Daily Paws

Pet news, tips, entertainment and opinions from VetLocator.com

Archive for February, 2010

Listen to your mom’s advice and brush those teeth every day!

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010
February is pet dental month

February is pet dental health month

I’m about to repeat something that your mom probably told you many times when you were growing up and it has to do with brushing teeth. But this time the advice is for your pets.

Do you brush your pet’s teeth daily?

If you’re like most pet owners, the answer is a definite NO.

You may be thinking, “My pet would never let me near his/her teeth let alone sit still while I BRUSH them” or “My life is so hectic I can barely get my own teeth brushed, let alone the cat’s.”

Most pet owners never even look in their pet’s mouths, let alone brushing their teeth.

However, being aware of the condition of your pet’s teeth and in keeping them in good shape is just as important to their health as it is to yours.

And it just so happens that February is pet dental health month, a great time to learn more on what you can do to help your pet keep his/her teeth clean.

Having your pet’s teeth checked during it’s semi-annual wellness check is normally part of your vets routine. During this check your veterinarian can help you determine your pet’s oral health state.

Periodontal disease is very common in dogs and cats and depending on its severity, it can cause varying degrees of halitosis, tartar or plaque, gingivitis and/or tooth disease depending on age and breed.

Here are step-by-step instructions (see the video below from Howzini) on how to brush your dog’s teeth:

1. Put pet-safe toothpaste on your finger and allow the dog to lick some of it off (pet toothpaste comes in flavors such as chicken).
2. Start with just 1 tooth.  Put toothpaste on the toothbrush and rub in a little toothpaste where the tooth meets the gum line.
3. Do not brush your dog’s teeth like you brush your own teeth. Instead, just smear the toothpaste on your dog’s tooth — 1 tooth at a time.  Dog toothpaste is made to dissolve the plaque without much rubbing or scrubbing.
4. If the first tooth went well, then try the same thing on another tooth. Until your dog gets used to this process, you may need to do only a few teeth at a time — in one sitting.

Cats can sometimes be a little trickier than dogs, and here is a video that shows a cat getting her teeth cleaned:

Here are some things you can do besides brushing to help keep your pet’s teeth clean:

  • Get a professional dental cleaning to start. A routine teeth cleaning is very similar to the cleaning you receive from your hygienist.
  • Provide dental treats and chews to help slow the development of tartar.
  • Use veterinary approved toothpaste when you brush your pet’s teeth. Human toothpaste or baking soda can cause an upset stomach.

And just like in humans, if your pet has significant tooth or periodontal disease present, not only is his health and comfort at risk, but additional care may be necessary including tooth extractions, treatment for infections, growths and tumors.

To maintain good health, your pet needs a healthy mouth. Daily brushing can help and you can contact your veterinarian for recommendations on how you can prevent and/or treat dental disease in your pet.

As always, if you are looking for veterinary care, VetLocator.com has local vets that are available to provide the help that you need and if you can’t find what you are looking for, just shoot our Customer Care staff an email and we’ll be glad to help you out!

Here’s to great teeth for both you and your pets,
linda-sig

www.vetlocator.com

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Listen to your mom’s advice + Valentine’s Day – It’s a pet thing too

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
February is pet dental month

February is pet dental health month

I’m about to repeat something that your mom probably told you many times when you were growing up and it has to do with brushing teeth. But this time the advice is for your pets.

Do you brush your pet’s teeth daily?

If you’re like most pet owners, the answer is a definite NO.

You may be thinking, “My pet would never let me near his/her teeth let alone sit still while I BRUSH them” or “My life is so hectic I can barely get my own teeth brushed, let alone the cat’s.”

Most pet owners never even look in their pet’s mouths, let alone brushing their teeth.

However, being aware of the condition of your pet’s teeth and in keeping them in good shape is just as important to their health as it is to yours.

And it just so happens that February is pet dental health month, a great time to learn more on what you can do to help your pet keep his/her teeth clean.

Having your pet’s teeth checked during it’s semi-annual wellness check is normally part of your vets routine. During this check your veterinarian can help you determine your pet’s oral health state.

Periodontal disease is very common in dogs and cats and depending on its severity, it can cause varying degrees of halitosis, tartar or plaque, gingivitis and/or tooth disease depending on age and breed.

Here are step-by-step instructions (see the video below from Howzini) on how to brush your dog’s teeth:

1. Put pet-safe toothpaste on your finger and allow the dog to lick some of it off (pet toothpaste comes in flavors such as chicken).
2. Start with just 1 tooth. Put toothpaste on the toothbrush and rub in a little toothpaste where the tooth meets the gum line.
3. Do not brush your dog’s teeth like you brush your own teeth. Instead, just smear the toothpaste on your dog’s tooth — 1 tooth at a time. Dog toothpaste is made to dissolve the plaque without much rubbing or scrubbing.
4. If the first tooth went well, then try the same thing on another tooth. Until your dog gets used to this process, you may need to do only a few teeth at a time — in one sitting.

