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

ARCHIVE

2016

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Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish

Tag Archives: pet advice

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

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

Grooming to Keep your Pet Healthy and Comfortable During the Winter Months

Winter is hard on skin – for humans and for our pets. Indoor heat and cold arid air outside make skin dry and itchy. Many owners are unsure about the best way to keep their pets comfortable in winter. The solution is to keep up regular grooming schedules.

Following are answers to some of the most often-asked questions about winter skin care.

Q.  Should pets be bathed during the winter?

A. Yes!  A clean pet is a healthy pet. Regular shampooing and brushing during the winter months keep the skin and coat healthy. Follow the shampoo with a conditioning and moisturizing rinse. The drying process is key, because leaving dampness at skin level can cause problems. A short coat might be fine with just a vigorous toweling, but longer hair needs separating with comb or brush and plenty of airflow. Be very careful with your home hair dryer: use the lowest heat setting and keep it moving to prevent burns. (Professional groomers are equipped with high volume, low heat machines to dry quickly and safely.)

Q. Should I leave my pet’s hair long in winter to keep him warm?

A. If you decide to leave the coat longer, be prepared to brush often to prevent matting. Tangles form fast and trap moisture, a major cause of skin problems. Matted hair is not comfy and warm, but air trapped in layers of a well-brushed coat is effective insulation.

Maintain the same haircut schedule year round for breeds that require regular trimming. Your groomer can keep the style longer than in the summer, but allowing hair to “grow in” all winter can necessitate a drastic ‘short shave’ in spring.

If you’re concerned about your pet being cold when he’s outdoors, a sweater or fleece coat is a better option than letting his coat grow long and unruly.

Q.  My dog seems to itch a lot more during the winter. What can I do?

A.  With windows closed and heaters on, low humidity indoors will dry pet’s skin. Counteract this with regular brushing to stimulate and spreads the natural oils.

Medicated shampoos and soothing moisturizing conditioners help if your pet’s skin seems itchy or scaly. Consult a professional groomer or veterinarian for recommendations. Nutrition is also important for skin health; omega oils in food or as a supplement  is good.

Q.  Why do my pets nails seem grow faster in the winter?

A.  When dogs have fewer hours of exercise, nails can become overgrown because they are not being worn down with normal activity. Claws may need more frequent attention during the winter months. The ideal time is after the shampoo, while soft. Nails should  barely touch the ground when the dog is standing. While clipping, check for hair between the pads that form uncomfortable lumps, and trap snow and ice.

House pets need regular grooming for health and hygiene. Don’t skip tasks – like nail clipping and tangle removal – just because they are difficult. If there are things you cannot or do not want to undertake yourself, seek the help of a professional. Your pet will be happier and more comfortable.

 

Tags: Grooming, Pet advice, Winter
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