Pet Care Tips

**Do a Weekly Health Check:
Regular home checkups are a great way to nip potential health problems in the bud. Plus, they are as easy as one, two, three:
- Check under your pet's fur for lumps, bumps, flakes or scabs.
- Check your pet's ears and eyes for any signs of redness or discharge.
- Make note of any changes in her eating or drinking habits.
If something seems off, call the vet.

**Don't Forget Your Pet's Teeth:
Does your pet have morning breath all day long? This is a major indicator that your pet is in need of dental care.

Particles of food, saliva and bacteria what is commonly called plaque-can build up on the teeth and gums and cause infection.

If left untreated, infection can result in tooth decay-and even move into the bloodstream and affect your pet's heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, bones and joints!

Check your companion's teeth and gums at least once a week, and ask your vet how you can further prevent gum disease by regular brushing with a toothpaste formulated especially for your pet's species.

**Memorize Our List of Foods to Avoid:
The experts at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center urge you to avoid feeding the following foods to your pet:

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Pet Health Tips

Good preventive care begins with careful attention to the basics:

* Nutrition: A healthy, nutritious diet builds a foundation for well-being and disease prevention throughout your Pet's life. As a dog ages, their nutritional needs change; for example, a puppy needs a diet high in calories and protein to maintain its active lifestyle and to grow healthy bones and muscles. An older dog may need a diet restricted in calories and supplemented with fiber for optimum weight and gastrointestinal health.

*Vaccinations: Just like a child, your puppy needs to be protected at an early age and given boosters as an adult. Vaccinations are one of mankind's greatest medical achievements and can help your Pet live a longer, healthier life so why take the chance?

*Parasite control: Many types of worms can affect your Pet, and some can be contagious to you and your family. Worms attach to the intestinal lining, causing painful diarrhea or life-threatening conditions. They also compete for your Pet's nutrients, stunting growth and depriving your Pet of energy. Worms live inside your Pet, so it may not be obvious that your dog is suffering an infestation.

*Surgery: During your dog's life, you'll make many important healthcare decisions. One of the best choices you can make is to spay or neuter your dog. Scheduling this important surgery early in your Pet's life helps prevent many future problems, among them cancer of their productive organs; such behavior problems as fighting, roaming, and marking; and Pet overpopulation. 

Common Questions about Pets Health

* Is my dog's dry nose a reason to be worried?
A dry nose does not necessarily equal a sick dog! Dogs have wet noses because some of their tear glands empty into their noses. A dry nose does not necessarily equal a sick dog! Dogs have wet noses because some of their tear glands empty into their noses. A dry nose does not necessarily equal a sick dog! Dogs have wet noses because some of their tear glands empty into their noses.

* What Causes Dog Ear Infections?
The most important thing you can do to prevent infections is to keep your dog's ears clean. There are many different ear cleaners available. While over-the-counter products can be helpful, your veterinarian probably has products that are safer and more effective. Some ear cleaners even have medications in them that kill bacteria and the yeast that contributes to infections. Finally, always remember to keep your dog's ears dry during bath time. Water that becomes trapped in the ear canal can predispose your dog to infections.

* How Do I Know if My Dog Has Allergies?
Allergies in dogs can generally be broken down into two main categories:

1. Allergies to things they are inhaling, such as pollen or ragweed. This is known as "atopy."
2. Allergies to things that they are eating, more intuitively called "food allergies".

Unlike similar allergies in people, dogs manifest these allergies in the form of skin problems. Generally they are pretty itchy -- which may include outright scratching as well as licking or chewing their paws and rubbing their face and ears on the couch or carpet. The skin inflammation leads to secondary problems, such as superficial bacterial infections, hot spots, repeat ear infections, and sometimes anal-gland infections. While these secondary problems or symptoms are often what gets noticed and can usually be cleared up with appropriate treatment, they tend to recur if the underlying allergic issue(s) are not addressed. I would encourage you to speak with your regular vet and consider pursuing a referral to a veterinary dermatologist, but here is a very brief Dog Allergies 101:Dogs can be atopic, food allergic, or (for an unlucky few) both.

* Could my Cat Have a Urinary Tract Infection?
According to vet experts, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria in the bladder or urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body). They are uncomfortable and can make urinating a painful ordeal for your cat. It is simple for your veterinarian to test for and treat in the early stages. However, UTIs left untreated for a long time can be life-threatening. Symptoms include:
* Frequent urination without passing much liquid
* Straining or difficulty urinating
* Blood in the urine
* Foul smelling urine
* Urination outside the litter box or in inappropriate places
* Tender lower abdomen (in the area of the bladder)
* Fever
* Lethargy
* Howling or crying during urination
* Excessive licking of the genital area