March 07, 2014
When you think about it, our bodies, and those of our pets, are incredible machines. For example, these machines fix themselves (most times) when things break, and we don't have to eat precise diets to stay alive (not like my car that only takes a very certain type of very expensive liquid and my mechanic loves that my car doesn't fix itself.)
It doesn't mean though that all that we eat is good for us in the long run, and eating a better quality of food is one way we can improve our health without having to go to the doctor. It's very much the same situation for our pets, yet some people are still unaware that the quality of the food we feed our cats and dogs is incredibly important. Better and more appropriate foods really do make a difference for our pets.
February 18, 2014
This month, we are talking pet dentals. It’s Pet Dental Health Month according to the AVMA so it’s as good a time as any to talk about teeth and pets and why keeping teeth healthy is good for your pet’s overall health.
In our podcast, Dr Patrick and I address the following questions:
What is the current status of dog and cat dental health - good, bad, or plain ugly?
Why is brushing your pet's teeth so important? How can you make it a positive and simple daily task if you're just beginning to brush their teeth?
What are some examples of instances when it might be best to forgo dental care?
February 05, 2014
Embrace friend and advisor, Dr Rex Riggs, talks about why you should go ahead with the expense of a dental cleaning under anesthesia with X-rays. It's needed people!
Periodontal disease is the most common disease seen in our pets. Think about it. If we did not brush our teeth, used no mouthwash, ate whatever we can put in our mouth including, for dogs, that tasty hors d’ourve, the ever popular cat turd, what would our teeth look like? Put on top of this chomping down on deer antlers, bones, and nylabones, and you get a lot of chipped and broken teeth.
How many of us have had root canals? They are a result of tooth root abscesses and they hurt like a mother. Dogs and cats have these same tooth root abscesses and continue to eat. They are great at hiding their pain. How they do that is beyond me. Did I mention tooth root abscesses hurt like a mother?
February 04, 2014
Did you know that you cannot tell if your cat or dog has periodontal disease by the color of his or her gums?
I did not know that until a few weeks ago. Wouldn't you think that you would see more inflamed gums in pets with periodontal disease?
So what is periodontal disease then? Our friend, Tracy Libby, elaborates:
Periodontal disease is the progressive loss or destruction of the tissues that hold the teeth in the jaws. It starts the same way in dogs as it does in humans - with plaque buildup around and under the gum line. One milligram of dental plaque contains millions of bacteria!
January 17, 2014
This month, we are delving into the topic of pet training. And why would you train your dog or cat? Dr Patrick discusses the reasons for training your dog or cat and answers the questions below.
- Kristin: My dog is highly trained in all areas, except for the fact that he loses his mind when he sees another dog or a child. He just wants to run over and play with them! All training goes out the window when he sees them, and he stops listening. Any suggestions to keep him focused given these distractions?
- Jenna: how do I make him stop barking at me when he wants something? (to cuddle, to go out, to play, to...I don’t even know) I have tried ignoring him, but he doesn't get it.
- And another from Jenna: how do I stop counter surfing and stopping him eating things off the ground outside (gum, cig butts, etc.)
- Katie: please, any new anti-barking training techniques?
- Kate: anything new on separation anxiety or resource guarding?
Also, I add a tidbit that I have found very helpful with my cats to prevent them from scratching the furniture. If they do it, I picked them up and put them with their paws up against one of our three scratching posts in the living room. When they eventually scratch the post by themselves, they get lots of praise and tickles. Now, they only scratch the furniture every now and then and only when I’m there just to get attention. Nothing is perfect.