Tag: pet health care

Doggie Dental Care – What You Need to Know!

Did you know that doggie dental care is just as important as human dental care? Just like with humans, poor oral hygiene can result in all sorts of other health issues throughout your pup’s body.

How much do you know about your pets teeth?

  • When fully grown, your dog should have ten more teeth than you! The average human has 32 teeth and the average dog has 42!
  • By age 3 (that’s about 25 in human years) most dogs show some signs of gum disease such as inflamed gums and tartar build up. Left untreated this can affect important organs in your pet’s body affecting their quality of life and longevity.
  • Outdoor pets are prone to broken teeth which can cause pain and should be treated by a vet.
  • Smaller breeds more prone to tartar build up since their teeth are usually more compact leaving lots of tight crevices for debris and bacteria to grow.
  • The average dog’s mouth can exert 150-200 lbs of pressure!

Dogs aren’t great at working a toothbrush around their mugs twice a day, so just how does one help their doggie maintain proper oral hygiene?

  • Brush those teeth for them of course! Doggie toothpaste can be purchased to help aid in this sometimes difficult task. Don’t use human toothpaste! See the below infographic to learn how to get your pet accustomed to regular brushings!
  • While it’s common to discourage pups from becoming chewers, chew toys can actually help prevent plaque build up. Make sure your pet knows what’s okay to chew and what’s not by giving them their own special toys.
  • Don’t forget to wipe your pet’s mouth too occasionally. Dogs can be messy eaters and bacteria builds up both inside and out. This is especially true if your pet eats a moist food.
    Make sure your vet is checking their oral health too at their annual check-up!

Save this awesome infographic as a reminder to take doggie dental care seriously!

 

Poison Prevention and Your Pet

March is Pet Poison Prevention Month – a cause that needs regular awareness. Carelessness and over-confidence on many pet owners parts lead to pet poisonings every year. While many animals have natural instincts that help them avoid unhealthy things in nature, they are less keen when it comes to man-made things left accessible in their territory. As pet owners, it’s up to us to make sure our animal’s homes are safe and poison-free at all times! See our tips below to stay on your toes and keep your pet safe!

Keeping Your Pet Away From Poison

  • Household cleaners – As Spring cleaning gets underway it’s easy to get careless with your cleaning products and leave them within a pet’s reach. If you can’t banish your pet from the area you are working in until you’re done, it’s important to always stay aware and not become distracted. If your pet has a problem with drinking out of the toilet, make sure to never leave toilet cleaner unflushed. Unattended mop buckets with cleaners in them can also pose a threat to a thirsty pet.
  • Mouse, Rat, or Insect poison –  These are three types of poison people tend to tuck away into areas pets can’t get to – the backs of cupboards, closets, shelves, etc.  These carefully concealed poisons can become a threat to your pet when you forget about them and then drag things out of a closet or cupboard, potentially bringing the poison with it. Always be mindful this! Especially if you have recently rented or moved into a new place. There may be poisons left in nooks and crannies that you’re not aware of!
  • Fertilizers & Herbicides – Don’t think your home is the only place you have to be worried about poisoning your pet! Newly fertilized lawns can harm pets too. In addition to storing lawn and garden poisons well away from your pet, be sure not to let them spend time in newly treated areas. Remember you can track poisons too, so keep your shoes out of reach!

Keep your pets away

from areas herbicides

have been used!

photo credit: Grass Beater First Aid- By Chris_Alberti CCBy2.0 via photopin (license)

Pet Odor Tacklers – Tough Stuff!

There’s no having a pet without eventual pet odor. Even the cleanest pets can offend our senses from time to time. Tackling pet odor is an age old past time (I bet even the Egyptians tried!). Methods, formulas, and tricks vary from pet to pet and different owners styles. Check out our list of awesome tips for the battle!

Pet Odor Be Gone!

