From clingy dog to growling and falling dogs – your animal questions answered
Its mission is to help our pets. . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.
Sean, who is the chief veterinarian of tails.com, a custom-made pet food company, has been answering owners’ questions for a decade. He says, “If your pet is acting fun or is in the bad weather, or if you want to learn more about nutrition or exercise, just ask. I can help keep pets healthy and happy.
Q) WE have two dogs, Flo and Winnie, nine and seven, who have gotten along for years, but can’t stand being in the same room anymore.
They growl and fall.
They are always great on walks together.
At home, it starts to become a difficult job having to keep them apart.
Do you have any ideas on how we can make them become friends again?
Flo is a Springer Spaniel and Winnie is a Sprocker. This has been going on for about six months.
There is no major trigger. They can be fine, then will look at each other and it all kicks off.
Tracey Walton, Nottingham
Sean says: People often find it surprising that the most common scenario where two dogs in a household are aggressive towards each other is with two older females.
Sometimes this can be fixed if the reason for the underlying friction can be determined.
Other times it’s status related and hard to nip in the bud.
My best advice is to invest in a trained animal behaviorist to come and observe them to see exactly what’s going on and advise how to help them.
Q) MY dog Sonny started to want to go out at night, which he never did before.
Is this something like diabetes that I need to worry about and check out?
He is a seven year old long haired Chihuahua.
Richard, Jarrow, Tyne & Wear
Sean says: You’re not saying if Sonny asks to come out for a wee or poo. I guess he pees more.
Does he pee more all day too?
Have you noticed a change in his thirst? Does he drink more?
It can definitely be a sign of diabetes, a few other hormonal diseases, and even kidney problems.
But in a seven-year-old Chihuahua, diabetes would be a suspicion.
If you can take a urine sample on a flat tray the next time he stands his leg up, pour it into a clean container and have your vet check it up and give it a full checkup.
They will be very impressed with your skills. Good luck.
Q) MY 1 year old cockapoo Lilly has gotten really sticky since I got back to work.
She has a dog walker who takes her out every day and she stays two hours on each side.
But at night she cries and I leave her in my bed.
Am I making a rod for my own back or is it just comforting her?
We had taken her to the cash register but it went through the window.
Adam Cox, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear
Have a question for Sean?
SEND your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sean says: It depends on what you want, Adam.
You really are creating a rod for your own back by rewarding her attention-seeking behavior and leaving her in your bed when she cries.
You can’t train a dog not to be anxious, that’s an emotional response, but you can train him to gain confidence and be content in a crate again.
Some people think of crates as a cage or a punishment.
It’s putting human feeling on things.
I say they are a dog’s own bedroom and should be used as a positive or neutral space for your dog to sleep and relax.
So it’s up to you to decide whether you should resume basic crate training or take advantage of your furry bedmate.
Star of the week
Pet Cherry Beard Fish Mr Fish can perform tricks like a dog.
He lives in Aspatria, Cumbria, with Marianne Anderson, 37, who took him in a year ago and is therefore unsure of his age.
Marianne, a canine behaviorist, said: “He’s going through a hoop and a tunnel in his tank.
“He can follow a decoy, which is where you put a treat in your hand and they follow it, and he can go through weaving poles, just like dogs do with agility.
“It was all learned through positive reinforcement, where you give treats and praise when he follows an order.
“It’s amazing that I got to train Mr. Fish like I do with my dogs, and he’s a very special fish.”
Victory: Dog basket
MAKE SURE your dog starts smelling their best in 2022 with a care kit from Poochiful.
We have eight gift boxes, worth £ 32 each, to give away.
Each is filled with cruelty-free, vegan, and pH-balanced treats.
Sets include Itchy and Scratchy and Mucky Pup Shampoo as well as two coat sprays to use between washes called Dog Pawfume and Furfresh.
Learn more about poochiful.co.uk.
To participate, send an email with POOCHIFUL as the subject to sundaypets @ the-sun. co.uk before January 16. General conditions apply.
Forget the parkrun, try the bark run
GETTING IN SHAPE is the best resolution this year – and our dogs could be the pawsonal trainers who make it happen.
CaniCross activities, where you run while tethered to your pet, Bikejoring, where you cycle with your dog, and common open water swimming are gaining popularity.
Emily Thomas runs K9TrailTime.com, which sells kits for active dogs and their owners, and hosts an annual triathlon event.
She said: “Since the first lockdown, sales of our CaniCross starter kits have increased by 52% each year.
“I have also seen an increase in the number of CaniCross trainers who train dog owners to run safely with their dogs.
“Cycling, scootering and swimming in open water are also more popular.
“We had 145 dogs that took part in the Tri Dog event in 2021. People love to discover new things. “
For a quieter activity, there is Wag and Tone low-impact aerobics with step-ups, stretches, and balance exercises.
You can also try Canine Hoopers, where the owner and dog navigate a course of hoops, barrels and tunnels.
Emily added, “Whatever activity you try, make sure it is suitable for your dog’s age, breed and activity levels.”