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) MY Burmese cat Romeo, who is five years old, is more chatty since our other cat died. Why do you think it is?
Cas Murphy, Bognor Regis
Sean says: Burmese are just chatty cats in general, so I suspect this may be boredom or seeking attention from you now your other cat is gone, because there is one less “being” in the household to interact with.
In the early stages it can certainly be grief-related, but I imagine it’s less about that and more about wanting some engagement now.
If Romeo really liked having cat company, you could consider getting another friend for him, but many cats enjoy being the top cat or only cat in the household.
New introductions don’t always go to plan so think carefully.
Q) PLEASE can you advise us on the length of our nine-year-old cat Rafiki’s claws.
We have noticed for some time now that his are long.
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He does go outside mainly to do his business in our back garden.
Should we have his claws cut back or leave them alone.
Catherine and Albert Greenway, Coventry
Sean says: I’m not a big fan of cutting a cat’s claws, unless they are overgrown or deformed in some way
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Cats’ claws are meant to be long and sharp, and they usually look after them themselves by scratching on appropriate surfaces.
Older cats with stiff joints or mobility issues can find it difficult to maintain this and the claws can get thickened and overgrown, in which case they may need regular trims.
But the problem with trimming cat claws is they split, shed the outer coat and soon reveal a new sharp claw in its place within a short period of time
Ask your vet to check Rafiki and decide what’s best, if worried.
At nine I imagine he’s perfectly fine.
Q) DO Bearded Dragons get lonely?
Mine seems pretty happy as he’s eating and moving around.
I change his surroundings a lot so he has plenty to do, but sometimes I worry if he needs a friend?
Rory Palmer, Manchester
Sean says: No. Although considering how interactive and friendly these pet reptiles are, it’s easy to anthropomorphise or assign them human feelings or behaviours.
In the wild, Bearded Dragons are pretty much solitary except for when they are breeding.
You can keep them together, but it’s not necessary or even natural.
And sometimes that can lead to problems with bullying, competition for food, basking spots, and even aggression in some cases
A large, enriched environment, proper heating and lighting allowing them to regulate their temperature throughout the day and a varied, balanced diet are more important than another dragon companion.
Q) MY sister-in-law’s 11-year-old border collie Jessie has become aggressive to white dogs lately.
Previously, she has always been a lovely friendly dog.
I believe her eyesight is failing.
Could this be the reason?
Edward Clark, Bristol
Sean says: That’s quite strange, and I can’t think why failing eyesight would only affect her relationship with white dogs.
It may just be a coincidence that she’s shown aggression to white dogs.
Or could Jessie have had a scary or unsettling encounter with one recently and is now associating all white dogs with a sense of unease, or even mistaking them for that dog in question because of it?
If it’s becoming a big issue, I would suggest enlisting the help of a qualified animal behaviourist.
They can come and observe what she’s like around other dogs out and about and give practical and specific advice on how to tackle this before it becomes a bigger problem.
Star of the week
KARA the parrot is the star of the cafe where her owners work – and even tells customers to eat up.
The African Grey, who is 12 next month, also loves hiking with owners Gordon Stirling, 53, and partner Stuart Lilley, 52, in a special backpack, telling sheep: “Shoo!
Gordon, who runs Laggan Coffee Bothy and Gallery in the Cairngorms National Park, said: “All the customers adore Kara and she tells them: ‘Come on, eat your lunch’.
“She loves going for walks and that has led to some funny moments through the years.
“She once shouted at a lady who was passing: ‘Do you want to go upstairs? Do you want to have a bath?’ as she loves to have a daily shower herself.”
WIN: Pet vacuum
EVERY pet owner tackles hair in the home.
So we have teamed up with Henry to offer readers the chance to win one of two Henry Pet vacuums worth £169.99.
Driven by Henry Pet’s powerful airflow, the EcoBrush easily picks up stubborn hairs, making light work of cleaning.
To enter, send an email headed HENRY to sundaypets@the-sun. co.uk by August 28.
- T&Cs apply
How to get great pet photos
MOST of us struggle to get the perfect pet portrait and now Paws and Claws reveals how – using your mobile phone.
Kaylee Greer, an internationally renowned pet photographer has revealed her top tricks to get the perfect shot.
Kaylee, who is a star speaker at The Photography Show and The Video Show 2022 next month, said: “It’s possible to get amazing pet photos with nothing but your mobile – it just takes patience, a bit of effort . . . and some bribery!”
- Get Low. Hold your phone right at your pet’s eye level. It makes a HUGE impact, changing perspective and visually immersing you in your pet’s world.
- Use bribery! If you surveyed 100 dogs, cats and small furries about how they want to be paid for their time in front of your lens, 99 of them would answer: “Stinky, delicious, mouthwatering TREATS!”
- Make wacky sounds. Try a squeaker or kazoo and say phrases like: “Do you want a walk?” to dogs. Snap away when their face lights up.
- Watch the light. If you are indoors during the day, face your pet toward a big window. If you’re outside in the middle of the day, find a tree that’s casting shade and place your pet there to get an evenly lit image.
Kaylee is at the NEC show on September 19 and one reader can win four tickets for entry that day worth £107. For a chance to win, send an email headed PHOTO SHOW to firstname.lastname@example.orgSee https://www.photographyshow.com