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Maybe you have your heart set on a golden retriever — that shiny, glossy coat, goofy grin and playful personality. Or maybe you are looking for a calico cat with an attitude as unique as her abstract coat. You’ve done the background research and know this type of pet will suit your lifestyle and family (if you haven't made up your mind yet, click here to take a quiz to find your perfect breed here or here .) But now what? How do you  find that perfect pet?

The following tips can help you find a healthy pet from a breeder (and understand the warning signs of puppy mills) or make a love connection at a shelter.

SCOPE IT OUT

If you have your heart settled on purchasing a pedigreed puppy, a thorough vetting of the breeder is key — including observing the living environment and attitudes of both the breeder and other animals onsite. The American Kennel Club or AKC recommends potential buyers follow these steps before taking any puppy home:

  • Meet the parents:Seeing your puppy’s parents can give you an idea about the dog she might grow into. Breeders should be forthcoming about the health of the parents as well as the puppy.
  • Observe, observe, observe:How clean is the kennel? Do the other animals appear lively and well-fed? Are there any signs of illness? Do they interact well with the breeders or shy away?
  • Ask away:Breeders should be willing to answer any questions you have and be willing to keep an open line of communication with you throughout the puppy’s life. Make sure your breeder is knowledgeable and you feel comfortable with them.
  • Paperwork, please:Don’t leave without AKC documentation of the dog’s pedigree and be wary if the breeder hesitates or says they will mail papers at a later date.

RED FLAGS

As awareness has spread, people now know that puppies from pet stores mostly come from puppy mills — large-scale, commercial breeding operations where the health and welfare of dogs is put second to profits, leading to squalid living conditions and misery for the animals. However, even if you avoid pet stores, make sure you avoid other buying situations where the dog may have come from a puppy mill.

  • Beware of organizations selling large quantities of puppies, dogs listed in newspaper advertisements, and people selling on the side of the road or at events like flea markets.
  • Be skeptical of any breeder who won’t disclose the name of their veterinarian, won’t allow site visits to their home or won’t make the parents of the puppy available to meet.
  • Avoid sellers who want to meet in a public place for the sale, demand cash, says he or she is acting as an “agent” for a breeder, or sells puppies before they are 8 weeks old.

If the sale seems shady, it probably is! For more information on how to avoid puppy mills and scams, see Petful’s full article here.

CERTIFIED CATS

As with dogs, it is important to do a little research when in the market for a pedigreed cat. The Cat Fancier’s Association, a registry of pedigreed cats, offers cat breeder referral services that can help you find a reputable breeder.  As with dog breeders, a good cat breeder will also be open about how they raise their animals, happy to answer questions, will provide documentation from veterinarians and will want to enter into a written agreement with a purchaser.

ADOPTION INSTEAD

If you decide to adopt a shelter pet is right for you, fantastic! However, walking into a shelter with so many needy animals can be overwhelming. Help prepare with these tips for adopting cats and dogs from a shelter or rescue group:

  • Research ahead of time:Visit the shelter’s website or social media accounts. They often post pictures and profiles of available animals. Give them a call to talk to the caretakers themselves about what kind of pet you’re interested in.
  • Take the family along:Bring anyone who will be living with the new pet and observe how the animals react to you and your spouse, children, etc.
  • Ask questions:Staff and volunteers at shelters spend countless hours caring for these animals. They can offer insights on personality and disposition you may not be able to discern yourself from a single visit.
  • Avoid rush hour:Weekends and afternoons can be busy, which means the animals might be more agitated than usual. During a quieter time, you can take your time meeting and interacting with potential pets.
  • Take a walkabout:If possible, take your canine candidate for a short walk on a leash. It can tell you a lot about their personality!
  • Consider the older animals:Senior cats and dogs are both at higher risk to be euthanized. Their calmer demeanors and house training may be just what you’re looking for!

Getting one step closer to bringing a new pet home doesn’t have to be daunting. The key here is doing some research, asking questions and trusting your instincts — toward breeders and the animals themselves —can go a long way in helping you find the perfect pet for your family.

