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Pet Subjects: 'how can I get my dog to come out of the water? I've tried everything!'

Pete Wedderburn 
Our expert answers the most common questions from pet owners  Credit: PATRICK BOLGER/ Christopher Pledger

Dear Pete

Our four-year-old golden retriever will not come out of water when we call her, which is very inconvenient as we live near a river and a beach. We have tried treats and toys, but the only answer is going into the water and hauling her out or keeping her on a long leash to control her. Any ideas?

BM, Dorset

Dear BM

The problem is that being in the water is so much fun for her that treats, toys and praise can’t compete in the enjoyability stakes. Why should she come back? You need to spend time training her to come when called (so-called “recall”) in an environment where there are no distractions (such as the back garden), where there’s nothing more fun to do than come back to you. Repeat, repeat, repeat, then gradually increase distractions around her until she finally has bombproof recall. A professional dog trainer (apdt.co.uk) will help you achieve this quickly and effectively.

Dear Pete 

A friend lost her pet rabbit last week after he developed flystrike, and I am terrified that this might happen to my own two rabbits, Tik and Tok. What can I do to prevent this?

MK, Towcester

Dear MR 

Flystrike happens when fly eggs laid on rabbits hatch out into maggots, and it can be fatal within 24 hours. Prevention is key. Take steps to stop flies being attracted to your pets. Check their bottoms twice daily, cleaning away any traces of urine or faeces. Also, monitor both rabbits for any small wounds or any discharges. Remove all dirty litter or bedding twice daily so that flies aren’t attracted to their hutch. Finally, ask your vet about a product called Rearguard: one application of this to your pets lasts for 10 weeks, preventing fly eggs from hatching into maggots.

Help needed for annual UK roadkill survey

To assist conservation, the wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (ptes.org) is calling on anyone using Britain’s roads to record sightings of any mammals injured or killed. Records can easily be submitted via the free Mammals on Roads app for Android and iOS.

Rescue pet

Chunky the cat 

Chunky is a friendly and cuddly 11-year-old black cat looking for a calm home with outdoor space. For more details, visit bluecross.org.uk or contact Blue Cross Cambridge on 0300 777 1470.

To view outcomes of rescued pets, see petethevet.com/rescues

Send queries to [email protected] or tweet 
@PeteTheVet. All sick animals should be taken to a vet

Pet Subjects by Peter Wedderburn is published by Aurum Press (£12.99). To order a copy  visit books.telegraph.co.uk