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.

Find out what festive hazards could be putting your pets at risk

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Find out what festive hazards could be putting your pets at riskCredit: Getty
Sean McCormack, head vet at tails.com, promises he can 'help keep pets happy and healthy'

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Sean McCormack, head vet at tails.com, promises he can ‘help keep pets happy and healthy’

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) WITH party season coming up and presents in the house, is there anything that could be ­hazardous to my cat?

I know dogs are allergic to chocolate and raisins, but what do I need to be aware of for my Bengal puss Prince? He has just turned one and is mischievous and into everything.

Karen Rock, Bristol, Gloucs

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Sean says: Dogs are not quite allergic, it’s more that these foods are potentially toxic to them.

With ­chocolate, a compound called theobromine, which is found in cocoa, causes harm. The higher the cocoa content, the less a dog needs to consume to have a serious reaction.

With raisins and grapes we’re not quite certain what causes the toxic response.

Anyway, this is a timely question with the festive season approaching.

Most read in Money

For cats it’s often more the physical hazards at Christmas time that can cause problems.

String, twine and tinsel are irresistible playthings for many cats, and can all cause serious blockages if swallowed during play.

This is referred to by us vet types as a linear foreign body and often requires surgery. Seasonal plants we bring home can also be poisonous to cats – Poinsettia, Holly and Mistletoe berries being good examples.

Q) ERIC, my eight-year-old Labrador, licks his paws all the time. Should I be concerned about it?

Jean Parker, Swansea

Sean says: It’s not emergency level, but does suggest a chronic problem and is obviously irritating to Eric. Dogs usually lick their feet because they are itchy, and that usually indicates an allergy.

Most allergies are environmental, so related to things like flea bites, pollens, house dust mites and fungal spores. Food allergies can also cause itchy skin. Licking particular areas could also indicate pain — in the joints of the toes for example.

As a breed, labradors are more prone to arthritis, so considering there is quite a long list of possibilities here it’s worth getting Eric checked by your vet.

Just bear in mind skin conditions can be time-consuming to diagnose and treat successfully, depending on the cause. But it’s worth trying for a comfortable dog.

Q) MOGGIE, my cat, goes round all of our neighbours getting Dreamies then won’t eat his dinner.

What can I do? I love that he likes visiting people — but he’s so greedy!

Sue Brown, Dartford, Kent

Sean says: A temporary paper collar with a note written on it usually works to tell your neighbours you need them to stop feeding Moggie.

You can even tell a little white lie and say he has a medical condition and you have to control his diet.

If you’re on good terms, just talk directly to your neighbours.

Q) MY 12-year-old horse has intermittent lameness.

It seems to be muscular as Magic has had a scan. Are there any supplements I can add to her food.

Kate Brown, Doncaster

Sean says: There might be 101 reasons for an intermittent lameness, and relying on a supplement alone to solve it is probably not going to be the best approach.

Your own equine vet will be the best port of call to do a full physical exam, find the seat of lameness and work up a treatment plan from there.

It might be box rest, anti-inflammatories, acupuncture, supplements, pain relief or any combination of those things.

Star of the week

Two-year-old lurcher Archie's life was saved by Kent-based charity Fetcher Dog – which also saves dogs from Bosnian streets

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Two-year-old lurcher Archie’s life was saved by Kent-based charity Fetcher Dog – which also saves dogs from Bosnian streetsCredit: Splash

CALENDAR star Archie was put into a pound where dogs only have seven days to be claimed before being put to sleep.

The two-year-old lurcher was then rescued by Kent-based charity Fetcher Dog – which also saves dogs from Bosnian streets. And now he is the face of its fund-raising Christmas calendar.

A spokesperson said: “Archie is such a friendly and loving boy. We hope lots of people will support us by buying our calendar, which enables us to rescue and rehome as many dogs as possible.”

To buy the calendar see fetcherdog.com.

WIN: DOG SHAMPOO

KINKIND is offering 26 readers the chance to win their Make Me Pawsome! dog shampoo bar and storage tin, worth £9.95.

The eco-friendly cleansing bars are suitable for sensitive skin and contain coconut oil and special ingredients that wash away doggy odours.

To enter, send an email headed PAWSOME to [email protected] by December 24. See kinkind.co.uk. T&Cs apply.

PET OWNERS GET INTO FESTIVE SPIRIT

Half of Britain’s cats and dogs will receive their own Christmas dinner this year

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Half of Britain’s cats and dogs will receive their own Christmas dinner this yearCredit: Supplied

HALF of Britain’s cats and dogs will receive their own Christmas dinner this year, a new survey has revealed.

And as well as a festive meal, 50 per cent of cat and dog owners will give their pet a Christmas stocking and a quarter will be given a festive jumper.

The survey by Pets At Home also revealed that some owners think more of their pets than their kids – with 25 per cent saying they would spend more on their furry friends than children or partner.

Around 60 per cent would also fork out more than on presents for their close pals.

Lyssa McGowan, chief executive officer of Pets At Home, said: “Pets play a huge part in our lives, so it’s no surprise that owners want to show their appreciation by treating their pets at Christmas just like other members of the family.”

Read more on The Sun

Since October a quarter of a million Christmas dog toys, 20,000 festive cat treats and almost 100,000 pet advent calendars have been snapped up in stores.

Lyssa added: “We have seen demand grow for our Christmas ranges over the years, with advent calendars, Christmas jumpers and stockings all firm favourites.”

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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