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) OUR cat, Milo, has started waking up members of the family as much as four times a night – just to watch him eat.
Any advice on how to break this cycle and to the reasoning behind his behaviour would be appreciated.
Milo started this behaviour around March this year.
We moved house last October so I don’t think it was in relation to that.
It is mainly at night. He demands attention to follow him to his food trays then happily eats and purrs.
Helen Brown, Kirkcaldy, Fife
A) Close the bedroom doors and try to ignore any scratching or mewing to wake you up.
Use ear plugs if you need them. Harsh but fair, I think.
This is probably the only way to break the cycle. Sorry Milo, you little eating exhibitionist weirdo.
Got a question for Sean?
SEND your queries to [email protected].
Q) WE have had six or seven cats over the past 20 years that have ”found” us, having been strays.
We recently took one in after the owners could no longer look after her and we think she has not been looked after very well.
Honey is about seven years old, which is the same as our male Garfy.
The problem is she always hisses at him even though he just wants to make friends. Will this stop in time?
Karl Ward, Leeds
A) Hopefully, but there are no guarantees.
Cats sometimes learn to love each other, and sometimes hate each other’s guts for ever.
Try using Feliway around the home. It promotes calm interactions and can help with stress.
As long as Garfy is not getting stressed out I think it’s worth giving it some time and seeing if Honey settles in and learns to like him.
Q) I HAVE got two Bichon Frise dogs. One is three years old and the other is six months.
The three-year-old sometimes urinates in the house and I’m finding it hard to train the pup.
Can you give any advice?
Kenny McAlpine, Falkirk
A) Sounds obvious but it’s remarkable how many people forget this. Take them out more!
They are less likely to urinate in the house with empty bladders.
The smell of urine is then the issue.
Think how sensitive a dog’s sense of smell is compared to ours. Even a hint of urine on flooring or carpets is like a flashing sign saying “Pee here”.
So invest in some serious carpet cleaner and pet deodoriser.
Also work on a toileting command and plenty of reward-based training for weeing outdoors.
Q) MY two-year-old cat Nala has recently started scratching the carpet by doorways, and is ruining it.
She has an auto-immune disease and is on Metacam (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug).
Could the two be connected?
Ally Pepworth, New Forest, Hants
A) I wouldn’t think so. She’s just a cat doing cat things.
Does she have a scratching post?
If not, it would be a very good idea to give her one. Even better, give her two, or three.
Pepper your entire home with cat scratching posts and your carpet will be less likely to bear the brunt.
I’m semi-joking of course, but cat toys, hideouts, scratching posts and any ways you can think to keep Nala stimulated and able to express her natural cat behaviour indoors are all great ways to ensure she’s not destructive.
Star of the week
RESCUE dog Kratu is helping other animals in need as the star of a Christmas card range.
Kratu lives in Cambridgeshire with owner Tess Eagle Swan, an author, and has gone viral at Crufts over the past three years due to his antics during the rescue dog agility trial.
He rose to fame with his total disregard for the obstacle course.
Now the seven-year-old Romanian Shepherd is helping to raise money for Wetnose Animal Aid with Christmas cards of him by artist Jo Scott.
Tess, 56, who rescued Kratu six years ago, said: “He is a therapy dog and my assistance dog as I’m autistic.
“Kratu is my world, my support, best friend, soul mate and he changed my life.
“The best thing I ever did was to rescue him. I hope he can help others.”
WIN: Toy hamper
A DOG can never have too many toys – and we have five fabulous deluxe hampers of them to give away.
Each treat box – worth £50 and from pet brand Webbox (webbox.co.uk) – is packed with squeaky toys, balls and tug toys.
Get your pup’s tail wagging with puzzles, a honking pig and even a newspaper squeaker.
For a chance to win, send an email marked WEBBOX to [email protected]
- T&Cs apply. Competition closes November 29.
Big boost for pet foster home
A CHARITY giving a lifeline to pets owned by people suffering from domestic abuse has been boosted by a £4,500 windfall.
Refuge4Pets won the grant from tailored dog food company tails.com.
The charity was founded in 2017 by Mary Wakeham, who had worked supporting families affected by violence.
She learned that having a pet was often a barrier to people leaving abusive partners, so she set up a foster scheme where they could hand over their animals knowing they would be cared for.
Now Mary and a team of volunteers care for 100 animals a year while their owners spend time in refuges.
She said: “Often the pet is abused. They can be kicked, beaten, even killed.
“But people stay because they are scared they will have to give them up.
“Many hostels don’t accept pets, and we want to get the message out there that people don’t have to chose between staying or being parted from their pet.”
Mary was awarded £4,500 from the Tails Community Fund (tails.com/gb/communityfund) set up to support rescues and charities struggling due to lockdown.
She said: “We struggle with costs, as often animals need vet treatment. We’ll be able to buy simple things such as beds to make foster stays as comfortable as possible.”
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