You have no items in your shopping cart.
RSS

Blog

What you need to know about flea and ticks?

Pests That Feed on Your Pets:

The soft, warm fur of dogs and cats provides the perfect environment for fleas and ticks. These insects feed on your pet’s blood and can cause health problems ranging from allergic reactions to serious tick-borne illnesses. Both fleas and ticks are more common during the warmer months, but you can take steps to ward them off any time of year.

Flea Warning Signs: Dogs
Flea droppings (dark specks) in the fur
Flea eggs (white specks) in the fur
Excessive licking or scratching
Scabs or hot spots on the skin

Flea Warning Signs: Cats
The easiest way to find fleas on a cat is to use a flea comb (a special fine-toothed comb). Especially check the neck and around the base of the tail. You also can check the belly. You may see the fleas -- small dark spots that move -- or their droppings, which look like specks of dirt. Lots of scratching and hair loss are also signs that fleas may be feasting on your feline.

Anemia:

Fleas can take in 15 times their own weight in blood. Dogs or cats that lose too much blood may develop anemia, a dangerous drop in the number of their red blood cells. Puppies and kittens are especially at risk. Signs of anemia caused by fleas include pale gums and lack of energy.

Allergic to Fleas:

Fleas are the most common cause of skin disease in dogs and cats. When a flea bites, it injects saliva into your pet’s skin. This may trigger an allergic reaction. Signs include intense itching, hair loss (especially just in front of the tail), scabs, and red, irritated skin, which may lead to skin infections.

How Do Pets Get Fleas?

Pets can easily pick up fleas when outdoors. Indoor cats can get them even if they just go out on the patio or share their home with a dog. Female fleas can lay 40 to 50 eggs a day. That can lead to an infestation in days.

Tick Warning Signs:

You can feel ticks when you pet your cat or dog, and you can see them. They most often attach near the head, neck, ears, or paws. On cats, they're usually found around the ears and eyes. Ticks can carry diseases. If you find a tick on your pet, try to remove it as soon as possible.

Safe Ways to Remove Ticks:

Use gloves or tissue to cover your hands.
Grasp the tick with tweezers from the side, by its head, close to the skin.
Pull straight up. Don't twist.
Don't squeeze (or pop!) the bloated belly.
Wash the bite area and your hands. Mouth parts that remain rarely cause serious problems. Questions? Call your vet.

How Pets Get Ticks:

Ticks crawl onto tall grass and shrubs and wait for a host, like your pet, to pass by. They can wait for a year without feeding. Dogs are most likely to pick up ticks while walking in the woods or high grass from spring through fall. Outdoor cats can pick up ticks the same way. Ticks are more common in warm climates and some wooded areas of the Northeast.

Brown Dog Tick:

The brown dog tick, also called the kennel tick, is common across the U.S. It's unique among ticks because it does well indoors. The adult tick is reddish-brown and usually attaches around the ears or between a dog’s toes. This tick rarely bites people, but it can carry serious diseases that affect dogs, such as ehrlichiosis.

Signs of Tick-Borne Diseases

Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis cause similar symptoms in dogs, including:
Loss of appetite
Fever
Swollen lymph nodes
Joint swelling or pain
These diseases can have serious complications, so prompt treatment is a must. Tick-borne diseases are uncommon in cats, but they can get a tick infection called cytauxzoonosis, which is often fatal -- so do your best to keep pests off your cat and out of your home.

Lyme Disease Vaccine for Dogs:

There is a vaccine to protect against Lyme disease in dogs who live in or travel to high-risk areas. Ask your vet if your pet needs it.

Other Tick Concerns in Dogs:
Ticks can cause other health problems in dogs, including:

Anemia
Skin irritation or infection
Tick paralysis
Some ticks make a toxin that makes muscles weak. Most dogs recover quickly once you remove the ticks.

Shampoos:

Flea and tick shampoos are mainly useful for killing the fleas and ticks that are already on your pet. They don’t work as well to prevent fleas and ticks. Make sure you get the right kind. Some products for dogs can kill cats. You can buy the shampoo without a prescription, but follow the directions carefully. You need to cover the animal’s entire body and wait 10 minutes before rinsing.