Prevention – The most effective step is to nix pet odor before it begins! If you’ve got a kitty be sure to scoop frequently! Like, as soon as there is something to scoop if you can. Change the litter weekly and each time you do, give it a wash with some hot water and soap. It’s a good idea to replace the box annually to as plastics can retain odors… Rabbit litter boxes don’t need scooped multiple times a day, but you should change their woodchips our daily and give the box a rinse! They key to prevention is making the pet maintenance a daily habit. For some pets, like dogs though frequently do their bathroom habits outside, odor sort of finds them regardless. If you think your dog doesn’t smell, just send them out into the rain for a bit! Regular baths are a big help, but in some situations, even the most diligent pet owners are going to end up with pet odor. So, let’s see how to fight it!

 

Natural Products – If you’re a pet parent who likes to take a natural approach to those pesky smells in the carpet or on the furniture, you’re in luck! The product lines for natural pet care have grown exponentially over the last decade! Most of these products use natural enzymes to break down the source of the odor, getting rid of it entirely!  Products like Odormute  and Sunny & Honey  are two great options!

DIY – There are tons of do-it-yourself methods out there for pet odor removal. Most of them contain varying amounts of vinegar (no, the vinegar smell usually doesn’t linger), baking soda, hydrogen peroxide (don’t let your pets get into a bottle of this!), and citrus. This site here as three recipes for pet odor eliminators made out of common household items!

Top In Its Class – Angry Orange Pet Odor Neutralizer. This stuff is industrial strength and it means business! If you’ve got multiple pets this might be the stuff for you. It was designed for the farm industry and is a favorite for kennels.

Have your own fool-proof product or recipe? Share it with us!

photo credit: the latest in kitty television via photopin (license)

Happiness – A Lesson Best Learned From Your Pet

Pets might not talk human talk, but a quiet observation could tell us a lot about finding happiness! Dogs, cats, bunnies, and all creatures big or small have something to teach us about life’s greatest pursuit. Let’s listen!

Top Tips To Finding Happiness, From Your Pet

Take Naps – Lots of them. Every time the mood strikes you, no matter where you’re at.
Don’t be afraid to look silly – When you’re focused on the happiness of the moment, you’re not worried how others see you.
Show your love – Don’t play coy or hard to get. If you are happy to see someone, show it and show it often! (Try to not lick their face or pee on the floor though…)
Never stop playing – Make time every day for something you enjoy doing, no matter how old you are.
Love unconditionally, forgive – Pets don’t hold grudges and they’ll love you even if you don’t give them the time or treats you should.
Ask for what you need – Don’t be afraid to come right out and say it. It’s the best chance you have at getting what you need.
Be a problem solver – If there is a way out of an enclosure, or into the treat bag, your pet will find it. Solve your problems with the same determination!
Be thrilled with simple things – your pet finds happiness with relatively little. A chew stick? stuffed animal? or just having you near. Find simple things that make you happy and appreciate them.
Take a bath – Let it be a relaxing moment to reflect on yourself!

Make this face at least once a day for maximum happiness!

Be loyal – Don’t be looking for the next newest and greatest. Find a friend, partner, or pet that treats you well and commit yourself.
Live in the now – Do you think when you’re hanging with your pet they’re wondering about what’s for dinner? or they’re plans for tomorrow? Enjoy each moment for what it has to offer, not constantly thinking about the next.
Body language says a lot – Pet’s don’t game with a poker face. They express themselves through their body language and you should too!
Take walks and be a part of nature, not apart from it – Don’t get lost in the human world! Look at the leaves, smell the air, see how the sun reflects off the water and enjoy the simple things around you. Do it daily!
Don’t be bitter – Have you ever met a bitter pet? A pet that was upset because they didn’t catch that mouse or get to go for a ride? Learn to let things go and find your contentment!
photo credit: Creature Comfort via photopin (license)

Dog Flu – What You Need To Know

We’ve heard of swine flu and bird flu before, but this year all the news is about dog flu. With all the dramatic headlines flashing across the internet it’s important to know the facts and how this affects you. We’ve researched the answers for some of the questions that we were curious about, to help you weed through all the headlines and keep you and your pets protected!

