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12 Tips to Celebrate Pet Dental Health All Year Long!

Here is a fact we hope you’ll sink your teeth into: preventing periodontal disease (also known as gum disease). By protecting your pet’s dental health, you can extend their life by three years! Along with obesity, dental disease is a leading (and preventable) illness that takes the lives of far too many pets far too early. To make matters even more pressing, over 80% of dogs and 50% of cats over the age of three will develop periodontal disease.

Here’s another fact: February is National Pet Dental Health Month. But we feel 28 days just isn’t long enough. We want this holiday to last a whole year, so we challenge you to try out all 12 of these dental tips over the course of the next year!

1. Schedule Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning

When your pet comes in for a cleaning, we’ll scrape away those years of tartar and rinse your pet’s teeth for an improved clean you can see (and smell). We will also let you know if your pet has any dental issues that need to be addressed with follow-up care.

2. Follow Up After Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning

Broken, worn away, and damaged teeth can cause your pet extensive pain and discomfort. If we recommend a tooth extraction or another dental operation, be sure to schedule the appointment and ask any questions before you leave our office. Most importantly, be sure to keep your appointment.

3. Make Dental Hygiene Fun with Toys!

There are so many toys available now that support your pet’s dental health while they chew and play. Adding a few of these toys to your pet’s playtime can support better dental health in the long run.

4. Dental Care Can Be Tasty

Along with toys designed to scrape away plaque, dental treats can also assist your pet in their dental health journey. Don’t forget to ask your pet to “sit” and “stay,” so they feel like they’re really earning these fun and tasty treats.

5. Water Additives Work

While your dentist recommends you use mouthwash, we recommend water additives made to loosen plaque and destroy oral bacteria. Most are just a capful per water bowl, and they work by making other dental approaches more effective.

6. Know the Signs of Dental Disease and Discomfort

Pets can speak, but they can tell us when their mouths hurt. If you notice your pet

  • refraining from eating
  • pawing their mouth
  • favoring a side of the mouth while eating
  • whining while eating or playing

your pet may be suffering from oral pain.

You also want to look for signs of dental disease or damage that require a visit to see us including

  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Discoloration along the gumline
  • Bumps or sores around the mouth and jaw
  • Broken teeth
  • Bad breath
  • A tooth disintegrating (in cats)
  • Blood on toys
  • Loose teeth
  • Extra or stringy saliva
  • Avoiding having the mouth being touched
  • A runny nose

7. Switch Your Pet’s Food

Your pet’s diet can benefit their dental health. A high-quality diet or dental food can help clean your pet’s teeth as they eat.

8. Use Dental Wipes

We know that many pets refuse to have their teeth brushed, and it’s easy to give up on the battle when your pet puts up a fight. Dental wipes can be an alternative that may not be 100% as effective as brushing, but they do help.

9. Start Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth

Use a pet-friendly toothpaste and toothbrush and commit to scrubbing those teeth each night. Encourage a positive association by starting slow and using a lot of treats!

10. Avoid Tennis Balls and Bones

While these items can offer a lot of excitement, they can also lead to broken teeth or wear away your pet’s enamel. Tennis balls can also harbor bacteria.

11. Encourage Your Pet to Drink More

Water doesn’t just prevent dehydration--it also improves your pet’s breath and dental health. Every time your pet drinks, it washes away bits of food and debris that can attract bacteria.

12. Treat Your Dog to Carrots and Celery

While you may have trouble convincing a cat to eat raw carrot or celery, your dog will love these as a treat. They’re healthy, low in calories, and you guessed it--good for their dental health.

As for your kitty, we can recommend some supplements that can help.

Don’t Delay Your Pet’s Dental Health

We hope you will dive in and get started this month and continue your pet’s dental journey all year long. Begin by making an appointment to see us now.

