Category: Blog 

Top 5 Reasons to Get your Pet’s Teeth Checked

There are many reasons behind why your pet’s dental health is important. Here are the top 5 reasons why their dental health should be checked on a yearly basis.

  1. Your pet is at risk for developing a disease or condition that is related to their dental health. i.e. periodontal disease or heart conditions.
  1. Gum irritation and tartar buildup can happen when baby teeth won’t come out.
  2. Your pet needs regular dental care just like you do.
  1. Dogs and cats are very good at hiding pain. You may never know when they have a serious dental health problem. Routine checkups are the only way to tell if there is a health issues.
  2. Teeth wear out. Your pet’s teeth may be tough but they do wear out. It’s important to keep regular dental hygiene up so that he/she can continue having healthy gums and teeth.

Taking care of you pet’s dental health will ensure a happy, healthy life.

Dental Hygiene Myths

As part of February’s dental awareness month, we thought it would be a great idea to go through the common myths most clients believe when it comes to their cat/dog’s oral health.

We know that a lot of pet owners think that their pet will be fine without regular dental cleanings/exams. This is untrue, pets need just as much dental attention as us humans do.

Myths convince pet owners that annual cleanings and checkups are unnecessary. Here are the top 4 myths that every pet owner should stop believing.

  1. Certain bones and treats are good for my pet’s teeth and help prevent plaque build up so it’s unnecessary for him/her to have a cleaning.

Some bones can cause fractured teeth and cause injuries. Treats like kibble help remove plaque from the top of your pet’s teeth but what about the barrier of their teeth and gums? There’s no treat or toy that can clean the hard to reach area in your pet’s mouth. Gums are very important to clean in order to avoid gingivitis and diseases like periodontal disease.

  1. My pet’s breath smells because he/she is suppose to have bad breath.

Bad breath is common in cats and dogs but very bad breath can be a cause for concern. A cat/dog’s breath can begin to smell poorly if his/her gums are in poor condition or if there’s gingivitis build up.

  1. I’ll know if my pet is experiencing pain in his/her mouth if he/she doesn’t eat.

Although we think of our pets as our furry babies, we have to remember that cats and dogs are animals and animals have different instincts when it comes to survival. Cats and dogs generally hide their pain until it’s completely unbearable. He/she will continue to eat even if they’re in pain. If your pet isn’t eating at all the pain has become very severe and can possibly be the outcome of a serious issue. You can prevent your pet from experiencing severe pain through routine cleanings/exams.

  1. I don’t have to brush my pet’s teeth.

Just like humans, cats and dogs need daily oral cleaning. After an oral examination the vet will explain to you how to clean your pet’s teeth at home.

It’s time to stop believing all the myths and begin taking care of your pet’s needs.

Is it Really that Important to Have your Pet’s Teeth Cleaned Regularly?

February is dental awareness month and Centre Street Animal Hospital has the answers to all your questions.

A lot of clients ask if it really is that important to have their pet’s teeth checked and cleaned on a regular basis. The answer is yes! Routine dental check ups for your cat/dog are very important in maintaining his/her oral health. We recommend for your pet to receive a dental cleaning/examination at least once a year.

Periodontal disease is a big concern when it comes to your cat/dog’s oral health. Periodontal disease is an infection around the teeth which includes the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. This disease begins with the development of gingivitis. Routine cleanings/examinations will help prevent periodontal disease by keeping gingivitis under control.

In addition, a cleaning allows for your pet to get a complete oral examination. This is the most important reason for annual dental check ups. Remember, your fur baby is an animal, when they feel pain their instinctive behaviour is to not show it. If your pet is feeling pain in his/her mouth you will never know until he/she undergoes a complete examination.

Regular dental checkups and cleanings are the ingredients to good overall health for your pet!

Microchip your pet. Reasons why microchipping your pet is a good a idea

Reasons to Microchip Your Pet

No pet-owner wants to think about the possibility of losing their furry friend, but the truth of the matter is, sometimes dogs and cats go missing.

While the majority of Canadians do not microchip their pets, the statistics show that dogs and cats are over 10 times more likely to be returned to their families if they are microchipped.

If you are considering microchipping your cat or dog, good for you! Here are some facts to help convince you as to why it’s a good idea:

It doesn’t hurt

A common misconception about microchipping is that it is a painful procedure for your pet to have to endure. Rest assured that microchipping is not major surgery. The microchip is very small (about the size of a grain of rice) and it is inserted between your pet’s shoulder blades (the scruff) with a needle. The scruff is not a very sensitive area on your dog or cat, plus some veterinarians apply a local anesthetic so they will barely feel a thing.

As with any procedure that involves inserting a foreign object into a body, you’ll want to keep an eye on the area of insertion for unusual growths or lumps, but these are unlikely complications.

It’s not expensive

Contrary to popular belief, microchipping your cat or dog is not expensive. It usually costs about $75.50 to have your pet Microchipped. When you consider the peace of mind it will bring you, it is actually a very sound investment.

Collars and tags come off

You should absolutely put a collar and tag on your pet, as this is the most obvious way to identify them.