To Your Pet's Good Health,

 

Dr. Barry

Sources

https://www.akc.org/press-center/articles/responsible-breeders/

https://www.aspca.org/animal-cruelty/puppy-mills/closer-look-puppy-mills-old

https://www.petful.com/animal-welfare/puppy-mill-red-flags/

https://www.tica.org/ru/find-a-kitten

https://cattime.com/cat-facts/lifestyle/311-choosing-a-shelter-cat

https://www.cesarsway.com/get-involved/adopting-from-a-shelter/the-rules-of-adoption

Dec 20, 2018 10:39:43 AM By Barry Miller pick pet, General Information,

Baby, It’s Furry Cold Outside

 WINTER PET SAFETY TIPS

Baby, it’s cold outside! Whether you relish the fluffy flakes of a winter wonderland or bemoan the incessant shoveling, sludge and sub-zero temps, there’s no way to avoid it — winter comes around every year.

While ’tis the season for health experts to offer plenty of advice on how people can avoid winter accidents and injuries — everything from spills on the ice to heart attacks while shoveling — we mustn’t forget about our four-legged companions. Today’s Blog is dedicated to avoiding potential winter hazards and ensuring a happy, healthy and safe winter season for your pets.

An ounce of prevention

Before the full force of winter sets in, take these preventative measures:

  • Bring ‘em in:The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests animals have a veterinary wellness exam before winter if they haven’t yet been examined this year. Cold weather can exacerbate conditions like arthritis.
  • Double-check collars and chips:The effects of cold temperatures on a lost pet can be devastating, so make sure your pets are microchipped, with tags up-to-date and collars in good condition.
  • Pet-proof indoors:Since everyone will be spending more time hunkered down inside, make sure medicines, toxic foods and chemicals are put away. Watch out for space heaters and decorations that can be knocked over and start a fire.
  • Be ready for anything:Blizzards, ice storms and power outages happen. Families should have emergency kits that also include food, water and prescription medications (at least a week’s worth) for their furry friends.

WALK WISELY

While dogs still need to get out for daily exercise (and many do love to romp in the snow), care should be taken to ensure Spot stays well in harsher weather:

  • Keep ‘em leashed: paws.org warns that more dogs are lost during winter than any other season. They can lose their scent trails and become disoriented, causing them to panic and run away.
  • Consider a coat: The shorter-haired, thinner or sicker among our companions may need an extra layer of protection against the elements.
  • Paw protection: Remove salt, snow crystals and caked-on mud immediately after returning home (checking for cracks or bleeding) and keep hair trimmed between toes to prevent build-up. A layer of Vaseline on paws can add protection before walks. Remember to wipe it off afterwards.
  • Stay off the ice: Avoid walking on frozen ponds, lakes or rivers. It’s hazardous to humans as well as our best friends. An instinct to save a pet should he fall through ice can be deadly.

 INDOORS IS BEST

Dogs and cats should both be kept inside during the winter, with a warm, non-drafty place to sleep. They are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, just like us. If you have an outdoor dog, make sure the dog has access to shelter, non-frozen water, and thick, dry bedding. Just as in summer, Pet Parents should never leave a pet alone in the car!

BE PROACTIVE ABOUT ANTIFREEZE

Antifreeze is lethal to pets, even in small amounts, and animals are attracted to its sweet taste. Clean up spills immediately and consider using products that contain propylene glycol instead of the traditional ethylene glycol. Wiping paws, limbs and bellies after a walk is a good practice to avoid antifreeze poisoning and the hazardous chemicals in salt and other deicers, too. If you use your garage as a place for winter shelter for your pet make sure you remove/place antifreeze in an area that is hard to reach or is protected from your pet.

LOOK OUT FOR UNINVITED PASSENGERS

Cats (pets with garage access or strays) are known to hide under cars, crawling into wheel wells and even snuggling up by engines to stay warm during the winter. Take a minute to look, make loud noises and knock on the hood if a feline may be hanging around a vehicle.

