QI have a year-old labradoodle. For the past six months he has a dry scaly skin. I give him Vetzyme pure cod liver oil every day. I also bath him three times a week with deep cleansing shampoo for his skin.

Also, I groom him five times a week but it doesn’t seem to be working. Can you help me please? S Dodds, Henley A Well you are certainly putting the hours in on this dog’s coat!

The cod liver oil is a great idea as it gives omega 3, other fatty acids, vitamins A and D and should help to maintain a healthy skin.

Grooming also helps by removing dead hair and by increasing general blood flow to the skin.

However, I feel you are overdoing it with the bathing and may be adding to the problem by washing out the skin oils and so leaving the skin dry and flakey.

There are very few conditions needing bathing three times weekly but a medicated shampoo could benefit when used less often.

I suggest you have a chat to your vet and have him checked out for underlying problems and then come up with a programme of skin care which will help this frustrating problem.

Q My tom kitten seems to have a cold – sneezing, runny nose, wheezing with difficulty breathing. His eye is also weeping a bit and this morning it seemed he couldn’t open it much. What should I do ? Sally Morgan, Oxford A Your kitten may have cat flu. This, like human flu, is caused by a virus.

If this is a mild case then your kitten should shake this off quickly; however, sometimes the disease can involve appetite loss, dehydration, pneumonia and death. Another possibility is the kitten carries the virus after recovery and the disease flares up later in life.

I advise you take your kitten to your vet, especially if there is loss of appetite as the young can become very poorly quite quickly.

In the meantime, bathe the eyes and nose with hand-warm water, make sure he is kept cosy, offer tasty food (smelly fish like pilchard is good) and encourage him to drink (use a dropper if necessary).

Q My cat lives at my parents’ house which is safe from traffic and he is free to roam.

Where I live has busy roads nearby, and I work seven days a week and he doesn’t like being left on his own.

I get three or four days off every other week and would like my cat to stay with me at my house at these times.

Do you think this would work with him staying in two different places or would it unsettle him too much?

F. Whitaker, Didcot A Cats are very adaptable creatures but I am not sure this routine is going to work.

My worry is the tendency for cats to simply move out if they don’t like a situation.

In your case he may try to get back to your mum’s place and unless he is streetwise this could end in disaster.

On the other hand you could choose to keep him indoors at your place and he may be fine with this, or, it may stress him out.

I think he will be happier with one home and a visiting auntie/uncle!

The only way to find out is to do a trial run – please have him identichipped before you do it in case he runs away.