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 health

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

It’s the New Year! Did you make resolutions for your pets in 2016?

Lots of Dog Food

It’s that time of year where hope springs eternal and we resolve to make positive changes for ourselves AND our fur babies. Given the temptation of yummy treats over the holidays, these resolutions are often centered around health and weight. Be honest, did your pet put on a few pound over the holidays? If you and your pet have resolved to greet 2016 with a new food attitude, here are some tips to help you, help your pet:

  • Portion control

Many of us “guesstimate” the amount of food that we feed our pets but doing this can really overestimate the amount of food that they should be getting. Be sure to measure the amount every time you feed. The recommended guidelines on the bag of food are a good place to start but, depending on your pets age and level of exercise, you may need to cut this back a bit as well (usually by about 10%-20%). For example, older pets or those with sedentary lifestyles may not have the same calorie requirements of a young or very athletic dog.

  • Watch the snacks

Snacking can quickly add up to too many calories and excess weight so keep an eye on how often you are giving your pet snacks. If you like to give snacks as rewards and are watching your dog’s weight, some healthy options include apples (no seeds/core), strawberries, watermelon (no seeds), green beans, or carrots.

  • Get out there and exercise

If just taking a walk doesn’t sound appealing, how about trying a new activity with your dog? Hiking or swimming are great ways to spend time with your dog and a great way for both of you to get some exercise. For cats, new prey toys, food toys, lasers, or catnip toys are great ways to encourage your favorite feline to get moving and burn some calories.

  • Schedule a visit with your veterinarian

A trip to the vet is an important part of your pet’s health and should happen at least once every 6 to 12 months. Your vet and the veterinary team are a great source of information about diet and exercise for your pet. They can help you decide on the best diet for your pet based on their age, activity level, or underlying health concerns. They are there to help, so don’t be afraid to ask for their advice.

 

With a little diligence and behavior modification, you can make sure that your pet has a happy and healthy 2016.

Tags: Cats, Dogs, Food, Pet health, Treats

It’s Spring! Time to Start Thinking About Fleas and Ticks…

Happy Spring! Can you believe that spring has officially begun? Time for spring cleaning, changing the batteries in the smoke alarms, and time to start thinking about spending some more time outdoors. Depending on where you live, this means that our furry family members will be outside more and will be exposed to those pesky fleas and ticks. Fortunately, as a responsible pet parent, you are going to be proactive about their protection.

As you may know, there are A LOT of flea and tick products out there. Your veterinarian and the veterinary team are your best resource in determining which product is the best for your particular needs. They can also help you make sure that the product is labeled for use in dogs or cats and that it is the right strength based on your pets weight and age.

If you are going to use a topical product, be sure to follow the label directions carefully. Your veterinary team can also help show you how to apply these if you’ve never used them before. Be sure to wash your hands after applying and don’t let children or other pets play with the pet until the product has been completely absorbed and the area is dry. If you have multiple pets in the house, it may be easiest to treat them all at once and then put them all is separate rooms until the medication is absorbed into the skin.

If you live in a house with both dogs and cats, you may think that you can use the same flea and tick products for both. DON’T! Cats are actually very sensitive to many of the medications that are used in dog flea and tick products so if you use a dog product on a cat, you can make them VERY sick (these intoxications can sometimes even be fatal).

The flea and tick products that are prescribed by a veterinarian have been extensively tested for safety and efficacy. Sometimes however, an individual animal can have an unexpected response. If you are using a flea and tick product for the first time on your pet, be sure to keep an eye on them for a few hours following application. If you see any vomiting, lethargy, difficulty walking, etc., call your veterinarian right away for advice and bathe your pet with warm water and soap to remove any residual product.

Using flea and tick preventives not only protects our pets against rashes, itching, and hair loss but they are also critical in protecting our furry family members against life-threatening infections that are transmitted by these pests. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian today to ensure that your pet is protected.

To find a Best Friends affiliated veterinary hospital near you, click here.

Tags: Ask the Vet, Cats, Dog safety, Dogs, Health, Pet advice, Pet behavior, Pet health, Pet info, Pets, Tips, Vet
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