However, pets can go on some pretty wild adventures when you’re not looking, and collars and tags can easily come off. In fact, easy-release collars are often encouraged for certain pets (especially outdoor cats) to avoid the risk of entrapment or choking.

Having a microchip inserted into your dog or cat is a surefire backup when keeping your dog or cat’s identity intact.

“Missing” pets are sometimes actually “stolen”

If you’re an animal lover – and no doubt you are if you’re reading this – it will be hard for you to imagine how anyone could actually steal a beloved pet from someone else. Sadly, these people exist. A thief can easily remove your dog or cat’s collar and tags, and if you find yourself needing to prove that the pet is indeed yours, the microchip will come through for you.

Shelters are crowded

We applaud animal shelter workers for their hard work and diligence trying to keep lost and stray animals off the streets. However, despite best efforts, a vast number of animal shelters are horribly overcrowded. In many cases, they can only take care of an unclaimed cat or dog for so long.

When a lost pet is taken to a shelter, one of the first things that a shelter worker will do is scan the cat or dog for a microchip. If your pet ends up at a shelter, their days may be numbered unless they are microchipped.

Now that you know the facts, are you thinking of getting your pet microchipped? Wise decision! Contact our clinic today for an appointment!

house soiling: Inappropriate Elimination in Dogs and Cats

House soiling: Inappropriate Elimination in Dogs and Cats

No matter how much you love your dog or cat, having a pet who eliminates in the house is frustrating to the pet owner. If you have a problem with your dog or cat eliminating on your floors, furniture or even walls, you need to stop the behavior before it escalates. A little understanding about the causes of the problem, and the steps to take to prevent and stop it, can help.

Rule Out Any Medical Problems

If a dog or cat that has been properly trained to eliminate outside or in the litter box suddenly starts urinating or defecating in the house, the behavior can point to a medical problem. Urinary tract infections, kidney disease, thyroid problems, mental problems and diabetes, all of which can affect pets, can cause house soiling. If you suspect a medical problem or the house soiling starts suddenly, consult with your veterinarian to ensure there is not a medical issue.

House Soiling for Dogs – Common Reasons

For dogs with no underlying medical issue, urinating or defecating inside the house is typically a behavioral issue. Common behavior problems that cause this behavior include:

  • Marking of territory
  • Separation anxiety
  • Excitement urination
  • Submission urination
  • Urinating or defecating because of anxiety

In addition, inadequate house training can lead to problems with house soiling.

House Soiling in Dogs – Solutions

If the problem stems from territorial marking, and your dog has not been spayed or neutered, then having the dog fixed can help. For most of the other problems, the solution is additional training. The goal is to teach the dog to eliminate in the right place and the right time.

First, determine if your dog has specific times that he is likely to need to go. Try to take your dog outside during these times. When he eliminates outside, offer praise and a treat. In order to praise the behavior, you have to be outside with your dog when he is given his chance to go. If you catch your dog going in the house, clap loudly to startle him and stop the process, then take him immediately outside to finish eliminating. Do not punish the behavior, no matter how frustrating it is, as this can cause your dog to hide when he is going, creating more problems.

For house soiling that occurs due to submission, anxiety or excitement, talk to your vet about proper training options to eliminate this behavior. Your dog may need anti-anxiety medications, or you may need to avoid situations that cause extreme excitement or submission behavior.

House Soiling in Cats – Causes

Causes for house soiling in cats can be quite varied. Look for problems like:

  • New litter causing litter box aversion
  • Moving the litter box
  • Litter box aversion due to a negative experience in the box
  • Inappropriate site preference

Spraying is slightly different then urinating and is done when the cat is standing up. Spraying is a marking behavior and tends to occur with unneutered males and unspayed females, but a small number of neutered or spayed cats will spray as well.

House Soiling in Cats – Solutions

If your cat is suddenly avoiding the litter box, consider if something, like the litter or the location of the box, has changed. Also, if your cat had a traumatic experience or pain while using the litter box, going back in can be hard for him. To eliminate this aversion, make sure the litter box is how it has always been, and also make sure your cat can see around him while using the box. You may prefer a covered box, but your cat can find it frightening.

For cats showing a preference to a certain surface, you may not be able to change the behavior. Consider if there is a way to change the litter to match the surface, such as placing a carpet remnant in the litter box or adding an old shirt.

If you catch your cat in the act of soiling in the house, avoid reaction. Negative reinforcement, such as spraying the cat with water, is only effective if you catch the cat starting to urinate or defecate, and you must deliver the punishment every time. Catching your cat every time he goes is nearly impossible, so it’s best to just ignore the unwanted behavior and encourage proper elimination.

If your cat is spraying, consider spaying or neutering to help with the problem. If the cat is already fixed, try to remove stimuli that cause marking behaviors. Clean any areas that have been sprayed using odor neutralizing cleaner to prevent repeat behavior.

House soiling is, understandably, a frustrating problem. If you are having this problem with your dog or cat, consult with your vet to rule out health problems and create a training or scheduling routine that will help teach proper behavior.

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