From a scared cat to a hungry hamster
Its mission is to help our pets. . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.
Sean, who is the chief veterinarian of a bespoke pet food company queues.com, has been responding to owners’ requests for ten years.
Q) For a week now, my cat Ned has been hiding under the bed.
He seems petrified by our two-year-old daughter, who keeps taking him by the neck, thinking he’s Simba from The Lion King.
Should I be worried that he might injure himself by being picked up by the neck?
I don’t know if he’s down there because he’s been hurt or he’s scared of our daughter.
Ned is three years old and generally quite sociable.
Paula Elphick, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria
A) I don’t think I need a vet’s degree to tell, but yes sure he could hurt his neck.
This is a really important time – teaching children to be gentle and kind to Ned and the other animals is crucial.
If you are concerned that he is in pain or moving strangely, I would recommend a visit to the vet.
It’s also important to say that Ned might pick on and hurt your daughter the next time around, which wouldn’t be her fault.
Q) MY insurance costs a fortune.
My Pet Emporium provider said that I can switch from a gold membership to a silver membership which means that I will only be covered for a certain amount in any given month.
What could be the maximum fees for an average dog?
I’m scared if I go down a level I might not be covered.
My dog is an adorable Boxer named Humphrey. He’s two years old and barely went to the vet.
Toby Wiley, Boston, Lincs
It’s a crystal ball. I can’t give you a number.
Some dogs will go their entire lives without a big vet bill, while others are prone to accidents or get sick.
Boxers are prone to a few health issues as a breed. You may get a better level of coverage and better value for money with another insurer.
Some people choose to have a pet savings account and pay the amount they would have paid to an insurer each month.
Lifetime coverage is better than per year or per health coverage but will be more expensive.
Have a question for Sean?
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Q) I love to run and recently had a Cocker Spaniel puppy, Charlie.
He has so much energy and is 16 weeks old.
I would love to take her for a run with me. How old must he be for that
Anna Cooper, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear
A) He’s not quite ready to run just yet, as his bones and joints are still developing and too much high-impact exercise could cause problems.
When to run with him is not an exact science and is the subject of a lot of debate.
Some say that a puppy’s exercise is only for as many minutes as it does in weeks of age.
So for Charlie, you might be able to do three or four 16-minute low-intensity workouts a day, like walking and playing.
Avoid hitting sidewalks and pathways with him until he is fully grown and his skeletal development is complete.
For Cockers, it’s 15 to 18 months, when you can start to run gradually.
Q) OUR Scampi hamster ate the pictures of trees and woodlands that we put around his cage to give him a view.
Should I be worried about how this will affect it?
Bella Thomas, Norwich
A) I guess Scampi is still alive at the time of writing. If so, there is no need to worry.
But better to prevent him from eating stuff like that in the future.
Rodents have an insatiable urge to chew and are very fond of paper or wood.
The ink in the colored paper can be harmful and if they eat too much of the fibrous material there is a risk of jamming.
Provide them with wooden blocks and toys that are safe for hamsters to gnaw on.
Star of the week
WIDGET the Labrador likes to do his part for the environment by collecting litter during walks.
The four-year-old lives with Sarah Wolf in Frome, Somerset, and carries trash in her mouth to the nearest trash can.
Proud Sarah, 47, media manager, said: “We realized his trash-picking skills when he jumped into a river and swam carrying a can of beer.
“He will rush to look for plastic bottles, old cans or other garbage that he can pick up.
“Widget is particularly effective for fishing them in rivers and lakes. Then he receives a dog biscuit as a reward. The elderly call him a Womble after the TV show.
“We were even told to contact Blue Peter to see if they would give him a Climate Hero badge.”
WINNER: Cotton dog drying coat
Does your dog like a dip? Keep them warm after a swim or bath with a cozy drying coat from Ruff & Tumble.
We’ve got five limited edition double-layered cotton terry drying coats up for grabs, worth £ 50 each.
Go to ruffandtumble dogcoats.com to find out what size they need, then email DRYINGCOAT at sundaypets @ the-sun. co.uk
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November 5 puts hedgehogs in danger
NATURE lovers want us to postpone the construction of bonfires until November 5th to protect the hedgehogs.
The second lockdown last year halted the bonfires, but the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) fears many will suffer when celebrations resume next month.
Bonfires make inviting nests for hedgehogs, putting them at risk of injury or death when ignited.
Fay Vass of BHPS said: “A bonfire pile looks like a 5-hour hotel for a hedgehog, looking for a safe and comfortable winter home to hibernate.
“They don’t have to know that we are planning to shed some light on it.
“We ask that the bonfires not be lit until the day they are going to be lit.
“If the material is stored ahead of time in open ground, take it apart and move it to another location just before the lighting.
“Make sure the ground is completely clear – never on a pile of leaves, as there might be a hedgehog underneath. “
Gently check your bonfire with a torch, not a shovel or fork.
If you find a hedgehog, use gardening gloves to pick it up, along with part of its “nest”, and place it in a high-sided cardboard box with newspaper or a towel inside until that it is possible to release it safely. See britishhedgehogs.org.uk.