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) THIS is a bit embarrassing but the other night my 16-week-old puppy Jasper had his willy pop out and it wouldn’t go away.
We have two young boys, and thankfully they were in bed because they would have found it hilarious, but possibly a bit scary too.
He was humping a cushion and we took it off him as we weren’t sure what to do for the best. I’m worried about it happening again though. What would you advise?
Alexandra Taylor, Cheshire
A) Oops! Don’t worry, this is a natural part of little boy dogs growing up, I’m afraid. He’s going to learn to hump things, so it might be worth a chat with your sons about why that is.
With neutering later on, these behaviours settle down. As regards his willy popping out, as long as it isn’t stuck out and getting very swollen or causing him pain, it should go back in just fine.
Don’t reward the behaviour with hysterics or excitement either as it could become attention-seeking.
Got a question for Sean?
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Q) MY French bulldog Grace is licking her paws all the time and really goes for it.
I’ve tried changing her diet and even bought iodine to do a foot soak. It must be driving her mad. I would be grateful for any recommendations.
Dawn Alcock, Skegness, Lincs
A) The top three causes of itching like this are fleas, environmental allergies and food allergies. Trying to find out which can be tricky, but in Grace’s case there’s an important clue — she’s licking her feet.
This is a classic sign of an environmental allergy. Could be anything from pollens and mould spores to house dust mites.
Other causes could be pain or irritation to a contact allergen, such as detergents used for washing her bedding. Best get a vet check.
Q) I HAVE two cockapoos, with very different temperaments.
The male is always preening himself and hates getting dirty. The female loves water, mud and rolling in horrid stuff like cowpats and fox poo. Why are they so different?
Clare Holder, Essex
A) Every dog is different, Clare. They’re animals with complex emotions, and although they are the same breed, they will have had different starts in life, different experiences and different genetics.
Nature and nurture play a role, as does simple personal preference. I think I prefer the sound of your stinky hound, she seems more fun!
Q) MY husband has been offered a job in America and it’s an amazing opportunity.
We are preparing to relocate at the beginning of next year, but I’m worried about how my rescue kittens will cope. They are two regular tabby cats and are full of mischief and fun.
Is there anything I can do to prepare them for the change?
Janet Walker, Manchester
A) Not a lot, I’m afraid. If only we could explain to them that the long journey will be worth it in the end. There are some excellent pet export/import companies that can offer fantastic advice.
In the meantime, the one thing that will make a big impact is to get them used to their travel crates in advance.
Make them a fun and pleasant place to play and sleep. Use pheromone sprays and speak to your vet about other calming aids or supplements.
Star of the week
MANY of us talk to animals – but now you can have tea with them.
Gucci and Diamond are therapy animals who are so popular that owners Mary and Graham Walker have opened the Llama Karma Kafe in Penrith, Cumbria, so people can hang out with them.
The couple have kept llamas for 20 years and first came across them while working with kids with special needs. They have their own, which they take for walks on leashes.
Mary said: “Walking with a llama is the on- land equivalent of swimming with dolphins – perfect at a stressful time like this.
“They are so intuitive and caring and aware of any tension, so time with a llama is perfect to calm your nerves and forget about how crazy the world is.”
WIN: Dog treats
GIVE your dog a tasty treat this festive season.
Pet food site naturalinstinct.com is serving up canine Christmas crackers bursting with prize bites such as Mini Beef Sausages and Lamb Lites, plus a suprise toy. We are giving away five bundles of its goodies worth £50 each.
To enter, email with CHRISTMAS CRACKER in the subject line, and giving name and address, to firstname.lastname@example.org. T&Cs apply.
Competition closes on December 12.
Owners’ grave concerns over pets
IN the week the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge told the world their dog Lupo had died, we can reveal that nearly half of pet owners would pay for their animal to have a funeral.
The nationwide survey discovered that 42 per cent would hold a ceremony for a deceased pet and 66 per cent would arrange a formal memorial site, such as a gravestone or a plaque in the garden, or keep their ashes in an urn inside.
The study also revealed that nearly 60 per cent hope to be reconnected with their pets in “the next life”.
The study was carried out by Pets4homes, the UK’s largest online marketplace for rehoming animals, which surveyed 2,700 pet owners.
Results revealed that even non-religious owners are prepared to acknowledge the existence of an animal heaven as a way to make children feel better about losing their pets.
And 79 per cent of pet-owners said they would tell a younger person that their pet had “gone to heaven” in order to soften the news.
More than half (58 per cent) also believe there to be an afterlife for pets, while more than one in ten (12 per cent) believe animals have a separate afterlife to humans.
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