Collars:

Flea collars can ward off fleas and ticks. Read the labels and follow the directions on the package. Puppies and kittens may need those with a lower dose of chemicals. Don’t let children play with a collar. Wash your hands with soap and water after you handle it.

Tablets:

Dogs and cats can take some treatments, such as tablets, by mouth. One type is a quick fix that kills adult fleas within 30 minutes. You can give it to your pet daily. Other medications, which you give monthly, keep flea eggs from hatching. Another product starts killing fleas in as little as 30 minutes and protects for a month. Some flea medications need a prescription. Also, there are dogs-only oral products that kills fleas and ticks. Check with your vet to see which treatment is right for your pet.

Skin Treatments:

You put these treatments on your dog or cat’s back. They work well for a month. Some kill fleas and ticks. Others target fleas and their eggs. Some dog products can kill cats, so ask your vet which product is right for your pet, and follow the instructions.

Are Skin Treatments Safe?

If you use them correctly, yes. The Environmental Protection Agency says that using them wrong is a major cause of negative reactions. Common mistakes include treating a cat with a product meant for dogs, or using a large dog dose on a small dog. Check with your vet if you aren't sure which dose is right for your pet.

Brewer's Yeast, Flea Combs:

Some people feed their pets brewer’s yeast in the hopes that the smell will ward off fleas. But there is no science to support this. One “green” strategy that does work: the flea comb. Flea combs are completely nontoxic and offer a way to remove fleas from pets that can’t take medication.

Risky 'Green' Fixes:

Some natural flea and tick remedies can cause severe reactions in cats and dogs. These include:

Geranium
Eucalyptus
Pennyroyal oil
Garlic and onion
Check with your vet before giving your pet any type of herbal treatment.

Should You Use a Fogger?

Insect foggers, or bug bombs, kill a lot of fleas at once. They use strong pesticides and are only recommended for severe infestations. You and your pets must leave your home while the fogger works. Follow the directions to know when it's safe to return. It's dangerous to use too many foggers at once or come home too soon.

Stay Pest-Free
The first defense is to make your yard unwelcoming to fleas and ticks. Mow the lawn regularly, trim shrubs, rake leaves, and keep garbage covered so it won’t attract rodents. Inside, vacuum carpets often with a rotary brush or beater bar. Empty canisters or throw away vacuum bags. Mop hardwood floors with detergent every week. Wash all bedding often.

 

My Pet Has Bad Breath. What's Happening to Cause It?

Simple chronic halitosis. Whether we’re talking humans or pets, bad breath is a big deal. It’s a stinky problem, but take heart. In most cases there’s a lot you can do to keep bad breath at bay.

Causes
There are a variety of causes for bad breath in pets, these include:

1. Periodontal disease. It’s by far the most common cause of bad breath in pets. Studies show that after the age of 3 years, 80 percent of dogs and cats will have signs of periodontal disease. The cause of the offensive odor in these cases is the bacteria that coalesce as plaque and cause irritating gingivitis. As plaque matures and periodontal disease progresses, more destructive bacteria come into play. Periodontal disease is a painful condition that can lead to tooth loss and damage to organs like the heart and kidneys.

2. Teething. Kittens and puppies often have ick breath when they are teething. Kittens, especially, seem prone to the problem, which typically lasts only a couple of months. What happens is that bacteria collects at the gumline as baby teeth are edged out by budding adult teeth.

What To Do at Home
Taking an active role in your pet's dental care can help keep foul breath under control.

1. Brush your pet’s teeth. All pets — dogs and cats alike — should be trained early on to accept simple tooth brushing as part of their daily (at the very least, weekly) routine.

2. Plaque-reducing treats can be helpful, but they are not all created equal. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.

3. Water additives promise fresh breath, but do they deliver? It seems some do. Ask your veterinarian for advice before buying the first kind you spy in the pet store.

