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) WE have two dogs, Flo and Winnie, nine and seven, who have got on for years – but now can’t bear to be in the same room as each other.
They growl and fall out.
They are still fine on walks together though.
At home it is starting to become hard work having to keep them separated.
Have you any ideas on how we can get them to be friends again?
Flo is a springer spaniel and Winnie a sprocker. It has been going on for about six months.
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There isn’t a major trigger. They can be fine then will stare at each other and it all kicks off.
Tracey Walton, Nottingham
Sean says: People often find it surprising that the most common scenario in which two dogs in a household show aggression to each other is with two older females.
Sometimes this can be resolved if the reason for underlying friction can be worked out.
Other times it is status related and difficult to nip in the bud.
My best advice is to invest in a qualified animal behaviourist to come and observe them to see exactly what’s happening and advise how to help.
Q) MY dog Sonny has started to want to go out during the night, which he never used to do before.
Is this something such as diabetes that I need to be concerned about and check out?
He is a seven-year-old long-haired Chihuahua.
Richard, Jarrow, Tyne & Wear
Sean says: You don’t say if Sonny is asking to go out to wee or poo. I presume he’s weeing more.
Is he weeing more through the day as well?
Have you noticed any change in his thirst? Is he drinking more?
This can certainly be a sign of diabetes, a few other hormonal diseases and even kidney problems.
But in a seven-year-old Chihuahua, diabetes would be a suspicion.
If you can catch a urine sample on a flat tray next time he cocks his leg, pour it into a clean container and ask your vet to check it as well as give him a full health check.
They’ll be super impressed with your skills. Best of luck.
Q) MY one-year-old cockapoo Lilly has become really clingy since I’ve gone back to work.
She has a dog walker who takes her out each day and she’s left for two hours either side.
But at night she cries and I’ve been letting her in my bed.
Am I making a rod for my own back or is it right to comfort her?
We had crate-trained her but that has gone out of the window.
Adam Cox, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear
Got a question for Sean?
SEND your queries to [email protected].
Sean says: This depends what you want, Adam.
You are creating a rod for your own back really by rewarding her attention-seeking behaviour and letting her in your bed when she cries.
You can’t train a dog not to be anxious, it’s an emotional response, but you can train them to gain confidence and be content once again in a crate.
Some people think of crates as a cage or punishment.
That’s putting human sentiment on things.
I say they are a dog’s own bedroom and should be used as a positive or neutral space for your dog to sleep and chill out.
So it’s up to you whether to start back at basic crate training or enjoy your furry bed-mate.
Star of the week
PET cherry barb fish Mr Fish can perform tricks just like a dog.
He lives in Aspatria, Cumbria, with Marianne Anderson, 37, who rehomed him a year ago so is unsure of his age.
Marianne, a dog behaviourist, said: “He goes through a hoop and a tunnel in his tank.
“He can follow a lure, which is where you put a treat in your hand and they follow it, and he can go through weaving poles, just like dogs do at agility.
“It’s all been learned through positive reinforcement, where you give treats and praise when he follows a command.
“It’s amazing to have been able to train Mr Fish like I do with my dogs, and he’s a very special fish.”
Win: Dog hamper
MAKE sure your dog starts 2022 smelling their best with a pamper set from Poochiful.
We have eight gift boxes, worth £32 each, to give away.
Each is filled with cruelty-free, vegan-friendly and pH-balanced goodies.
Sets include Itchy and Scratchy and Mucky Pup shampoo plus two coat sprays to use between washes called Dog Pawfume and Furfresh.
Learn more at poochiful.co.uk.
To enter, send an email with POOCHIFUL as the subject to [email protected] co.uk by January 16. T&Cs apply.
Forget parkrun, try bark run
GETTING fit is this year’s top resolution – and our dogs could be the pawsonal trainers that make it happen.
Activities CaniCross, where you run while attached to your pet, Bikejoring, where you ride your bike with your pooch, and joint open water swimming are growing in popularity.
Emily Thomas runs K9TrailTime.com, selling kit for active dogs and their owners, and holds a yearly triathlon event.
She said: “Since the first lockdown, sales of our CaniCross starter kits have increased by 52 per cent each year.
“I’ve also seen a rise in CaniCross coaches who train dog owners to safely run with their dogs.
“Bikejor, scootering and open water swimming are more popular, too.
“We had 145 dogs take part in the Tri Dog event in 2021. People love finding new things.”
For a more sedate activity, there’s Wag and Tone low-impact aerobics with step-ups, stretches and balancing exercises.
You could also try Canine Hoopers, where owner and dog navigate a course of hoops, barrels and tunnels.
Emily added: “Whatever activity you try, make sure it suits your dog’s age, breed and activity levels.”
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