9 Reasons to Care About Your Pet’s Dental Health

Dogs have 42 teeth--that’s 12 more than us! What about cats? They have 30 pearly whites. And one that always surprises people is that bunnies have 24 teeth in addition to the four they’re most famous for. That’s a lot of reasons to care about your pet’s dental health! But they’re not the only reasons you should bring our pet by for regular cleanings and checkups.

9 Reasons to Care About Your Pet’s Dental Health

1. Dogs Get Cavities

Cavities are more rare in dogs than people but they do get cavities. They don’t eat a lot of sugar and the bacteria in your pup’s mouth is very different from ours. The shape of their teeth also makes a huge difference. If you’ve looked into your dog’s mouth, you probably realize why our pointy teeth are called “canines.” Dogs’ are sharper than ours, which leaves less area for bacteria to hang to and cause damage.

Some dogs tend to develop cavities more easily. German Shepherds tend to have more cavities than other breeds.

Dogs’ teeth do get damaged and develop other issues, though.

2. Cats Get Cavities, Too

Cats don’t develop cavities like us. But they do suffer from resorptive lesions. What are resorptive lesions? They’re holes in a cat’s tooth. When a cat’s tooth begins to break down in this way, it’s extremely painful.

3. Dogs and Cats Can Suffer from Gingivitis

That’s right. Both dogs and cats can develop gingivitis. Gingivitis causes your pet’s gums to swell and turn red. Gingivitis causes soreness and can cause your pet to lose her appetite.

Gingivitis in pets requires intervention to be reversed. We can help with that!

4. Periodontal Disease is the Most Common Dental Disease Dogs and Cats Face

Periodontal disease is not just the most common dental disease dogs and cats face, it’s the most common disease.

When gingivitis is left unchecked, your pet can develop periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is not fun. It is painful for pets and can loosen their teeth and cause them to break off. And the plaque, if left long enough, can even enter your pet’s bloodstream and permanently damage your pet’s vital organs.

5. Bad Breath is Often More Than Just Bad Breath

Bad breath is the most apparent and most common sign of periodontal disease. If your dog or cat’s kisses aren’t so pleasant, it may mean it’s time to bring her by for a dental exam.

6. Puppies and Kittens Need Dental Exams and Cleanings

Just like kids, the foundation for good dental health begins from when those tiny teeth break through the surface of the gums. Puppies and kitties both lose a set of baby teeth, but some of their molars will be permanent. Sometimes their baby teeth don’t fall out as they should. These are called retained deciduous teeth. These little teeth can cause permanent damage.

 Exams ensure your puppy or kitty’s teeth grow in correctly. And cleanings keep your pet’s teeth strong, healthy, and shining bright.

7. Pet Dental Disease Is More Common Than Many Realize

Of course, we think that dental disease is heartbreaking and way too common. Pet dental disease is the leading preventable health issues in pets. In fact, 4 out of 5 dogs and cats will suffer from some dental disease after reaching their fourth year!

8. Pet Dental Exams Matter A Lot

A pet dental exam can mean the difference between life and death. The mouth is the fourth most common place for tumors to appear. When your pet receives a dental exam, we safely look at her mouth to make sure she’s healthy and checks for issues like tumors.

9. The Most Important Reason of All: Dental Health Affects Your Pet’s Lifespan

Yes, that’s right. Proper dental hygiene and regular cleanings can extend your pet’s life by 2, 3, or even 4 years!

You Can Prevent Your Pet from Suffering from Dental Disease

Make an appointment for your pet’s dental exam and cleaning. Don’t worry--we don’t bite! We want to help improve your pet’s breath, keep her teeth clean and strong, and ensure her mouth is healthy. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to lengthen and improve your pet’s life, one dental exam at a time.

 

 

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New Pet? How to Get Started on the Right Paw!

Nothing compares to those butterflies as you drive your new pet home for the very first time. You check and re-check the rearview, making sure your new puppy, kitty, bunny, or other pet is riding safely and smoothly. You take corners nice and slow and beginning to brake for red lights and stop signs hundreds of feet before the other cars. This isn’t the only journey you’ll go on with your new pet.

To get you started on the right foot from the time you pick up your best friend onto the adjustment period as he settles into his new home and family, we came up with our favorite tips to get you started on the right paw.

1. The Essentials: Choosing the Right Supplies

Whether you’re increasing your family with a new puppy, kitten, adult dog or cat, guinea pig, rabbit, fish, or another critter, the right supplies will help him settle into his new home in comfort. After you meet and commit to your new pet, research what supplies you’ll need to keep him content day after day and for years to come.

