VETS Q&A

Rossendale Free Press - - Rossendale People - VICKI LARKHAM

I’M go­ing on hol­i­day soon and plan­ning on tak­ing my dog to the beach, am I right in think­ing all dogs can swim? DON’T as­sume your dog will be able to do the doggy pad­dle straight away, they have to learn to swim like us. While many are nat­u­rally strong swim­mers, some breeds (such as cor­gis, dachshunds and pugs) find it more dif­fi­cult so might need more sup­port. Tides and strong cur­rents can make the sea a dan­ger­ous place, so al­ways check con­di­tions are safe, make sure the beach is dog-friendly and ideally has a life­guard. Try swim­ming in gen­tler wa­ters or splash­ing around in a pad­dling pool at first. Drink­ing sea wa­ter can make dogs sick, so rinse them off af­ter swim­ming and make sure they’ve plenty of fresh wa­ter to drink. For more haz­ards visit www.pdsa.org.uk/ sum­mer. MY daugh­ter would like a rab­bit, but we only have a small, con­crete back yard. Can they be trained to live in­doors? RAB­BITS can live in­doors, but all rab­bits need es­sen­tials to keep them healthy. One of these is a friend – they are very so­cia­ble so you should al­ways keep them in pairs or groups. Their home­base should have a min­i­mum floor space of 10x6ft (3x2m) – but even big­ger is bet­ter. They can be eas­ily lit­ter-trained: pop some of their drop­pings in a filled lit­ter tray and give a treat when they use it. Rab­bits need to be able to per­form all their nat­u­ral be­hav­iours like chew­ing, dig­ging, hid­ing, play­ing and run­ning: you could plant some safe veg­gies in pots, pro­vide tun­nels and hid­ing spots and a dig­ging box and make a run out­side so they can en­joy some time in the fresh air.

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