Answered by PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing.

Dear PDSA Vet: Is it possible for dogs to get hay fever? Since the warmer weather, my pooch, Winston, seems to be sneezing a lot more than normal and doesn’t seem to enjoy going through fields when we're out walking. Gwenyth

Dogs sneeze for the same reason we do, because something has irritated the inside of their nose – this could be dust, perfumes, or smoke. The odd sneeze is nothing to worry about, but as Winston is sneezing a lot more than normal, I would take him to your vet to rule out a respiratory infection, or a foreign body. Dogs don’t develop hay fever in the same way that humans do, but they can be affected by allergens, so your vet will give Winston a thorough examination to determine the cause.

Dear PDSA Vet: My rescue dog, Pete, has always been a bit nervous, but recently he gets stressed when I go out and I always seem to return home to find something chewed. Can you give me any advice? William

It sounds as though poor Pete could be suffering from separation-related behaviours, or separation anxiety. This is a common behavioural problem that leads to a dog becoming panicked and stressed when they are left alone, or separated from their owner. It can cause them to display behaviours such as constant pacing, drooling, toileting in the house, destructiveness (e.g., chewing) and/or constant barking. I’d recommend taking Pete to your vet to be sure there are no underlying medical reasons for his behaviour. They will be able to give you advice, and may suggest referring Pete to an accredited animal behaviourist. For more guidance on how to help your pet overcome separation anxiety, you can visit

Dear PDSA Vet: My pet canary has red and slightly swollen eyes. What's the best course of action to take? Can I clean them myself, or could it be something more serious? Rylan

There are a few different things that can cause a bird’s eye to become inflamed like this, so I’d suggest getting your canary checked over by a vet – preferably one with a special interest in avian medicine – to determine the cause. Your canary may have an infection, they may have injured their eye, or have an ulcer, which is sometimes seen in birds kept on loose sand, or that have grass awns, seed husks, or gravel in their cage. Swollen and red eyes can be quite uncomfortable, so I’d recommend seeing a vet as soon as possible.

Dear PDSA Vet: I am considering getting a new puppy but my two cats don’t get on with other animals. Do you have any tips? Cassie

Cats are easily stressed by changes to their environment, so it’s important to always think carefully about introducing a new furry family member. A new puppy in the home could be particularly problematic as they may cause your cats to feel very anxious, which could even trigger stress-related problems such as cystitis. If you do introduce a new pup, you will need to ensure each cat has a safe space they can retreat to, where the puppy cannot go, as building their relationship with a new pet will be a gradual process. Cats feel particularly secure if they can be high up, such as on a cat bed placed safely on top of shelving or a bookcase.

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