Should I leave my cat home alone?

Sad CatAs you prepare to leave town, you may be thinking about leaving your cats alone with some extra food and food. We often hear from clients, “I know they will be ok but I’d feel better if someone checked on them.” While cats may be solitary creatures, that doesn’t mean that they don’t miss you when you are away. Having someone watch your cats for you can not only put you at ease but also put your cats at ease. Even though cats are independent by nature, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t leave them home alone for an extended period of time.

Stress/Anxiety

It’s a myth that cats don’t love and crave our attention and company. When we are away for prolonged periods, they get lonely and they worry. The longer you are away, the more they can start to feel increasingly nervous and worry about abandonment. While some cats may not show their anxiety in obvious ways, others may have their own ways of showing you their displeasure when you return home by peeing on your suitcase or other personal items. If you travel frequently, your cat could develop some unwanted behavioral issues that can be hard to break. A client told me recently about how they used to leave their cat home by itself and it would be mad at them and snub them for several days upon their return. Since hiring a pet sitter, they now arrive home to a happy kitty.

Water/Food Issues

Cats are very particular. Most cats love fresh water and may turn their nose up when their water bowls start to get dirty and refuse to drink. Mischievous cats may enjoy playing and knocking over their water bowls, or ants can invade the food bowls. In addition, cats crave their daily routine and do not do well with change. Cats do best when their feeding routine is kept consistent. If you have multiple cats, then you need to worry about making sure everyone gets their share of the food. In some households, one cat may gorge itself if given the chance leaving your other cat with little to no food.

Clean Litter boxes

It comes as no surprise that cats like clean litter boxes. If left with a dirty box, many cats will find other places to do their business. Once this type of behavior starts, sometimes it can be hard to break. It’s important to have someone clean litter boxes daily. Plus, it allows them to pick up on any unusual behavior such as your cat peeing too much or too little, becoming constipated or not pooping at all.

Injury/Illness

Cats have ways of getting themselves into trouble. Ever browse through funny Instagram photos of cats tangled up in blinds or stuck in other awkward scenarios? While mom Cat in Blindsand dad are away, the cats will play! These situations happen more frequently than you think. When left alone too long, cats get bored. Cats love to climb and jump off furniture and injuries can happen before you know it. Having someone check on your cats once per day allows them to catch injuries immediately. Not only that, but there are many life threatening conditions that can sneak up quickly or go unnoticed if you don’t have someone monitoring your cats daily. Over the years as a pet sitter, I’ve been able to clue pet owners into developing conditions when noticing their pets acting off. In one case, our client’s cat had a blockage that needed to be taken care of immediately. Unfortunately, a family member of mine who left their cat alone had a similar instance and they were not quite so lucky. They lost their beloved cat after it developed a urinary infection while they were away that went untreated. By the time they returned, he was in kidney failure and couldn’t be saved.

Why take a chance of your pet’s health and well being? Hire a professional pet sitter or find a trusted friend or neighbor who can visit your cat daily.

Halloween Safety Tips for Your Pets

Halloween is fast approaching! This is a fun holiday for the whole family but it can be a stressful, scary time for your pets. animal-halloweenAs you prepare , use some caution to make sure your pets stay happy and healthy.

