Dr. Bruce Syme's Replies


Natural calm

Q: My anxious 11-month-old rescue dog goes through rounds of panic and alert barking, and my trainer suggested giving it calming natural remedies like valerian root, Bach flower remedies and catnip extract. What natural remedies are safe to be...

Making sense of scents

Q: Recently, I bought some essential oils for myself and I read that they have various uses for dogs too. I understand not all of them are safe for dogs and that they have to be diluted before use. Which would you recommend, and for what purposes?

Kitty goes raw-r

Q: We’ve heard about the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) diet for dogs, but less has been talked about its suitability for cats. If I want to start my kitty on a BARF diet, how should I go about doing it?

Breaking the foul cycle

I adopted a seven-year-old Silky Terrier from a puppy mill six months ago. She’s been eating her own poop since we got her. We initially thought it was because she didn’t get enough nutrition as a former breeding dog, but even with a...

Bile-churning problem

Q: My vet told me that my four-year-old Miniature Schnauzer is slightly overweight, so she recommended reducing her daily feeding portion by about 15 to 20 percent. Whenever I do, she vomits a yellowish fluid. She’s currently on a mix of grain-...

Furry cancer fighter

Q: My Golden Retriever was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. The vet advised against chemotherapy, so he is currently on steroids instead. Is there any way I can improve his diet to make it more suitable for his current condition? What are some...

Proper pee

My vet recently found that my Sheltie’s urine has an abnormally high pH. She is on a prescription kibble diet, but the ingredients don’t look very good. Should I switch her back to her regular freeze-dried raw diet?

gummy pains

My 13-year-old dog has lost most of his teeth, and I’ve noticed that he’s starting to have difficulty eating. Are there any soft yet nutritious foods you can suggest for him?

Stinky beyond belief

I recently adopted a two-year-old Singapore Special, and realised that his poop is so pungent—worse than any of my other dogs’ waste! I think it was because he used to be a stray dog, so he probably ate a lot of junk food. How do you recommend I...

Tender tummy

Q: My dog often gets mild diarrhoea or indigestion from ingesting just about anything, including wet canned food and fruit. What foods or supplements can help tackle his belly woes?