Great Britain

From pesty poodles to dogs with diabetes — our pet vet answers your queries

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, 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) Janet Shaw, 32, nurse, Peterborough says: My miniature Poodle Henry has been travelling in the car with us since he was a puppy – but has recently become a nightmare.

He has always barked at other dogs while in the car and usually I can stop him with a bag of treats in my hand. Now he whines, cries and howls whenever we put the indicator on or slow down.

He can be asleep on the motorway and, as soon as we indicate to turn off, he’s up and making the most horrendous noise imaginable.

I know this is excitement at where he might be going but my husband can’t stand the noise. I have tried a firm “No”, saying “Sshhhh”, and small treats. What can we do?

Sean says: Are you sure it’s not your driving, Janet? I jest, of course.

Like any behavioural issue, it’s tricky to know exactly what’s going on without observation.

If Henry is bursting with energy every time he goes in the car, it’s more likely to happen.

Wear him out with plenty of exercise or games earlier in the day.

How you react to him is the main driver of him continuing an unwant­ed behaviour. Ignoring the undesirable behaviour and rewarding only calm, quiet behaviour will do the trick long-term. A qualified behaviourist will help if there is no progress.

Q) Helen Windett, 30, secretary, Essex says: I have two French Bulldogs called Dottie and Buster who are two years old, and both constantly lick their paws. Do you have any advice on how to stop it?

Sean says: Frenchies are prone to skin problems and allergies in particular.

Creams, shampoos and tablets can stop the itch but the trick is to find out the underlying cause.

Your vet will help you find out if it’s a food allergy, environmental allergy like pollen, or something they come in contact with at home (dust mites, a new detergent?). Then you can tackle the root cause.

Q) Patricia Bryant, 31, sales assistant says: I though I bought a female Yorkshire Terrier pup in January – but I now think it is a boy.

I saw her with both parents and her brothers and sisters. She is six months old and full of life but last week she started to cock her leg when she goes to wee, and I noticed she appears to have testicles. There is no penis. Do I need to do anything?

Sean says: Perhaps you have a genuine hermaphrodite. But I suspect this may be something far more common.

She may be coming into season for the first time. The hormones could make her cock her leg, and her lady parts to become very swollen and look like two lumps. Only an exam or photo would allow me to tell.

Q) Anonymous says: My 15-year-old Lhasa Apso dog has been diagnosed with diabetes.

I’m retired, on a small pension, so can’t afford the £100 plus a month for insulin. What can I do? Or would it be kinder to let her go?

Sean says: You may be able to get help with medical costs from the PDSA.

Have you talked to your vet about that? I totally understand how hard it is to make decisions like this when finances are tight.

It boils down to her quality of life. Without insulin she will suffer, and at 15 she’s lived a long life. Don’t be hard on yourself if you decide to let her go with dignity now.

Star of the week

WHILE most moggies hate water, Lilly loves swimming, kayaking, even paddleboarding.

Owner Megan McDonald, 39, fell in love with the five-year-old feline and adopted her from Cats Protection when Lilly was nine months old.

Megan, who runs a candle business in Stornoway in the Western Isles of Scotland, says: “We soon discovered Lilly’s favourite thing is walking down to the beach with us.

“She’d watch from the shore but then started getting on the kayak or paddleboard and coming out for a swim.

“She is a great cat and companion.”

A wuff day at work boosts morale

More offices will allow DOGS as staff come back in after lockdown.

After months of working from home, employers are looking at being more flexible to boost staff morale.

A study by pet food company Purina found 81 per cent of people thought dog-friendly offices were happier places to work.

That ranked higher than other perks such as free meals and childcare, cited by one in five staff.

Seventeen per cent of respondents even said they would consider a pay cut if they could work with their four-legged friend.

The Kennel Club found just eight per cent of work-places were dog friendly before lockdown – but hopes that will now change.

Spokeswoman Anna Kralova said: “Having a dog-friendly office is a simple way to help boost productivity, happiness and morale in the workplace.

“We would urge all businesses to consider it as their staff return to work.”

Even the Cats Protection charity’s HQ has four dogs that go in.

Spokeswoman Louise Waters said: “We’re all animal lovers. They make the office feel homely.”

WIN: Pet Mementos

SAYING goodbye to a beloved pet is so hard.

But having something to remember them by is a comfort and we have two memorial planters by to give away, worth £130.

Each has a plaque for your pet’s name, the date you said goodbye and a message.

For a chance to win one, email MEMORIAL to

Read the full T&Cs here.

RSPCA fears huge rise in pets being abandoned as lockdown eases

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