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What pooch for the president?

President-elect Barack Obama's promise to his daughters that he would buy them a new puppy for when they move into the White House in January set tails wagging in the dog world. But what breed of pooch will the Obamas take with them to Pennsylvania Avenue?

'Mummy, there's a cheetah in the garden and it's eating my bike'

When nine-year-old Toby Taylor ran into the kitchen on Friday afternoon and told his mother there was a cheetah in their back garden, she assumed he was playing a trick.

Pets' Corner: How can we stop our cat bringing us "gifts" of cuddly toys?

Q. Our Siamese cat regularly brings us "gifts" of cuddly toys, presumably stolen from children in the neighbourhood. We always remove them from him straight away and try to discourage him from bringing us these offerings. Apart from making him unpopular with our neighbours, we are concerned that our first baby, who is due soon, is going to be deprived of all of her toys. How can we teach him that these are not prey? Louise Chesworth, Kent

Pet's Corner: Where can I find out about looking after a new puppy?

Q.I am going to get my new puppy soon and I am hoping that we can enjoy lots of fun activities together. But it's the first time I've owned a dog and I'd like to know where to find out about things for us to do. Where is the best place to start? Ruby, Marylebone, London

Pets' Corner: Our dog won't let us leave the house

My partner has two dogs, one is a four-year-old Patterdale Terrier. The problem is that whenever anyone tries to leave the house he goes completely mad, starts barking and is really aggressive – then races madly around the house. He seems to be trying to stop us from going out and one day he nipped the back of my leg and this has made me really nervous. How can we stop this behaviour? Jeanette Thompson, via e-mail

Pets' Corner: 'My dog's become a fatty bum'

I've recently been on holiday only to come back and find, to my horror, that my beautiful cocker spaniel, Charlie, has become a "fatty bum"! He is so huge that I don't really know where to start to get him back in shape. Please help! Christina, London

Crisis in the kennel: Is Crufts cruel?

The RSPCA has unleashed controversy with claims that pedigree breeding programmes can leave animals deformed. So is Crufts cruel?

Keep costs on a leash and don't join the thousands who put their pets to sleep

As many owners decide the vets' bills aren't worth it, Jacob Floyd sees how to find the right cover, and how to save on food and medicine

Pets' Corner: I don't have time for my dogs

I have two beautiful dogs that I've owned for about five years. But I am struggling with work commitments, which are taking me away from home a lot. I walk them in the morning and evening, and I have a dog walker who pops in twice a week, but I don't know how much longer I can afford this. Am I being cruel by leaving them for so long? Is it time for me to say goodbye to them? Lindsey, via e-mail

Pets' Corner: Will our holiday set back our cat's rehabilitation?

Last November, we acquired a beautiful moggy called Max. His previous owners tragically died in a car accident. We don't think he was given much affection, as he was rather jumpy, but now he's a part of our family. I am worried when we go on holiday all my good work will go to waste as we have to put him in a cattery for a week. Will this set him back in his rehabilitation? Jenny Swire, via e-mail

Pets' Corner: Who can I donate my terrapins to?

I will be emigrating to Dubai soon and I have four terrapins in a large tank and a tropical crab in another. As we are not taking them with us, I was wondering if I could donate them to any farm or zoo. Would they take our pets off our hands? Sharmaine, Staffordshire

Pets' Corner: Our Labrador can't be trained to come back

We have a beautiful two-year-old black Labrador, who simply cannot be trained to come back. We've spent a fortune on one-to-one training and started to use an electric shock collar on him. Even with this and food, he still doesn't come back. He just finds other dogs irresistible. Please help! Mr and Mrs Mackenzie, Hampshire

Pets' corner: How long can we leave our dog in the car for?

Now that the summer has finally come, I'm looking forward to taking day trips with my family and our new six-month-old Springer Spaniel. He's great and enjoys the outdoors. But if there is somewhere we cannot take him inside, how long can we leave him in the car for? Ashley Lewis, London

Pets' Corner: How to stop our cat bringing mice into the house?

We have an eight-year-old tabby/tortoiseshell cat. She brings mice into the house from outside nearly every night. We've put a bell on her collar and we do reprimand her when we see her with a mouse and she has the courtesy to take it outside again. How can we stop her bringing these mice into the house? Jackie Nicholson, via e-mail

Pets' Corner: Will all my cats get along?

My 13-year-old daughter and I would like to get a short-haired, grey "teacup" Chihuahua. We have two eight-year-old cats and I am worried about how they would get on together. Also, it would be alone while my daughter is at school and I've heard they pee a lot. Is this true? Rosie Sauvage, via e-mail

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