For Dogs, We Suggest

  • Leash Collar with ID tag and harness (especially for little dogs)
  • Poop bags and carrier
  • Treats Food Bowls for water and food
  • Toys A bed A kennel big enough for him to stand up in and turn around
  • Grooming supplies: shampoo, brush, toothbrush & toothpaste, water additives
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Optional: depending on your dog Potty pads A Zendog Compression Shirt Adaptil Baby gate

For Cats, We Recommend

  • Collar with ID tag
  • Food
  • Treats
  • Bed
  • Catnip
  • Litter & litter box
  • Scratching mat
  • Scratching post
  • Toys
  • Carrier
  • Grooming Supplies: brush & shampoo, dental supplies
  • Optional, depending on your cat: Feliway

2. Prepare Your Home: Basic Pet Safety

Bringing home a new pet always comes with a few surprises. Avoid any of those surprises resulting in a trip to the emergency room. Prepare your home by puppy-, kitty-, and pet-proofing it before picking up your new pet.

Pet-Proofing Checklist

  • Tie up loose wires and strings (remember to check blind pulls)
  • Make sure all cleaning supplies, anti-freeze, and other potentially harmful chemicals are locked up and out of paw’s reach
  • Store anything breakable that could be bumped into or could easily fall
  • Clean up the floor to make spotting accidents easier

3. Get Your Plan In Place

Talk to the kids and prepare for your new furry addition by getting a plan in place. Who will join you on the car ride? Where will your resident pet be when the new pet arrives? Who will wake up on night one to take the puppy out every 3 or 4 hours? Will the kitten sleep in a box or crate?

After answering these questions and any others you may have, plan your new pet’s sleep spot and place their bed there. Choose a space that is quiet, dark at night, and far enough away that they won’t keep you up all night.

4. Veterinary Care Is a Must, Don’t Wait to Make Your First Appointment

Establishing veterinary care ASAP is important. In case there is an emergency, we want to have your new pet’s information and know what your pet is like when she’s healthy.

Puppies and kitties also require immunizations. We can help you set up and schedule those.

Other small pets like rabbits and ferrets also benefit from veterinary exams.

You’ll want to get your new pet spayed or neutered and microchipped. We can also answer any questions you may have about your new pet. From diet to behavior, we’re here to help your new pet live a long and happy life.

5. Car Carrier, Ready for Pick Up!

For the ride home, it’s best to have cats, dogs, and small pets in a carrier. This can prevent an accident and protect you, your family, and your new pet in case an accident occurs. This also prevents your pet from escaping as soon as you open the door.

Strap the carrier into the seat with the seatbelt and make sure there’s plenty of airflow through your pet’s carrier.

6. Keep a Watchful Eye as Your Buddy Explores His New Home

Carry your pet inside and open his carrier. Place your small pet in his habitat. For cats and dogs, allow them to come out at his own pace. This can take a couple of minutes with cats. Be patient.

Let your pet explore. Cats and dogs will sniff around and check behind doors and corners. It’s best to limit the area he has to wander. You can increase his exploration range each day.

Be observant and don’t let your new pet out of your sight for the first few days. Puppies and kitties don’t have the best coordination, and they stink at judging height and distance. Adult dogs and cats may feel the need to hide. This is fine as long as you’re aware of their hiding spot. The last thing you want is to lose track of your new cat or dog and accidentally allow them to squeeze out the front door.

7.  Let Your Pet Meet and Greet Everyone in Their Own Time

It’s best to slowly introduce new people and resident pets to your new pet. It can be overwhelming to get used to a new environment and new people can make your pet feel frightened and stressed. As your new pet meets the kids, remind them to go slow and stay calm.

While you may feel the need to show off your new best buddy, make the first 72 hours with your pet about bonding together at home.

As for pet intros, try introducing your resident dog to the new one at a park. This gives them an even playing field and room to come together and space to separate if needed.

Cats often need more time to adjust. Keep your new cat in one room, allowing him to sniff your resident cat from the door and vice versa. If the cats seem to be warming up, they’ll be ready to meet within a couple of days.

8. Prepare for Potty Training

Most cats learn to use the litter box quickly and often just need to be shown once where it’s located.

Puppies and some adult dogs, though, take a little more patience and attention. Prepare to take your puppy out every couple of hours. If the puppy pees or poops in the grass, give him a treat and praise!

To avoid accidents while you’re away, crate training does the trick.

9. Play and Train

Prepare to play for hours on end with your new pet. Get to know how your pet like to play and what kind of toys he finds most exciting.

