Sean, who is the chief veterinarian for tails.com dedicated to pet food, has helped with owners inquiries for ten years. He says, “If your pet is acting funny or is exposed to the weather, or you want to know something about nutrition or exercise, just ask. I can help keep pets happy and healthy.”
Q) My bunny fluff and bob have been suffering from heat and humidity for the past months.
We have the cage and run in the shade and always give plenty of cold water
Do you have any other suggestions to help them stay calm?
Jane Manning, Brighton
a) You are doing everything right with shade and plenty of cold water.
You can also allow them access to a tiled indoor area, so they can lie on a cool surface.
A fan in front of a bowl of ice water is great on really hot days, but take care to protect the wire so Fluff and Bob can’t chew on it.
You can get pet cooling mats to lie on, but most pets also enjoy a fresh towel from the freezer when they’re hot and fussy. Keep calm, cakes!
Q) Is our house gerbil unhappy?
We brought him out to play and he loves to be handled by the kids.
But when he got back into his cage, he looked a little frustrated.
What can we do to make him happy?
John Peterson and Family, Norwich
a) Jerboas are similar to goths or emu in the rodent world, sitting in a corner, their face drooping and looking a bit miserable. But they’re only “in their feelings, man.”
Of course I’m joking. There is a dangerous side to this in that jerboas are very social animals, so keeping them alone is not recommended.
It would be great to pair Pete with another gerbil.
But being an adult male, he may quarrel with another male.
And we all know what happens when a gerbil boy likes a gerbil girl too much, so a female might not be a good choice if you don’t want to be cramped with kids.
There is one solution, which is to neuter Pete and make him a girlfriend. Family planning is key.
Q) My one year old Magic Corn Snake, from her food.
I always make sure her mice are completely defrosted. Any suggestions?
Emma Parkinson, Milton Mowbray
a) Dysfunction in reptiles is always concerning. But I need more information about the Magic Residences.
The most common reasons why reptiles stop eating are environmental conditions.
Temperature, humidity, area and security are all critical factors.
They need enough room for thermoregulation, or move to cooler and warmer areas to control their internal temperature – raising it by basking, and cooling it down by retreating to the cooler end of the enclosure.
This is called a temperature gradient, and many of the small cabinets and plastic boxes that are often recommended for a snake’s housing are not large enough to allow for an appropriate gradient from warm to cold. So cage design is critical.
Next, be sure to provide the proper temperatures with a sun lamp and heat mat, both on the thermostat so you know the temperature is being precisely controlled. Overheating is as harmful as overheating.
Humidity is key, too. Each type of reptile has its own preferences.
Finally, a lot of hiding places are important, especially for small snakes.
Q) Molly, my five-year-old cat, has been sneezing a lot.
Can cats suffer from hay fever? She eats and drinks well.
Chris Burdon, West Kingsdown, Kent
a) Yes they can. It’s an allergic reaction to pollen that causes symptoms similar to what we experience:
Sneezing, runny eyes and irritability. In dogs, on the other hand, it causes their skin to itch.
Flat-faced cat breeds such as the Persian, Shorthair and Himalayan may have serious breathing difficulties with hay fever due to their compressed airways and short skulls which we raised them in just for a nice look.
It’s great that Molly is eating and drinking really well, but I’ll have her checked out by the vet.
If there is any green or yellow discharge from the nose, there may be an infection or something stuck there.
star of the week
BENGAL the cat Frank is confused about his identity – because he thinks it’s a dog.
The six-year-old loves to go for walks, can sit up and fetch, and will even try to rip the post like a naughty puppy.
Karen Harris, 58, owner of Sudbury, Suffolk, said: “Frank is definitely suffering from some kind of identity crisis.
“He can sit and spin at command, he brings and retrieves everything from hairbands to socks, and he can open doors.
“The only thing he doesn’t do is bark.
“If the post comes up, he’s going to try to tear him to shreds like a puppy. Life sure isn’t boring with him.
“We tell him even when he was a naughty boy—not because he cares, the only cat trait he has.”
WIN: cuddle package
Do you want to have a very pampered pet?
Pawdaw of London is giving its readers a chance to win the ultimate luxury grooming and guide packages, worth up to £220, including a cooling jacket, drying bag, towel, blanket, natural salmon biscuits, bath time treats, Natural Conditioning for Dogs, Natural Shampoo Bar, Refreshing Cologne and Nose Skin And paw balm.
To enter, email PAWDAW PAMPER to sundaypets @ the-sun. co.uk by 2 October.
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Is your dog anxious at home alone?
More than ten million dogs in the UK struggle to cope when left at home alone, experts warn in the lead up to Separation Anxiety Awareness Day.
Animal welfare charity RSPCA says eight out of ten dogs feel stressed when left, which means 10.8 million of the country’s 13.5 million dogs have been affected.
Dog trainer Jo Sellers, of Guilford, Surrey, became a separation anxiety specialist after her dog Ripa struggled when she was left even for very short periods.
“When Ripa was a puppy, she really struggled,” says 52-year-old Joe. “I had no idea dogs could panic when they were alone in the house. I had terrible advice from a trainer who told me to keep her in her crate, not to come back to her when She barks and leaves her crying.
“After finding a nice way to help Reba, she inspired me to become a dog trainer.”
Marking Separation Anxiety Awareness Day, on September 30, former firefighter Joe said owners should find out if their puppy is suffering.
Buy a pet camera for around £20 online, which syncs with your smartphone.
Or set up a Zoom call with your phone and a laptop to see what your pet is doing when you’re not there.
Step away from the room and notice your dog’s body language.
Indications of anxiety include lip licking, yawning, pacing, barking, crying, howling, scratching at the door, and running or going to the toilet.
If they are happy on their own, they will lie on their side, fall asleep and relax.
For more advice see: pippinpetsdogtraining.co.uk/dog-separation-anxiety-awareness-day.