Guest Post: "Dental Cleaning for Pets is Not Just Cosmetic."

Dog Broken Tooth with Retained Roots
An x-ray of a dog with a broken tooth.

February is dental month in veterinary offices across the land. Many, if not most, of the clinics will have discounts on dental cleanings, so make sure to check your vet’s office. I can’t say that my technical staff is overly excited about February. Doing a proper dental cleaning with dental radiographs is a lot of work for them. We give a 20% discount on dentals done in February and boy do we get booked up quickly. That tells me people do see a real value in proper oral hygiene in their pets, but also tells me people are aware it can be an expense if not taken care of in the early stages. It takes our technicians a good hour to complete a dental cleaning, along with dental radiographs. Radiographs are so important because they allow us to see what is under the gums. We discover broken teeth and root abscesses that are impossible to see with the naked eye.

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Smile! February is Pet Dental Health Month

Bear Brushing his teethMaking sure your pet has a healthy mouth isn't just about shiny, white teeth. While those are great too, your pet's oral health has a huge affect on his overall health. His or her bad breath and less-than pearly white teeth could be a sign of periodontal disease - the most common disease veterinarians see in dogs and cats. Left untreated, the bacteria that causes periodontal disease and gingivitis can spread under the gums and into other parts of your pet's body causing infection.

It's critical to be pro-active about your cat's or dog's dental care. The first step? Grab a toothbrush and go to work - daily! But even regular brushing can't always remove tartar build-up under the gums. Talk to your vet about when is the right time to have your pet's teeth cleaned.

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Podcast: Helping Your Pet Age Gracefully

Just like in humans, every stage of our pets' lives brings new adventures and challenges. From changes in food and exercise regiments to more vet visits, it's in our pet's best interest for us as pet parents to be aware of what adjustments need to be made as he or she ages.

In this month’s podcast, Chief Embracer Laura Bennett and Dr. Patrick Mahaney answer questions regarding how to best make changes for our pets as they age:

  • Do you think the over the counter supplements you can get at health stores work as well as products specifically formulated for pets?
  • My cat, Stink, just turned 10. He's had some pretty tough health issues over the course of his life; asthma, two urinary blockages, and bilateral cruciates just to name a few. I swear I see his kitty chin greying. Is there anything I can do to ensure that his body takes less of a toll?
  • Are there any new treatments for cognitive dysfunction in cats and dogs?
  • Is there any change in vaccine recommendations as cats and dogs age?
  • What are some dietary recommendations for a senior pet’s diet vs. a regular adult diet?
  • How should my regular wellness visits to my veterinarian change as my pet ages?

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Guest Post: "Age is not a disease."

"Age is not a disease.” This is fast becoming my favorite quote, but I truly believe this. I work with people in their 20s and 30s. They keep me thinking young. You truly are just as old as you feel.

compression socksI am an avid cyclist and have ridden for 5 years in Pelotonia, a 100 mile fundraising ride for cancer research. I ride with people of all ages. Lee Schneider, Pelotonia’s oldest rider at 83 (right with his pink compression socks), once again rode all 100 miles this year, and then rode another 80 miles the next day… all with a smile on his face. Now tell me, are those the legs of an 83 year old man??

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January Focuses on Aging Gracefully

No matter how hard we try to stop it, we’re all constantly getting older. An adorable, cuddly puppy or kitten only stays that little for a short time before he or she grows into a mischievous adolescent, dignified adult, and finally a sweet senior.

This January, we’re focusing on how to help our pets age gracefully. From feeding the proper food for each stage of life to preventative veterinary care and proper exercise, there are lots of things we can do to assist our pets as they age.

We can’t stress enough that this isn’t just a topic for pet parents with senior dogs and cats. Each stage of our pets’ lives bring new triumphs and challenges. Any good pet parent wants to keep their pet happy and healthy for as long as possible. To do that, we need to start being proactive when our pets are young.

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