  • Make sure candy wrappers are thrown out promptly! Cats love to play with wrappers and dogs will try to eat them due to the smell of food. If ingested, these can cause intestinal blockages.
  • Just say NO to giving your pet Halloween treats! Chocolate and artificial sweeteners such as xylitol are extremely toxic to pets. Symptoms of poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and seizures. Keep Halloween candy in a safe place out of reach from your pets. If you suspect your pet has gotten into some Halloween candy, call your vet or the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
  • Use caution when choosing pet costumes. As adorable as it is to dress our pets up to join the festivities, it can cause some pets a great deal of anxiety. If your pet isn’t into it, don’t force it. If you do dress your pets, watch for small pieces that they could choke on and make sure the costume doesn’t inhibit their sight or movement.
  • Keep Your Pets Inside. Some pets get easily spooked this time of year between creepy Halloween decorations and spooky goblins running around. To avoid your pet becoming overly stressed or trying to bolt, the safest place for them is inside, away from all of the commotion until trick or treating winds down for the night. Some pets get freaked out by the sound of the doorbell. If this is the case or if you have cats who like to sneak out, be sure to keep them in a closed up room or in their crate for the evening. Even when taking precautions, accidents can happen, so make sure that your pets have their collars and ID tags on. These can be a lifesaver and ensure your pet is returned home safe should they get out.
  • Halloween Decorations. Be sure to keep wires and cords tucked away safely. Use extra caution when placing out candles and Jack-O-Lanterns to avoid fire hazards or burns. Curious kittens and dogs can easily get into trouble and knock these over.

Use these tips to make Halloween can be a fun time for both people and pets. Happy Haunting!

Getting a Puppy? Don’t Make These Common Mistakes!

Getting a puppy is an exciting time! Dog lovers anxiously await their new arrival and can’t wait to bring Puppy1home their little bundle of cuteness to cuddle and play with. Then, REALITY sets in. Having a puppy is hard work! Just like having a new baby, it takes a lot of time and patience to teach your new puppy and ensure that you raise a happy, well balanced pup. Before you jump in, do your research and make sure everyone in your household is on the same page on training techniques. Smart pet owners need to remember these tips to ensure your new family member makes a smooth transition into your home. Here are some of the common mistakes new puppy owners make.

Not Crate Training

Many dog owners decide against crate training their dogs thinking that it is cruel or give up too soon after hearing their new baby cry after being put into their crate for the first time. However, this is a big mistake for many reasons. Crate training allows your dog to have their own personal safe space where you do not have to worry about them being harmed when you are not home. In addition, it makes them feel safe and secure. Ever noticed your dog finding a small tight space to sleep in or going to a corner behind a couch when they are scared? Dogs feel calm in the security of a den. With a little training, they will look at their crate as their safe spot and you may be surprised to find them going to it to take naps when left open. I know how heartbreaking it is to hear your new pup cry before they are comfortable with their crate but by letting them out, you are telling them that they can cry whenever they are unhappy with something and that you will respond. To get through the first few nights, try putting a cover over the top of your puppy’s crate to help them feel more secure and fall sleep. Make their crate a place of comfort with a comfy blanket and/or bed and give them a toy or kong to keep them busy.

Making Your Dog Anxious

As new puppy owners, we can’t help but feel nervous for our precious babies and want to protect them as much as possible. However, it’s important not to scoop your dog up every time another dog approaches and you fear for their safety.  Puppies need to be socialized and the only way for them to do this is by having interactions with and learning from other dogs. When we act fearful, our dog picks up on this. Try not to let your nervousness get the best of you or it can make your pup feel as though they have something to be nervous about too which can lead to a mentally unstable dog with anxiety issues. If you have concerns over an approaching a dog, be sure to ask their owner if it’s friendly. Then, allow the dogs to greet and sniff each other.

Coddling Your Puppy

You may find it adorable when your puppy acts scared the first time that they hear thunder and feel the need to hold them close and reassure them that everything is ok. As tempting as it may be, constant fussing over your new little one can lead to separation anxiety in the future. It’s important to teach your dog independence so that they can grow and develop into a well adjusted, happy dog. It’s much more difficult to try to teach an adult dog once they have developed bad habits and become dependent on you for their security.

Feeding Table Scraps

Whatever you do, DO NOT give your dog scraps from your meals. As soon as you start, this is an impossible habit to break. Once you give your dog scraps, they will come to expect it EVERY time you eat. Plus, human food is not healthy for dogs and is one of the main causes of a number of dog illnesses including pancreatitis. There are several people foods that are highly toxic to dogs including onions, grapes, raisins, and chocolates. Furthermore, your dog may decide that they like people food so much that they may start turning their nose up to their own food.

