From unflattering hamsters to clothes-chewing dogs – your pet’s questions answered

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

My daughter is unhappy the hamster sleeps all day long


My daughter is unhappy the hamster sleeps all day longcredit: Getty
Sean McCormack, chief veterinarian at, promises he can


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

Q) My daughter loves the new hamster but it turns out not to be

Pleasant as she had hoped, for she sleeps all day, and at night we hear her screeching wheels turning.

Is there a way to change her nocturnal habits?

Mary Lawson, Bedford

a) Ah, which is why I always recommend “search, research, research” before getting any pet. Nocturnal hamster.

Taking the hamster out during the evening, with the lights out and letting it play for a safe run, can be fun.

But it is not a good idea to wake them up in the daytime, as they can get cranky.

I recommend guinea pigs or mice as small pets for children. Hamsters and even rabbits are not the best choice.

Do you have a question for Shawn?

Send your inquiries to

Q) I have an eight-year-old mixed-breed dog named Louie who has started to chew on clothes, even pulling them off the radiators.

He also chews on a dog’s towel, making himself sick. His teeth look good and I take him for a walk every morning. He also suffers from his anal glands.

Any advice please?

Janet Stanch, Hartlepool

a) I assume Lowe follows a complete, balanced diet formulated by a professional animal nutritionist. right?

If so, we can rule out nutritional issues that cause him to eat unusual things – a condition called pica.

Regardless, it could be a behavioral problem. Are you bored? Does he have suitable toys to chew on?

You can try occupying him with puzzle feeders so he has to work for his food.

It’s fun and provides great mental stimulation, which will make him tired and possibly help curb his destructive habits.

More exercise and daily interaction will help, too.

Q) Jake, my five year old Labrador, has severe epileptic fits.

It’s a lovely dog ​​but the seizures are getting worse and the last dog lasted 20 minutes.

He is on medication from the vet. We are at the end of our intelligence. please advise What medicine should he take.

Stephen Kinsey, Rotherham

a) It’s hard for me to give detailed advice without being Jake’s vet and knowing his full medical history.

There are several options for treating epilepsy in dogs, and I know it’s scary to go back to the vet saying the treatment doesn’t work, for fear of receiving bad news.

But your vet will want to discuss new options and make sure you and Jake are happy.

Several medications, such as phenobarbitone, bromide, gabapentin and diazepam, are used to treat epilepsy in dogs.

Sometimes a little experimentation with treatment combinations is required. Return to the vet to discuss next steps, and he will take matters into his own hands.

Q) My dogs Ronnie and Reggie love to play with the others we meet in the park.

But I have noticed that other owners often call their dogs away, because they think they are aggressive.

I don’t think the two mean any harm, but how do you distinguish between rough play and combat?

Robert Dunstan, Leeds

a) Are Ronnie and Reggie Staff Accidental? Some breeds such as Stuffies can appear to be very mouth-watering, with lots of teeth showing, during rough play, which is scary for people who are not familiar with these breeds.

There is no hard and fast rule, it just depends on what other dogs they play with and their comfort level.

Some of the rough play is great, and sometimes we read into it a lot or put human feelings into it.

Dogs play with their mouths and can appear aggressive. His calming time is if the other dog shows intimidating body language, or the real aggression begins.

star of the week

Francisco the pig is our pet of the week


Francisco the pig is our pet of the week

The spoiled pig Francisco hates the outdoors so much that he lives in his own bedroom with his caring owner Morag Sangster and her husband, John Ryan.

When the couple, from Clyde Valley, south of Lanarks, rescued him, they tried putting bacon, Five, outside but he refused.

Morag, 55, said: “It was a rescue because it was bought as a piglet but it has grown bigger. He used to sleep in a bedroom and when we took him outside he ran back inside.

“He’s like a real girl from the movie and a surrogate father to our dogs, sheep, and chickens. The four dogs share a bedroom with him. They’re all vying for a position to cuddle his warm belly.”

Follow him on Instagram @tribeanimalsanctuary.

Win: Dog Health Supplements

Many of us are starting healthy kicks for January, and now your dog can, too.

Buddy & Lola offers a range of canine health supplements including Scottish Salmon Oil, Bouncy Bones Advanced Joint Supplements and Happy Tummy Daily Probiotic Chews at £275 for one lucky reader.

To enter, email BUDDY & LOLA to: by 23 January. See Terms and conditions apply.

How to maintain a shocked bill

Only 3.4 million dogs in the UK are out of an estimated 12 million with insurance to cover illness.

The reason most pet owners go to the vet is because of canine skin conditions, which cost on average from £483 to £755 for a treatment.

Insurance can help pay expensive pet bills


Insurance can help pay expensive pet billscredit: shutterstock

The second most common illness is stomach problems, including a dog eating something they shouldn’t, with the average cost of an X-ray being £289.

In third place were ear infections, at £789, followed by eye disorders at £389, and joint and tendon injuries, at £1,349 for treatment.

Pet insurance comparison site, which compiled the numbers, said the lack of cover could leave owners facing huge costs.

Salman Haque, of, said: “Unexpected vet bills can be difficult to manage.

“The type of illness and injury will affect the fee, with chronic illness costing more than just an infection.”

Builder Keith Dowling, 50, of Crayford, Kent, faced nearly £10,000 in vet bills with Delcee, a seven-year-old Parson Russell Terrier.

He didn’t have insurance when Delsey developed pancreatitis in 2015.

He said, “Since we didn’t have pet insurance, we had a big bill. We took a policy right after that. It gives us peace of mind.”

Holly Willoughby yawns at her cat Bluebell to see if she likes her back

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