 

 

Planning Your Pet’s Health This Year: A Month-by-Month Guide for Pet Parents

Here’s a tail-wagger for you: 2021 is finally here. We are happy to welcome the new year with smiles and a rejuvenated sense of optimism. As a team, we remain committed to providing pets with the best lives they can experience. We’ve resolved to help pet parents find more ways to keep their pets healthy, happy, and ready to take on this year and beyond. To help you keep better track of your pet’s health and maintenance needs, here is a 12-month plan:

Watch Your Pet’s Weight All Year

We want to encourage you to be vigilant about your pet’s weight. Keeping track of weight gain and loss can help you identify health issues before they worsen. Weigh your pet with your bathroom scale. Weigh yourself. Then pick up your pet. What’s the weight difference?

January

Kick-off the new year on the right paw. Keep your pet active even in cold weather and don’t forget to:

  • Schedule your pet’s annual check-up.
  • Weigh your pet and record their weight: _____
  • Order your pet’s monthly medications & paw balm.
  • Sort through your pet’s prescriptions and toss any expired medications.
  • Consider a prescription subscription service for your pet.
  • Take note of your pet’s meal portions. Are you underfeeding or overfeeding your pet?
  • Beginning writing down any behaviors you want to work on with your pet.

February

Snuggle up on your pet and plan to show your four-legged companion some extra love by:

  • Refill heartworm prevention, and flea & tick prevention
  • Has your pet made it in to see us yet? Don’t forget to schedule an annual exam
  • Refill monthly medications
  • Check your pet’s weight: _____
  • Does your pet need a nail trim? If their nail clack on the floor or their dewclaw looks like a crescent, it’s time for a pet-icure.
  • Look over your list of unwanted pet behaviors. Have you worked on them? If you have questions about pet anxiety or newly developed ‘bad bathroom habits,’ we can help. You may also want to consider hiring a trainer.

March

Your pet is lucky to have you as an owner. Here are somethings you can do to extend your pet’s life and luck:

  • Do not skip heartworm prevention, and flea & tick prevention--the weather is warming up
  • Have you considered monthly prescription refills for your pet?
  • Weigh your pet: _____ . Has your pet lost weight, yet?
  • Consider ordering a new
    _ Leash
    _ Harness
    _ Litter box
    _ Toys
  • Review your garden safety routines--keep tools out of the grass and off the ground.

April

Spring is here! Warm-up to these pet health ideas:

  • Look for signs that your pet is struggling with spring allergies. If you notice the following, make an appointment to see us:
    _ Itchy eyes or ears
    _ Paw licking or chewing
    _ Constant itchy
    _ Missing patches of fur
    _ Watery eyes
    _ Change in coat health
    _ Excessive sneezing
  • Empty debris and containers collecting extra water around the yard
  • Did you order your pet’s prescriptions for the month?
  • Consider making a grooming appointment
  • Remember to prevent your pet from lapping up water
  • How much does your pet weigh? _____

May

May your pet’s health be better than ever. Keep up the good work by:

  • Put together a pet first aid kit
  • Add an extra water bowl to your home to encourage hydration
  • Consider ordering pet-safe sunblock
  • Don’t lose track of your pet’s weight
  • Watch for bees, spiders, and other creepy-crawlers--avoid walking where deer or other wildlife tend to pass
  • How much does your pet weigh this month? _____

June

Summer is here, and you’ve done a great job so far this year! Pets and summer are like peas and carrots. Keep your pet safe from the heat and protected from fleas, ticks, and heartworms.

  • Ask us about how you can prevent your pet from leptospirosis
  • Prepare for the 4th of July by scheduling an appointment this month. If your pet is afraid of fireworks--we can help!
  • Check your pet’s microchip and update contact information.
  • Six-month prescriptions from January are likely getting low. Refill your prescriptions soon.
  • Mid-year weigh-in: _____

July

Just in the knick of summer--keep on track when it comes to pet hydration and heat safety.