What Your Veterinarian May Do
When you take your pet to the vet, here are things the doctor may do:

1. History. Most veterinarians will start by asking a few questions to understand the history of the bad breath. When did you first notice it? Has it changed? How has you pet been otherwise?

2. Physical examination. Examining the whole body, not just the mouth, is a crucial part of the process. The oral examination, however, is by far the most important aspect of bad breath assessment.

3. Anesthetic evaluation. Unfortunately, a thorough assessment of a pet’s oral cavity is almost always impossible without sedation or anesthesia. Once the pet is sedated, each individual tooth can be probed, x-rays can be taken, and other structures in the mouth can be examined.


4. Dental cleaning. Dental cleaning is indispensable when combatting bad breath. That’s because ridding the teeth (and area under the gumline) of plaque bacteria goes a long way toward improving the health of the teeth and gums, and therefore treating bad breath.
5. Biopsy. It may sometimes be necessary to obtain a sample of apparently abnormal tissue to determine its origins before definitive treatment can be initiated. This tends to be the case when oral masses are involved.

Treatment

Treatment of halitosis depends wholly on the underlying cause. Because most halitosis is born of periodontal disease, treatment for bad breath tends to rely heavily on at-home care in addition to professional dental cleanings. Talk with your vet about what is the best action plan for your pet.

Basic Cat Training Tips

Catch the ball, kitty! Fetch the newspaper, kitty! Snag the Frisbee, kitty! Those aren’t commands you’re likely to be issuing to your cat anytime soon – at least not with any success. Cats aren’t exactly receptive to that kind of training.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t train your cat at all. You can, and very effectively. And in the process you can teach your cat to be a much more pleasant member of your household.
Probably the very first training you’ll want to give your cat will be in using the litter box – for very obvious reasons!

LITTER BOX TRAINING

Training a cat to use a litter box usually isn’t difficult. Cats are generally clean by nature, and have a natural inclination to bury their waste. Use the following steps to train your cat to start using a litter box:
Place your cat and a clean litter box (the kind without a cover) in a confined area, like a room in your house.
Be sure your cat has plenty of food and clean water.
If your cat ‘goes’ outside of the box, place the waste in the litter box. (Sorry – needs to be done! The smell of the waste may encourage the cat to start using the box.)
Usually within a day or two of being confined with the litter box the cat will begin to use the box regularly.
If the cat isn’t using the box within a couple of days, try this: After the cat has eaten, place the cat in the litter box and then just scratch the surface of the litter a bit with your fingertip.
If it’s still a no-go, make sure the box is clean. If it’s ever been used before, clean it with baking soda and fill with clean litter. You can also try several types of litter; sometimes a cat will be fine with one brand and turn up its nose at another brand. Also make sure that the box is located in a quiet, secluded area.
If nothing seems to work, consult your vet. Occasionally an underlying medical problem can be the cause of a cat’s reluctance to use a litter box.

BEHAVIOR TRAINING

If your cat is doing some things that, well… you’d REALLY prefer it didn’t do, there’s a good chance that you can train that bad behavior away.
But first, try to understand why the cat is behaving that way. There’s a reason, and from the cat’s perspective, of course, the behavior is perfectly reasonable.
If the cat is clawing your furniture, for example, it’s driven by instinct to do that. It needs to claw something – it’s a survival instinct. Doesn’t have to be your furniture, but something!
So there’s not much chance of getting your cat to stop clawing. But you can train the cat to focus its clawing instinct on acceptable objects, like scratching posts.
Train your cat to behave appropriately by using positive reinforcement, not punishment. DON’T hit the cat when it scratches the furniture. The cat won’t understand the reason for your behavior, and will just learn to fear you. Instead, reward your cat by giving it a treat when it claws the cat tree.

