Pet Q&A: Stuart McMorrow answers your questions

My daughter and her husband have a nine-month-old Dachshund named Jack. We’re aware this breed can take some time to ‘potty train’, but he continues to poo on the kitchen floor.

I would recommend that you take Jack to your vet for a check-up, to make sure there are no underlying medical conditions such as an enzyme deficiency or tummy upset, that might cause Jack to go to the toilet more frequently. If he gets a clean bill of health then your daughter will need to re-start potty training as though Jack were a puppy again.

I have just bought a hamster, and every time I try and get her out, she goes back down her tunnel or runs away from me as fast as she can.

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Your hamster is doing this because everything is new and scary for her at the moment. To stop her being scared always approach her calmly and gently and remember that hamsters are nocturnal, often asleep during the day, so waking them up can cause stress. Let her eat her favourite food from your hand so that she learns to associate you with something nice. Then, when she is happy with this, gently scoop her up in your open palms, remembering to always hold her low down in case she falls. She may never be 100 per cent confident being handled, but if you are calm and patient with her, her confidence should improve.

My three-year-old cat, Saffy, goes really crazy when I try to give her a worming tablet. It ends up being a real fight and must be stressful for her.

You should mention to your veterinary practice that you are struggling to get Saffy to swallow her worming tablets, and they may suggest alternatives, such as spot-on wormers you could use instead. These spot-on medications come in a tube so that the medicine can be applied directly to the skin on the back of the neck. All you would then need to do is gently part the fur and apply the drops to the skin beneath. This soaks in to the skin, enters the bloodstream and spreads around the body to where it is needed.

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