You Scold Your Puppy After The Fact

Ever found your dog after they chewed something up or had an accident in the house, pushed their nose in it and said ‘No!’? Dogs live in the moment. Unless you catch your dog in the act of doing something wrong, they have no idea why you are yelling at them. He’ll probably just think you are angry with him for whatever he is doing at that time. It just leads to confusion and may teach your dog to be fearful of you. It’s important to direct your dog to the toys that they are allowed to chew or to areas where you want them to go potty and to only scold them when they are in the act of doing something wrong.

Exercise Your Dog

Puppy2As they say, a tired dog is a good dog. Making sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and playtime on a daily basis is so important. It enables you to have a calmer, happier, more well behaved dog and allows them to get the stimulation that they need. Exercise and play helps them to expend their excess energy which helps to avoid unwanted behavior such as inappropriate chewing.

Do your research and follow these tips and you will have a good start to raising a happy, healthy furry family member. It’s never too early to start training! Enjoy your new baby!

 

 

Ready to improve your pet’s health? Check out the amazing benefits of coconut oil!

You may or may not know have heard about the amazing health benefits of coconut oil but did you KNOW that it’s not only good for people but it’s great for pets as well? The coconut, also known as the tree of life, provides wonderful health benefits for people as well as for our furry friends. In our house, we mix it with our pets’ food and cook regularly with it for our own health. Coconut oil is over 90% saturated fat and has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It benefits every system and is thought of by many as a miraculous natural medicine.

So, how does it help your pet?

Here’s a short list of just some its uses:

  • Moisturizes skin and gives your pets glossy coats
  • Aids in digestion
  • Helps prevent cancers
  • Prevents infections
  • Provides relief from arthritis
  • Helps with bad breath
  • Disinfects cuts and helps wounds heal faster
  • Wards off fleas
  • Balances and regulates insulin
  • Helps maintain healthy weight

Ready to give it a try?!?

Unlike most medicines and supplements, your dog will likely love to eat coconut oil and gobble it right up with their food. It’s best to start small with a half teaspoon mixed in with food and work your way up. The general recommendation is that pets can receive one teaspoon for every ten pounds of weight or one tablespoon per every 30 pounds.

Have you had great experiences with coconut oil? Share your thoughts below.

Creating a Cat Sanctuary at Home

“It’s tough being a cat.” So says Dr. Tony Buffington, professor at the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Many cat owners do not fully understand their pets’ needs both mentally and physically. Without the right environment, our cats can really suffer. However, we can create a happy, healthy haven for our kitty family members safe in the comfort of home.

Cat Shelves

Here are some tips to cat-ify your space and make it the perfect sanctuary for your cats:

Litter Boxes

The key is to remember that all animals need to be feel safe and like they have control over their surroundings. Be sure to place litter boxes in a quiet location where your cat will not feel vulnerable. Don’t put litter boxes near appliances or air ducts that may turn on unexpectedly. If you have dogs, find a space that only your cat will be able to access. If your cat feels frightened, they may find other places to do their business throughout your home.

Window Seats

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Give your cats a taste of the outdoors without all of the risks. Set up some window seats that allow them to view the outside world, sunbathe, and feel the fresh air. Put bird feeders outside for instant entertainment.

Heights

Cats love to climb. In addition, they need to feel like they have a safe spot to get away from house guests, kids, or other pets. Put kitty shelving or cat trees in the areas where your family spends the most time. Cats love to be with their owners but having an elevated place allows them to have a great view of their surroundings while providing them with security so that they don’t feel like they will be ambushed from behind.

Scratching Posts

It comes as no surprise that cats love to scratch! It is a normal part of cat behavior which not only conditions their claws, but also gives them a good way to stretch their limbs and allows them to mark their territory with their scent. In order to avoid your precious feline destroying your furniture, be sure to give them plenty of scratching posts in areas where they like to spend their time. Make sure the scratching post is high enough to enable your cat to fully stretch.

