HE is on a mission to help our pets. . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.
Sean, Senior Vet at tails.com, a custom pet food company, has been helping owners with questions for the past ten years. He says: “If your pet is acting weird or is feeling down, or you want to know about nutrition or exercise, just ask. I can help keep pets happy and healthy.”
Q) MY Hamster Diddles likes to sleep on his back with his legs up sometimes.
A few times I thought he was dead. He’s perfectly happy. Is that a little weird?
Rose Scott, Burnley
Sean says: Sounds like a personality trait that makes diddles diddles.
Nothing to worry about.
Perhaps he finds this position comfortable.
When my brother and I were little, we once found our hamster stiff as a board curled up in its nest.
My brother was about to bury him when I noticed he was breathing, very slowly.
Turns out he froze because the room he was in was freezing cold when the heating was off. Just announced!.
Q) I am considering cataract surgery for my dog.
Maximus is a nine-year-old Siberian Husky who is losing his eyesight due to cataracts.
But do you think it’s too much of an ordeal to put him through surgery?
Jamie West, Hexham, Northumberland
Sean says: No I haven’t, especially a nine year old husky dog who may have many years left.
And it’s better to see than not.
Of course, the operation requires general anesthesia, which is not without risk, and very special skills and equipment, so of course it is also an expensive procedure.
Hopefully you have pet insurance that covers this.
I always say age is not a disease and we assess each dog individually when preparing them for surgery.
Q) EVERY morning at 4:15 sharp my two year old ragdoll cat Teddy wakes me up and cries for me to go out.
He has a litter box upstairs and downstairs but will not use it.
I’m not sure if it’s the toilet he needs or if he just wants to get out.
He sleeps during the day and goes out around 5pm and usually gets home around 9pm.
He is a great Mauser who always brings her home. Any ideas?
Jackie Olkowicz, Walford
Sean says: This may sound obvious, but have you ever thought about a cat flap?
Most people solve this problem by allowing their cat to come and go as they please.
Whether you’re going to a ‘catio’, an enclosure in your backyard that will keep you and wildlife safe, or allow them to roam freely.
You can get cat flaps that only let your cat in by reading a device on their collar or even their microchip.
Also, let’s not forget that cats like to remind us that we’re their employees, so it might be just that.
You could also try a new routine of leaving him at home at night to save local wildlife.
Q) I HAVE a 10 month old German Shepherd who eats his poo.
I’ve tried everything, ignoring her, telling her to stop, but nothing works.
Xyanthra is otherwise perfectly healthy, apart from being very greedy.
She is never left alone. Any advice would help.
Caroline Forrest, Stoke on Trent
Sean says: Eating feces (or coprophagy, to call it technical jargon) is a normal behavior for dogs.
They have been feeding on our garbage dumps during domestication, and that included our toilet or latrine places.
They also learn it from their mother when she cleans up by eating the puppies’ droppings in the den when they are young to keep it clean.
Some dogs stick with this habit well into old age, seeing feces as a valuable food source.
There are several approaches to counteract this. Try not to pretend you’re in competition to get Xyanthra’s droppings.
Work on distracting her with quality treats, and as a last resort, try lacering up poop with something like Tabasco or pet-safe bitters spray before she has a chance to get at it so she forms negative associations with it.
star of the week
GOZO Maltese helped his owner recover from a stroke and is now leading a campaign celebrating how pets have improved their owners’ mental health.
The charity Pets As Therapy (PAT) and North Devon Hospice have teamed up to invite people to share their stories and help others.
Paul Jewels, 76, from Braunton, Devon, got Gozo after suffering a stroke after being encouraged by his grandchildren.
Gozo became a PAT dog and the duo have won a Volunteer Queens Award for their visits to North Devon Hospice.
Paul said: “Gozo has an amazing ability to make people smile.”
WIN: SHARK PET VACUUM
WE have teamed up with Shark to offer one lucky reader a £279.99 cordless pet vacuum.
Suitable for both carpet and hard floors, its anti-hair wrap technology and pet tool means it can tackle any puppy or cat hair, leaving your home lint-free.
To enter, send an email to with subject SHARK Sunday [email protected] until June 26th.
Learn more at sharkclean.co.uk. The terms and conditions apply.
OWNERS’ BIGGEST QUESTIONS
PET owners‘ most pressing poses have been revealed in an internet poll.
Some of the most searched questions online include, “Does my pet like me?”, “Why is my dog breaking so much wind?” and even, “Do cats have nine lives?”
Animal health is sought by 59 percent and diet/nutrition by 44 percent, while 39 percent want help with unusual behavior.
Barking and obesity in dogs are top concerns for dog owners, while cat owners are looking for tips on upset stomachs and the blood disease feline pancytopenia.
Jo Hemmings, cat owner and behavioral psychologist, said: “No matter what pet you have – from a terrier to a tarantula – you want the best for it.
“Pets are at the heart of family life, so only natural people want to be educated on how to be the best owners possible.
Readly’s Chris Crouchman added: “There are no stupid questions when it comes to your pet.
“Our research shows that other pet owners have also been searching for the same problem (as you).”