DISCOURAGING AGGRESSION

If your cat sometimes plays too rough, and begins biting or scratching, that’s also a behavior that can be trained away – at least to a degree.
When you’re playing with your cat and it begins biting or scratching, startle it with a loud noise. You can clap your hands or make a hissing sound – just something to startle the cat into stopping what it’s doing.
And then just simply walk away.
Do that every time that your cat gets rough, and it will learn that the consequence of biting and scratching is that playtime comes to an end.
YOUR CAT DOESN’T KNOW IT CAN’T BE TRAINED
It’s a common misconception that cats can’t be trained. But fortunately that’s just not true. You can and should train your cat to be a more pleasant member of the household. You’ll both be better off.
And believe it or not, you can even train your cat to perform some ‘dog like’ tricks if you want. You can train your cat to sit on command, or to walk on a leash.
Better start with the basics though. Get that litter box training done first

More food for humans toxic to dogs

1- Avocado
Is a treat from the table OK for your dog? That depends on what it is. Avocados, for example, have something called persin. It’s fine for people who aren't allergic to it. But too much might vomiting or diarrhea in dogs. If you grow avocados at home, keep your dog away from the plants. Persin is in the leaves, seed, and bark, as well as the fruit. Also, the avocado seed can become stuck in the intestines or stomach, and obstruction could be fatal.

2- Alcohol
Alcohol has the same effect on a dog’s liver and brain that it has on people. But it takes a lot less to hurt your dog. Just a little beer, liquor, wine, or food with alcohol can be bad. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, coordination problems, breathing problems, coma, even death. And the smaller your dog, the worse it can be.

3- Onions and Garlic
Keep onions and garlic -- powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated -- away from your dog. They can kill his red blood cells, causing anemia. That's even the onion powder in some baby food. A rare small dose is probably OK. But eating a lot just once can cause poisoning. Look for signs like weakness, vomiting, and breathing problems.

4-Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeine
Give your dog toys if you want him to be perky. Caffeine can be fatal. Watch out for coffee and tea, even the beans and the grounds. Keep your dog away from cocoa, chocolate, colas, and energy drinks. Caffeine is also in some cold medicines and pain killers. Think your dog had caffeine? Get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

5- Grapes and Raisins
There are better treats to give your dog. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. And just a small amount can make a dog sick. Vomiting over and over is an early sign. Within a day, your dog will get sluggish and depressed. 6- Milk and Other Dairy Products
On a hot day, it may be tempting to share your ice cream with your dog. Instead, give her some cold water. Milk and milk-based products can cause diarrhea and other digestive problems for your pup. They can also trigger food allergies, which can cause her to itch.

7- Macadamia Nuts
Keep your dog away from macadamia nuts and foods that have macadamia nuts in them. Just six raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog sick. Look for symptoms like muscle shakes, vomiting, high temperature, and weakness in his back legs. Eating chocolate with the nuts will make symptoms worse, maybe even leading to death.

8- Chocolate
Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs. The problem in chocolate is theobromine. It's in all kinds of chocolate, even white chocolate. The most dangerous types are dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate. Chocolate can cause a dog to vomit and have diarrhea. It can also cause heart problems, tremors, seizures, and death.

9- Fat Trimmings and Bones
Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause pancreatitis in dogs. And, even though it seems natural to give a dog a bone, she can choke on it. Bones can also splinter and block or cause cuts in your dog's digestive system.

10- Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums
The problem with these fruits is the seeds or pits. Seeds from persimmons can cause problems in a dog's small intestine. They can also block his intestines. That can also happen if a dog eats the pit from a peach or plum. Peach and plum pits also have cyanide, which is poisonous to people and dogs. People know not to eat them. Dogs don't

11- Raw Eggs
Some people feed their dogs a "raw diet" that includes uncooked eggs. But the major veterinary medical associations don't think that's a good idea. There's the chance of food poisoning from bacteria like salmonella or E. coli. Talk to your vet if you have questions.

12- Raw Meat and Fish
Like raw eggs, raw meat and fish can have bacteria that causes food poisoning. Some fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can also have a parasite that causes "fish disease" or "salmon poisoning disease." It's treatable, but get help right away. The first signs are vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. Fully cook the fish to kill the parasite.

13- Salt
It’s not a good idea to share salty foods like chips or pretzels with your dog. Eating too much salt can make your dog seriously thirsty. That means a lot of trips to the fire hydrant and it could lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, high temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death.