Toys

Cats need stimulation. Make sure you offer toys to give your cat a way to banish boredom and use their natural instincts. Interactive play is crucial for your cat’s well being. It not only gives your cats an outlet for their energy and a way to satisfy their drive to hunt but it is also a fantastic way to deepen the bond between you and your pet.

Follow these tips for a PURRfectly happy kitty household.

What sets us apart from other Pet Sitters?

Emma

So, you’ve decided to hire a pet sitter this time instead of boarding your pet but you find a handful of pet sitters in your area. So, who do you hire? Assuming you are hiring a professional pet sitter, we are all bonded and insured and our sitters are all background checked. So, who do you choose? You are trusting us with your home and pets so you want to choose the right company. Well, here are just a few of the  things that set us apart from other pet sitters.

Our Pet Sitters

We are very particular about who we hire to be apart of the Pampered Petz team! Our pet sitters LOVE what they do! Animals are their life. This isn’t just a job for them; it’s a lifestyle. We look for people who not only have experience with animals but absolutely love spending time with them.  Many of our pet sitters have homes filled with a variety of pets and you might run into them at the animal rescue, advocating for animal rights or working at your vet’s office. They live and breathe pets! So, they aren’t just going to feed and take out your dog. They are going to make sure he is really comfortable with them. They are going to cuddle with him when he seems like he misses Mommy and Daddy. They are going to sit on the floor and hand feed him when he seems like he’s not eating. They are going to do everything in their power to make sure he is HAPPY and HEALTHY.

Want to learn more about our sitters? Check our some of their profiles here.

Experience

We have been pet sitting for a long time and serviced thousands of animals. We know pets. We can tell when something seems off with your pet. I’ve alerted a few of our clients to concerns that turned out to be major health issues. After noticing one client’s dog was drinking water excessively, she took her dog to the vet only to discover she had diabetes. When another client’s cat had not peed in her litter box for 24 hours and was making a yowling noise, we found out he had a blockage that needed to taken care of immediately. In addition, we have many resources if there is ever an issue or concern. One of our pet sitters is a vet technician. Plus, we have multiple clients who are veterinarians that we can consult with should the need arise.

Service Area

There are many pet sitters out there who service a MASSIVE  area, sometimes an entire county or even multiple counties. If you’ve ever driven from one end of the county to the other, you know this can take a very long time. Up to an hour or more with traffic! What if something happens that causes your pet sitter’s schedule to fall behind like they get into an accident or have an emergency with another pet? What if you have a last minute emergency and ask for a visit and your pet sitter is unable to accommodate because they are already booked for other visits that are too far away? At Pampered Petz, we prefer to keep our service area small. Each pet sitter only takes care of clients within 5 miles of their home. Plus, we have backup sitters in place for every client so that you are not left in a bind.

Availability

It’s not uncommon for many companies to have office hours in place when they respond to calls or emails. If you try to check in on your pet over the weekend or at night, you might need to wait a day or two before you get a response with an update which can be very unnerving if you’re away and worried about your precious babies. At Pampered Petz, we understand how important your pets are and want to ensure that you have peace of mind while you’re away. If you contact us to check in, we will get back to you as soon as possible, usually within just an hour or two. On top of that, you can request check ins by phone, email or text every other day, every day, or even every visit.

Online System

We have an online system that allows us to keep all of our client’s information safe and secure. Plus, we can keep track of your pet’s instructions. Did you leave us ten pages of detailed instructions on your pets care? No problem! We enter all of those details and the little notes that you send us advising of changes into our system. Then, your pet sitter can look over all of that information next time you need us.

 

 

Bravo Pet Food Recall!

Bravo_HP_logo

 

Bravo Pet Food is recalling several raw dog and cat food products due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Even though healthy dogs and cats rarely become sick from Listeria, people can very easily become ill when handling the product. Listeria causes a serious infection, those primarily at risk are older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. Listeria can cause miscarriage and stillbirth in pregnant women. About 1 in 5 found to be infected by Listeria die.

