Smile! It's National Pet Dental Health Month.

DaisyOne of my favorite little ladies is Daisy, a senior Miniature Dachshund. She’s a feisty guard dog (even though her weight is in the single digits), yet she could lead a how-to cuddle class. As a toy breed, it’s no surprised that she’s missing a few teeth at this stage in her life (I know better than to ask a lady her age), which is why she came to mind when I was remembered that it’s National Pet Dental Health Month. Daisy is well cared for and gets a good diet, lost teeth are just part of this tiny package. It’s genetic, along with her good looks, and it’s so cute when her little lip gets caught on one of the few remaining fangs.

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The Allure (and the Reality) of Young Pets

Daily one of my clients asks, “What kind of puppy should I get?" My answer, “Have you ever thought of a 1 to 2 year old dog? They are so much easier.” They’re usually house-broken and you'll know a lot more about the dog’s personality. There are so many dogs and cats that need homes. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get a great pet and a friend for life.

ccBut, lots of people still want a puppy. I must admit, there is nothing cuter than a puppy. They see wonder in everything. They love life. I would love to spend 10 minutes being puppy, just to know what true happiness is. And, with a puppy or kitten, you get the chance to watch them grow and develop, forming a lifelong bond. Which is probably why I didn’t take my own advice and now I find myself raising a puppy. Two months ago we “rescued” C.C. (right), a mini Labradoodle, who was being offered in a live auction at a fundraiser. (You don’t auction off a puppy at a fundraiser! As the auction proceeded I scanned the crowd, of well served possible puppy owners I might add, and came to the conclusion that C.C. had to come home with me and my wife.)

I am reminded of why puppyhood is a trying time! I always say having a puppy is a good primer to see if you want kids. She is cute, but she is testing us. We are trying to follow all the suggestions I give my clients, but if you don’t watch her for a minute she is chewing on one of my wife’s boots (BTW, why does my wife need five pairs of black boots?) or pooping on the rug.

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6 Tips for Aging Gracefully

Senior Lab MixAging gracefully seems to come easier to pets than it does to people. Senior cats and dogs tend to complain less about the aches and pains, even though they have as much trouble getting up in the morning as we do. They get the creaky knees and sensitive bellies, just like we do. The cognitive issues creep up, slowly but surely. Knowing what I know, having had a few senior pets pass through my life, these are the bits of advice I want to share to help make your pets’ later years their best years.

  1. Keep the weight off: This seems so simple, but it’s possibly the most important thing you can do for your pets. The benefits go beyond just the physical. Keeping your pet at a healthy weight not only helps the joints and organ systems, preventing illness, but also helps your pet stay more active, which slows down mental and physical aging issues. Diet and exercise combined are key to helping your pet be more comfortable as an advanced adult.

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Learning New Tricks... At Any Age

KaydenWhen we first met Kayden (right) as sanctuary volunteers in the spring of 2011, the rescue guessed that he was full grown at (probably) a little over a year old. Fast forward 5 months to when we picked him up at an airport cargo bay to finalize his out-of-state adoption. He’d grown. A lot. He was no longer a 40 lb pocket Pittie, but a 60 lb whopper of a dog, more the size of a Pointer. We hadn’t seen him in so long that it was quite surprising when we realized we’d adopted not only a large dog, but a dog that was a bit younger than we thought.

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Guest Post: Pet First Aid Tips from Dr. Rex Riggs

Pet First AidIn an effort to make things safer for both pet and pet parent, we asked Dr. Rex Riggs what points about first aid he would most want to share with his clients. While some of his reminders may seem like common sense, it’s good to have these as mental notes in the event that you’re in an emergency situation.

Safety First When It Comes To First Aid

The first tenet of first aid for your pet is safety, for your pet and for you. Animals in distress will act with fear and no matter how much they love you, and how much you love them, they will bite and scratch. They are put in a flight or fight mentality. I have seen many clients who have sustained serious injury trying to help an injured animal. So be careful!

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