The Dog Flu & You

  • What is the dog flu and why have I never heard of it before? The dog flu (H3N8) is a relatively new strain of the flu (think 2004) that evolved from a strain that was found in horses previously. Due to it’s relatively new appearance on the viral scene and this year being the first real epidemic, not too much is known about it.
  • What are the symptoms?  Symptoms in your pup are similar to the symptoms you might exhibit if you caught the human version. You’re going to notice a general malaise, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and likely a lack of appetite. Try to stay in tune to your pet’s behavior and isolate them quickly if you notice any symptoms of dog flu.
  • What if I have other pets in the house? It’s important to note that your pet may be contagious to their peers before you notice signs of sickness. Try to stay in tune with your pet’s behavior and keep them isolated if you notice anything out of the usual. Don’t forget food and water bowls, toys, and bedding are also ways that pets can spread disease! Be sure to wash your hands and possibly change your clothes after contact with an infected pet.
  • How dangerous is it? Like with people, most pets will have a miserable week or so and then start to mend. About 5% of cases so far have been fatal. It’s a small figure but enough for pet owners to take note. Dogs with shorter or flat snouts have a harder time with dog flu due to the mucus build up in their respiratory tract.
  • Are there ways I can prevent it? Minimize your pets exposure to other dogs. Dog parks and kennels are two places where your pet may come into contact. Ask your vet if you should consider a canine flu shot. Dog flu shots don’t prevent the virus, but they can help to reduce the severity. If you frequently have your pet around others this may be a good route to go.

photo credit: Giving in via photopin (license)

Nutrition for Your Pet – Do You Know What They Need?

You might be familiar with the nutrition pyramid to maintain an active and healthy body, but do you know what the most important elements of your pet’s diet should be? Don’t just assume the pet food you buy is complete because it says so on the bag or can! Take your pets nutrition into your own hands by familiarizing yourself with their individual essential needs.

Top Pet Nutrition Needs

  • Dogs: Did you know dogs create their own Vitamin C? That doesn’t mean there still aren’t lots of other vitamins and minerals they need! Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium are three important ones. These can be found in fish, milk, and grains. Scientifically dogs are omnivores like us!  This means their nutritional needs are similar to ours. Their body’s require large amounts of proteins, fats, and fatty acids like omega-6 too. Poultry can be a great source of protein, fat, and omega-6 for dogs. If you prefer to take a vegetarian route just ensure that there is plenty of protein, amino acids, and vitamin B in their diet!
  • Cats: Cat nutritional needs have been greatly misanalyzed in the past.  Taurine is an essential nutrient for cats that was originally left out of commercially produced cat food until a deficiency in it led to a lot of pet deaths. While cats largely have the same nutritional needs as dogs, their systems have a harder time metabolizing plant base sourced nutrients. It’s important that cats receive their nutrition from fish, poultry, or other meats. Taurine is found in adequate quantities in a meat based diet.

  • Rabbits: Contrary to popular belief, a healthy rabbit diet isn’t composed of carrots! Where protein is primary for carnivores and omnivores, fiber is number one for herbivores! Feeding rabbit pellets alone is not recommended for a long and healthy life. An essential source of fiber for rabbits is timothy hay and should be provided in unlimited quantities at all times. 2-4 cups of fresh greens & veggies like kale, carrot tops (not carrots, too much sugar!), broccoli, or spinach per day should provide them with all their essential nutrients. Just remember not to rely on rabbit pellets as the primary source of nutrition – a healthy rabbit must have it’s food source fresh and varied!

Be sure to ask your vet if your pet has any further specific nutritional needs based on their breed, age, or existing conditions!

photo credit: Total tininess via photopin (license)

Skincare For Your Pet This Winter

With all that cuddly fur it’s easy to forget that some pets need skincare too! Just when our pets think they can take a break from summer scratching, winter comes in with a whole different kind of itchiness! Dry skin doesn’t just affect humans. Some types of pets or specific pet breeds who are already prone to skin disorders suffer endlessly during the winter months. Don’t just leave your pet to scratching though! Check out these skincare tips and give your pet some relief!

Winter Skincare Tips For Your Pet!

