Its mission is to help our pets. . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.
Sean, who is the chief veterinarian for custom pet food company tails.com, has been answering owners’ questions for ten years. He says, “If your pet is acting weird or is under bad weather, or if you want to know more about nutrition or exercise, just ask. I can help keep animals happy and healthy.
Q) MY horse Blaze had our family goat Marge as a companion in her paddock, but she died. Should we find him a new friend?
Babs Brown, Lincoln
Sean says: Absolutely. Horses are social beasts. But better than a goat would be another horse or pony.
Goats are goats, donkeys are donkeys, horses are horses. They all get along better with their own. And need their own kind.
I know a goat can be cheaper and take less time, but it’s not an ideal companion.
Would you consider finding another owner in the area who would like to partner up and share paddocks if Blaze gets along with his horse?
Q) Can I give cheese to my cat Bob and my dog Max?
Max loves it and even Bob likes it a little once in a while. I only give a small amount – but is it okay?
Sue Smith, Glastonbury, Somerset
Sean says: Sorry to be a party animal, but it’s not really a good option for cats or dogs, although they tend to like it.
First of all, both species are largely lactose intolerant, so they don’t digest cheese very well and this can cause some minor inconvenience. Second, it is quite high in fat and therefore calories and can therefore be a significant contributor to obesity in pets when given regularly.
If you imagine giving Bob your cat a single cube of cheese, that’s probably equivalent to us eating two to three cheeseburgers.
It’s like eating a whole sausage in terms of daily calorie intake.
So, I would hold off on the cheese and treat it to a lean, healthier meat snack instead — or for Max some crunchy veggies like carrots or green beans, especially if he’s overweight.
Q) DOES MY CAT LOVE ME? It only purrs when I have breakfast or dinner.
Otherwise, I might as well not exist.
Other than choking me on catnip, do you have any idea how I can be friends with him?
Maggie Edgcumbe, Stoke
Sean says: It comes up a lot, and I always say “dogs have owners, cats have staff”.
Some cats just don’t feel the need to have much interaction with us outside of mealtime, they are all different little creatures but largely independent by nature.
It’s a shame when there’s a disconnect between an aloof cat and a more needy owner, but you have to accept it for what it is – roommates rather than best friends.
It would be interesting to try removing all interaction or affection for a few weeks (apart from feeding and caring for him of course!) to see if he changes his tone.
You might also see if playing with him using fishing rod toys and the like might change the way he sees you.
Q) OUR 18 month old Border Terrier suffers from motion sickness.
He’s not anxious or scared, but after about 20 minutes of riding he’ll be ill.
We’ve tried various anti-sickness pills and sprays, and we always travel when his stomach is empty, the car windows rolled down, and he’s sitting up to see the horizon.
Do you have any ideas? We wish we could take him further, but not with him in so much pain.
Chrissy Cass, Isle of Wight
Sean says: I wonder if you’ve tried any medications from your vet or just over-the-counter remedies from a pet store?
If the latter, some are not as effective, especially herbal or homeopathic ones.
There are better options available by prescription. Otherwise, it sounds like you’re doing everything right, and from what you’ve said, it’s unlikely to be behavior.
Some dogs are simply nauseous in the car, so I recommend testing an anti-emetic medication with your vet to see if it works.
star of the week
GUIDE dog Marine transformed his partner’s life – leading him to lose the 10th and live again.
Four years ago Carlos Rodriguez, 42, of Paisley, Renfrews, was battling his loss of sight, was 27th and feeling seriously depressed.
But when the five-year-old pup came into his life, Carlos said it was like a “new world opened up”.
He added: “I am now 16th and walk 10-20km a day. Thanks to Marine, I have been involved in so many things, like museums, cinemas, charity walks, or just going to the beach to leave Marine playing in the water. For me, that is priceless.”
Marine was named through Guide Dogs’ Name A Puppy program.
Visit guidedogs.org.uk/nap to find out more.
WIN: PARTY PACK
TAILS.COM is launching a brand new Party Pack for puppies next month, perfect for birthdays or any other special occasion.
It’s packed with your dog’s favorites: a tasty biscuit bone to decorate, a sturdy and squeaky chew toy with pulling ropes for the paws, tasty treats and a party bandana.
To win one of ten packs worth £25 each, send an email titled TAILS PARTY to [email protected] before 11 September.
TIPS FOR DEALING WITH PET DEATH
DEALING with the death of a beloved pet can feel overwhelming. But now a new Orion book, The Pet Loss Guide, written by grief counselor Millie Jacobs, aims to help.
Millie says: “Some of us may be embarrassed by the grief we feel over the loss of a pet and others may think it’s not a major loss.
“But let me assure you that the grief of losing an animal is not a different or lesser form of grief. It needs to be addressed and understood.
“If you are grieving the loss of a pet, I encourage you to be actively involved in processing your grief. The more you consciously deal with the pain, the sooner you will come out of the darkest part of the grieving process.
Here are some simple practices that Millie hopes can help you. . .
1. Keep a journal of your grief. Be honest and don’t be ashamed of the strength of your emotions. Give yourself space to process your feelings.
2. Write down everything you remember about your pet, from his favorite toy to where he liked to sleep and his weird habits. It’s not wallowing, but rather allowing yourself to truly feel the loss.
3. I say grief is the ultimate sieve of life – it shows people’s true character. Find that friend who is listening to you talk about your loss and tell them how much you appreciate them.
4. Cry. Never be embarrassed to let the tears flow. It helps your body release the hormones and chemicals associated with grief and loss.