AVOID HOLIDAY OVERINDULGENCE

Our waistlines have a tendency to expand during the winter months, and our pets’ waistlines can, too! Monitor your pet’s weight and food intake while they are less active in winter and ask your veterinarian if you have any questions about appropriate calorie requirements for your pet.

KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS

Finally, make sure you know these warning signs of hypothermia in a pet that’s been outdoors in the cold:

  • Weak pulse
  • Dilated pupils or enlarged and unresponsive to changes in light
  • Whining, extreme shivering or slowed movement
  • Stupor or unconsciousness
  • Body temperature below 95 degrees

Hypothermia can cause coma, heart problems or kidney failure, so if you are concerned that your pet might be showing signs of hypothermia consult a veterinarian right away.

Whether you have a Husky that happily frolics through snowstorms, or a princess pup who’d rather be carried across sludgy puddles in your arms, knowing the facts about winter hazards and your pet’s tolerances can make a huge difference in their well-being and safety in all types of weather. Enjoy the winter season and Merry Christmas!

To Your Pet’s Good Health,

Dr. Barry

Sources

https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Cold-weather-pet-safety.aspx

https://www.paws.org/library/pet-info/pet-care/cold-weather-tips/

https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/news/keeping-pets-safe-cold-weather

Nov 29, 2018 3:26:57 PM By Barry Miller winter safety tips, General Information,

What to Do About Lumpy, Bumpy Lipomas

In the last 10 years we have had the pleasure of living with several senior dogs.  Each of these pets have developed lumps and bumps and each of these lumps and bumps presented differently on each pet. Our one dog had just one large bump located at the front of her chest and our lab had multiple small lumps in various places. For those that have never seen a pet with these lumps it can be very disturbing, and owners often think the worst, cancer.  Most of the lumps and bumps felt on a pet during a veterinary examination are lipomas. Lipomas are fatty tumors that are usually benign and non-cancerous. There is always a chance that any tumor is cancerous or malignant, so it is always wise to check with your Veterinarian and schedule a checkup if your pet develops a lump. 

If you feel a lump or bump, what could it be?

  • Lipomas (fatty tumors in dogs)
  • Sebaceous cysts (skin cysts)
  • Warts
  • Hematomas (blood blisters)
  • Infected hair follicles
  • Benign tumor
  • Malignant tumor

 

Today I wanted to give you a few facts about Lipomas since they are the most common cause of lumps and bumps:

  • Generally, occur on middle-aged animals, commonly in dogs and mostly in overweight females
  • Are only occasionally found in cats and horses

Breeds of dogs that are most often affected:

  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Miniature Schnauzers
  • Poodles
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Terriers
  • Mixed breeds

Taking a Closer Look: Examination of Lipomas

When an animal is brought in for examination, the palpation of a lipoma will usually reveal a small, round, or oval mass that is:

  • Located in the flesh under the skin, not in the muscle
  • Found most often in the areas of the:
    • Chest
    • Abdomen
    • Legs
    • Armpits
    • Soft to the touch, may feel somewhat rubbery
    • Typically, not painful
    • Does not seem attached to skin
    • Does not seem attached to underlying muscles or tissues
    • Slow growing

The examination of an atypical lipoma may reveal a mass that is:

  • Larger, the size of a golf-ball or even a baseball
  • Growing long and wide, not round
  • Solid to the touch, usually due to inflammation or fibrous tissues
  • Fast growing

How to Be Sure It’s Not Cancer: Confirmation

Because palpating the mass will not rule out whether it is benign or cancerous, confirmation that it is a lipoma is necessary. This includes:

  • Fine-needle aspiration
    • Invasive biopsy procedure that removes fluid from inside the mass for examination
    • A slide is then made from the collected material to view under the microscope
    • The collected material is stained, and the cells are viewed to determine if they are healthy and normal, or abnormal and possibly malignant

What to Do If It Is a Lipoma: Treatments

There are many types of treatments available to animals that are diagnosed with lipomas, including:

  • Watch and wait
    • This approach is based on the typical characteristics of a lipoma, for example, benign and slow-growing
    • The premise is that if the lipoma isn’t increasing in size and if it isn’t creating health problems, it is better to be left alone
    • Watching should include training clients to routinely monitor and measure the mass at home for any noticeable physical changes
    • Surgery
      • Recommended when a lipoma:
        • Creates function and mobility problems, such as with infiltrative lipomas
        • Grows rapidly, indicating that it might be a different type of tumor, one that is often mistaken for a lipoma, such as:
          • Liposarcoma
          • Sebaceous adenoma
          • Mast cell tumor
          • Hemangiosarcoma
          • Hemangiopericytoma
          • Liposuction
            • Successful treatments have been found with smaller, encapsulated lipomas
            • Not recommended for giant lipomas or ones that contain fibrous material
            • Not recommended for infiltrative lipomas
            • Radiation therapy
              • Use follows a surgical removal in order to delay or prevent recurrence

 

While most of the lumps and bumps found on a pet are benign, it is always advisable to make an appointment with your veterinarian for a thorough examination and a biopsy on any masses that are noticed. Because some benign tumors look the same as malignant tumors, it is impossible to tell if a mass is non-cancerous without your Veterinarian looking, feeling, and examining it under a microscope. 

To Your Pet's Good Health,

 

Barry Miller DVM

Sources:

http://www.dru.org/lumpsbumps.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21797873

 

Nov 15, 2018 12:06:49 PM By Barry Miller lumps and bumps, General Information,

Dr. Barry recommends "The 10% Rule for Pet Treats". Treats should only make up  about 10% of your dog's daily calories.

Aug 9, 2018 9:12:03 AM By Barry Miller food snacks, General Information,

Jun 22, 2018 11:08:13 AM By Barry Miller nail trim, General Information,
The unbelievable story of a dog almost cut in half by an outdoor leash. See the amazing before and after photos.Read More
Apr 25, 2018 9:18:13 PM By Barry Miller Dog Surgery, wound, injuries, General Information,

I must admit that I love to come home and smell something baking in the oven or see that someone is cooking in the kitchen but that excitement ends when I find out that it's not for me it's for Bear, our dog.  My son got a dog biscuit cookie cutter and recipe book in his stocking a few years ago. 

I wish I could go back in time and bake treats for all of my childhood dogs I know that they would have loved it more than the hard dog bone shaped biscuits that came in a box back in the 70's. I had one dog in particular, Jason, that loved treats. He would often wait for me after school or he would wait for me to finish football practice. On the way home there was a hotdog/hamburger joint and I would buy myself and Jason a hamburger.  We both loved it and that is such a good memory I have of my childhood. I thought I would share with you a few recipes (one for warm weather and one for any time) for pets that are healthy and delicious and will hopefully help create great memories for you and your pet.  

Recipes for Dogs

Yogurt and Banana Treats 

  • 16 oz. plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 chopped banana

Mix together, place in molds or mini muffin tins and freeze overnight, and serve.

Apple Cheddar Biscuits

  • 2 cups barley flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Bone-shaped or other cookie cutters

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients and about 3 tablespoons water to form a dough. Roll out mixture between two sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thick; remove plastic wrap and cut out biscuits with a 3 1/2-inch bone-shaped or other cookie cutters. Reroll scraps and continue cutting out biscuits.

3. Space biscuits 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until nicely browned and firm.

4. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack. Turn off oven and place biscuits on a wire rack in the oven overnight. Remove from oven and store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

No Time To Bake for Fido! No worries:

If you do not have time to bake there are healthy options that you can buy. 

LEAN TREATS

Made with bite-size pieces of skinless chicken and are low in fat, they’re veterinarian recommended.Learn more Here: Lean Treats

PRO-TREAT FREEZE DRIED TREATS

These bite-size full-flavor treats can also be used as a training tool.Learn More Here: Pro-Treat Freeze Dried Livers.