  • Remember that some people will do fireworks before the Fourth of July and after--be ready with your pet’s anti-anxiety medication.
  • Don’t have a prescription to keep your pet calm during thunderstorms? Make an appointment to find out if your pet is a good candidate for anxiety control medication.
  • Prevent your pet from drinking from outdoor water sources
  • Did your senior pet get to see us last month? Don’t forget to bring them in for their second annual appointment.
  • Is your pet shaping up to a beach bod? _____

August

Back to school time is here. Do you know how to help your pet cope with separation anxiety?

  • Ask us about how we can help your pet handle their separation control.
  • Consider hiring a dog walker, cat sitter, or using doggie daycare to help your pet adjust to back-to-school.
  • Did you refill your pet’s prescriptions this month?
  • Remember to avoid letting your dog swim in water with visible algae. Blue-green algae is deadly for dogs.
  • How’s your pet’s weight?_____

September

Celebrate your pet’s physical health and encourage positive mental health with extra play sessions and outdoor time.

  • Did you know pets can suffer from dementia, depression, and anxiety? Keeping your pet mentally active can stave off worsening dementia and reduce or prevent anxiety and depression. Commit to more walks and feather wands.
  • If you notice any negative changes in behavior since January, give us a call. If your pet has improved--good for you!
  • It’s hot out there--schedule a grooming session.
  • Weigh your pet: _____

October

Fall is here. Keep your pet feeling fantastic by keeping all candy stored where your pet won’t find it.

  • Fall back into a healthy exercise routine with your dog.
  • Don’t forget to check your pet’s medications for refills.
  • Begin planning for holiday travel. Boarding facilities fill up fast and dogs require a bordetella vaccine to stay in boarding facilities.
  • Weigh your pet: _____

November

You’ve done a great job keeping your pet healthy this year--give yourself a round of “thanks!”

  • Book Thanksgiving boarding ASAP if you have not. Book your boarding for the holiday season.
  • Remember to keep Thanksgiving guests informed about your pet’s human-food hand-out policy.
  • Keep walking and playing through the holiday season to help your pet’s mind stay active and his or her body healthy.
  • Even as temperatures cool, continue to provide your pet’s flea and tick prevention.
  • How much does your pet weigh? _____

December

You did a dog-gone great job this year keeping your pet healthy and having a great life. Give yourself a special gift as a reward for being a responsible pet owner.

  • If your pet experiences stiffness, soreness, or chronic pain, please make an appointment to see us.
  • Make your January pet check-up appointment
  • Prepare for your pet’s winter with a new sweater, throw blankets, and a warm bed.
  • Ask us about how you can help control your pet’s arthritis pain during the cold weather months
  • Your pet’s end of year weigh-in: _____

Your Pet’s Health End of Year Review

Print your answers to these questions and bring them with you to your next appointment:

January Weight: ________________

December Weight: ________________

This year my pet began getting treatment for: (ex: anxiety, incontinence, excess weight, allergies) ___________________________

Their treatment is working/still unsure/not working. (ex: anxiety, incontinence, excess weight, allergies) ________________________________

My pet exercises about ____________ hours every week.

I have questions about:

  • Flea & tick control
  • Heartworm prevention
  • Weight loss
  • Pet diabetes
  • Pet cancer
  • Pet arthritis
  • Pet anxiety
  • Pet separation anxiety
  • My pet’s: __ears/hearing, __eyes/sight, __nails, __skin or coat, __ joints
  • Digestion or food allergies
  • Pet dementia or memory loss

Give Your Pet Their Best Year: Healthy, Happy, & Having Fun

Your pet deserves the best health and best life. If you’re ready to provide your pet with a year of wags, purrs, and happy moments, print out this guide and make an appointment to see us soon. Happy New Year! Here’s to the barkingly best year, yet!

Our Mission:

We provide the quality care our clients expect and their pets deserve, by relying on the expertise and
compassion of each team member.

 
 
 

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Westgate Pet Clinic
4345 France Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Directions to Our Clinic
(612)925-1121
(612)925-6297 Fax
(612)568-1405 Pharmacy

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