The following products may be contaminated with Listeria and are being recalled:

Raw Food Diet Bravo! Beef Blend for Dogs and Cats (made in New Zealand). All 2 pound, 5 pound, and 10 pound tubes are recalled. The product numbers are 52-102, 52-105, and 52-110, with best used by date of 10/10/15 or earlier.

Raw Food Diet Bravo! Beef Blend for Dogs and Cats (made in New Zealand). All 2 pound, 5 pound, and 10 pound tubes are recalled. The product numbers are 52-102, 52-105, and 52-110, with best used by date of 10/10/15 or earlier.

The following products are also being recalled because although they did not test positive; they were made on the same day as other products that did test positive:

Raw Food Diet Bravo! Lamb Blend for Dogs and Cats

Raw Food Diet Bravo! Lamb Basic for Dogs and Cats

Raw Food Diet Bravo! Beef & Beef Heart for Dogs and Cats

Raw Food Diet Bravo! 100% Pure & Natural Premium Grass-Fed Buffalo for Dogs and Cats

Bravo! Turkey Balance Formula

Raw Food Diet Bravo! Lamb Blend for Dogs and Cats.

If you purchased any of these products, do not handle them without gloves. Discard them in a securely closed container so that other animals can not get to it. If you had it stored in the fridge, you need to sanitize the area. If you handled this product, monitor yourself for symptoms which can take up to 70 days to appear. Symptoms include fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. If you or your pet become ill, you need to seek medical attention immediately.

Preparing Your Dog for Baby

dog and baby

You’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of the newest addition to your family and this time, it doesn’t have four legs and fur. As you finish preparing the nursery and reading your baby books, you wonder how your pets, the only babies you’ve ever had, will take to the newest and now most important family member. Don’t fret! There are many things that you can do now to help prepare them for the next phase of your family. In fact, they can likely already sense the new arrival even though they might not fully understand what’s happening yet.

1. Teach Your Dog Basic Commands

If your dog is not already trained, now is the time to start. You will want your dog to understand basic commands which will help your dog learn to control her impulses. Plus, they will come in handy in many situations as you juggle between managing your new baby’s needs in addition to your pet’s needs. Here are some commands that you want to work on:

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Down
  • Leave it or Drop It
  • Come

If you need some help, consider enrolling in a group class with a local trainer.

2. Make Positive Associations

About four months before your new baby arrives, start to introduce your pets to the new sights, sounds, and smells that she’ll encounter when your baby arrives and associate these things with rewards. That way, they will  learn to love life with the new baby. For dogs that have never been exposed to babies, they can seem like very frightening, bizarre creatures. They smell strange, make loud noises, and don’t look at all like their grown up people.

  • Start to bring baby supplies home such as toys, high chairs, car seats, and swings and introduce them to your pet one by one. Let them sniff and inspect the items. If your dog starts to pick up a toy, redirect them back to their chew toys or bones.
  • Start to use some of the baby’s lotions, shampoos, and creams on yourself so that your pets associate those smells with someone familiar.
  • Purchase a recording of baby sounds or even better (and free 🙂 ), play some videos from You Tube of babies and be sure give your dog plenty of attention and treats while you play the sounds. Try to do this a few times a day to slowly acclimate them.

3. Adjust Your Pets Routine

A couple months before your baby arrives, sit down and anticipate how your pet’s daily schedule might change and start to make those changes now. Then, when the baby arrives, your pets won’t be in for a sudden change to their routine. Life with a baby can be chaotic and unexpected, so you may want to change up your pet’s routine in order to prepare them for a less consistent schedule. Rather then feeding your pets at 8am every day, start to change it up and feed them at different times.

In addition, think about any new rules that you plan to put in place. If you are not going to allow your dog on the couch anymore or don’t want them to sleep in your bed after the baby’s arrival, then start putting these rules into place now. Go out and purchase a new cozy dog bed and get them used to sleeping on it. While it may seem tempting to shower your pets with extra love and attention now while you can, this could set them up for a bigger letdown later.