 

Recipes For Cats

Catsicles

  • 15 8-ounce plastic cups
  • 1 5.5-ounce can of your cat’s favorite wet food (smooth, not chunky, works best)
  • Catnip and/or soft cat treats (optional)
  • One small square of plastic wrap
  1. Mix cat food and treats in a bowl in a minimum 2 parts food to 1 part treat ratio
  2. Fill plastic cups with mixture about ½” high with the mixture. Put plastic wrap on top to avoid freezer burn.
  3. Stack cups, flattening treat mixture into the disk, and freeze overnight.
  4. Run warm water over bottom cup until it releases. Put the treat in the bowl and let stand about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve.

Catnip Crumbles

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons catnip

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line baking sheet with foil.

2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients by hand.

3. Spread mixture on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 7 to 10 minutes.

4. Drain any excess fat and crumble. Refrigerate whatever’s left.

No time to Bake for Fluffy! No Worries

LEAN TREATS

Made with skinless chicken and are low in fat, they’re recommended by veterinarians.Learn more here: Lean Treats for Cats

 

I hope these recipes are enjoyed by your pets and help your homes smell delicious but more importantly I hope they bring wonderful memories to you and your pets.

To Your Pet's Good Health,

Dr. Barry

 

Sources:

https://henryscheinvet.com/Product?sku=022773

https://henryscheinvet.com/Product?sku=021164

https://www.littlethings.com/halloween-dog-treats/

https://henryscheinvet.com/Product?sku=031264

https://henryscheinvet.com/Product?sku=057575

https://www.petfinder.com/cats/cat-nutrition/homemade-summer-cat-treat/

http://doggydessertchef.com/2011/04/01/catnip-crumbles/

https://henryscheinvet.com/resource-center/education/case-studies/growing-role-of-technology-in-a-veterinary-practice

https://henryscheinvet.com/resource-center/blogs/animal-health/animal-health/2016/09/06/common-causes-and-signs-of-a-data-breach

https://www.henryscheinvet.com/resource-center/blogs

https://www.henryscheinvet.com/contact-us

LEAVE A COMMENT

Mar 28, 2018 4:12:56 PM By Barry Miller General Information,

 

With Spring Break just around the corner, I thought it might be helpful to discuss tips for choosing a Boarding Facility or a Pet Sitter. When faced with finding care for a pet that must be left alone for a lengthy period of time, there are many aspects to consider. The following information may help you as you contemplate your options. 

If you prefer to use a Boarding facility:

Here are11 QUESTIONS TO ASK A POTENTIAL BOARDING KENNEL before you choose to drop your pet off:

#1 HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO BOOK?

Many boarding kennels, especially during holidays, are booked weeks or months in advance. Make sure you know how far in advance you need to book a stay and whether a deposit is required when booking.

#2 WHAT VACCINATIONS DO YOU REQUIRE?

Most kennels require vaccinations, but the industry is still largely unregulated so it’s best to ask. Below are the minimum vaccinations that a kennel should require. 

Canine Vaccines

  • Canine Distemper
  • Infectious Hepatitis
  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Rabies
  • Bordetella

Feline Vaccines

  • Feline Panleukopenia
  • Feline Herpesvirus
  • Feline Calicivirus  
  • Rabies

If the kennel does not require vaccinations, ask them how they quarantine animals to prevent infection. Disease can be spread by contact with bodily fluids and even air. And even if your pet is vaccinated, there is always the chance it might be susceptible to disease.

#3 HOW ARE THE ANIMALS HOUSED?

  • Cats and dogs should never be kept within view or hearing distance of each other. Most kennels put up barriers inside the kennel space to prevent this.
  • The area should be well ventilated.
  • Make sure there’s enough room for your pet to move around and enough space for them to defecate or urinate if they need to. Cats should have a litter box in their space.

#4 HOW OFTEN ARE DOGS TAKEN OUT?

Dogs should be let out a minimum of 2-3 times a day or 24 hour period.. Ask them the times they take the dogs out and for how long. If your dog is in the habit of defecating each morning, they may take longer. Ask if they’re taken out on a leash or released into an outside pen. If they’re released into an outside pen, does the employee stay with the animal or go back inside for a designated period? How big is the exercise area?