  • Don’t stop brushing! – Just because the shedding season is over doesn’t mean that you can put the brush up! Brushing your pet helps to keep the fur free from matting and dandruff and helps allow your pets skin to breath easier. Your first step in pet skincare is to get in the habit of regular brushings!
  • Think before you bathe! – Because baths can be drying, it’s best to avoid bathing your pet unless you actually need to. Fortunately, since summer has gone, you should be able to set aside the flea and tick shampoos in favor of gentler options. There are many pet skincare lines out there and you can get as fancy as you want. We suggest you look for something sodium-laureth sulfate free (SLS free, or “sulfate free”) with skin conditioners.
  • Feed them healthy fats! – Just like with humans, good skincare starts from the inside out! Make sure that year round (especially if you have an older pet) they are getting plenty of healthy fats in their diet. Look for pet foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6, or consider supplementing your pet’s diet with a little canned fish.

Skincare for your pet!

  • Rinse their feet! – If you’re taking your pet out for walks in the winter time, consider rinsing their paws when you get back home. Salt and de-icers can become irritants and encourage your pet to lick/chew on the bottoms of their feet – in addition to allowing them to ingest potentially harmful chemicals. Got a dog walker or pet nanny? Be sure ask them to do foot rinses/wipings!
  • Deal with excessive scratching – If you notice your pet scratching or chewing on themselves more than usual. Nix it quickly and find the source of the problem. A little itchy dry skin can turn into a trip to the vet your pet gives themselves sores. Try putting an article of pet clothing on their body to shield their skin. If they already have inflamed looking spots, consider dabbing with some non-antibacterial, original Neosporin. For many pets this is same (even if licked) but check with your vet first if you have concerns!

Be sure to always let your pet nanny know if your pet is suffering

 

Thanksgiving Scraps and Your Pet‏

As Thanksgiving fast approaches family visits and meal plans are being laid out all across America! Most family meals for Thanksgiving are composed of “traditional fair” and can be found in almost any home. During a time of celebration and goodwill it’s easy to want to share your good spirits and fortune with your pet too. Just what is a treat or a toxin for your pet amongst those leftovers though? Let us break it down for you!

What to share and what to spare this Thanksgiving!

Are These Thanksgiving Treats Pet Safe?

  • Turkey – Turkey is a great holiday treat for your pet! Just remember to be smart about it. If your pet is watching their waistline be sure to stick to light meat instead of dark. For safety be sure to remove any bones too. They can be a choking hazard or get lodged in a pet’s GI tract.
  • Stuffing – Skip the stuffing when it comes time for pet treats. Most all stuffing (even the boxed mix) will contain garlic and/or onions which aren’t good for pets. Most recipes also contain lots of butter and fats.
  • Green Bean Casserole – Absolutely not! For many of the same reasons with the stuffing – the onions and fats. If your pet is hanging around the kitchen while your cooking though, feel free to toss them a green bean or two though!
  • Pumpkin Pie – Not the best option for a pet treat. Sugar is never good for a pet. If you just can’t stand the idea of your pet going without a dessert, consider a very small amount of cool whip – or make your own pet treats!
  • Cranberry Sauce – Skip it, especially if it has other ingredients mixed in like raisins or nuts – both of which are harmful to pets.
  • Mashed Potatoes with Gravy– If it’s just plain mashed potatoes with a simple pan gravy then it’s just a matter of fats and your pet’s waistline. If your family likes to toss in chives, garlic, or onions though, keep it above the table top!
  • Dinner Roles – Feel free to toss unbuttered rolls to your pet! If your recipe contains sugar though, keep it to a minimum!
  • Sweet Potatoes – Plain sweet potatoes can be a great treat for your pet! Some people even like to dehydrate them as pet treats! If you’re making them candied or into a casserole with marshmallows, sugar, or nuts, avoid this entirely! Though fully expect them to give you “the eyes”.
  • Deviled Eggs – Eggs are generally fine for pets. In fact some pet owners like to mix egg into pet food one a week to increase coat shine. The many additions that can go into deviled eggs may cause belly upset though. Use your knowledge of your pet’s eating habits and your recipe to determine if one would be okay!