14- Sugary Foods and Drinks
Too much sugar can do the same thing to dogs that it does to people. It can make your dog overweight and cause problems with her teeth. It can even lead to diabetes

15- Yeast Dough
Before it’s baked, bread dough needs to rise. And, that’s exactly what it would do in your dog’s stomach if he ate it. As it swells inside, the dough can stretch your dog’s abdomen and cause a lot of pain. Also, when the yeast ferments the dough to make it rise, it makes alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning.

16- Your Medicine
Dogs shouldn't take people medicine. It's can make them very sick. Just as you do for your kids, keep all medicines out of your dog’s reach. And, never give your dog any over-the-counter medicine unless your vet tells you to. Ingredients such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are common in pain relievers and cold medicine. And, they can be deadly for your dog.

17- Kitchen Pantry: No Dogs Allowed
Many other things often found on kitchen shelves can hurt your dog. Baking powder and baking soda are both highly toxic. So are nutmeg and other spices. Keep food high enough to be out of your dog’s reach and keep pantry doors closed.

18- Xylitol
The artificial sweetener xylitol is found in many foods including some sugar-free gums, diabetic cakes and diet foods. It causes insulin release in many species (but not in humans) leading to potentially fatal hypoglycaemia (lowered sugar levels).
Dogs are extremely sensitive and even small quantities can cause toxicity. Some sugar-free sweets and gums have very high amounts per piece. Early symptoms of xylitol poisoning include lethargy, vomiting and loss of coordination. Seizures may also occur.
Xylitol has also been linked to fatal acute liver disease and blood-clotting disorders in dogs. This effect is not thought to be dose related so even very small amounts can be extremely dangerous. If you think your dog has eaten any xylitol seek urgent veterinary advice.

Vomiting in Dogs

Vomiting in Dogs

Dogs vomit occasionally for a variety of relatively benign reasons – to expel something unwanted from their stomach, as a result of gastric irritation or in response to colonic stimulus, for example. Prolonged, unrelenting vomiting or regurgitation, however, can be the sign of a serious condition, anything from head trauma or toxin exposure to pancreatic cancer or gastrointestinal obstruction.

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Dogs drool, lick their lips, and swallow excessively just before vomiting or when they feel nauseous. Some may eat grass, possibly to relieve gastric irritation or serve as self-induced emetic.

 

It is important to distinguish between vomiting and regurgitation -- the latter happens spontaneously, raising undigested food with no abdominal effort. Usually, this is a sign of esophageal issues or other problems occurring early on in the digestive process. Regurgitation should not be classified with vomiting as a different range of possible causes are associated with regurgitation.

 

PRIMARY CAUSE

Vomiting usually empties the stomach of unwanted or indigestible material. It also accompanies a wide range of more serious problems triggered by nausea or gastric inflammation/irritation. Anything from infections and ulcers to cancer and drug reactions can lead to vomiting.

 

IMMEDIATE CARE

For severe, unrelenting vomiting:

 

Remove all food made available to your dog.

Check for shock. If your pet is in shock from vomiting, pale skin/gums, an abnormal attitude and/or collapse/coma may result, which requires immediate veterinary attention.

Check for dehydration. If the dog is dehydrated, immediate veterinary assistance is also needed.

 

For occasional or infrequent vomiting (and if the dog is not in shock or dehydrated):

 

Do not give the dog food for 12 hours.

Instead, provide the dog with ice cubes to lick or two to three tablespoons of water every half hour. This will help keep the mouth moist.

After 12 hours, reintroduce clean, fresh water.

Reintroduce bland food between 12 and 24 hours after the initial vomiting incident. A mixture of rice and chicken is best (one part lean meat to five parts starch is ideal), but do not overdo it. Two to three teaspoons is enough to test if the dog is able to partake of the food.

If the dog does not vomit, continue with a little more bland food every hour or two.

If vomiting stops, your pet can return to a normal diet the next day.

