From cats with sneezing problems to an aggressive dog— your pet queries answered

HE is on a mission to help our pets. . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.

Sean, chief veterinarian at, a bespoke pet food company, has been helping with owner questions for ten years. He says, “If your pet is acting weird, is bad, or you want to know something about diet or exercise, just ask. I can help keep pets happy and healthy. “


My cat had long sneezing attacks throughout the dayCredit: Alamy
Veterinarian Sean McCormack answers your questions


Veterinarian Sean McCormack answers your questionsPhoto credit: Doug Seeburg – The Sun

Q) I have a neutered male named Ginger Puss who has been with me for about six years me.

He has never had health problems before, but for the past two months he has had long sneezing fits throughout the day.

You don’t seem to bother him

He has no discharge anywhere and has a very good appetite

He also appears happy and healthy. How can I help him?

John Lawn – Newport, South Wales

A) That sudden, persistent sneeze in a previously healthy cat makes me think of something mechanical – perhaps growth, a blockage, or a foreign body lodged in the back of the throat or nasal cavities.

When we investigate these cases, blades of grass or seeds are often found, as well as benign, harmless growths called polyps.

Since there is no discharge and ginger puss appears healthy in itself, it is less likely to be an infection.

An allergy is also less likely, but cannot be ruled out. It’s time to see the vet, I think.

Do you have a question for Sean?

SEND your inquiries to

Q) WE have a seven month old Cockapoo named Rolo who is constantly digging up the flowers and the fence around the garden beds.

Can you please tell us what we can do to stop this from happening.

We had to put nets around the beds to stop him.

Garry Whitaker – Bexleyheath, Ken

A) Nets around flower beds sounds like a great interim solution.

Digging is just natural behavior in puppies and dogs.

First correct Rolo with a resounding “no” when he starts.

Don’t leave him unattended in the garden because the more he does it and enjoys it, the more that behavior becomes desirable and ingrained.

And above all: Provide them with a defined area in which they can dig and encourage them, such as a sandpit.

Offer him tons of reward-based training to dig up his toys and perform this fun behavior in the right place. Sorted! offers customized pet food offers customized pet food supplements

F) OUR Golden Retriever Lola has just turned two years old and has always been the gentlest of all dogs.

But recently she’s been snarling, barking and snapping at other dogs on a leash.

She was attacked by a collie last year and attacked by two small dogs, also on a leash. Could it be related?

What can I do so she doesn’t react like she’s a bad dog when we walk on a leash?

Debbie Finney – employee

Sean helps a golden retriever that was attacked last year


Sean helps a golden retriever that was attacked last yearCredit: Alamy

A) These incidents are absolutely why she is so reactive on a leash.

Basically, she feels concerned or insecure that another dog will attack her again, and has nowhere to go on a leash and feels trapped

So she barks or growls to tell dogs, “Back off – don’t come any closer.” And it works most of the time, so it becomes an ingrained behavior.

It’s a common problem and there is plenty of excellent advice online about lead reactivity and how to improve it.

Stop by and consider a session with a qualified animal behavior therapist.

Identifying the problem and solving it will be done through direct observation of Lola and also through your reaction when it happens.

Star of the week

SALUKI Wizard almost died on the street, but after he was adopted he helped his new owners deal with the lockdown.

Blue Cross picked the two-year-old after a dog handler found him on the streets of Swindon in February.

Saluki Wizard almost died on the street, but after he was adopted, he helped his new owners deal with the lockdown


Saluki Wizard almost died on the street, but after he was adopted, he helped his new owners deal with the lockdownImage Credit: BLUE CROSS

Vanessa Margrave from Blue Cross says: “Since Wizard was a stray, we had no history for him. He was underweight and almost bald in several places. “

After some care, he was quickly placed with Claire Meadows and her husband Keith, whose beloved spaniel Susie had just died.

Claire, 39, says: “He wears smart bandanas that emphasize how good he looks. We love it down to the smallest detail. He’s a great company. “

Win: Canine DNA Test

WHAT makes your puppy unique?

Wisdom Panel ( is giving away two DNA swab test kits designed by geneticists to help you learn more about your pet’s health and history – including genetic disorders related to drug sensitivity, eyesight, weight, and mobility.

Wisdom Panel is giving away two test kits for DNA swabs,


Wisdom Panel is giving away two test kits for DNA swabs,Photo credit: WISDOM PANEL

Learn about their ideal weight range and trace their ancestors to their great grandparents.

To enter, send an email to and include WISDOMPANEL in the subject. The closing date for entries is July 5th. The terms and conditions apply.

Training boom when puppies move out

Pet product sales and training classes are booming after millions of us made new four-legged friends in the pandemic.

There are now 17 million households in the UK with pets – more than three million more.

Lizzie Benge says:


Says Lizzie Benge, “We’ve seen a huge surge in demand for our events and our puppy classes are selling out soon after they went online.”Credit: LEADING PAWS

Lizzie Benge of Leading Paws in Maidstone, Kent says, “Demand for our events has grown tremendously and our puppy classes are selling out soon after they went online.

“We also get a lot of requests for training juvenile puppies who may have forgotten skills during lockdown. We went online during lockdown, but nothing can match the real world with all of its distractions to train puppies. “

This April, three times as many animal lovers booked animal events on the ticketing / event platform Eventbrite as in April 2020.


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These included dog training and play and socialization sessions for young puppies, dog walks, pet-keeping workshops for young people, first aid courses for dogs, and courses on caring for small pets.

Sebastian Boppert of the company adds, “We have hosted online events for pets, but now people are booking outdoor events to meet in person.

“This is good for the welfare of the animals and the mental health of the owners.”

Holly Willoughby loves to cuddle her cat early in the morning

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