From a dog traumatised by fireworks to vegan diets — your pet queries answered

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He is on a mission to help our pets. . . He is here to answer your questions.

Shaun, the chief veterinarian at dedicated to pet food, has helped answer 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.” If you want him to answer a question for you, just email him at



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


Sean McCormack,’s chief veterinarian, promises it can “help keep pets happy and healthy.”Credit: Doug Seaborg – The Sun

Q) Susie Border Collie was deeply affected by last month’s fireworks night.

She was especially loud this time and since then she has been a bit shy. If she hears a loud bang, she shrugs and doesn’t rush to the door like she did before.

It’s been a good few weeks now and she’s still doing it. Could it be some kind of post-traumatic stress disorder?

Emma King, Walsall

a) Sean says: It could be an association-based fear, yes. She remembers that she was really afraid and any reminder raises those fears again.

Fortunately, there is a really effective behavioral method for treating noise phobias in dogs.

It’s called desensitization and it involves slowly exposing them to the types of sound they’re afraid of, gradually building up the volume until it’s background noise and they’re no longer bothered by it.

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 molly. She has always been on Wainwrights food and is happy with the turkey.

But I’m a vegetarian and I want her to be vegan, too. May dogs not contain any animal products?

Bethany Ball, Glasgow

a) Using parts of farm animals that we as humans choose not to eat for our pets’ diets is a truly sustainable way to feed our furry friends, says Shaun.

Plant-based pet diets could actually use more resources or release more greenhouse gases instead of using nutritious, delicious, and natural animal parts of the human food chain that would otherwise end up in landfill. They are called “animal by-products” but that doesn’t mean they are of poor quality.

Dogs and cats are naturally carnivores, so depriving them of them because of our moral values ​​does not suit me. If you want a vegetarian pet, a rabbit is a great choice.

Q) I have a cockapoo, passed away, aged 1 who has become very clingy since I got back to work.

She has a dog walker that she takes out every day and stays for two hours on either side of that.

She cries at night as I let her in my bed. Do I make a penis for my back or is it right to console her? We trained her in a cage but that’s all gone out the window now.

Adam Cox, Gateshead, Tyne Wear

a) Sean says: It depends on what you want, Adam. You really make a dick for your back by rewarding her attention-seeking behavior and leaving her in your bed when she cries.

You can’t train a dog not to worry – it’s an emotional response. But you can train them to gain confidence and contentment back in a cage. Some people think of chests as a cage, or a punishment. This puts human feelings on things.

I say it’s a dog’s bedroom and should be used as a positive or neutral space for your dog to sleep and chill out.

So it is up to you whether to start over with basic box training or have fun with your furry partner.

Q) My cat Sophie loves to lie on top of the radiator.

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

Jane Price, Chester

a) Sean says she’s not likely to burn herself, but she never says. You can get cute cat beds that fit in the cooler. This might be a good compromise and a nice gift idea for your cat.

Otherwise, you are likely to fight 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 owner Sarah Jones, 54, in Penfield, Berks, and was attacked by another dog when 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 became afraid of animals and people, so Sarah created My Anxious Dog collars and dogs, which are worn by thousands of pets around the world.

Sarah said, “I knew you could put yellow tape on your dog to alert others that they were worried. But that wasn’t enough. So I made her belts with ‘Keep Away’ and ‘Anxious’ running.”

“It led to other people asking for them. Bella inspired me to help her making other dogs able to enjoy life.”

Humber dog win

Enjoy a pampering party with your dog.

We’ve got three Play & Pamper picks from Luxury Dog Hampers to donate, each valued at £85 and packed full of toys and goodies.

Pamper them with Paw Beesy Bees Conditioner, Herbal Dog Coo Shampoo and Conditioner, and Woof ‘n’ Brew Tea.

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

Send an email with LUXURY in the address by 9 January to sundaypets @ the- Terms and conditions apply.

Don’t give up on guinea pigs

Guinea pig owners have been urged not to abandon their pets, with rescuers reporting a spike in young fur.

An increase in the abandonment of pet guinea pigs has been reported


An increase in the abandonment of pet guinea pigs has been reported

Like most domestic animals, guinea pigs have been in great demand during lockdowns. But now unfortunately they have been abandoned and neglected.

There are 800,000 guinea pigs here, according to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association — or 1.2 percent of all households. “The most common reasons[for giving up]are that the kids are tired of them, someone in the house has allergies or the owners simply don’t have time with them,” says Lucy Medway, author of The Guide to a Healthy, Happy Guinea Pig.

Lucy, 30, of Sevenoaks in Kent adds: “Guinea pigs can be just as affectionate as dogs.

“They love being petted and will yell to welcome you home. It’s important to make sure they have a cage with enough space, and plenty of hay and fertilizing toys they can use to forage – cardboard tubes work well.

“Consider getting a companion for them – and please don’t give up on them. They can make wonderful pets.”

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