Dear PDSA Vet: What's the best way to keep your dog's ears clean? Martin

The best way to clean your dog’s ears is to use a pet safe ear cleaner.

Gently lift your dog’s ear and insert the nozzle of the ear cleaner, being careful not to push the bottle too far inside.

Squeeze a small amount of the ear cleaner inside the ear canal and massage in to loosen any dirt.

Your dog will probably want to shake their head after that – let them! This will help bring material from deep inside the ears to the surface.

With cotton wool around your finger, gently wipe wax and excess cleaner from the outer part of your dog’s ear, but not the inside as reaching in too far can cause damage. For a step-by-step guide, check out our video pdsa.org.uk/earproblems.

Dear PDSA Vet: My rabbit reacts badly when I pick him up, but he has no issue with other people doing so. Why is this? Valerie

Compare the way other people handle him to see if you are holding him in the same way.

It’s possible your bunny may have had a worrying experience previously, which may not have seemed significant at the time to you but he’s remembered resulting in a lack of trust. So, start from scratch.

Try getting into his enclosure and sitting quietly at his level, encouraging him to come to you with food. Once he’s used to you doing this regularly and knows you’ll sit quietly, he may attempt to venture closer to you, he may even try and stand on your legs, let him investigate.

Once he’s confident and trusting of you, he should be happier if you gently lift him onto your lap.

Dear PDSA Vet: How can I keep my dog cool in warm weather? Shadiya

There are lots of things you can do to help keep your dog cool and contented on hot summer days.

Our furry friends still need regular walks, even during hotter weather, but avoid going out during the warmest part of the day – early mornings and evenings are preferable. Stick to the shade where possible and make sure your dog has access to fresh water at all times.

As much as we enjoy being out in the sunshine, make sure your pup can choose to go indoors – a cool, tiled floor may be where they’d prefer to spend a hot day.

A shallow paddling pool or washing up bowl filled with cool water could also give your dog a chance to cool off their paws, and join in with the summer fun.

For more advice and the signs of heatstroke to watch out for, visit pdsa.org.uk/keepingdogscool

Dear PDSA Vet: My cat has just been diagnosed with asthma, is there anything I need to do differently now? Mele

Fortunately, most asthmatic cats respond well to medication, but there are several things we can also do in the home to reduce triggers. Cats with asthma have extremely sensitive lungs that react to particles in the air (such as smoke and dust).

For this reason, it’s really important to keep the air your cat breathes as pure as possible.

You can do this by avoiding home fragrances such as sprays, incense sticks, plug-in diffusers and candles, and by vacuuming regularly – and it’s really important to have a smoke-free household. If your cat spends most of their time indoors, consider an air filter, and use a dust free litter.

I’d also recommend feeding your cat wet food, and ensuring you help them maintain a healthy weight, as obesity can make asthma worse.

PDSA is the vet charity for pets in need, preventing unnecessary suffering through treatment and education. Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information. www.pdsa.org.uk