4. Prepare Your Pet for Baby’s Touch

Young babies often love to grab dog’s fur, ears, tail and anything else that they can grab a hold of. Until your child is old enough to understand when you try to teach them to be gentle, you’ll want your pet to be prepared. Start to get them used to the types of touching that they can expect from their new family member and give them treats each time. You might even start to use a certain phrase each time you poke your dog gently or grab their skin, then when your baby does this, you can repeat the same phrase and your dog will anticipate a yummy treat. Over time, make your touches a little more intense so that they get used to the firm touches that will come with the baby

5. Introduce Your Pet to Baby’s Smell

Before you officially introduce your pet to your bundle of joy, consider having a friend or family member bring home an item such a burp cloth from the hospital with the baby’s smell and allow them to get used to the new smell before you arrive home. Challenge them to sniff the item from a distance while you hold the item. Doing this starts to communicate to your pet that this is your item and they need to follow your rules around it.

6. Your Pet’s Introduction

In preparation for the big introduction, take your dog on a long walk to fully drain their energy. Your dog should be allowed to sniff the baby but at a reasonable distance. Don’t bring the baby too close. Slowly and slowly, you can allow the dog to be closer and closer to the baby. Doing this helps to teach your pet to respect the baby.

7. Consider Hiring a Daily Dog Walker

We, at Pampered Petz, are here to help in any way that we can especially in those first few weeks. Hiring a dog walker can take the responsibility of exercising your dog off of your shoulders while you are busy adjusting to life with your new baby. Plus, it allows your pup to get some special one on one attention just for them so that they don’t feel neglected. If your dog is nervous with new people, you can schedule occasional walks well in advance so that they can slowly get used to their new friend.

Odd Pet Sitting Requests. What will we do?

Pet Sitting is a very personalized service, tailored to the needs of your pet. We frequently have clients who worry that we may think they are crazy when we see their book of pet instructions or ask us for something out of the ordinary. Trust me, we have seen it all and we aim to please! We don’t think your request is odd and we don’t think your crazy. We understand! We’re pet lovers too! Our goal is for your pet’s routine to be as normal as possible. Your pet sitter is happy to perform any pet-related tasks for you. You may be wondering what that might be. Here are some examples of client requests we’ve received:

  • Client asked that we leave on the TV for their dog, specifically the Disney Channel.
  • Client requested that we put cat food and water outside for some local stray cats who like to visit.
  • Client asked that we wipe their dogs’ behinds with baby wipes after coming in.
  • Client asked that we put their cat out on a lead at each visit so that they can enjoy some outdoor time.
  • Client requested that we give each cat exactly 8 piece of large dry food and 10 pieces of small dry food with 1 tablespoon of wet food.
  • Client requested that we put out food for a fox that likes to visit and put out bird seed for the squirrels.
  • Client requested that we mix pieces of hot dog and Parmesan cheese in the dog’s food so that they will eat.
  • Client feeds their pets a raw diet and requested that we assemble a mixture of raw food and various supplements for each meal.
  • Client requested that we turn on the kitchen sink at each visit so that the cat could drink from the faucet because she likes that water best.
  • Client requested that we lift up the covers for the dog at bedtime because they like to burrow under the covers.
  • Client has a dog that likes to mark in the house and requested that we put a diaper on him while he is loose in the house.
  • Client asked us to drive the dogs around when it’s raining as it tires them out.

As you can see, special requests are normal for us and we’re happy to do it. Don’t be afraid to ask if you have a request that’s out of the ordinary. We’re here for you and your fur babies and we’ll make it happen!