Cats can sometimes be a little trickier than dogs, and here is a video that shows a cat getting her teeth cleaned:

Here are some things you can do besides brushing to help keep your pet’s teeth clean:

  • Get a professional dental cleaning to start. A routine teeth cleaning is very similar to the cleaning you receive from your hygienist.
  • Provide dental treats and chews to help slow the development of tartar.
  • Use veterinary approved toothpaste when you brush your pet’s teeth. Human toothpaste or baking soda can cause an upset stomach.

And just like in humans, if your pet has significant tooth or periodontal disease present, not only is his health and comfort at risk, but additional care may be necessary including tooth extractions, treatment for infections, growths and tumors.

To maintain good health, your pet needs a healthy mouth. Daily brushing can help and you can contact your veterinarian for recommendations on how you can prevent and/or treat dental disease in your pet.

As always, if you are looking for veterinary care, VetLocator.com has local vets that are available to provide the help that you need and if you can’t find what you are looking for, just shoot our Customer Care staff an email and we’ll be glad to help you out!

Here’s to great teeth for both you and your pets,
linda-sig

www.vetlocator.com
———————-
cutepupABC

I just fell in love with this picture when I first came across it on ABC’s website.  Isn’t it great?????

Since then I’ve seen it scattered across the web on other sites but I had to share it with you for our Valentine’s Daily Paws.

To me it’s a perfect representation of the give and take of love and affection most of us have for our pets.  It captures those moments of time when your animal does something that makes you stop whatever else you were doing and state (or think silently but very strongly) I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!

Valentine’s day is a day to spend with the one(s) you love.  Now, according to a recent poll conducted by Reuters of 24,000 people in 23 countries, over 1/5 of those surveyed would rather spend Valentine’s day with their pets than with their spouse.  Isn’t that interesting?

Here are more interesting items that came out of the poll including which country is the least likely to vote for their pet..

Rather than spending Valentine’s Day with their partner, one-fifth of adults would prefer to be with their pet, although the French still came top for romance, according to a joint global poll by Reuters/Ipsos.

The survey of 24,000 people in 23 countries found 21% of adults would rather spend February 14 with their pet than their spouse, although the French were least likely to choose a furry friend over a human with only 10% taking that option.

But the survey found that age and income were more of a determining factor than nationality when it came to romance, with younger, less affluent people more likely to choose their pet as their Valentine’s Day companion.

John Wright, senior vice president of Ipsos, said 25% of people aged under 35 opted for their pet over their partner compared to 18% of those aged 35-54 and 14% of people aged 55 plus.

Men and women were evenly split over the question.

Those choosing pets over people were also more likely to be those who have a lower income (24%) compared to those who were middle or higher income earners (20%).

“Likely defying stereotype, the desire to spurn a partner for a pet is not rooted in gender but rather age and even there it seems the older you are, the least likely it is you’d choose pet over partner,” said Wright.

“While there are country differences, it’s more of a personal choice made by younger and less affluent individuals.”

On a country-by-country basis, residents of Turkey were the most likely, at 49%, to choose their pet over their spouse or partner.

Next came India with 41%, then Japan with 30%, China with 29%, the United States with 27% and Australia with 25%.

On the other hand, the nations where residents were the least likely to want to spend the day with a pet instead of their spouse or partner were France at 10%, Mexico 11%, the Netherlands 12% and Hungary at 12%.

The following results table from the Reuters/Ipsos poll begins with countries where citizens were most likely to agree that they “would rather spend the day with a pet than with my spouse or partner:”

About 1,000 individuals participated on a country by country basis via an Ipsos (http://www.ipsos.com) online panel with weighting employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflected that of the adult population according to the most recent country census data.

From MoneyControl.com

How about you?   How are you planning on spending your Valentine’s Day?

Spouse?  Pets?  Significant other?  Leave a comment below and let me know.

Linda
linda-sig

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15 Ways to help homeless and needy pets and their caregivers

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
Linda

Linda

I’ve been very busy lately – the unplanned kind of busy that stretches time. And my guess is many of you have been this kind of busy too.

Since the news about Haiti hit, I’ve given a good chunk of my already non-existant extra time to helping with local efforts to bring relief to the suffering and dying people whose lives have so abruptly changed and will never, ever be the same again.

