From a cat with a hunting habit to a dog scared of new people – your pet queries answered

From a cat with a hunting habit to a dog scared of new people – your pet queries answered

09/11/2021

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.” If you want him to answer a question for YOU simply email him at [email protected]


Q) MY three-year-old cat Maggie has a lovely temperament, but recently she has started bringing mice home. She has no interest in eating them but wants to play with them, so we keep trying to save the poor things.

Is there any way I can keep her from hunting? She has only started this summer and I have had her since she was a kitten.

Also, sadly our Labrador Charlie doesn’t have long left to live, and she is quite close to him. Do you have any advice on how to look after her when he passes?

She is a very loving cat and when he has been ill in the past she won’t eat properly.

Beth Fisher, Manchester

A) Sorry to hear about Charlie. Maggie will miss him but will learn to adapt quicker than you will, I imagine.

As regards hunting mice, best advice it to put two side-by-side bells on her collar to make it harder for her to stay silent while stalking.

Got a question for Sean?

SEND your queries to [email protected].

Also, keep her in at dawn and dusk, and preferably all night.

These are times when small mammals are most active.

If a mouse has been in a cat’s mouth it’s pretty much doomed if the skin is broken as cats carry harmful bacteria in their mouth.

You could also redirect this hunting behaviour by playing indoor games with fishing rod toys and lasers.

Q) I AM hoping to get a husky as I really love the breed, but friends say that if I want a family dog for me and my two teenage daughters, it’s the wrong choice.

They say huskies need a lot of exercise, shed lots and aren’t the type to cuddle on the sofa. My girls are obsessed with getting one though. What would you advise?

Hannah Plant, Skipton, North Yorks

A) Do you want a husky simply because they are beautiful?

Many fall into this way of thinking. Your teenage daughters may not be at home to look after a dog much longer so the responsibility will be yours before long.

Huskies need insane amounts of exercise and stimulation, at least two hours of physical exercise each day.

They’re very vocal, so the neighbours may get fed up of howling if your husky gets bored. Having worked for a husky rescue charity, I can tell you they are a massive challenge.

Q) I HAVE a 22-month-old Jack Russell called Buddy and when we first got him as a puppy he was friendly to everyone.

He loved children and would roll on his back to have his tummy tickled. When he was about 16 weeks old I was taking him for a walk and a man and little boy were walking towards us.

The boy asked if he could stroke Buddy and he bent down and tickled his tummy.

Just as the boy stood up, for some reason, the man stamped his foot and with a loud voice said, “My turn now”. Buddy hid behind me and shook so I took him away.

Ever since then he has been scared of everything and I mean everything. He is not aggressive but will pull away from anyone who approaches us, including children.

I’m so upset because I wanted him to eventually be a “visiting” dog.

Mandy Burnett, Sittingbourne, Kent

A) Of course he’s going to be anxious around unfamiliar people after that.

But the trick now is to slowly build back up his pleasant experiences of new people.

I would strongly recommend a session in the park with a qualified canine behaviourist to show you how best to approach this.

It will be money and time very well spent for having a happy, well-adjusted and confident little companion in Buddy.

Star of the week

THREE-LEGGED Minty is always around to lend a paw as six-year-old Connor Raven’s therapy cat.

Connor has severe learning difficulties and ataxic cerebral palsy, which affects his physical development.

But whenever he is struggling, Minty is first on the scene, rubbing his face to calm him.

The moggie, who is nine and lost his leg in a car accident, even helped Connor learn to climb the stairs and was voted Cats Protection Cat of the Year for 2021.

Connor’s mum Siobhan Cobb, 31, from Holywell, Flints, says: “Minty would jump one step at a time, stopping to allow Connor to catch up.

It was amazing to watch. He is his best friend.”

WIN: Anxiety aids

IF your dog gets stressed around others, yellow accessories with “Keep Away” and “Anxious” give them space.

We are giving away three £90 sets – each featuring a lead, harness, fleece and dog raincoat – from My Anxious Dog (myanxiousdog.co.uk).

Send an email marked YELLOWDOG, with your size and that of your dog, to [email protected] co.uk by September 24.

T&Cs apply.

Does that invite include my dog?

NEARLY half of dog owners say they would turn down plans to meet up with friends or family if their pooch wasn’t invited.

A poll for Paws & Claws found 47 per cent of pet owners were willing to cry off, while 55 per cent spend more time in dog-friendly pubs, cafes and restaurants.

And 53 per cent spend more money when their pet is with them.

Our research was carried out by the Kennel Club as part of its Open For Dogs Campaign which encourages the hospitality industry to welcome mutts.

Spokesman Bill Lambert said: “Welcoming our four-legged friends can help to bring a much-needed economic boost to businesses that might be struggling post-lockdown.

“We want to help businesses improve their dog-friendly credentials, reap the benefits and appeal to a potential new market of millions.”

Out of 2,001 people surveyed, 61 per cent said having dogs around made for a friendly atmosphere, and 63 per cent said petting a dog was relaxing.

Our four-legged pals are also great conversation starters, according to 62 per cent of people.

And even 42 per cent of those surveyed who didn’t own dogs said they would choose a venue where they could hang out with the pets.

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