Category Archives: Pawsitively Healthy Workshops

Tooth brushing can save money, improve pet’s oral health

If you were able to attend our dental care workshop: Preventing canine and feline dental disease, you heard Dr. Andrea Putt, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital, talk about the importance of BRUSHING your dog’s or cat’s teeth.  Dr. Putt  stressed the importance of DAILY brushing.  She also said that it’s not so much what is on the brush that matters– but the act of BRUSHING itself — that is most beneficial to your pet.  So if your pet loves delicious cat or dog food, peanut butter, soft cheese spread – or flavored pet toothpaste – BRUSH AWAY with any of them!   (Just NEVER use human toothpaste!)  Dr. Putt even mentioned that she sees one pet owner who flosses her Yorkie’s teeth!

Yorkie’s – as well as other small dogs – are way more prone to dental disease than mid-size and most big dogs, Dr. Putt said.  Also prone to dental problems are dogs with fine, narrow noses – such as Greyhounds and Collies.

Brushing can save money on your dog’s or cat’s dental care and also goes a long way to helping your pet maintain a healthy mouth and teeth.

Read more below about how to brush your pet’s teeth.  Just a few minutes each day can make a huge difference!

brushing Click here for a printable version.

Products that can prevent dental disease in your CAT

171_PawsitivelyHealthy_Dental_Health_Jan16_Flyer (2) CAT

Just like with dogs, there are some good products out there to help reduce plaque and tarter on cats’ teeth.  They include dental sprays and gels, chews and treats, and toothpaste for brushing. Click here for some of my favorites and a shopping list for your pet.

And just like I’ve pointed out for dogs, these products do NOT replace the need for regular veterinary exams.  Cats, like dogs, can get:

  • Broken and loose teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Oral and facial cancers
  • Root problems (why your pet needs dental x-rays!)

In addition, cats can get a SEVERELY PAINFUL dental problem called RESORPTIVE LESIONS.  These lesions often appear as red dots on the tooth and they can eat away at the rest of the tooth and root.  Teeth with the lesions are often very weak and prone to break.  Cats with resorptive lesions often have a difficult time eating and will drool or their mouth will “chatter” due to the pain.

So regular dental care for your cat is particularly important. To me, the best thing about oral care products is that they get pet owners to be more observant and take a better look at your pet’s mouth.

So while you are brushing your cat’s teeth – or wiping on that gel, be sure you to take a look at your cat’s mouth.  If you spot redness or something that doesn’t look right, contact your vet.

Products that can prevent dental disease in your DOG

171_PawsitivelyHealthy_Dental_Health_Jan16_Flyer (2) DOGThere are numerous products on the market that can help reduce plaque and tarter buildup on your dog’s teeth.

They include dental chews and treats, dental sprays and gels, and toothpastes for brushing.  Click here for some of my favorites and a shopping list for your pet.

Each of these products offers its own benefits. And all will have some impact on making your dog’s teeth cleaner and reducing the signs of dental disease.

But NONE REPLACE AN ORAL EXAM BY YOUR VETERINARIAN.  Your veterinarian can check for signs and symptoms that these products cannot, such as:

  • Broken and loose teeth
  • Signs of gum disease
  • Oral and facial cancers
  • Root problems (why your pet needs dental x-rays!)

So before you rely only on off-the-shelf products for your pet’s dental care, make sure they have a through exam with their veterinarian.

The products are a good way to SUPPLEMENT your vet’s care.  They are NOT a replacement for veterinary care.

Using these products WILL help make you a better observer of your pet’s oral health.

By using them you will become more familiar with “what is normal” and how your pet’s mouth SHOULD look.  Then when something doesn’t  look quite right, you’ll know it.


See us talking about pet dental care on Fox 2

This morning, Dr. Andrea Putt, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital, and I went on Fox 2 / Detroit to talk about the importance of canine and feline dental care.

This is also the topic of our workshop coming up on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016.  THERE IS

Here is a link to the video on the Fox 2 website:

dental care fox 2 segment



Here we are in the Fox 2 “ green room” waiting to go on live TV.  This is  me  with Niko. We are going to show viewers what the symptoms of dental disease look like in a cat.

Niko, who was recently adopted at age 13, is showing signsof dental disease and will be going in for a dental cleaning soon.

The dog in the picture is Esthme along with her person, Beth. Esthme was on camera having her teeth brushed by Dr. Putt.

IMG_3294     IMG_3300


Get the most from our Canine and Feline Dental Disease Workshop

We are hoping that you can join us on February 18 for our next Pawsitively Healthy workshop, Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease.  Click here to register.  Our speaker is Andrea Putt, DVM, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital.

Elsewhere in this blog, I talk about some signs of dental disease in your dog or cat.  Take a few moments to see if your dog or cat will allow you to look at his/her teeth and gums.  A friend of mine routinely rubs her hand around and puts the tip of her finger into her cats’ mouths to get them used to this.

If you are able to take a look at your dog’s or cat’s mouth, try to take note of what you see.  Are gums read?  Do teeth look yellow or brown?  Does your pet flinch in pain when you do this?

