Toys & Training

From a bin-diving canine to a lazy cat — your pet queries answered

HE is on a mission to assist our pets  . . . and is right here to reply YOUR questions.

Sean, who’s the top vet at tailor-made pet meals agency, has helped with homeowners’ queries for ten years. He says: “In case your pet is appearing humorous or is beneath the climate, otherwise you wish to learn about diet or train, simply ask. I may also help preserve pets completely satisfied and wholesome.”


Sean provides recommendation to the proprietor of a sofa potato catCredit score: Getty
Sean McCormack, head vet at, promises he can 'help keep pets happy and healthy'


Sean McCormack, head vet at, guarantees he can ‘assist preserve pets completely satisfied and wholesome’Credit score: Doug Seeburg – The Solar

Q) MY two-year-old neutered rescue husky-cross Bob is a bin-diver.

The minute I flip my again he ideas it over and scoffs no matter contents he can discover.

He’s fed effectively on good-quality  dry meals plus treats however he received’t cease. I got here residence as soon as with my good friend and he’d dragged your complete contents by way of the home.

I’ve now resorted to a tiny desk prime bin however he nonetheless will get it.

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Please are you able to assist me cease his  scavenging methods.


Sean says: Bob the bin canine, eh? The straightforward repair right here is sort of so easy it’s ridiculous. Don’t permit Bob entry to the bin.

That will imply it goes in a cabinet with a toddler lock. Or a sectioned-off space of the kitchen. Or Bob is stored out of the kitchen altogether, or with a gate when unsupervised.

However a decided husky (or cross) will all the time get to the useful resource they need if it’s accessible to them.

I’m not going to coach that out of him with just a few phrases of recommendation. Make it unavailable. Drawback solved.

Q) OUR short-haired black cat Arthur is a sofa potato.

He simply sits round all day and solely strikes to eat, wash himself or go to the toilet.

I’ve tried every little thing from mouse toys to lasers and wonderful scratch posts in addition to placing him outdoors, however he simply comes straight again in once more.

It’s pretty, as he’s nice firm, however ought to I be involved as absolutely, like people, he wants some train?

HARRY GREEN, Lancaster

Sean says: He does want some train however it’s troublesome to power it on him if he’s not into chasing video games and interactive toys.

The larger concern than his train habits is Arthur’s weight. Is he in good situation or obese? Reply actually.

Carrying an excessive amount of weight may cause a lot of issues, so if he’s a sofa potato chances are you’ll have to put him on a calorie-controlled weight loss program to assist preserve him at a wholesome stage. Your vet staff can advise.

Q) WHAT’S one of the best bedding to make use of for gerbils?

Ought to I’m going for newspaper, pellets or straw or a bit of every? I do know they prefer to burrow.


Sean says: You desire a protected, dust-free and non-toxic bedding that can maintain its kind as they make tunnels, and take in any moisture or smells for longer intervals than what’s wanted for a hamster or pet rat, for instance.

The best is a mix of wooden shavings, hay and a paper-based, dust-free bedding like Carefresh or Kaytee Clear and Cozy.

That deep layer mixture of lengthy fibres, small particles and tremendous absorption means your gerbils can create a tunnel system and also you don’t want to wash it out for 3 to 4 weeks relying on the scale of enclosure and what number of gerbils you’ve.

The larger and deeper the tank, the higher for gerbils, with aquariums being approach higher than normal wire cages.

That approach they will dig deep and you’ve got the added bonus you’ll be able to watch them “underground”.

Q) IS it OK for a canine to eat cat meals?

I’ve a two-year-old Labrador Molly and a five-year-old cat Purdy, who each dwell very fortunately collectively, but when my cat leaves any meals then Molly will get caught in with the left-overs. Is it OK for her?

JIM BROWN, Manchester

Sean says: It’s not going to kill Molly however it’s not a fantastic concept in the long run as cats and canine have very totally different dietary necessities.

It additionally means she’s overeating often which may result in weight acquire.

It doesn’t shock me within the slightest that Molly is a Labrador, although.

Attention-grabbing reality: Scientists finding out Labrador genetics have discovered that as many as one in three of them lack the gene answerable for telling their mind they’re not hungry.

Perhaps Molly’s one among that group of canine who thinks she’s losing away.

Star of the week

Max the cat helps keep owner Jessica Swift safe


Max the cat helps preserve proprietor Jessica Swift protected

MAX the cat is a hero in addition to greatest good friend – as he raises the alarm when his teenage proprietor Jessica Swift is taken sick.

Jessica, 16, has a chromosome dysfunction, autism, epilepsy and studying disabilities, however when she has a seizure within the night time, he runs to let her mum Zoe Curtis know.

And in return Jessica makes positive that Max, who’s a finalist on this 12 months’s Cats Safety Nationwide Cat Awards, will get his each day coronary heart treatment.

Zoe, 44, of Harrogate, North Yorks, mentioned: “Max is Jessica’s hero and vice versa. Jessica can have seizures within the night time, and we’ve got an alarm to tell us however Max is usually already working to us to alert us. They’re inseparable.”


DOES your pet have a behavior of hogging the couch? Effectively now they will have their very own mini one.

On-line furnishings firm Arighi Bianchi has launched a brand new vary of luxurious pet beds to match their homeowners’ luxurious sofas and that may take satisfaction of place of their front room.

Two readers can win a Gray Pet Couch Mattress, value £130.

To enter, ship an e-mail headed PET SOFA and state the scale from small to giant to by July 3.

See T&Cs apply.

Train outdated canine new methods

NEARLY half of Britain’s 13million canine are formally classed as seniors with consultants recommending “mind coaching” to maintain them completely satisfied to a ripe outdated age.

Whereas we can’t get them doing Sudoku there are steps to assist preserve their brains energetic.

Dog behaviourists recommend 'brain training' elder pets


Canine behaviourists advocate ‘mind coaching’ elder petsCredit score: Getty

Carolyn Menteith, a behaviourist for, mentioned: “When you’ve had your canine from a pet and watched it develop up, it may be arduous to think about them as turning into aged.

“The outdated adage ‘use it or lose it’ appears to be as true for our canine as it’s for us.

“They will’t do on-line puzzles, crosswords or Wordle, however we will ensure we proceed to coach them and train their gray matter.”

She suggests: 1) Interact your canine’s mind with video games like hiding treats inside an outdated rest room roll for them to shake out.

2) Use interactive toys similar to treat-dispensing balls, or snuffle mats.

3) Lay deal with trails – however preserve in a line so that they don’t get lost if their listening to or eyesight is deteriorating.

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4) Whereas the opposite senses could also be fading, the ability of the nostril is often nonetheless surprisingly sturdy so preserve loads of smelly treats.

5) They will nonetheless get pleasure from a number of shorter walks all through the day.

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