After your puppy has gotten all his immunizations, bring him to the dog park, so he learns social skills and has an outlet for his energy.

Along with house training, you’ll want to look into puppy and adult dog classes to help your new canine friend learn confidence and good behavior habits. This also gets him used to being around other dogs and acclimated to the car.

Right Paw, Left Paw: Your New Pet Will Feel at Home in No Time

Each pet is an individual. Celebrate your unique new best friend and have a blast getting to know each other. If you have any questions or you’re ready to make an appointment for your new pet, please give us a call.

 

 

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9 Easy New Year’s Resolutions to Commit to Your Pet’s Health!

Skip the diet and put away the swear jaw--we have a bunch of New Year’s resolutions you can keep. And you’ll want to keep them because they’ll keep your pet healthy! That’s right. If you’re ready to commit, re-commit, or increase your commitment, we have some easy ways to improve your pet’s health.

1. Keep Your Pet’s Vaccinations Current

Vaccines are like armor for your pet, protecting her from the inside out. They prevent deadly diseases and keep you and your family safe as well. Are your pets’ immunizations up-to-date? Give us a call, and we can check.

Be sure your pet is safe from

  • Rabies
  • Parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Parainfluenza
  • Hepatitis
  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis
  • Calicivirus
  • Panleukopenia

2. Ditch the Treadmill & Commit to Cardio with Your Pet

Exercise can keep your pet’s heart healthy, keep her in shape, and provide her with mental stimulation. Playing and exercising with your pet also increases the bond between you.

And this one is easy.

Feathers, bells, catnip! Play with your cat twice a day for ten to fifteen minutes.

Enjoy some fresh air and take your dog on a walk or two per day. You can also help your dog get her cardio in with fetch or tug. The dog park can also help your pup burn some energy and stay fit.

3. Prevent Fleas & Ticks from Bugging Your Best Buddy

Lyme disease from ticks is serious. And fleas will cause your dog or cat to itch, itch, itch. But the itching isn’t the only problem fleas and ticks cause. Fleas spread intestinal worms. And ticks can be infected with a wide range of diseases.

Luckily, all it takes is a prescription to keep your pet safe from these pests this year.

4. Don’t Let Heartworms Shorten Your Pet’s Life

If your pet isn’t on heartworm prevention, she should be. Heartworms are spread through mosquito bites and can cause heart failure by clogging your pet’s arteries and heart valves.

How hard is this one? Make an appointment, and we’ll help you decide on a heartworm prevention that will work for your pup.

5. Put Your Pet on a Diet that Supports a Healthy Life

There had to be a diet resolution, right? Good thing there are not buffets for pets. When your pet eats a healthy, nutritious diet, she’ll feel great, improve her coat, and enjoy a healthy life.

Unsure of which food can help your pet slim down, support healthy aging, or assist your pet with allergies? Don’t get lost on the internet--we can make the process of choosing the right food simple.

6. Get in the Groove of Grooming

Grooming isn’t just about looking great--Grooming can help support your pet’s wellness. Some benefits of grooming are apparent, like preventing mats, keeping nails trim, and freshening up your pet’s coat. Other benefits of grooming go below the surface. Grooming gives us an opportunity for a check for lumps, bumps, scrapes, cuts, and other skin issues.

7. Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Spaying or neutering your dog, cat, rabbit, or other pet will improve her health. Female pets live longer lives with better health.

Spaying helps prevent breast tumors, uterine infections, and other forms of cancer.

Neutering your dog or cat prevents prostate problems and some forms of cancer.

And there are a wide range of behavioral benefits from having your pet altered. Altered pets don’t escape as often. They also don’t spray or mark nearly as frequently.

8. Dental Health: A Reason to Smile

One of the best ways to commit to your pet’s health this year is to bring your pet in for regular cleanings. Pets with good dental hygiene live longer and enjoy a better quality of life.

9. Come in for an Annual Exam

Most importantly, make an appointment for your pet’s annual exam. When we have the opportunity to examine your pet, we can diagnose any ailments and begin treatment if there are any problems. Exams allow us to monitor your pet’s weight and overall health.

Don’t wait for your pet to get sick to bring her by. Give us a call and commit to keeping your pet living a long and healthy life.

 

Photo Credit: Pexels

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Understanding the Risks, Symptoms, and Treatments of Pet Diabetes

More and more pets suffer from diabetes each day. Trends suggest this disease will continue to increase year and year. While many pet parents look for signs that their dog or cat isn’t feeling well, diabetes tends to go unnoticed. When left undiagnosed and untreated, diabetes can become life threatening.