Before the hubbub of the feast try to let guests know (especially children) if they share with your pet. If keeping an eye on everything is too much for you consider confining your pet to a separate room during meal time. This will allow you to be the one to divvy out treats during clean up so you know exactly what your pets getting into!

photo credit: All for me via photopin (license)

Ear Problems In Pets: What You Need To Hear

Ear problems in pets are unpleasantly common. From infections to ear mites most pet owners will deal with at least one ear issue during their pet’s lifetime. Know the signs and how to deal with them beforehand to save your pet the itching and pain!

Lend your pets an ear to their struggles with mites and infections!

Ear Mites and Infections

These are the three biggest sources of ear problems in pets. Mistaking one for the other and mistreating it can cause prolonged suffering on your pets behalf! As with any pet ailment, seek professional medical advice from your vet if symptoms persist but use this information to give you and your pet a head start!

  • Ear Mites – These hard to see little buggers are highly contagious but usually not too serious if treated quickly and properly. An infestation in most pets like dogs, cats, or rabbits is characterized by a speckled and sometimes crusty appearance inside the ear. Pets will frequently shake their heads and scratch which can lead to bleeding, scabbing, and bald patches. Large infestations often require a specialised ear wash used regularly for around a week. Small infestations can sometimes be treated by regularly swabbing olive or mineral oil on your pet’s ear with a cotton ball until symptoms disappear. Be careful not to get oil down in  your pet’s ear canal though! A light coat is all that is needed. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean pet bedding and any other place in which mites or their eggs may be.
  • Ear Infections – These can be notably more serious than mites and cause pain. While allergies of some variety are the most common cause of ear infections in pets, be sure to get a proper diagnosis from your vet. Even infections caused by allergies usually need proper medical attention to determine what the source of the allergy is so it can be removed. Signs of an infection can include redness and swelling around the ear, scabs, discharge, and itching. Help prevent infections by drying ears out after baths and swimming and being mindful of allergies your pet may have!

photo credit: Daisy loves her soccer balls and finds them quite chewy. via photopin (license)

Cats and the Tips For Health and Happiness

Cats are pretty self-sufficient creatures. They keep to themselves aside from demanding your focus while you’re trying to do something else (reading anyone?). This doesn’t mean there aren’t important things that a cat owner need to know. Sometimes their ability toward self-reliance means their needs can be overlooked. Your best bet is understanding your cat’s needs and personality!

Cat naps in a sunny windowsill!

Tips For Your Cats Happiness

  • Grooming – Yup. It doesn’t matter that your cat takes baths all the time and is a fastidious groomer. Just like most other fur-covered animals they can benefit greatly from a regular brushing. A regular brushing, especially during shedding, can help cut down on fur balls. This ensures your cat’s got a happier belly and less clean up on  your end. Don’t forget to provide them with a good scratching post too to keep their nails trim!
  • Naps – We have the term “cat nap” for a reason! Cats will spend up to 16 hours a day sleeping – often times in short increments. It’s important that you respect their need for lots of sleep. Depending on your cat’s personality they may prefer to nap somewhere near you. Other cats may prefer to the most remote place your home has to offer. They will often like warm and/or sunny spots. Make sure your cat has easy access to their favorite nap spot!
  • Keep the Litter Box Clean – It’s no secret cats are clean animals! Keeping their litter box cleaned out makes for a happier cat and a cleaner home too! In addition to regular scooping be sure to wash your kitties box each time you change the litter with hot soapy water too! Don’t settle for the cheapest litter out there either. Opt for an eco-friendly variety that is free from harmful dust or chemicals that can cause health problems in cats over prolonged use.
  • Scheduled feedings – Keep your cat happy and healthy with a regular feeding schedule. Having a schedule can help keep you from overfeeding and prevent obesity. Many people find it works well to feed in the morning coinciding with family breakfast, and then again with the family dinner. A cat with constant access to food is at risk of obesity, a growing problem with cats in America that can lead to shorter, less happy life spans.

Bonus Tip: Cats LOVE empty boxes!

photo credit: My box! via photopin (license)
photo credit: The windowcat train has had a collision via photopin (license)

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