Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish
Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish

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2017

Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish

Pet Dental Health Month – Preventative Care

Brush Your Pet's TeethPreventive care and client education is an important step to introducing, implementing and improving overall dental and oral medical quality in your practices.  Understanding the veterinary team’s (DVMs, veterinary technicians and assistants, receptionists, managers) role in preventing periodontal disease before pathology develops through the three keys to preventive dental care are critical steps to embrace. Suggestions for partnering with your clients to actively involve them in their pet’s oral home care, understanding client perceptions, providing confident and personalized recommendations, working as a team to change and improve the hospital culture will be addressed.

Clients play a key role in insuring the success and oral health of their pet.  Proper education of the client regarding the need for home care and teaching the client to brush and to start an effective home care routine is important. This begins at an early age when pets are puppies and kittens. The hospital staff needs to spend enough time with the clients, explaining the causes of periodontal disease, so they will understand why it is important to continue home dental care and to recognize when problems are present so that proper intervention can occur.

During the pet’s first visit, and then during subsequent visits when the puppy or kitten receives vaccinations, the mouth needs to be examined.  Signs of malocclusions, retained deciduous teeth, developmental problems such as cleft palate, trauma or fractured teeth should be identified.  Discuss with clients when and which deciduous teeth fall out and inform them that the best way to begin preventive dental care is to start brushing the teeth when the pet is young, so he/she will get accustom to brushing.

Tooth brushing is the most effective means to prevent plaque and subsequent calculus build up because it is the mechanical action of the brushing that is effective in reducing plaque accumulation. Pet dental products such as toothpastes, toothbrushes, finger pads, finger brushes and dental wipes are available and should be used. Human dental care products should not be used. Dental diets, exercise toys, rawhide strips, dental treats, and many other dental toys can help reduce and eliminate the buildup of plaque and calculus.   Family and pet compliance will determine the best dental home care required for each pet. Cow hooves, bones, hard plastic toys such as Nylabones can fracture teeth and should be avoided.

Tags: Ask the Vet, Cats, Dogs, Health, Pet advice, Pet dental health month, Preventative pet care

February is National Pet Dental Health Month

Brush Your Pet's TeethAnyone who has ever been loved by a dog knows that “doggy breath” is not always the most pleasant smell but did you know that halitosis might actually be a sign of a bigger problem?  According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by the age of 3! We all know that brushing and flossing is important to keep our own teeth healthy but your furry family members need the same care and attention to their oral health.

Periodontal disease is a common problem we see in both dogs and cats but it can be prevented. One of the best ways to care for your fur babies teeth is to brush them daily. It sounds scary but its actually pretty easy. Click here for some instructions on how to do it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB3GIAgrTPE

When oral health is neglected, bacteria and plaque build up on teeth and can get into your pets bloodstream and lead to serious health problems. The organs most often affected are the kidneys, liver, heart and lungs.

If you would like to have your pets teeth examined and get some help learning how to care for your pets teeth, be sure to schedule a visit with your Best Friends veterinarian. Your veterinary health care team can teach you about brushing, what the best treats are for your pet, and what to watch for in case of a dental problem. Signs of dental disease can include:

  • Bad breath
  • Discolored teeth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Difficulty chewing or loss of appetite

If your pet already has dental problems or periodontal disease, your veterinarian may recommend a dental cleaning under general anesthesia. Anesthesia is required to make sure that dental x-rays can be taken and that the veterinary team can do a thorough job of cleaning and polishing all of the teeth. Dogs or cats with severe problems may even benefit from seeing a veterinarian who is a dental specialist certified through the American Veterinary Dental College (http://www.avdc.org/ ).

A little extra care on your part will keep those pearly whites healthy and those tails wagging!

Tags: Cats, Dental Health Month, Dentistry, Dogs, Pet health

What are the recommended daily servings for my pet based on?

Dog with lots of dog foodNot only is the type of food that we feed our furry family members important but, it is also critical to know HOW MUCH we should be feeding. We are often asked, “How much of this food should I be feeding my pet per day?” and the answer is, “It depends.” We aren’t trying to be difficult, we promise. The reality is however, that a lot of different factors go into determining what the right amount of food is for your pet.

Most commercial dog and cat foods offer feeding recommendations on the label that are specific to that diet. This is because the calorie content can be quite different from one diet to the next so, 100 calories may be 1 cup of one food but 2 cups of a different food.

So what are feeding recommendations based on? We know from years of research that, just as in people, dogs and cats have resting metabolic requirements and researchers have developed simple formulas to determine what these daily calorie requirements are. This amount is based predominately on the pet’s weight. From there, other things such as age and activity level are considered.

For example, senior pet foods take into account that these pets are not going to be as active as a 1 or 2-year-old so their energy (calorie) requirements will be less. A puppy, on the other hand, needs more calories in the growing phase of their life so their energy requirements will greater than those of an adult dog.

The label recommendations on the can or bag are meant to be used as guidelines. This means they are a good place to start but your pet may need a little more or a little less based on the factors listed above. The good news is that there are easy to use calculators that you can find online that will help you determine the ideal amount of food you should be feeding based on your individual pet’s needs. For an example of one, click here. You will need to know your pets weight (or ideal weight if you are trying to promote weight loss) and the calories per serving in the diet you are feeding.

This can all seem very daunting but remember, if you have ANY questions about what you are feeding your furry family members or how much you should be feeding, your veterinarian is a great resource. Don’t be afraid to ask to ask for their advice!

Tags: Ask the Vet, Diet, Dogs, Health, Pet advice, Pet Food, Pets, Tips, Weight
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