 

DIAGNOSIS 

Continued, repetitive, or serious vomiting should be investigated more fully. A vet will more than likely be able to help diagnose the underlying condition with X-rays, bloodwork, fecal analysis, urinalysis, ultrasound imaging and/or a barium study, among other things. If you can bring a sample of the dog’s vomitus with you, it may also help in the diagnostic process.

 

PREVENTION

Many causes of vomiting cannot be prevented, but for those that can, observe the following rules:

 

Don’t change your dog’s diet suddenly. Always use a gradual approach in case gastric irritation or intestinal upset should result (a common occurrence as the result of sudden dietary changes).

Don’t give the dog toys that can be swallowed or chewed into pieces, thereby causing gastric and/or intestinal irritation.

Don’t give your dog bones. These, too, are routinely implicated in vomiting episodes.

Don’t let your dog scavenge. “Garbage gut” is what veterinarians commonly call the gastroenteritis caused by consuming scavenged items from the garbage.

Watch inquisitive dogs carefully when out and about. A basket muzzle to keep dogs from non-edible items they’d unwisely elect to consume may be in order.

How to Stop a Dog From Eating Toilet Paper

How to Stop a Dog From Eating Toilet Paper

 

Items you will need

Garbage cans with locking lids

Baby safety locks

Baby gate

Natural chew toys

Dental chews

Puzzle toys

Peanut butter

Step 1

Dog-proof your home by closing bathroom doors to keep your pooch out of toilet paper wonderland. Place packages of toilet paper in a cabinet with a baby lock so he cannot open the cabinet and chew up the toilet paper.

 

Step 2

Buy garbage cans with locking lids to keep your pet from digging toilet paper out of them. Test the locking mechanism on the cans by knocking them over and pushing them on the floor to make certain the lids do not pop open. The garbage can should be very thick plastic or metal to discourage a dog from chewing into it. If he knows there is something in the can that he wants, he could be determined enough to chew through it to get to the item.

 

Step 3

Place a baby gate across a doorway to enclose your dog while you are away from home. You may choose to leave him in a small, closed room such as a laundry room when you leave home. Make certain to pick up any items in the room that he may chew on.

 

Step 4

Supply your four-legged pal with lots of different chew toys in different textures to stimulate his mind and chewing habit. Natural chew toys are designed for long periods of chewing. Dental chews will clean his teeth and breath as he gnaws on them.

 

Step 5

Fill a puzzle toy with peanut butter to occupy your dog’s time while you are away. It will take him a long time to lick the delicious treat out of the toy, offering hours of enjoyment to use his stored up energy wisely.

 

Step 6

Allow your pet access to the bathroom eventually after a few weeks of confinement from the area. If he grabs toilet paper, tell him “no no,” take it from him and give him a toy instead. He will soon learn that toilet paper and other papers are not for him to chew. Eventually, you will be able to leave him free inside without supervision and still have toilet paper in the bathroom when you need it.

How to brush your dog

How to brush your dog’s teeth

If your dog can brush his own teeth, you can stop reading this article and start posting the video to YouTube. For the rest of us, we have to use a canine toothbrush and a little strategy. The best brush to use is double-headed with the brushes at a 45 degree angle to clean below the gumline, like those offered by Petosan.

Your dog might not go for the tooth brushing at first, but hopefully, you can make it a reasonably pleasant experience for both of you. Try and choose a time when your dog has had a decent amount of exercise, so he’s more inclined to sit still for the procedure. Don’t overdo it the first few times. Start slowly and quit if your dog gets agitated, even if you don’t brush the whole mouth. You can increase the time every day as he gets used to it. Also, make sure to speak soothingly and pleasantly during the brushing and reward your dog with a treat afterwards. Before too long, your dog should start looking forward to the event.

Start early with your dog as a puppy!

Grown dogs can learn to become comfortable with dog teeth cleaning, but make things easier for yourself by working with your dog as a puppy.

How to pick the right tooth paste for your dog

This is very important. Do NOT use regular human toothpaste for your dog. Most human toothpastes include fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs. You can find toothpaste formulated for dogs at most good pet stores.

