From a dog traumatised by fireworks to vegan diets β€” your pet queries answered


Its mission is to help our pets. . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.

Sean, who is the chief veterinarian of, a custom-made pet food company, has been answering owners’ questions for a decade. He says, β€œIf 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. If you want him to answer a question for YOU, just email him at

Sean helps pet owner whose dog was traumatized by fireworks


Sean helps pet owner whose dog was traumatized by fireworks
Sean McCormack, chief veterinarian at, promises he can


Sean McCormack, chief veterinarian at, promises he can “help keep pets happy and healthy”Credit: Doug Seeburg – The Sun

Q) MY Border Collie Susie was hit hard by Fireworks Night last month.

It was particularly loud this time and since then she has been a little sheepish. If she hears a loud bang, she curls up and doesn’t run for the door like she used to.

It’s been a good few weeks now and she still does. Could this be some sort of post-traumatic thing?

Emma King, Walsall

A) Sean says: It can be association-based fear, yes. She remembers being very scared and any recall brings up these anxieties again.

Fortunately, there is a really effective behavioral technique for combating noise phobias in dogs.

This is called desensitization and involves exposing them slowly to the types of sounds they are afraid of, gradually increasing the volume until it becomes background noise and they are no longer disturbed. by this.

It takes time and patience, but it will really help. There are guides online showing how to do this.

Q) I have a black Labrador called Mollie. She has always been on Wainwrights food and is happy with the turkey.

But I’m vegan and I want her to be too. Is it okay for dogs not to have animal products?

Bethany Poole, Glasgow

A) Sean says: Using the farm animal parts that we humans choose not to eat for our pet food is a really sustainable way to feed our furry friends.

Plant-based pet diets may actually use more resources or release more greenhouse gases than using the nutritious, delicious, and natural animal parts of the human food chain that would otherwise end up in landfills. . They are called β€œanimal by-products”, but that doesn’t mean they are low-quality ingredients.

Dogs and cats are natural meat eaters, so denying them because of our moral values ​​is not right for me. If you want a vegan pet, a rabbit is a great option.

Q) I have a one year old Cockapoo, Toffee, which has gotten all 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.

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 crate, but it all went out the window now.

Adam Cox, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear

A) 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 – it’s an emotional response. But you can train them to gain confidence and be content with 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.

Q) MY cat Sophie likes to lie on the heater.

I’m afraid that with the onset of winter, it will burn itself or overheat. Should I try to stop it?


A) Sean says: She is unlikely to get burned, but never say never. You can get cute cat beds that fit the radiator. It might be a good compromise and a great gift idea for your cat.

Otherwise, you risk fighting a losing battle. We all know cats win every time.

Star of the week

BELLA the Cocker Spaniel helps make life less stressful for anxious dogs.

The nine-year-old lives with her owner Sarah Jones, 54, in Binfield, Berks, and was attacked by another dog while she was a puppy.

Bella the Cocker Spaniel Helps Make Life Less Stressful for Anxious Dogs


Bella the Cocker Spaniel Helps Make Life Less Stressful for Anxious Dogs

She was afraid of animals and humans, so Sarah created the My Anxious Dog collars, leashes and harnesses which are worn by thousands of pets around the world.

Sarah said: β€œI learned that you can put a yellow tape on your dog to alert others that they are anxious. But it was not enough. So I made him a harness with ‘Keep Away’ and ‘Anxious’.

β€œThis has led other people to ask for them. Bella urging me to help her allowed other dogs to enjoy life.


ENJOY a party with your pooch.

We’ve got three Luxury Dog Hampers Play & Pamper Selections to give away, each worth Β£ 85 and packed with enrichment toys and goodies.

Treat them to Busy Bees Paw Balm, Herbal Dog Co Shampoo & Conditioner, and Woof & Brew Herbal Tea.

And play with eco-friendly toys from Beco, Smug Mutts and Ruffle Snuffle. See

Send an email with LUXURY in the title before January 9 to The T & Cs apply.

Don’t give up on the guinea pigs

Guinea pig owners are urged not to abandon their pets as rescuers report an increase in the number of abandoned small furries.

There has been a reported increase in the number of abandoned guinea pigs


There has been a reported increase in the number of abandoned guinea pigs

Like most pets, guinea pigs were in high demand during lockdowns. But now they are sadly abandoned and neglected.

There are 800,000 guinea pigs here, according to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, or 1.2% of all households. Lucy Meadway, author of The Happy Healthy Guinea Pig Guidebook, says, β€œThe most common reasons (for being abandoned) are that children are bored with them, that someone in the house is allergic, or that the owners. just don’t have time for them. “

Lucy, 30, from Sevenoaks, Kent, adds: β€œGuinea pigs can be just as affectionate as dogs.

β€œThey love to be petted and squeak to welcome you home. It is important to make sure they have a hutch with enough space, plenty of hay, and enrichment toys that they can use to forage for food – cardboard tubes work great.

β€œConsider finding them a mate – and please don’t give up on them. They can make awesome pets.

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