HE is on a mission to help our pets. . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.
Sean, chief veterinarian at tails.com, a bespoke pet food company, has been helping with owner questions for ten years.
Sean helps a reader whose cat Pickles is hunting micePhoto credit: Getty
Sean McCormack wants to help keep pets happy and healthyPhoto credit: Doug Seeburg – The Sun
Q) I have a compost bin to be greener, but it attracts mice and my cat Pickles keeps trying to get in.
I can’t stand the thought of pickles killing mice.
Is there anything I can do to prevent it from entering or to protect it?
It doesn’t seem fair to keep the cat out of its own yard.
Yvonne Hart, Norfolk
A) I’m an allotment garden owner so composting gets my thumbs up.
As long as you don’t throw cooked food waste in the compost bin, it shouldn’t generally attract rodents. Vegetable peels and leftovers are fine.
If your compost bin is on bare ground, you can place it on a fine wire mesh.
This should deter all but the most determined rodents.
Finally, a great way to decrease their hunting efficiency is by placing two bells side by side on the collar of pickles.
Cats can learn to stalk silently with one bell, but it’s more difficult with two.
Q) SASHA, the older of my two cats, has not been doing very well for the past few months.
We know the time will come when we have to say goodbye.
Our other cat, Sammy, is three and loves her big sister.
I know she will be so sad when Sasha leaves. Do you have any advice
Amy Kemp, Runcorn, Cheshire
A) This is a sad situation, but one that most pet owners have to go through.
Sammy will first wonder where Sasha went and is in mourning.
But pets recover from grief much faster than we do.
All you can do is allow her to spend time with Sasha now, and maybe when the time comes, allow her to examine Sasha’s empty stretcher and bedding after she’s gone.
There will be an adjustment phase for all of you, but Sammy will get through.
If she’s very gregarious, in time you can save another cat to keep her company.
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Q) MY eight year old Bichon Frize is losing the fur on his back and neck.
Are there any products that could help?
He’s a scared little dog and I wonder if that could be the cause.
He doesn’t really enjoy walking and is happiest at home.
Jean Kelly, via email
A) This is a minefield! So many things can cause hair loss.
There is no magic potion to cure anything to do with skin and hair.
There’s not much I can advise without a thorough investigation and detailed discussion of its history – how long it lasts, whether it’s seasonal, whether it has changed its diet or personal hygiene.
It could be an infection, a parasite, a hormonal disorder, a food allergy – the list goes on.
A visit to the vet is necessary to get to the bottom of the problem.
Q) MY dog is very funny that I use my phone and computer.
He tries to take my cell phone out of my hand and when I have the laptop on in the living room he pouts.
What about him?
John Rawlins, Stretford, Manchester
A) He sounds like a very needy ex of mine! (To kid.)
It is most likely attention-grabbing behavior, and many of us who have worked from home in the past 18 months have noticed such changes in our pets, especially at certain times when we know a walk or meal is approaching.
But your reaction might also fuel these behaviors if he notices that doing these behaviors, for example, is getting him more attention.
It’s best to ignore them and make sure you take breaks to interact with him and play all day so he doesn’t get bored.
Hopefully that means less pouting.
Star of the week
CLEVER Ruby is only ten months old, but has already mastered paddling.
The Springer Spaniel loves to go on the water with owner Martin Sharp, a health and fitness trainer from York.
Ruby is only ten months old, but has already mastered paddling
Martin, 45, lives with his wife Sarah, 44, a finance assistant, and daughter Hannah, 14, whose own paddleboarding inspired Ruby to jump on board.
Martin says, “Ruby loves it. She has been on river voyages in York, sea voyages in Cumbria, on the sea in Scarborough, and on the water in Scotland.
“Dogs are great companions in paddling – they don’t complain about the rain, argue about where to go, or mumble if you get it wrong.
“Because of their low center of gravity, they don’t tip over so easily.”
Win: Catipilla cat climber
Does your cat have a sense of adventure?
We have two Catipilla Pro cat climbers – each worth £ 129 – up for grabs.
They are 1.8 meters high and can be wall mounted in your home or outdoors.
Choose between a black frame with a light brown carpet or all in gray.
To participate, send an email marked CLIMBER to sundaypets @ the-sun. co.uk with your choice of color.
- The terms and conditions apply. Participation until November 21.
Military dogs are honored
BRAVE animals, which saved thousands of lives in the war, are to be honored with a tribute for service dogs.
The National Military Working Dogs Memorial will celebrate the animals our troops have supported and it will be the first of its kind in the UK.
The National Military Working Dogs Memorial celebrates the animals our troops have supported and will be the first of its kind in the UKPhoto credit: Corporal Scott Robertson
Some have sniffed bombs, weapons and IEDs; others have worked in the fight against terrorism.
An RAF Springer Spaniel, Buster, looking for weapons and explosives, is believed to have saved 1,000 lives in war zones around the world, including Bosnia and Iraq.
John Ward, founder of the UK charity National Military Working Dogs Memorial, hopes animal lovers will stand behind his mission.
So far, £ 80,000 of the £ 150,000 cost has been raised and John is hoping construction will begin next year.
He said, “Every penny goes to the fund. We hope that we will start construction in the spring and be ready by August. “
It will be held in Holywell Pet Cemetery in North Wales and people will have the opportunity to sponsor bricks that surround them in memory of their own dogs.
To learn more, visit nmwdm.org.uk or donate at justgiving.com/militaryworkingdogmemorial.