 

Chew bones and chew toys to clean teeth

There are many synthetic bones and chew toys that are specially designed to strengthen your dog’s gums and teeth. Just make sure you’re providing safe objects for your dog to chew on. Hard objects can cause broken teeth.

 

When to see a veterinarian

Whether you brush your dog’s teeth or not, you should have a look inside his mouth every week or so. If you notice any of these signs of dental problems, then take your dog to the vet:

Bad breath

Change in eating or dog chewing habits

Pawing at the face or mouth

Depression

Excessive drooling

Misaligned or missing teeth

Discolored, broken, missing or crooked teeth

Red, swollen, painful or bleeding gums

Yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line

Bumps or growths within the mouth

How often to see a vet?

Even with healthy teeth, just like you, your dog should have his teeth checked by a professional every six to twelve months. Your vet should include a dental examination with a normal checkup, but ask for it if they don’t.

Dental care can be a hassle for humans and dogs, but proper maintenance can be a money saver in the long run and even a lifesaver. Letting it go can lead to costly and often painful vet visits down the road. Many dogs have to be given anesthesia to have their teeth and gums cleaned if the buildup is bad enough. Keep your dog’s mouth clean though, and you’ll both be smiling!

How To Bottle-Feed a Newborn Kitten

How To Bottle-Feed a Newborn Kitten

 

Time Required: 10 to 20 minutes several times a day

 

Here's How:

 

Prepare your supplies. Sterilize the kitten-sized baby bottles and nipples in a boiling water bath for about 5 minutes. Cool before using. Place a large towel, a rough-textured washcloth and a bowl of warm water on a table next to a comfortable chair.

Fill bottle with desired amount (see tips) of commercial kitten milk replacement such as KMR, or an emergency formula if you can't get to a pet food store right away. Warm the formula by placing the bottle in a bowl of very hot water, then test it against your forearm. It should be 95° to 100° fahrenheit, or approximately body temperature. Test the nipple to ensure the flow is just right.

Sit in the chair with the towel folded in your lap. Place the kitten prone (face down) on your lap. Make sure the kitten is warm before feeding. Feeding formula to a cold kitten can cause serious digestive problems. Without raising the kitten's head, place the nipple in his mouth. He should start nursing right away. If all goes well, let him continue nursing until finished. Do not overfeed.

 

If the kitten does not start nursing right away, or if he seems to have trouble getting the milk, check the nipple again. It should not drip milk when held upside down, but should drip given a small amount of pressure. It may also be helpful to stroke his head or gently pet his back to start his nursing reflexes, but once he gets the idea, he will nurse readily.

Much like human babies, kittens may need "burping" after nursing. This is best accomplished by holding one hand under his abdomen and gently patting his upper back. Not too hard - you don't want him to vomit. If he doesn't burp right away, go to step #6.

The mother cat will stimulate her kitten's elimination by licking his anus and genital area with her rough tongue. You can emulate this process with a warm, damp, rough washcloth or dampened paper towel. It may take a couple of feedings to see results, so don't despair if he doesn't defecate right away. Urinating may take a bit longer.

Your kitten will want to sleep after nursing, so put him back into his bed to let him sleep undisturbed.

Your newborn kitten will need approximately 32 cc (1.1 oz.) of formula a day, divided into 9 - 12 feedings a day, depending on his size and condition. Count on feeding him every two hours or so, around the clock, for starters. Yes, it's a demanding job, but intensely rewarding to watch your newborn develop and grow.

Tips:

In a pinch, if you can't get kitten baby bottles, an eye dropper will do. Be very careful to drop only a very small amount on the kitten's tongue to avoid aspiration of the formula into his lungs.

Weigh your kitten every day, on a food scale covered with a clean cloth. He should gain 1/2 oz. ever day for about the first two weeks.

Buy several bottles and nipples, then sterilize and fill a number of them at once, and refrigerate. Warm as needed, following the directions above.

Proper positioning of the kitten is critical. Raising his head may cause aspiration of the formula into the kitten's lungs, which could be fatal.