Why We’re Concerned About Pet Diabetes and Why You Should Be Too

As studies related to pet diabetes come out, we become more worried about our four-legged patients. Studies show that cases of diabetes have increased by 80% in dogs and 18% in cats over the past few years. This number is expected to climb 5.5% over the next few years. It’s estimated that 1 in every 300 dogs and 1 in every 230 cats will develop diabetes.

This disease comes with an emotional and monetary cost. Treatment and insulin for pet diabetes costs the average pet parents $50-$150 per month.

What You Should Know About Pet Diabetes?

Obesity and excess weight is the leading cause of pet obesity. Other pets have a genetic predisposition to develop diabetes. The pituitary system and adrenal system can also increase the likelihood of your pet developing diabetes.

What Exactly is Pet Diabetes?

In some ways, our pets’ systems are similar to ours. The ways they process calories into energy by transforming it into sugar is one of those ways. When your pet cannot transform and use glucose correctly, the result is diabetes.

Glucose powers the body. It’s a form of sugar that feeds the body’s cells with energy. When your pet eats, her body transforms her dinner into glucose through the pancreas. The bloodstream then absorbs the glucose and delivers it throughout her body using insulin.

Insulin moves the glucose around and distributes a safe amount of sugar to your pet’s cells. When your pet lacks insulin, the glucose doesn’t get distributed and, in a way, piles up in the bloodstream instead of making it to her cells for energy to digest, move, and think. With excess glucose piling up, her body will begin to dispose of it through urine.

The body will then turn to muscles and fat for energy. The inability to properly deliver glucose to cells causes an energy deficiency, resulting in sluggishness, feeling ill, and problems functioning.

What Pets Are Most At-Risk for Diabetes?

A pet can develop diabetes at any time in her life, but most pets are more at risk when they reach middle-aged. Some cats breeds tend to have a higher predisposition to diabetes.

These include

  • Maine Coons
  • Siamese
  • Burmese

For cats, this means once they’re 6 years or older.

For dogs, they’re more likely to become diabetic after the age of 4. The breed most often diagnosed with diabetes include

  • Golden retrievers
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Labs

Overweight pets are more likely to be diabetic.

Symptoms of Pet Diabetes

Some of the signs your pet may have a glucose deficiency and should be brought in for diagnosis include

  • Increased thirst and water intake
  • Increased urination
  • Increased appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • The decline in coat quality
  • Tiredness, lethargy or fatigue
  • Cloudy eyes

Pet Diabetes: Prevention and Treatment

Don’t let your pet become one of the cats, dogs, one other pets that will develop diabetes this year. And if you suspect your pet may have diabetes, bring her in for diagnosis and begin treatment. 

How Can You Help Your Prevent Your Pet from Becoming Diabetic? 

We always encourage prevention when it comes to your pet’s health. So, what can you do to help prevent pet diabetes?

1. Have your pet spayed. The hormone cycle of an unspayed pet can increase the chances of diabetes

2. Make an Appointment for Your Pet’s Annual ExamL Bloodwork can give us a window into your pet’s health to prevent her from developing diabetes. We can also let you know if she’s at a safe weight.

3. Keep your pet active and on a healthy diet: High protein diets and regular exercise keep your pet in good shape preventing a wide range of problems, including diabetes. Add some fresh veggies and fruits to your pet’s diet. From pumpkin to green beans, the fiber will prevent blood sugar spikes.

Treatment for Pet Diabetes

When diabetes isn’t treated, it can cause ketoacidosis, a serious liver dysfunction. It can also cause issues with the other organs including her brain and kidneys. 

We can diagnosis diabetes through simple bloodwork and a urine test. Then we can prescribe treatment.

Most treatment for pet diabetes includes insulin injections. Insulin helps your pet’s body get the energy it needs from the bloodstream. We assess your pet to determine her insulin needs to help her manage her blood sugar and a feeding schedule with a tailored diet.

We also recommend a high-fiber diet for diabetic dogs with daily exercise. For diabetic cats, high-protein and low carbs can help. We also suggest playing with your cat several times per day.

Don’t Let Diabetes Do a Number on Your Pet’s Health

With early diagnosis, proper management, and treatment, some cases of pet diabetes can be reversed. And for pets that don’t fall into that category, they can still have long, joy-filled lives with proper management.

Don’t let your pet’s diabetes go undiagnosed. Make an appointment for an annual exam. We want your pet to stay healthy, strong, and filled with energy.

 

Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

 

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