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The best way to properly care for your pet’s oral hygiene is to brush their teeth daily. Just like us, our pets develop plaque on their teeth which, if not removed, can lead to oral health problems. There are bones and special treats that can help promote oral health, but the best way to clean your pet’s teeth is by brushing them. It may take some time for your dog or cat to get used to the idea of having their teeth brushed, but they can be eased into it. You can start by letting them taste the toothpaste from your finger. There are special veterinary toothpastes made in flavors like chicken that appeal to animals. Once they get used to the toothpaste you can begin by brushing 1-2 teeth to introduce them to the sensation. After a few cleanings your pet will probably start to enjoy the brushing and will be happy to let you do it. Along with the special toothpaste a special toothbrush should be used with soft bristles and a long handle so you can reach the teeth in the back of your pet’s mouth.
A high percentage of cats and dogs will experience periodontal disease during their lives, and the risk increases as they get older. Periodontal disease affects the gum and supporting structures of the teeth. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and bone loss in the jaw. Periodontal disease is also related to other health issues, such as heart disease. It is important to have regularly scheduled teeth and gum cleanings for your pet.
Many people think that it is normal for a dog to have bad breath, but that is not the case. Bad breath is caused by bacteria in the mouth that create byproducts that contain sulfur. Regular home cleanings accompanied with scheduled professional cleanings will help to prevent bad breath and the bacteria that cause it.
Heartworms are a parasite that attacks your pet’s heart. They are usually transmitted by a bite from an insect that is carrying the parasite. If heartworms are left untreated they can cause serious heart problems. There are preventative medicines available, like Heartgard, to keep your pet from being infected with heartworms. Your pet should start taking this medication at around 2 months old.
Kennel cough is an upper respiratory infection caused by either bacteria or a virus. It can cause a harsh dry cough in your dog that can last for a few weeks. It is very contagious and is commonly transmitted in environments where there are many dogs in one place, like a kennel. Most kennels require that your dog is vaccinated for their safety and the safety of the other dogs.
Your pet can be spayed or neutered at any time, but it is recommended that they undergo the procedure at about 4-6 months of age.
Yearly blood workups should be performed to check for any infections or diseases. It is an easy test to perform and can be done at the same time we do the routine heartworm check. This will help ensure that your pet is healthy, or catch any problems at an early stage so they can be treated effectively.
The first rabies shot your dog or cat receives is good for one year, and each booster shot will last 3 years.
Obviously our pets can’t tell us where they hurt, but there are some signs to look for. If you notice a change in your pet’s behavior (fatigue, depression, change in appetite, increased aggression, etc.) your pet might be in pain or have another physical problem. Your pet may also favor a certain part of their body or limp if they are injured. You should consult your veterinarian if you notice any of these signs so that they can determine the source of your pet’s pain.
Your kitten is probably just adjusting to their new surroundings. They can hold their urine and bowel movements for about 3-4 days when they are nervous or unfamiliar with their surroundings. If they exceed 3-4 days without relieving themselves, or display other abnormal behavior, you should consult your vet to see if there is a deeper health problem.
We have all seen cats lapping up milk in cartoons or old TV shows, but this is not healthy for them. Milk cannot be properly digested by most cats and it can lead to diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems. If your cat accidentally drinks some milk there is no need to worry, but you should not regularly give your cat milk to drink.
American Veterinary Medical Association’s Care for Pets Website
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
American Rabbit Breeders Association
iguana’s Snakes & Other Reptiles
The Hope Center for Advanced Veterinary Medicine
American College of Vet Internal Medicine
Pets Welcomed – Travel tips, lodging, and more!
Travel Pets – Pet friendly lodging worldwide
Fido Friendly – The Travel Magazine for your Dog
Bring Your Pet – Pet friendly lodging, accommodations, and services
Pet Travel – Worldwide travel guide for pet owners
Dog Friendly Travel – A guide to traveling with your pets
Hot Dog Holidays! – Holidays for you and your best friend
Pet Friendly Hotels – Directory of Hotels that allow pets
American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)
American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP)
American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP)
American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM)
American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)
European Society of Feline Medicine (ESFM)
Vaccine Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force (VAFSTF)
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