Hair Loss in Dogs

Hair Loss in Dogs

Hair loss (alopecia) is a common disorder in dogs which causes the animal to have partial or complete hair loss. It can affect a dog's skin, its endocrine system, its lymphatic system, and its immune systems. Alopecia can affect dogs and cats of all ages, breed and gender, and is either gradual or acute.

 

If you would like to learn more how alopecia affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD healthy library.

 

Symptoms and Types

 Alopecia is extremely noticeable, and is characterized as a varied or a symmetrical hair loss. It may also be seen as bald circles, accompanied by crusting and inflammation around the area. Some dogs suffering from alopecia have scaling of the skin.

 

Causes

One of the most common causes of alopecia is mange, which caused by the mite Demodex. Hair loss can also occurs when there is a disruption in the growth of hair follicles, often from infection, trauma, an immune disease, or endocrine system abnormalities. If there are multiple missing patches of hair, it could be associated with an inflammation of the hair follicle. A more widespread area of hair loss, meanwhile, may indicate a more specific disease pattern.

 

Diagnosis

The pattern and severity of alopecia is essential for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

 

Multiple areas of hair loss — This is often accompanied by the reddening of the skin and mild scaling. A fungus such as ringworm or bacterial infections are generally associated with this type of hair loss. Another common cause includes scleroderma, a skin condition that develops from scar tissue or as a result of a recent vaccination.

Symmetrical hair loss — There are several known causes for this, including excessive levels of steroids in the dog's body produced by the adrenal glands, low thyroid levels, increased levels of estrogen, low levels of female hormone secretion, and testosterone-related hair loss (occurring when the levels are lowered suddenly in the dog).

Patchy to generalized hair loss — Mange is one of the most familiar causes of this type of hair loss. Other causes include bacterial infections and ringworm. It is is accompanied with redness of the skin and inflammation.

 

Treatment

Alopecia is commonly treated with topical shampoos and antibiotic therapy. If other issues are discovered to be the underlying cause, treatment to address the hormone levels may be prescribed. Meanwhile, if there is a skin growth or cancer, it will be surgically removed.

 

Living and Management

 

Once the treatment has been prescribed, it is essential the topical shampoos, ointments and antibiotics are administered as prescribed. In addition, monitor the dog's skin to ensure it does not become infected.

 

Prevention

There is little that can be done to prevent alopecia, but it is important to monitor your pet for any skin issues that may cause hair loss.

Feeding newborn kitten

Feeding newborn kitten

How Do I Feed a Newborn Kitten?

A mother cat's milk provides everything a kitten needs during the first four weeks of life. If you have newborn kittens who've been separated from their mother, consult with a veterinarian, shelter or experienced foster care giver who can help you find a new mother cat with a small litter—she may be able to nurse the orphaned babies. If you cannot find a foster mother, please consult with your veterinarian about the proper way to bottle-feed with a commercial milk replacer. Please do not offer regular cow's milk to cats of any age. It is not easily digestible and can cause diarrhea.

 

What Do Kittens Eat Besides Milk?

When the orphaned kittens are three to four weeks old, begin to offer milk replacer in a shallow bowl, then introduce a moist, easily chewable diet. You can make gruel from warmed milk replacer and a high-quality dry or canned kitten food. Serve it in a shallow bowl and feed the kittens several times each day. By five weeks old, they should be getting used to their new diet. By six to seven weeks old, they should be able to chew dry food and you'll no longer need to moisten it.

 

Kittens need large amounts of energy—about two to three times that of an adult cat. About 30 percent of their total energy should come from protein. Make sure the food you offer is specifically formulated for kittens.

 

How Often Should a Kitten Eat?

The following is a general eating schedule for newborns and young cats:

Newborn kittens may nurse about every 1-2 hours.

At about three to four weeks old, they can be offered milk replacer from a bowl and then small amounts of moistened kitten food four to six times a day.

Kittens from six to 12 weeks old should be fed four times a day as you gradually decrease their access to milk replacer.

Kittens from three to six months old should be fed three times a day.