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 tails.com, 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) OUR Shih Tzu dog Maddie, eight, is very weird – she has a phobia about the iron.

It doesn’t matter where she is, or even if she is asleep, but as soon as the iron is plugged in she starts jumping up your leg.

We have tried a new iron, and closing all the doors beforehand but nothing works. Do you have any ideas why?

Tim Linstead, Norwich

Sean says: Weird is the new cool, Tim! You heard it here first. I wonder if this is a previous trauma associated with exposure to an iron. Unlikely.

Could it be nothing to do with the iron, but perhaps the plug socket you use for ironing is emitting a high-frequency sound when in use?

Or maybe over time her reaction has ramped up because it has be­come a behaviour that gets her attention?

Got a question for Sean?

SEND your queries to [email protected].

Q) OUR ten-week old kitten, Ginger, has been treated with Frontline Spot On flea treatment and I treated the house with spray from my vets.

A couple of days on, we are still getting bitten. I’m mortified and at my wits’ end, please help.

Samantha Davis, Somerset

Sean says: Don’t be embarrassed. Fleas are a real issue to get rid of once they have had a chance to breed. Each female flea can lay 50 eggs per day, which hatch into larvae in carpets, furniture and bedding.

Then weeks later they emerge as adult fleas to bite and breed again. So you’ll always be mopping up the new wave of adult fleas weeks after initial treatment.

Keep up with Spot On, vacuum frequently and use a vet-approved home spray. You’ll get there.

Q) WE have a 17-year-old cat who has a kidney disease.

One kidney is dead and she has a nasty bacteria in the other. She is on a very strong antibiotic for 40 days.

But she is sick after the liquid and when we crush the tablets in her food she smells them and won’t touch it. She would rather go without food all day. Can you advise?

Bud Leyshon, Cornwal

Sean says: This is a very difficult situation and I’m afraid without knowing the exact details of her case and medications, it’s hard for me to give a detailed second opinion.

But in terms of giving tablets to cats, I understand it can be a battle. One way to do it is to crush up the tablet, mix it with a tiny amount of butter or Marmite, and smear it on her paw or front leg.

That way, even if she doesn’t like the taste she will still want to lick it all off. It’s not exactly fair, but her health is at stake and it’s probably better than a physical battle each day to get a tablet in her mouth.

Q) MY ten-year-old Yorkshire terrier Oscar has issues with other dogs.

I never know how he’s going to react. Sometimes he takes no notice and other times he will lash out and try to bite them. He has needed vet treatment on two occasions due to retaliation.

It seems the bigger the dog, the more aggressive he is and it is worse if they are both on the lead. I’m anxious when walking him.

Catherine Catling, Brixton, South London

Sean says: Napoleon syndrome is common in small dogs. Very often the differences in his reaction to other dogs can be due to both dogs’ moods and interaction.

The reason these reactions happen more on the lead is that Oscar probably feels anxious he can’t get away from the other dog if it all kicks off.

I recommend getting advice from an animal behaviourist.

Star of the week

MEET Alexis, the Guinness World Record holder who can perform 26 tricks in ONE minute.

The clever cat can high five, ring a bell, touch objects with her nose and open a box with her mouth.

Owner Anika Moritz has been training Alexis since her eight-year-old pet was a kitten.

She used a unique sign language to get Alexis to perform the tricks that got her into the record books.

Anika, 30, who is a trained cat behaviour consultant, said: “Alexis is a once-in-a-lifetime cat. We want to show that cats can learn more than just using the cat toilet.”

Anika’s next goal is to beat her own record and accomplish 30 tricks in one minute.

WIN: Grooming kit

TURN mucky pups into pristine pets with an AllPaws grooming kit, part of a new organic, vegan-friendly grooming range from Green People (greenpeople.co.uk).

The products are sustainably sourced and are suitable for all breeds of dog and cat.

We have ten grooming sets to give away, including AllPaws’ Wild Mint cleansing shampoo and sensitive shampoo. To enter, email [email protected] with ALLPAWS in the subject.

  • Entries close March 7.
  • T&Cs apply.



THREE in five lockdown dogs bought during the last 12 months are yet to even leave home, a Paws and Claws survey found.

A staggering 42 per cent of pandemic pups haven’t met other dogs yet and 49 per cent have not been introduced to children.

Unsurprisingly 71 per cent of owners worry their dogs will suffer separation anxiety when life returns to normal.

The study by pet wellness experts Itch also found that 40 per cent of new dog ­owners have experienced regrets about their purchase, with one in five (21 per cent) not realising the work involved in raising and caring for a puppy.

This may be why three in ten owners (29 per cent) have changed their job during lockdown so they can care for their pet.

More than a third (37 per cent) also believe their pup will have behavioural issues because of the pandemic, and over half (54 per cent) of owners say their pet has missed out on key socialisation exercises.

Itch panellist, dog trainer and behaviourist Oli Juste, from Channel 4’s Puppy School, said: “It’s extremely worrying.

"Although you can always train an older dog new tricks, when it comes to socialisation, we only have a small window.”

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