#5 DO STAFF MEMBERS PLAY WITH OR PET THE ANIMAL?

Ask specifically if there are designated times for staff to interact with your pet, how long staff members stay with them, and how they interact.

#6 CAN THEY ACCOMMODATE PETS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS?

If you have an elderly pet or one with special needs, this information is critical. If they say they can, ask them how they will accommodate your animal.

#7 WILL THEY FEED YOUR PET ITS REGULAR FOOD?

Veterinarians advise against changing your pet’s food, because it’s likely to result in digestive upset. So it is important to bring with your enough food from for your pet to dine one while you are away.

#8 DO THEY PROVIDE ADDITIONAL SERVICES?

Many boarding kennels, whether or not they’re part of a veterinary practice, offer additional services for a fee, such as brushing, washing, training, nail trimming (for dogs) or extra play time. Veterinary boarding kennels frequently offer vaccinations and other minor procedures, too. Some kennels offer playgroups your pet may enjoy.

#9 CAN I TAKE A TOUR?

If they are not willing to give you a tour when you show up unannounced, leave immediately.

#10 DOES THE KENNEL HAVE AN EMERGENCY PLAN?

Even if you don’t live in a flood-, hurricane- or tornado-prone area, fire is always an issue.

#11 ARE STAFF MEMBERS TRAINED?

If you are not using veterinary boarding, make sure the staff has received training and certification.

WARNING SIGNS OF A BAD BOARDING EXPERIENCE

Here are some warning signs that the kennel may not be a good fit for your pet.

  • The building smells bad.
  • Outdoor pens are small and do not have shelter from the sun.
  • Your pet smells bad when you pick it up.
  • The employees tell you nothing about your pet when you pick it up.


Benefits of Hiring a Pet Sitter

When pet sitters enter a home their tasks often include filling up water bowls and scooping out the litter boxes. However, most pet sitters are not just hired for their time, but also for the attention they can provide to a pet. Additional care may be offered through services such as the following:

  • Walking energetic animals
  • Engaging pets in their favorite play activities
  • Providing bathroom walk breaks
  • Following feeding schedules
  • Administering health needs.

The use of a pet sitter also provides benefits that go beyond the assigned tasks. For example, a pet benefits through:

  • Remaining at home, in a comfortable familiar environment
  • Maintaining routine for diet, walking, exercise, and play
  • Eliminating the stress that can be caused by traveling or by being boarded in a kennel
  • Reduced boredom levels.

Additionally, establishing a pet sitter relationship may help owners to feel better about being away from home since they know their pet is being cared for, happy, and safe. 

Where to find a Qualified and Trustworthy Pet Sitter:

Starting the search for a pet sitter should begin by asking for recommendations from:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Veterinarians
  • Groomers
  • Dog Trainers.


Initial Communication


Begin your search for a pet sitter by gathering information on their qualifications and on the services they provide.  
Questions to Ask Prospective Pet Sitters:

  • What services do they offer? For example grooming, walking, training, exercising, playing, cleaning up after a pet, taking a pet to appointments, taking a pet to the veterinarian if it gets sick, live-in services?
  • Will they provide a written contract that explicitly identifies responsibilities, services, and fees charged?
  • Do they carry commercial liability insurance that covers accidents and negligence? Can they provide written proof? Are they bonded? Can they provide proof?
  • What training do they have for this position? For example CPR, First Aid?
  • What is the backup plan established for continuing the care of your pet in case the sitter becomes ill, has car trouble, or has other difficulties that keep them from their responsibilities? How do you interview this person? What are their qualifications?
  • Can they provide a list of references along with the contact information that includes client names and phone numbers?

