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Hot dogs: The best accessories for your pampered pooch

What do you buy the mutt who has everything?

Hair apparent: Welcome to the compelling world of competitive 'Cavy fancy'

The peruvian is noted for its soft coat. The cuteness of the Crested, with its cranial tuft and round body, can floor even the most hardened of judges. The Self Saffron, on the other hand, boasts fur like burnt amber. Each breed has its unique traits. But perfect looks don't come easy.

Dear Chamois: Why does my goldfish swim upside down? And how do I stop my parrot swearing?

Q. I found three kittens in a skip in my road. I think they are about four weeks old. Do they still need bottle feeding? And how do I go about this? Rose, via e-mail

The end of the affair: Why do we get so grief-stricken at the loss of a pet?

Once they just got buried in the back garden. Now there are animal coffins and even helplines for bereaved owners...

It's a dog's life: Confessions of a 'pampered pet' owner

Pampered pets are silly creatures who wear tiaras, sleep on waterbeds and eat salmon mousse. They're the last word in Western decadence, the height of cutesy anthropomorphism. Some of them live swankier lives than we do, for heaven's sake. There's even a dog from the Upper East Side who has a butler and won't fly economy. The butler follows him round carrying a plate of fennel strips. It's enough to make you sick. And what more demeaning sight can there be, I ask you, than a pug in the park wearing sun visor and bikini?

Rescue party: The wags are out in force at the Dogs Trust's Oscars

The journey from abandoned hound to doggie dignitary is worthy of a big celebration – the Dogs Trust Honours are the perfect opportunity to hear some tear-jerking canine capers...

Your Questions: What can I do to make my dog eat?

My dog has been on dried food for a while now, but all of a sudden he's not eating so much. I don't know what to do to make him eat! Do you think he's bored of his food? Should I change it? Gill, via e-mail

Pet of the week: The Hermann's tortoise

Who's hiding in here? Testudo hermanni, or Hermann's tortoise, sometimes referred to as a Mediterranean tortoise. He's quite little, for a tortoise, growing to just eight inches, which is smaller than a giant African land snail, for crying out loud.

Your Questions: How do you get rid of hair balls?

Q. I've recently adopted a long-haired cat. She is lovely but sometimes she coughs. Someone told me it could be hair balls. How will I know if it really is hair balls and if so, can you get rid of them? Susan, via e-mail

Your Questions: 'How can I introduce my dog to our new swimming pool safely? Call all dogs can swim?

Q. We have decided to treat ourselves to a new swimming pool this year for the whole family (including the dog). But we are not sure how to introduce the pool safely to him. Is it true that all dogs can swim? Jim, via e-mail

Campaigner with a bone to pick about inbreeding

Jemima Harrison is persona non grata in canine circles after her film, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, highlighted the problems of inbreeding. Undaunted, she smuggled herself into the first day of the annual show to find out whether the issue has been confronted. Jerome Taylor joined her

Your Questions: How can we catch our hamster if he escapes?

Q. My daughter was given a hamster for Christmas that she adores, but she was handling him and he slipped out of her grasp. Luckily, he was not injured and she managed to grab him before he made a dash for it. If she's not so lucky next time, how can we catch him? Julliene, via e-mail

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