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) MY one-year-old cross breed rescue dog Scooby chases his own tail when he gets overexcited.
I worry that it isn’t good for him — even I’m dizzy watching him spinning around. Should I be concerned?
EMMA GREEN, Truro, Cornwall
Sean says: Not really, unless it’s becoming a constant habit and he can’t be stopped.
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Generally dogs chase their tails because it’s fun and they’re just goofing around.
But sometimes it can become a compulsion, maybe to relieve boredom or release feel-good chemicals. If that’s the case it can become a difficult habit to break.
I would try to encourage Scooby to play other games and make sure he’s well exercised as well as provided with lots of mental stimulation through training and problem solving.
An occasional tail chasing session isn’t really a big issue if you’re confident he’s getting enough stimulation in other ways too.
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Q) MY cat Bob wants to sleep on my bed at night.
I’ve also got a Labrador Bella, who isn’t allowed, but Bob creeps up when I’m asleep.
I want to be fair to them both. What do you suggest?
MARIA BLACK, Edinburgh
Sean says: You can have different rules for dogs and cats in the same household.
Dogs do well on consistency, routine and knowing the rules. I wouldn’t read too much into it.
Anyway, cats rule the roost. We are their servants, the sooner you and Bella make peace with that fact the better.
Q) I HAVE a seven-year-old rescue dog Patch, who is a Jack Russell cross West Highland Terrier.
How much should I be feeding him? I take him for a long walk in the morning about 8am and on his return he has a chicken twist chew.
We then go out again at 3pm and on his return he has another chew.
He has his main meal at 4.30pm of 200g wet food with four or five biscuits. He is usually 10.8kg — but he has put on 2kg.
I give him treats when out walking. Also, I’m guilty of giving him a little treat sometimes of what I’m eating.
Am I feeding him too much?
JEAN GREENHALL, Kingswinford, West Mids
Sean says: You’ve given me lots of information there but one vital piece of the puzzle is missing.
What food you are feeding him, and how many calories it contains.
Different brands and types of food will contain different calorie amounts. So 200g of one wet food might be the equivalent of 300g of another.
At tails.com we calculate your dog’s requirements on an individual basis taking into account their lifestyle factors, weight, body condition and other foods to give you a calorie recommendation, feeding plan and perfect portion scoop so they can maintain a healthy weight.
Another tip is to learn to body condition score Patch (evaluate fat at key parts of the body), which will allow you to judge if what you’re currently feeding is too little, too much, or just right. There’s a video on our tails.com YouTube channel showing how.
Q) MY ferret Edward lost his best ferret friend Eddie recently.
He seems to sigh a lot since and is quiet. Is he sad and what can I do about it? Should I get him another to keep him company?
JOHN PEMBROKE, Lincoln
Sean says: Yes, ferrets are sociable creatures for the most part, and although there can be some issues introducing new ones to an established ferret group or individual pet it’s certainly worthwhile.
As you know from having Edward and Eddie together, they love to play and snuggle up together.
So I’m not surprised Edward is feeling a bit forlorn. A good ferret rescue will help you find a match for him that he gets along with.
Got a question for Sean?
SEND your queries to [email protected]
Star of the week
CLAUS is showering his new owners with love – after he was found starving to death and covered in wounds in a cardboard box.
After being discovered by a walker on Christmas Eve he was taken to Birmingham Dogs Home.
Yet despite the abuse he suffered, he’s bursting with affection for new owner Fiona Law, 34, from Willenhall.
She said: “Despite everything he has been through, he has shown nothing but extreme affection and kindness.
“You can’t buy happiness but you can certainly rescue it.”
A Birmingham Dogs Home spokesman added: “Helping dogs like Claus, when they are most in need, is why we’re so proud of the work we do.”
Pets grieve lost pals just like us
NEW research has found that cats and dogs mourn like we do when they lose a companion.
A study found nearly 90 per cent of pooches that experienced the death of a canine pal in the same house showed signs of grief, were less playful, more fearful, ate less and sought more attention.
Another revealed 65 percent of cats typically exhibit four or more behavioural changes after a loss.
Charity The Blue Cross said cats show signs including loss of appetite, crying, needing extra attention and “a generally sad demeanour”.
Mars Petcare’s Pet Behaviourist Dr Tammie King has the following five tips:
- Try to control your own emotions. Your pet is sensitive to your feelings and your grief may add to his distress.
- In households with two pets, the sole survivor may be lonely, but you should avoid immediately getting another pet. Adjust to the new normal first.
- Spend quality time with your pet.
- Find a new challenge that will distract your pet from their sadness and teach them something at the same time. Regularly scheduled meal times, exercise, play and bedtime will help your pet feel secure.
- If your pet doesn’t eat for several days, call your vet.
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