But just a few days ago my attention was yanked back here to another kind of relief, and it is also the kind to bring help to suffering and dying whose lives are affected through circumstances that they did not cause and have no control over.

These are the increasingly larger number of homeless and shelter pets in our country and the people who devote so much of their time and energy in helping them.

We can’t stop our help and we need to increase it if we can. With that in mind, we have a new post on our Daily Paws Blog on things you can do to help homeless pets. Of course, one of those things has to do with money, but there are also other things to help that don’t.

Take a moment and check them out and commit to doing at least one of them. A hungry homeless pet’s thank you will be your reward……………

15 Ways to Help Homeless and Needy Pets and Their Caregivers

Some of these are our own ideas and others we’ve gathered from various groups online…

helprescueThere are many ways that you can take to help the increasing number of homeless and hungry pets in your community.   Here are a list of 15 of those ways you can help and you can probably think of others too.

  1. Make a donation to a local shelter or rescue group’s general fund which can be used for whatever the group chooses.
  2. Organize a fundraiser – a garage sale, pet charity auction, variety show, etc. whose benefits go to the group of your choice.
  3. Donate to a specific program already in place at an organization you choose to support.  Examples are lost pet programs, subsidized adoption programs, cruelty investigation programs and spay/neuter programs.  Your gift then will be used for that particular program and nothing else.
  4. Enroll in a subscription donation program.  You’ve seen them on TV.  You pledge to donate a specific amount each month to go toward caring for needy pets.  As a caution, it is good to check out the group you are donating to, ensuring your money is going directly toward care and not for administrative costs.
  5. Make a visit to one of the websites that will donate dog or cat food to shelters and rescue groups when you click on  some of their advertiser links.  www.FreeKibble.com is one such site.  The search engine www.dogpile.com (a search engine that simultaneously searches Google, Bing and Yahoo and displays all results) will donate a percentage of their ad revenue to help homeless pets. This is a painless, no money involved way to help – although it is also a good idea to support those businesses participating in the program by advertising and donating money.
  6. Memorials are an overlooked way to donate and honor a favorite pet or person who has passed away.  You can donate in the name of your loved one and know that they would be proud you’ve done so.
  7. Tributes are cash donations to honor living people and pets who are making a difference in your life, or in the community.  Most groups will send you a note to the honoree telling them of your generosity on their behalf.
  8. Donations of goods and services the shelter can use – known as in-kind donations.  Shelters or rescue groups will often have a “Wish List” of items they need posted on their website, but if you don’t see it, just call and ask. Services can also be donated – printing, copying, cleaning, grooming, vet care and many other services can be donated and this is a great way for small businesses to help.
  9. Cut coupons out of the paper and send them to a rescue. If possible, use the coupons yourself and deliver the items to the shelter. Pet companies will frequently offer a buy one-get one  coupon or a free item especially for new products. If you’re buying something for your pet, use the coupon and give the extra one to the shelter. The coupons don’t have to be for pet food, shelters and rescues need cleaning supplies including laundry detergent, bleach and paper towels.
  10. Sponsor a homeless animal.  Many shelters and rescue groups offer sponsorship opportunities for their hard-to-place animals.  You pick the animal you want to sponsor, donate a set amount each month until the animal is adopted, and in exchange you get a photo and periodic updates on the animal.
  11. If you have a business, become a sponsor for a pet friendly event that benefits a local shelter or rescue group.  Sponsorships by small businesses and pet-friendly establishments allow organizations to put on bigger, better fund raising events without challenging already tight budgets, and they’re a good deal for the companies, too.  In exchange for a sponsorship most organizations offer free advertising in event promotional materials and programs and signage the evening of the event as well as free admission and other perks.
  12. Do you have old blankets and towels in your linen closet? Don’t throw them away, take them to a shelter. With so many pets under one roof, laundry is a never ending chore. The pets really appreciate having a soft bed and they don’t care if it’s a Backstreet Boys blanket.
    Are you a groomer? If so, donate your time and offer to groom some homeless pets. They will not only look better and feel better but their chances of being adopted will be greater.
  13. Use your special skills- The shelter may need help with computers, book keeping, or building a better shelter. Get creative about the ways which you use your skills to help.
  14. The shelter can be an extremely stressful atmosphere for a dog or cat, go and keep a furry friend company for a day
  15. Adopt a homeless pet and take it home with you, making sure you are prepared to keep him or her as your companion for the rest of their life.

It does not matter how you donate.  The important thing is that you do what you can to help animals and their caregivers.  Each and ever dollar counts in the war against pet homelessness and pet overpopulation.

Thank you what what you ARE doing.  Together we can all make a difference.

Linda

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