If possible, see if you can take a picture of what you see. Do NOT force it.  But if your pet will let you, you will have something to show Dr. Putt at the seminar.  While she cannot diagnose dental disease from a photo, it will provide a starting point to see if your pet should be seen by a veterinarian.

Below is a photo that my friend took of her cat’s mouth.  Again, my friend gets her cats used to having their teeth checked by routinely touching and playing with their mouths. So this was an easy picture for her to take!

Emma Cat Teeth
This is picture of a friend’s cat, Emma. Emma is at least 16 years old and had her teeth cleaned a year ago. Still, she is starting to show signs of some tartar build up, the beginning of dental disease.

Know the signs of Canine & Feline Dental Disease

Pet health experts estimate that about 70 percent of all dogs and cats have some form of dental disease by age 3. Dental disease is especially prevalent in SMALL BREED DOGS due to tooth overcrowding.

As in humans, bad teeth can be extremely painful for your pet.  However, dogs and cats often HIDE THEIR PAIN, a throw-back to living in the wild and protecting themselves from potential predators.  So, in many cases, your dog or cat can be suffering from dental disease and you may not know it.

This is one more reason why annual exams (and twice annual for older pets) by a veterinarian are important.  Between exams, watch for these signs:

  • Smelly breath
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Yellow or brown teeth
  • Broken or loose teeth
  • Diminished appetite and / or difficulty chewing

If you spot any of the above, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Find out more about dental disease on February 18 at our Pawsitively Healthy workshop Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease with Andrea Putt, DVM of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital.  Click here to register. 

Find out what you can do at home to help prevent dental disease

Imagine if you never saw the dentist! Getting TEETH AND GUMS checked and cleaned is just as important as any other type of exam for your dog or cat. In fact, in some ways it may be more important since a LACK of good dental care can lead to serious illness – such as heart and kidney disease and more.

Join us on February 18 for our Pawsitively Healthy workshop Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease. Andrea Putt, DVM, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital will share her perspectives on this important topic including helpful tips on what you can DO AT HOME to help prevent dental disease. Click here to register.

Brushing your pet’s teeth, proper nutrition and regular veterinary check-ups are all things you can do to make sure your dog or cat has good oral health. Dr. Putt will share with you her thoughts on which products do the best job and how you can provide dental care at home to even the most temperamental pets.

What you should know about vaccines for your pet

Andrea Putt, DVM, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital, recently shared her perspectives on vaccines at our Pawsitively Healthy workshop, Do Pets Really Need Vaccines, held at Pet Supplies Plus in White Lake earlier this month.

For pet families who were unable to join us, we are posting the notes from Dr. Putt’s presentation below.  We hope you find this information useful in deciding what is best for your pet.

Join us on February 18 for our next Pawsitively Healthy workshop,  Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease. February is National Pet Dental Health Month. Click here for details.

NOTES from Dr. Putt

Should you vaccinate your pet?   Click here for notes.

Factors to consider in making the decision about vaccines.  Click here for notes.

WHEN should you vaccinate your dog or cat?   Click here for notes.

“Core” or most important vaccines.  Click here for notes.

“Core” vaccines for dogs.  Click here for notes.

“Core” vaccines for cats.  Click here for notes.

Vaccine side effects.  Click here for notes.

Dental disease, easy to prevent, is a major health concern

Andrea Putt conducting oral exam on dog Andrea Putt, DVM, conducts an oral exam on Penny.

The facts about dental disease might surprise you.  I am not a veterinarian, but I do know that dental disease in pets:

  • Is easily preventable
  • Is prevalent even in young pets
  • Can lead to more serious health issues

Some pet owners might think that dental exams and cleanings are only to reduce “doggy or kitty breath.”  They are actually one of the most important things that you can do for your pet to reduce the natural build up of tartar and plaque that lead to dental disease.

First and foremost, dental disease in your dog or cat can be EXTREMELY painful and affect appetite and activity levels. If left untreated, dental disease can also lead to serious illnesses including:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Infection of the heart, lungs or kidneys
  • Heart failure
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis and spinal diseases

February is National Pet Dental Health Month.  Celebrate it by coming to our workshop, Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease on February 18, 2016.  The speaker will be Dr. Andrea Putt of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital.  Dr. Putt will talk about how you can spot the signs of dental disease in your dog and cats – and what you can do about it.

Click here to register.

You’ve heard her speak at our workshops — Who IS Dr. Putt?

The featured speaker at our Pawsitively Healthy workshops is veterinarian Dr. Andrea Putt of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital.  I thought you might like to know a little but about her.Dr. Andrea Putt

Dr. Putt graduated from Michigan State University with honors. She has worked for over 20 years in the community before opening her own veterinary hospital. She opened Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital in 2012. She offers digital radiology, laser surgery, low level therapy laser, ultrasound and general medicine services for her patients. Her goal is to provide modern medicine with a hometown personal touch for her patients.

We are so thrilled that she agreed to do the workshops for us. We love her candid way of speaking and willingness to answer all the audience’s questions.

Find out more about Dr. Putt on her linkedin page at  or on her hospital’s website at