Post by Category : Pet Health

Dental Health for Dogs  0

Pet Dental HealthFebruary is National Pet Dental Health month, and believe it or not, there are many ways to keep your pooches pearly whites healthy in addition to brushing. In order for brushing to be effective it should be performed multiple times per week. If you are looking to start a pet dental regimen, I recommend purchasing Virbac CET toothpaste online or from your vet. Virbac toothpaste provides a natural antibacterial action and inhibits the formation of plaque. It also acts quickly to help eliminate mouth odors.  If your pet struggles with a toothbrush, you can use something as simple as gauze wrapped around your finger.

There are many other ways to keep your dog’s teeth clean over the course of their life. A daily diet of kibble is going to be much better for your dog than wet food, which can get stuck in between their teeth. The quality of the dog food can make a difference—kibble with higher protein content will be more beneficial in the long run.

I recommend chew toys such as Nylabones to all my clients for multiple issues. Keeping your dog busy with chews and toys is not only good for your dog’s mental well-being, but it is also good for their teeth and gums. Giving your dog chews and toys daily helps to mechanically remove plaque and tartar, and is likely the easiest thing you can do for your dog.

And last but certainly not least, there are all kinds of dog treats designed specifically to help with your dog’s dental health (and breath)! Not all products advertised this way work as well as others but your best bet is to look into products that are approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. You can find a full list of products with the VOHC seal of acceptance at VOHC Seal.

Dental issues can lead to much more serious problems as your pet ages. Practicing good dental hygiene as soon as possible is the way to go. The younger you start brushing your dog’s teeth, the more likely they are to get used to it and maybe even enjoy it.

 

About the Author: Jessica Vezina is a certified dog trainer, working with animals full-time at Manypaws Pet Villa in Westport, MA. When she is not at work, Jessica does occasional volunteer work, and enjoys spending time with her three cats, and rescue dog named Stella. She can be contacted at vezinadogtraining@gmail.com and/or 508-642-4863.

Do you brush your dog’s teeth?  0

Dog Dental HealthPeriodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in dogs and cats even though it’s completely preventable. Teaching your pet to accept a regular dental regimen early in life is by far the easiest way to keep plaque at bay.

Starting a pet dental routine now can save on future veterinary bills. With your attention to a good health routine, your dog can enjoy healthy gums, fresh breath, and fewer visits to the veterinarian.

 

 

We recommend that pet owners follow five basic steps:

 

  1. Understand your pet’s oral health needs. Talk with your veterinarian. At your pet’s next annual checkup ask your veterinarian about preventative care for your pet’s teeth.
  2. Develop, then follow, a daily oral health routine with your pet. Gracie’s daily routine starts before she’s tucked into bed for the night. She is calm and relaxed during this time, which makes for the perfect opportunity to tend to her oral care needs.
  3. The best way to brush your dog’s teeth is to use a brush or wrap your finger in gauze and hold it at a 45-degree angle to the teeth. When we first introduced Gracie to home dental care, our veterinarian recommended we focus on the teeth located inside the cheek areas first.
  4. Bring a variety to brushing. We generally brush Gracie’s teeth daily, but on the days when we may not have the time to brush, we still always make sure we use an alternative dental option such as pet dental wipes or a pet dental spray.
  5. Feed your pet a balanced diet and consider safe and appropriate chew toys. Although not all safe products have Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) approval, using products with the VOHC seal of acceptance is recommended as these products have successfully met pre-set requirements for veterinary dental efficacy and safety.

Did you know that 70-85% of pets over the age of 2 have some form of dental disease? Here are some signs that your pet may have dental disease:

  • Bad breath
  • Discolored teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Red, inflamed gums
  • Swollen mouth, jaws, or gums
  • Doesn’t play with chew toys as often
  • Pain when eating

Our senior cat Luke recently had four teeth removed because he was suffering from bad breath, inflamed gums and pain when eating.  It is important to have your pet checked for dental disease, as this disease can have major impacts on your pet’s organs, including the heart, liver, and kidneys.

While February is National Pet Dental Month, dental health should be a daily ritual for pet owners all year long.  Help us spread the word about the importance of pet dental care. Send us a photo of your dog showing off their pearly whites!  Email us at tammi@graciesbark.org.

 

Did you know that a spayed or neutered animal will live a longer, healthier life?  0

Spay Neuter AwarenessEach year the month of February is declared Spay and Neuter Awareness Month. According to the Humane Society of the United States, every year between six million and eight million animals enter U.S. shelters, and between three million and four million of these animals are euthanized because there are not enough homes for them.

The thought of this many animals being euthanized in the United States alone is quite staggering.

Millions of dogs and cats of all ages and breeds are euthanized each year or suffer as strays. Many of these are the result of unwanted, unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering your pet. In honor of Spay and Neuter Awareness month, we wanted to educate potential and existing pet owners of the benefits to spaying and neutering their pets.

  1. Spaying female dogs and cats prior to their first heat cycle, nearly eliminates the risk of breast cancer, uterine infections and uterine cancer.
  2. Neutering male dogs and cats prevents testicular cancer and enlargement of the prostate gland. It can also help with some behavioral issues such as aggression, territory marking, and the tendency to roam away from home.
  3. A long-term benefit is overall improved health for both dogs and cats.

Although shelters do their best to place dogs and cats in loving homes, the number of homeless animals far exceeds the number of willing adopters. Spaying and neutering can help end the overpopulation problem.

Generally, it is safe to spay or neuter most puppies and kittens at 8 weeks of age. However, be sure to check with your veterinarian and have your pet evaluated before scheduling spay or neuter surgery.

As a pet owner, if you find yourself in need of financial assistance to spay or neuter your dog or cat, there are more options available than you think.

  1. Call your local humane society or animal shelter and tell them you are looking for low-cost spay/neuter services.
  2. Talk to your veterinarian. You might be able to work out payment arrangements.
  3. Contact Care Credit, which offers credit plans for veterinary services.

If you are still in need of financial assistance for your pet, the Humane Society of the United States has a Trouble Affording Your Pet Resource Guide containing a comprehensive list of pet financial aid-related organizations.

Below is a list of state resources for pet owners in New England:

Massachusetts

Rhode Island

Connecticut

Maine

New Hampshire

Vermont

In addition to living a longer, healthier life, a spayed or neutered animal will also be a happier, more behaved pet.