Dear PDSA Vet - Our dog Monty loves visiting the beach, but he gets quite travel sick in the car. Is there anything we can do to help him? Juliette

Dear Juliette - Poor Monty! I’d advise leaving at least an hour between feeding him and setting off. There are some medications which could help ease motion sickness and settle Monty’s stomach, even when it’s empty, so it’s worth speaking to your vet. All dogs should wear a pet seatbelt or safety harness when travelling to keep everyone in the car safe, and make sure you take regular breaks so he can stretch his legs and have a drink. Monty might be getting anxious or over-excited, which could be contributing to his travel sickness. So try reward-based training for car travel as this can help to teach him the car is a safe place and he needs to stay calm and relaxed. More info on how to do this is on our website:

Dear PDSA Vet - How can we discourage my granddaughter’s new hamster from biting? Jean

Dear Jean - It’ll take time and patience to get your hamster used to his new surroundings and being handled, as he may be scared after arriving at a new home. When you approach the enclosure do it quietly and talk softly. Introduce your hamster to your hand by placing it inside his home, but not picking him up. You can put a little treat in your palm too. It may take several days or weeks until he feels comfortable around your hand. When he seems more confident, wait until he’s come out from his nest and is facing you before you pick him up, or you can start off by just stroking him and feeding a treat whilst doing so. If he’s asleep then don’t disturb him - he will almost certainly bite through fright, as they are nocturnal animals. Always wash your hands before and after handling your hamster, as they rely a great deal on their sense of smell.

Dear PDSA Vet - My seven year old budgie has started to breathe quite rapidly and his feathers are fluffed up. He’s also stopped eating so I’m very worried. What could be wrong? Ged

Dear Ged - It sounds like your budgie could have a respiratory problem. Possible causes include bacteria, fungi and viruses. Other triggers in the home include candles, aerosol sprays and cooking. Some diseases can pass between birds and people, such as a condition called psittacosis. This can cause quite serious illness in budgies and people, so it is very important that you take your budgie to see your vet. Signs of psittacosis are very wide ranging and some affected birds don’t show symptoms, but others that are severely affected can have problems breathing, diarrhoea, extreme tiredness and a discharge from their eyes and nose. If the vet suspects psittacosis, they will advise you about the condition and will suggest that you go to your doctor to discuss any health implications.