May issue

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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Weight on my mind


My Bichon, Bruno, is two years old and overweight.

He has been unwell and on steroids for an allergy which hasn't helped. He is also a very bad sleeper since bonfire night last year. All has resulted in weight gain. He needs to lose approx 2kgs.

We've asked the vet, who wasn't helpful - stating that he needs to lose weight but when asked the best way I was just told to feed less! I had thought of that! I've tried increasing exercise and my vet tells me Bruno's well apart from a nasty skin allergy to grass pollen.

I'd appreciate any advice. I work 3-4 days a week but he is walked twice a day, everyday. Has anyone else had this problem?


Delyth, by email

Tuesday, 15 October 2013


Are raw potatoes toxic to dogs? It's being asked on a forum, and the jury seems to be out.


Christine, by email

Howling for mum or me?

Dear Dogs Today Think Tank,

I have two dogs; mum Staffie (Tally), seven years, and son (Marley), four years old.

When I take the mum out for a walk I found out that the son howls at the window, I found this out when my neighbour mentioned it. Apparently it had been going on for months and she said nothing.

The four-year-old Marley follows me about a lot like a lost puppy sometimes, but is it his mum he is howling for or me?

He does not howl when with his mum is with him, or when someone else is here.

How can I get him out of that howling when I take his mum for a walk?

They are far too strong to walk together.

I have heard the howls from across the road and they sound heartbreaking.

Hope someone can help.

Kind regards,

Simon John Wilson, by email

Monday, 14 October 2013

Two's company

I have a two-year-old, very lively but timid, Golden Retriever dog.

I have been told that I should get another dog for him to play with and also help overcome his nervousness.

I thought maybe an older, calmer, smaller dog.

Does anyone have any advice?


Wendy, by email

Monday, 7 October 2013

Shocking suggestion

Hi there,

I wonder if you can help me.

I have recently adopted a young female Saluki-Lurcher who is typical of her breed and likes to chase everything that moves and doesn't listen much to recall commands. I have tried the long lead and chicken treats but even her favourite food doesn't cut the mustard when it comes to distracting her from live preys or even an interesting scent.

I met a couple of owners of dogs with similar high prey drive (one was a Podenco - or Ibizan hound - and the other a Bedlington terrier/whippet lurcher) and they both recommended the use of training collars that deliver high pitch noises and mild electric shocks. They both said that they only needed to use the shock 2 or 3 times at the beginning before getting near perfect recall and that they don't need to use it any more. But I am unsure about using even mild and safe electric shocks on my dog. What do professional trainers think of these systems?

I know that there are also training collars with sprays but do they work as well? I would be grateful for some feedback on this and indeed any training tips to improve my dog's recall as I would dearly love to give her more freedom than she is enjoying at the moment.

With kind regards,

Isabelle, by email

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Allergy assault

Hi Dogs Today,

As the owner of an allergic Welsh Springer Spaniel, the last two years have been an ongoing search for the stuff that works and the stuff that is, at least for my dog, merely a clever marketing ploy. Anyone who has spent hours trying to distract or comfort a constantly itching and wriggling dog I'm sure will agree that you become an amateur encyclopaedia on soothing shampoos, skin supplements and the latest veterinary treatments. At the height of our annual battle with pollen following a hot summer, I find myself looking for anything unconventional or new that might help my poor girl where other treatments have so far failed. 

Bee pollen and stem cell enhancers have emerged as something I haven't yet tried. I don't need people to tell me about skin tests, allergy vaccines and the benefits of Omega 3 (alongside Vitamin E) supplements. I would, however, love to hear from others like me and, of course, the experts on the things they have tried and that actually, truly work. 

VonnyBee Pollen for Pets


Christina Savage, by email