Dear Vicki, I res­cued my twoyear-old Cock­apoo, Char­lie, a year ago. He’d never been walked or met other peo­ple or dogs, and al­though he walks well on the lead now, he’s very ner­vous around new peo­ple and dogs, of­ten jump­ing away and bark­ing. What do you sug­gest? FEARS like this can de­velop if pup­pies do not have op­por­tu­ni­ties to meet and have friendly con­tact with peo­ple and other an­i­mals. Bad ex­pe­ri­ences, such as be­ing at­tacked by another dog, can also cause fear. Ask a dog-own­ing friend to walk their calm and friendly dog at the same time as you walk Char­lie, on the other side of a field over a few weeks. Each time walk closer to­wards this dog; only a lit­tle at first, then grad­u­ally get closer over the com­ing weeks. If Char­lie be­comes anx­ious, don’t try to comfort him, sim­ply turn back and walk fur­ther away again. If Char­lie re­mains calm, re­ward him with an en­cour­ag­ing voice, or a small treat. Dear Vicki, I’ve res­cued a young cat and have booked her in to be neutered, but what if she comes into sea­son? Will this stop her be­ing neutered? WHEN a cat is in sea­son, the blood ves­sels sup­ply­ing the ovaries and womb are big­ger and the womb it­self can be a bit more frag­ile than nor­mal, so the oper­a­tion can there­fore be very slightly riskier. How­ever, be­ing in sea­son doesn’t af­fect a cat’s oper­a­tion as much as dogs. There are also other risks that your vet will take into ac­count be­fore they go ahead and they will check her over care­fully be­fore surgery.

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