Set Up A Meet and Greet


Once the information is gathered and references have been contacted, before making a final hiring decision it is important that you invite the pet sitter over to your home not only to talk with them in person but to have them meet the pet. During this stage of the interview additional important information can be gathered, for example:

  • Watch the way they interact with your pet, do they seem at ease and focused on the pet? Does their behavior make the pet feel comfortable? Does the pet welcome their attention and touch?
  • If a pet has special needs, do they ask appropriate questions about their responsibilities for its care?
  • Do you feel comfortable with the sitter’s behavior in their home?

Trial Period


When the decision to hire is made,  If you can plan to schedule services that cover an extended period of time, it is recommended to first arrange for the pet sitter to provide care for a trial period over a couple of days while you are still in town. This will allow for a chance to identify any issues that must be addressed before the pet is left in the sitter’s care for a longer period, such as:

  • Questions requiring further clarification
  • Changes that need to be made in reference to scheduling
  • Responsibilities that should be added to meet additional pet needs.

I recommend both Kennel Boarding and Pet Sitters as safe ways to love and care for your pet while you are on vacation or traveling. Taking the time to choose the right boarding facility or Pet Sitter is very important and will pay off in the long run. It is never pleasant to return home from your travels to find your pet in less than good condition and worrying about your pet while you are on holiday steals important moments of relaxing and enjoying your time.

To Your Pet’s Good Health,

Dr. Barry

Sources:

http://www.ibpsa.com/top-4-questions-vets-have-about-pet-boarding-and-daycare/

http://www.sheltermedicine.com/library/resources/facility-design-and-animal-housing

https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/housebreaking-issues/how-often-should-a-dog-urinate

https://www.henryscheinvet.com/resource-center/blogs/animal-health/animal-health/2017/05/31/safety-tips-for-taking-a-pup-to-the-dog-park

https://henryscheinvet.com/resource-center/blogs/animal-health/animal-health/2017/05/22/talking-to-clients-about-adopting-a-senior-pet

https://henryscheinvet.com/resource-center/blogs/animal-health/animal-health/2017/07/11/veterinarian-tips-pet-fire-safety

https://www.dogfoodinsider.com/prepare-your-dog-for-boarding/

https://henryscheinvet.com/resource-center/blogs/animal-health/animal-health/2016/09/06/cutting-the-cord

https://www.henryscheinvet.com/resource-center/blogs

https://www.henryscheinvet.com/resource-center/education

 

Mar 5, 2018 4:09:42 PM By Barry Miller boarding pet sitter, General Information,

 

At-Home Pet Dental Care Tips

I remember I used to have a poster in my office that had a picture of a bulldog with the caption, "His breath could stop a train". At the time it was cute but I know from first-hand experience that when you have a pet with bad breath it is not cute! Establishing routine preventative dental care with the help of your veterinarian is important, but supporting this with regular at-home dental care for your pet is essential to continuing their good health!  For many pet parents that is not as easy as it sounds.

We are lucky to have so many options for preventative oral care that do not involve a toothbrush and the difficulty of brushing an unwilling beloved pet's teeth.

Here are some at-home dental tips and options that may help to keep your pet’s mouth healthy in between visits to the veterinarian.

Signs that there is something wrong:

Watch for the following observable changes in behavior as they often point to a dental problem. If observed, the signs indicate that the dog needs to be seen by the veterinarian.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Appearance of a good appetite, but reluctance to eat
  • Eating on only one side of the mouth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Gulping food without chewing
  • Food dropping out of the mouth while eating.

 

Dogs don’t always have lovely breath, but chronic halitosis is one of the most common signs of severe oral/dental problems, including:

  • Periodontal disease:
    • Gum disease caused by plaque
    • Results in:
      • Gum infections
      • Tooth loss
      • Systemic infections
  • Oral masses
    • Cancerous Growths
    • Benign growths
  • Gingival hyperplasia
    • Condition caused when the gums overgrow
    • Observed as bumps and deep crevices.

How to assess your pet's Gums and Teeth

  • Once a week, gently pull back your pet's lips and look at its gums and teeth or sneak a peek when your cat or dog bares its teeth for any reason.
    • Gums should be pink
    • Gums should not be white or red
    • Teeth should be white
    • Teeth should not show any discoloration or have any tartar buildup.

