Westie gets in such a flap

We have inherited a seven-year-old Westie and he's settled in well but he used to live in a very rural area.

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So when traffic and people come past our house (which is all the time) he goes mad, biting the furniture and ripping things up. We love him dearly but this can't continue - we need help!

People and cars passing by are a common focus of excitable behaviour, probably because dogs are very sociable animals. It can also be a sign of anxiety though. It's important to find out what the trigger is for this behaviour, then see if you can lessen it. For instance, get a friend to pose as a 'passer by' and then only praise and reward him when he remains calm. Our website has more tips www.pdsa.org.uk/dogbehaviour

Bite distress

My cat sometimes bites at a specific place on her back and rips her fur out, then licks or bites it until it bleeds. My vet says she is allergic to fleas but she doesn't scratch anywhere else. Is there anything else I can try?

It is good that you visited your vet, as they are best placed to advise you. A flea allergy is a possibility, even if your cat never goes outside. Regular pet flea treatments, if used correctly, should kill fleas that are living on your cat. But eggs and larvae can still remain in carpets, blankets and beds for quite some time, so it is important to treat your home as well, otherwise the problem will continue. You should also treat any other pets living in your home. Never use a dog flea treatment on your cat - it can cause fatal poisoning.

Sore budgie

OUR budgie scratches all the time. We've sprayed him with mite spray but his skin still looks red and sore. Does he need to see a vet?

Scratching can be a sign of mites, or other skin parasites. However, your budgie's sore skin could also be a result of 'feather plucking' which can have quite a few causes, with boredom or anxiety being common. It can also be a bacterial or fungal infection. Get your budgie examined and it might also be useful to think about his environment - make sure there are plenty of toys for him, and change these regularly.

Pets

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