conflicts as it is about how you respond to them.
A qualified behaviourist is a worthwhile investment to come in, observe the dogs at home and test out a few triggers to give you the best practical advice needed to get this under control.
stars of the week
CHASER the six-year-old Collie is comforting his owner who has broken her leg – after the pooch had an almost identical injury two years ago.
Ann Nichol, 53, owner of Crook Log Guest House in Bexleyheath, Kent, stepped awkwardly while walking up a steep hill and snapped her left fibula in a freak injury six weeks ago.
She said: “The weird thing is, Chaser had an almost identical injury to me during the first lockdown.
“He had hip dysplasia and, following a double hip replacement, lost his footing and broke his right rear leg in almost exactly the same place.
“He’s been cheering me up with cuddles, just like I did for him until he was back on his feet.”
WIN £150 DOG TREAT
SUMMER provides so many opportunities for outdoor fun with our four-legged friends.
So we’ve teamed up with PetSafe Brand to give two lucky readers the chance to win an Automatic Ball Launcher – the ultimate game of fetch for dogs – worth £152.99 each.
For a chance to win, send an email headed PETSAFE to sundaypets @the-sun.co.uk by August 21.
CARERS SHOULD BE QUALIFIED
ANIMAL lovers are being warned to make sure they board their pets with qualified carers this summer.
With the massive growth in pet-care services since the pandemic – due to 52 per cent of UK adults now owning an animal – experts have revealed some furry friends are being put at risk due to “unethical” providers.
There is now a legal requirement for pet-sitting businesses operating home-boarding services to have vital pet first aid skills and a license if they are a commercial business.
The Pet Care Franchise Association (PCFA) is campaigning to make sure every pet is in safe hands this summer.
PCFA member Kevin Thackrah, director of pet-care specialists Petpals, said: “Much more needs to be done as it’s too easy for unethical pet-care providers to slip through the net and deliver care that does not meet the correct standards.
“The sad truth is that some pets will suffer this summer due to inappropriate care, and that is heartbreaking.
“We believe that pet ownership is a privilege, not a right.
“When evaluating providers this summer, consider the following: Does the pet business have full insurance to cover all aspects of pet care, a valid DBS check, pet first aid training and valid identification?
“If the pet-care service does not deliver this, please look elsewhere.
“Finally, look at their reviews in detail to ensure that the business delivers a consistent and quality service.”