There are many options available today other than just brushing your pet's teeth. I know that brushing can be challenging so I would recommend reading thru the rest of this blog to see what option might work for you and your pet. It will definitely be worth it as it will prevent dental disease and other health disorders that often begin as a result of poor dental health.

Option#1.

Brushing

Brushing with a pet toothbrush and toothpaste is still the most effective option. Cleaning your pet’s teeth on a regular basis will help to prevent the problems caused by bacteria and plaque build-up. Follow these steps:

  • Talk to your veterinarian to gather information and ask them to:
    • Recommend a toothbrush that is appropriate for your type and size of pet
    • Select a toothpaste that will entice your pet and make them look forward to having their teeth brushed, most kinds of toothpaste are flavored in a way that dogs will enjoy the taste. Do no use human toothpaste.
    • Provide a demonstration of the steps involved in brushing your pet’s teeth.

The following steps will teach your pet to enjoy their brushing routine:

  • Begin by helping the dog get comfortable with the brushing motions:
    • Over a few weeks, daily massage their lips with your finger moving in a circular motion
    • Once the lips have been massaged, move to the teeth and gums
  • Once the animal is comfortable, place a small amount of toothpaste on the animal’s lips to introduce them to the taste
  • Using the toothbrush, massage the animal’s gums
  • Apply toothpaste to the toothbrush or directly on the teeth and then gently brush the teeth using the following technique:
    • At a 45-degree angle to the teeth, gently move the toothbrush in small, circular motions
    • Clean one area at a time
    • Since the teeth that touch the cheek have the most tartar, using a downward motion of the toothbrush will help to loosen and remove this tartar.

Option#2.

Chewing: Chews, toys, and treats

The right type of chewing toy is good for the teeth of dogs. Not only does chewing massage the gums and clean the teeth, but it also provides a safe way to satisfy its desire to gnaw on something which will help to reduce stress and prevent boredom. Talk to your veterinarian to get their advice on picking out a proper type of chewing item for your pet.

Option#3.

Water Additives and Oral Rinses

Drinking water additives and oral rinses are one of the easiest, safest and most convenient ways to provide oral health care to dogs. 

Simply add the pet drinking water additive to your pet's daily drinking water and you can truly do wonders at preventing dental disease. These drinking water additives typically do not contain any harmful ingredients such as chlorhexidine, chlorines or alcohols and are safe enough for daily ingestion without any side effects. At present, several types dental rinses are available on the market. For Oral Rinses you will be required to lift the lip of your pet exposing their gums. When the gums are exposed you will spray/squeeze the bottle aiming the oral rinse at their gums. When followed by a healthy treat your pet usually won't mind the intrusion. It is less time consuming than brushing.

Option#4.

Diet and food additives.

Discuss with your veterinarian the type of food that your pet eats. Dry kibble helps to slow down the formation of plaque and tartar. An animal fed mostly canned food may benefit from being supplemented with hard biscuits to help remove plaque and tartar. I also recommend a product called Perio Support Powder.  Perio Support Powder is a daily support formula for dental health and hygiene for both cats and dogs. It was designed to be used between veterinary dental cleanings to control plaque formation and support gum health, 

Option#5.

Professional Dental Cleaning

During your pet's annual exam your Veterinarian will assess your pet's teeth and gums. Your Veterinarian can perform a dental cleaning much like you receive from your dentist. Often during teeth cleaning your Veterinarian will be able to take a closer look at your pet's teeth, gums and mouth to determine their overall dental health.  As pets get older I recommend annual teeth cleaning or as needed when recommended by your Veterinarian.

 

Finding the best dental routine for your pet is important for their longevity and vitality. Too many of my patients have mouth infections or the beginning signs of dental disease or advanced stages of it. This impacts their overall health. Providing daily at-home dental care will help to further improve your pet's chances for better dental health and longevity.

To Your Pet's Good Health,

 

Barry Miller DVM

Jan 30, 2018 5:20:05 PM By Barry Miller Dental Health,
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