DOG owners are used to tidying up after their pets – and now they are being asked to pick up litter too.
The K9CleanUp fund-raiser for Dogs Trust takes place next weekend, and is the brainchild of Becky Baker, from Tingley, West Yorks. She had the idea for a dog-walk tidy-up after her three-year-old cockapoo Buddy trod on some glass.
Becky, 36, says: “After he cut his paw, I wanted to do something and had the idea of getting other dog owners to join me, then had the idea to fundraise too.”
Becky runs K9Nation, a dog-friendly directory and networking platform, and is sharing K9Cleanup kits via the site.
She added: “Dogs Trust, like many charities, has seen a drop in donations during the recent lockdown. With the K9CleanUp, everyone who donates £10 or more to Dogs Trust is sent a goody bag as a thank you.
“We wanted to give dog owners the chance to take part in something that can really make a difference to the surroundings where we live, as well as helping dogs.”
The K9CleanUp takes place from August 28-31. To take part or make a donation, see k9nation.dog/k9cleanup.
Star of the week
WHEN Natalie Ryan was left devastated by illness, an Australian Shepherd called Rocky helped her to live again.
Rocky is an emotional support dog and helps Natalie cope with a condition that causes anxiety and problems with her digestive and nervous systems.
The 32-year-old from Leeds says: “I have gone from just existing to enjoying life.
“I still battle anxiety but I’m proud of what I have achieved and overcome. I don’t think I would have managed any of this without Rocky.”
Natalie’s fiance Rob bought Rocky for her. The dog has been nominated for Companion Pet of the Year at the Petplan Pet Awards. Find out more at petplan.co.uk.
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.”
- Email your queries and stories to [email protected]
Q: I HAVE a parrot who shouts rude words whenever someone rings the doorbell.
It started when we first got him as a joke with the kids.
But now my children have flown the nest, I wish we could turn back the clock. What do you advise we can do to stop it?
HAROLD GREEN, 51, chef, Plymouth
Sean says: Oops, Harold! As my Granny used to say: “He didn’t lick it off a stone.”
The only way I know to turn back time with a potty-mouth parrot is to never reward the unwanted phrase with attention, hysterics or humour.
Also, try to substitute it for another phrase or two so he uses those instead. Something less offensive but still funny that will get him a few laughs is best. I’m a big fan of being greeted at the door with a “hey, sweet cheeks” myself!
Q: MY black cat Macy gets a very loud, gurgling tummy. She is eating well and is a healthy weight but should I be concerned about it? It’s very noisy.
PETE THOMAS, 50, retail assistant, Leeds
Sean says: I don’t think it’s much to worry about if she’s always done it, if she’s not upset and if her toilet habits are normal.
If you have recently changed her food, or added in some new treats, I’d look at the ingredients. You may find it’s a reaction to something new in her diet.
It’s also important for gut health that we worm our cats at least twice a year.
Q: PEPSI, my two-year-old rabbit, keeps breaking out of his cage and sometimes bites me when I try to get him back in. Am I doing something wrong?
SARA COOKE, 32, full-time mum, Barnsley
Sean says: Pepsi sounds frustrated. The biggest mistake people make when they get a pet rabbit is that they only get one. Rabbits are highly social animals and despite them enjoying our company, they need a rabbit companion.
The second biggest mistake is keeping them in a tiny hutch or small, boring run with nothing to do. They need space to run, hop, stand up, dig tunnels, toys and different levels.
Pet shops often sell them with the bare minimum accommodation.
My recommendation is to get some rabbit company and bigger, better, more fun surroundings for Pepsi — and any other single lonely rabbits whose owners are reading today. I think if you do, Pepsi will soon have his fizz and mojo back.
Q: MY one-year-old kitten has a bald patch on her back where she appears to have been biting and pulling her fur off.
There are cuts where she had been biting and scratching. She’s mostly an outdoor cat and loves rolling on the ground. I’ve treated her with liquid flea treatment but she still does it.
I have taken her to the vets but they couldn’t find anything wrong. Your advice would be appreciated.
CAROLINE CURRAN, 50, medical secretary, Sheffield
Sean says: It is hard to say without having a really close look, but I would warn against some off-the-shelf flea products.
They often contain chemicals which do not work well or that fleas have become resistant to. So use a prescription-strength flea control from your vet. You are wasting your money with some cheap products.
There can be behavioural reasons for over-grooming a particular spot and causing skin issues and hair loss. Could she be stressed? Does another cat outside bully her?
WIN: Silentnight Airmax
DOES your dog love a snooze?
Five lucky pups can slumber in style in innovative new beds from Silentnight.The Airmax has the same tech used in our beds – which increases the airflow, meaning their bed and your home stays fresher.
Plus, it’s machine washable. See silentnight.co.uk/pet-beds.
For a chance to win one, tell us your size – small, medium or large – and email SILENTNIGHT to: [email protected] co.uk.
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