Brush my dog’s teeth every day? Seriously?
The short answer? Yes! I know, it sounds ridiculous, however, it is almost as important as getting your child to brush every day. Most dogs can be trained to accept the idea, so we have some tips for you:
- The younger you start, the better. But it’s never too late.
- Start by pulling back the lips and rubbing her teeth with gauze or some sort of clean fabric. This gets her used to the sensation.
- Once he’s comfortable with that you can upgrade to a toothbrush. Make sure if you do not purchase it from your veterinarian (they know what is best) that it is very soft bristles.
- DO NOT use human toothpaste. It is toxic to dogs. Purchase paste that is poultry flavored. Your dog will thank you.
- 30 seconds is all it takes, just make sure you get below the gum line and the back teeth especially well. This is where most of the tartar forms.
- Tarter turns into plaque in 36 hours so be sure not to miss more than a day. Once it is plaque it must be professionally removed under anesthesia.
- It is also helpful to use a diet specially formulated for dental health. Make sure you look for the VOHC seal (Veterinary Oral Health Council).
- Regular check ups with your vet are still important. Dental disease is easily treated but left untreated can cause a host of medical problems, including pain for your dog.
- Visit here for more information.
If your vet recommends a professional cleaning, “anesthesia free” is not the way to go. They are simply brushing your dog’s teeth for you. The dog must be under in order to allow the technician to get under the gumline, where there is hidden plaque. Make sure your veterinarian performs oral x-rays. We often find problems we can not see with the naked eye. Pre-anesthetic blood work is always recommended and encouraged.
As always, with any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 303.691.3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pet Cold Weather Tips
Yes, our four-legged furry members do have a fur coat (most of them), but this is not always the only thing they need when the temperature dips. They can be hearty but there are potentially dangerous hazards every pet parent must be aware of. The following are some pet cold weather tips:
- Make sure they are wearing a collar with clearly marked tags and that the microchip is in place and all information associated with it is current.
- Double check that your fence is secure. You also want to make sure you have a strong gate latch, as these are the first to blow open in a gusty storm.
- Be ready for anything, including power outages, blocked roads and closed stores/vet offices. Never let your supply of food and medications get lower than a weeks’ worth.
- Pet proof your interior spaces. Watch for open flames, space heaters and other winter objects that can be a hazard.
- Better yet, bring ‘em in. Cold weather can exacerbate medical conditions such as arthritis and asthma. Visit AVMA.org for more information.
- Keep them on a leash at all times. Paws.org states that more pets are lost in the winter than any other time. They can lose scent trails and/or become disoriented in harsh weather.
- Stay off any ice. Pets will fall through and you will go in after them. It is not safe for either of you.
- Shorter haired pets need a coat. You might also consider one for your senior pet. They have a harder time regulating their temperature.
- Protect their paws and rinse them as soon as you get home. Salt is toxic and they will lick it off of their paws. Make sure all snow that has accumulated between their pads is rinsed off with warm water.
- Cats are known to hide under cars during the cold months. Bang on your hood and look under your car before starting the engine.
- Antifreeze is used in abundance this time of year and pets are attracted to its’ sweet taste. Even a tiny amount can be lethal to your furry family member. Wipe up any spills and keep containers stored where it is not accessible.
- Just as in summer months, never leave a pet alone in the car. It just is not safe!
As in any medical emergency, make sure you call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet is suffering from hypothermia or toxic poisonings. The signs to look for are:
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Lack of appetite
- Extreme thirst
- Dilated pupils
- Weak pulse
- Extreme shivering or slowed movement
This list is not all inclusive, so use your best judgement. As always, contact Gentle Touch Animal Hospital with any questions. email@example.com or 303.691.3720. Visit gentletouchanimalhospital.com for more information on us.
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