Stuart McMorrow answers your pet questions
Q I take my dog to the park every day, but she always searches for other dogs’ poo and then rolls around in it. It smells awful and I have to wash her constantly.
A It’s thought that rolling in poo is something dogs have inherited from their ancestors to mask their own smell when they went out hunting.
It is quite difficult to stop them doing this, but making sure your dog is well trained and comes back to you every time you call her will help. You’ll have to be very observant and call your dog back if she spends too long sniffing in one place.
Reward your dog when she comes back with a toy or game.
Q I have a young pet goat called Miranda. Although I spend plenty of time with her I worry that she is lonely, and am thinking of getting her a companion. Would a male or female be best?
A Goats are very social animals and do need the company of another goat, so getting Miranda a companion is a good idea. However, first make sure you have enough space, time – keeping a goat is a 365-day job – and money to take on a second goat.
A female can be kept with another female or a castrated male. The new goat should be housed in the same paddock, but in a separate pen for a while. This will allow them to get used to each other without being able to fight, then once they are more familiar with each other you can start with short, supervised meetings.
Q I gave my cats a little bit of turkey at Christmas as a treat, but now they’re really fussy with their food. We’ve tried loads of different pouches and brands but they’re still hardly eating.
A If an animal stops eating it could be a possible health problem, so you should get your cats checked by your vet to make sure they aren’t unwell.
If they are healthy, they may have learned that if they refuse their cat food they will eventually be fed a tasty treat instead. I would also recommend placing each of their food bowls in a different room in a position where one cat can’t prevent the other cat from eating, and make sure the bowls are not positioned close to their litter trays.