Guest Post: Just Because It’s Good For You… Preventing Pet Poisoning

Photo of Jackson
Jackson, an Embraced pup from
Dublin, CA, chewed the cap off a bottle
of Tylenol and had to be rushed to the
 vet for
Tylenol toxicity.

Poisonings in our pets are definitely on the rise. It is not due to a nasty neighbor throwing some altered treat over the fence so your dog will eat it. I have had many people suspect that happened, but in all my years of being a vet, I have actually never seen this happen. By far the most common toxicity cases come about because we humans are careless.

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Pet Poison Prevention Starts with You

Pet Poison PreventionMarch is Pet Poison Prevention Month. When it comes to preventing pet poisoning, pet parents need to think like the parents of human children as they baby-proof their home. While our dogs and cats don’t have opposable thumbs that make it easy to open cabinets and closets, they are incredibly resourceful when there’s something they want.

Cleaning products, medications, and lawn care products should be stored out of your pet’s reach and preferably in a closed cabinet, drawer, or closet. Is your pet especially industrious at opening any of the aforementioned receptacles? Consider baby locks. Also, consider your pet when picking plants for your home and garden and think twice before spraying any kind of fertilizer, weed killer, or insect bait. Our friends at have helpful lists that spell out the toxic plants for both cats and dogs.

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Podcast: Dental Dilemmas Solved by Dr. Patrick Mahaney

Proper dental care is critical for our pets, yet it's an area of our pet's care that a lot of pet parents neglect. So what can we do? Can we make up for lost time?

In this month’s podcast, Chief Embracer Laura Bennett and Dr. Patrick Mahaney take on a variety of dental health questions posed by our readers:

  • Karin S.: What are the best tartar control diets for dogs and cats?
  • Christine G.: Once a dog has bad teeth, is there anything you can do to reverse it? Or at that point, are you just trying to keep it from getting worse?
  • Alexandra H.: I have a wonderful 7 yr old, 15 lb dachshund. I've had his teeth cleaned three times by his vet (about every 1.5 to 2 years), and he's had a few teeth extracted. I know how important a clean, bacteria-free mouth is to his overall health, but as he starts to grow old older, I am concerned about putting him under anesthesia for cleanings, as any such procedure carries risk. Should I worry? What would you recommend? Also, I try to brush his teeth, but he loves licking the chicken flavored tooth paste so much, I don't feel like I'm getting much brushing done. My vet mentioned a solution to add to his drinking water, but I'm not sure it's safe. Any recommendations for daily oral care?
  • Karin S.: What is your opinion on anesthesia-free dental cleaning for dogs?
  • Darcy L.: My cat, Mr. Meow Meow, needs to have his teeth cleaned and probably needs to have some of them pulled. When my previous cat had this done, (granted, she was much older), it took over a week for her to recover. What are your thoughts on yanking teeth?

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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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