Improving Your Pet’s Dental Health

Did you know that an estimated 85 percent of dogs over age 4 are suffering from some form of periodontal disease, a painful oral condition that can lead to tooth loss and infection? You worry about feeding your pet the right foods and getting much needed exercise but for many, oral hygiene is an often-overlooked but important factor in your dog’s overall health. If your dog has a toothache or sore gums,  he may be dealing with pain or stress that you don’t even know about. Without treatment, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and affect his heart, kidneys or liver. Here are some examples below of gingivitis and periodontitis below.

gingivitis peridontitis

So what can you do about it? For starters, regular brushing can go a long way towards towards keeping your pets mouth healthy. Get yourself a toothbrush made especially for canines or you can make a paste out of baking soda and water. Then, take a clean piece of soft gauze to wrap around your finger and rub the toothpaste on your dog’s teeth and gums in soft circles. Be careful if your dog’s gums are already inflamed as this can cause pain. Do not use fluoride with dogs under six months of age—it can interfere with their enamel formation. And don’t use human toothpaste, as it can irritate a dog’s stomach.

What if your dog doesn’t tolerate brushing?? If your dog is like mine, brushing her teeth is easier said than done. Bella likes to eat the toothpaste before I even get a chance to brush her teeth and won’t sit still to allow me to brush her teeth. Here are some other ways to work on your dog’s dental health:

  • Dental Rinses/Sprays: Dental rises are an easy way to help fight plaque, maintain oral health, and freshen breath if you can’t brush your pet’s teeth.   Look for sprays that don’t contain alcohol. Although you’ll pay for the privilege, they’re much safer as you do not want to give your pet alcohol-based rinses too often.

Dog Dental Spray

  • Dental Water Additives: Water additives are a simple way to help fight mouth decay in your pet. Simply add a capful to your pet’s water.

    Dental Additive

    Dental Chews and Toys:  A fully digestible, high quality dental dog chew will help control plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth. The effect is similar to chewing raw bones, but safer for powerful chewers or dogs that have had restorative dental work done, and can’t chew raw bones. As your pet chews on these specially designed dental chews and toys, they are helping to rub the tartar off their teeth, which mimics the action of brushing. Chew toys can also help wipe away soft tartar and massage the gums while simultaneously preventing boredom and reducing stress.

    Dental Diets:  Feed a special form or dry dog kibble that is designed to improve dental health. Usually, dental care kibble is harder and more dense than regular dry food, and the pieces will be larger. This is to ensure that your dog has to bite each individual piece of kibble in order to eat it, which causes the dense fibres of the hard kibble to “brush” the teeth with every bite.

    Dry Oral Care

    Let your dog chew on raw meaty bones. Raw meaty bones have been dog’s (other) best friend since the dawn of dog. They can wrap around some teeth and their abrasive texture has the ability to gently grind away on plaque. Make sure to avoid bones from larger animals, as well as cooked bones.Although they increase the chance of germ transmission, they can splinter more easily, causing harm to your dog’s mouth.

    Dental Cleaning:  Ideally, pets should have a dental cleaning once a year or as recommended by your veterinarian.  During the procedure, your pet will be placed under anesthesia and their teeth will be thoroughly cleaned.  Dental x-rays may be taken to see if there is any infection or damage below the gum line, fractures or cavities in the teeth.  Extraction of diseased teeth may also be discussed with you and performed during the procedure.

    Feed dog-safe Fresh Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs: Carrots, cucumber, celery, apples, watermelon, cilantro, and parsley are fantastic to give as natural ways to clean teeth, stimulate gums and freshen breath. Slice fruits and vegetables up and give raw as a treat or dice and add to their meals, especially cilantro or parsley because they aid in refreshening bad dog breath.ny foods or treats that are low in sugar and have an abrasive affect on the surface of the teeth can help to keep your dog’s teeth clean, such as raw bones and fibrous vegetables such as broccoli, sweet potato and squashes. You can even buy special dog treats that are intended to have an abrasive affect on your dog’s teeth, or

    Add Coconut Oil to your pet’s food: Bad breath odor in dogs can be reduced or even eliminated by adding a couple of spoonfuls of organic virgin coconut oil to their food (also good for a healthy coat and skin, and helps with digestion). The lauric acid in coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties that attack bad breath and gum disease causing bacteria.

    Start incorporating some of these tips and your dog will be on their way to minty, fresh breath and a long, healthy life!