You love your pet and fuss over her with the best toys, the best food and long walks. However, do you know the importance of your pet’s oral hygiene? Just as you ensure your own teeth get checked and cleaned, it’s just as important to have your pet’s teeth cleaned and checked by the vet. February is a great month to show your pet dental love because it’s Pet Dental Health Month.
If your dog or cat has bad breath, it can sometimes mean there is an underlying health issue, “with the potential to damage not only your pet’s teeth and gums but its internal organs as well,” according to the article, “February is National Pet Dental Health Month,” at American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA.org). “To address the significance of oral health care for pets, the AVMA sponsors National Pet Dental Health Month every February.”
There are numerous reasons to care for your pet’s teeth. The article, “10 Reasons Why You Should Take Care of Your Pet’s Teeth,” at Pet Health Network provides great reasons:
• Healthy teeth means better pet breath.
• Dental disease can lead to other health problems. It can get to “your pet’s organs, such as the heart,” the Pet Health Network article said.
• When you care for your pet’s teeth you can “prevent other health problems, saving you tons of money over the long term!” the article said.
• Just as you brush your teeth, you should brush your pet’s teeth.
• Periodontal disease is serious. Get your pet “regular dental checkups and cleanings,” the article said.
If you have any questions about your pet’s teeth, daily brushings or having a dental checkup and cleaning, speak with your veterinarian. Remember, prevention is best.
Your pet has been your first “baby.” Now you’re having a baby and want to make sure everything goes smoothly when you bring home your new bundle of joy.
When bringing home a new baby, “your dog will face an overwhelming number of novel sights, sounds and smells,” according to the article, “Dogs and Babies,” at ASPCA.org. Your routine will change, and so will the dog’s, so it’s important “to prepare your dog for the arrival of your new addition” by teaching your pup how to safely be around the baby and helping the dog adjust to new changes, the article said.
The article suggests these tips before baby comes home:
• Teach your dog basic obedience. Consider a group class.
• Four months prior to baby’s arrival, “Gradually introduce your dog to the new experiences, sights, sounds and smells she’ll encounter when you bring your baby home, and associate these new things with rewards,” the article said.
• One to two months before baby’s arrival, start making the changes that will affect your dog’s daily schedule.
You can also make sure your dog is comfortable around other pets and people, according to the article, “Introducing Dogs and Babies,” at Pet Health Network. Try “carrying around a lifelike baby doll, talking to the doll, and showing the dog that the baby will be in a crib, carrying seat, and in your arms.”
When you finally bring home your baby, while your dog is being curious and smelling the baby, make sure to give lots of praise and show your dog love, according to the Pet Health Network article. If you are concerned about any of your dog’s behavior, make sure to discuss with your veterinarian or a dog trainer to address any issues right away.
If you have a pet, you probably have heard about pet health insurance. Is it something to consider for your pet?
Pets are living longer because of the technological advances in veterinary medicine. These advances also mean “higher costs associated with the equipment, facilities and training required to provide these higher-quality services,” according to the article, “Do You Need Pet Insurance,” at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). “Pet insurance can help by offsetting some or most of the costs of diagnosing, treating and managing your pet’s illness or injury.”
The AVMA article notes the following:
• Make sure your coverage details are clearly spelled out by the insurance provider, from routine care to emergency treatment. Are there limitations or exclusions, and will your premiums go up as your pet ages?
• Ask about pre-existing conditions.
• Some providers may not insure certain pets or breeds, and some have a limit on the number of pets.
• Is there a multiple pet discount?
• Are there add-on options, such as dental care?
• Understand the policy and any limitations, from co-pays and deductibles to any other fees.
• Can you use the vet of your choice?
• Find out about the claims process.
If your pet has an unexpected illness or accident, pet insurance can most definitely ease your mind with regard to expenses. The article, “4 Reasons the Cost of Pet Insurance is Worth It,” at Canine Journal, offers some pet insurance positives:
1. It’s there if you have an unexpected surgery.
2. Costs of vet services, treatments and surgery are on the rise.
3. There are various plans, so you can choose the one that best fits your budget.
Whatever you decide, do your research, speak with your vet, and find out what’s best for your pet.