Tag Archives: cat teeth

Two toys your dog (and maybe your cat) can’t live without

There is definitely no shortage of dog toys on the market.  In fact, the hardest part of getting a new dog in the family may be CHOOSING which toys your dog will think are the BEST.

While there are many great toys, you can’t go wrong with two that are getting rave reviews from dog lovers.  They also offer variations for cats.  They are:

kongKONG toys

KONG toys are made of high quality natural rubber and come in different shapes and sizes.  These toys are durable and will last longer than many other toys.

Some KONG toys have spaces that you can fill with peanut butter or other treats.  This is excellent for giving dogs who are crated during the day an activity and something to do. kong-cat

Kong also makes a variety of toys for your cat.

ropeRope toys

Rope toys not only provide a source of entertainment and playful activity for your pet, but they can be also be beneficial to your pet’s teeth since the chewing motion helps to remove plaque and tarter.  Puppies can sink their teeth into rope toys which act as a teething ring.

Photos courtesy of Pet Supplies Plus.

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Treats are fine but in moderation

Depositphotos_19533969_m-2015We all give in to the tail wagging and begging.  But when it comes to giving your dog or cat treats, too many can be bad for their health.

It’s best to view your dog’s or cat’s treat as jus
t like you would chocolate for humans.  (BTW – NEVER let your dog or cat eat chocolate – it can be fatal!)  You wouldn’t sit down to a whole box of Hersey Kisses – just like you shouldn’t feed your dog or cat a whole box or bag of treats.

Treats should be fed as just that – treats – and not as food.  The only exception is that if you have a geriatric pet who is a finicky eater and relies on treats for extra calories.  Elsewhere in this blog, we suggest treats as food replacement under these circumstances.  But for a healthy pet, treats should be limited.

Pets that are fed treats as much as regular food are at risk of becoming obese which can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and other weight-related health problems.  Today, more than HALF of all dogs and cats are obese and many pet owners fail to recognize that too many pounds can take years off of Fluffy’s or Fido’s life.

So TREAT your pet’s TREATS like TREATS.  And the next time your pet begs for more, get out the ball or birdie and make time for play instead.

AS ALWAYS, CONSULT WITH YOUR VETERINARIAN ABOUT YOUR PET’S OVERALL HEALTH AND WELLBEING.

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Choosing food for your feline – the more meat protein & moisture, the better

Tabby cat eating food from a bowl

For cats, the key words in choosing their food are PROTEIN and MOISTURE.

A cat’s digestive system is very different from a dog’s.  So do not assume that what’s good for your dog is also good for your cat.

While having a good protein-based diet is important for dogs, it’s especially important for cats.  Cats have higher requirements for proteins – and the amino acids found in proteins — than dogs.  A diet deficient in proteins can cause a wide range of health issues.  (Please note: Cats that have been diagnosed with kidney disease may be put on a protein restricted diet by their veterinarian.)

Do NOT reduce the protein in your cat’s diet on your own; always consult with your vet!

In addition to protein, cats need LIQUID.  Sources include wet or canned food as well as water.  Cats are notoriously poor drinkers so a quality dry food diet should be supplemented with canned or wet food.  Without adequate moisture, cats can be prone to urinary infections and are at increased risk of kidney disease later in life.  (Also look for foods that contain cranberry which promotes good urinary tract health.)  It is also helpful to add additional drinking areas.  I have two locations in my house with one of them being a drinking fountain.

The dry food provides the ability to “graze” throughout the day and also helps reduce dental tarter and plaque buildup.  Hard treats are also good (in moderation of course).

AS ALWAYS, CONSULT WITH YOUR VETERINARIAN ABOUT YOUR PET’S OVERALL HEALTH AND WELLBEING.

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Toys cats can chew contribute to good dental care

Many cats show signs of dental disease by age three.  Besides being extremely painful, dental disease in cats can lead to more serious illnesses such as kidney, liver and heart disease.

Regular brushing helps a great deal – if your cat will allow it — and annual or twice annual oral exams by your veterinarian are essential.  But the types of toys your cats play with can also be a factor in their dental health.

Toys that your cat can sink his or her teeth into can help reduce tarter and plaque buildup. You might not think of cats as “sinking their teeth” into toys, but cats enjoy chewing just as much as dogs.  It’s just a matter of finding the right toys.

310_Tons_of_TailsToys made by Pet Stages are great at getting cats to sink their teeth in.  One toy made specifically for chewing is called Tons of Tails which contains three types of fabric and textures to promote oral exploration.   The many “tails” coming out of this toy encourage chewing; added bonus is the catnip in the toy.

Cosmic Catnip banana toyAnother great cat chew toy is the highly durable Cosmic Catnip banana toy. This banana-shaped chew toy is filled with Cosmic Catnip and is a great size for kitty to wrap paws around and dig his or her teeth into.   Just about every morning when the store opens, we find one of these bananas off the rack and on the floor.  Our store cats love them.  Good thing they don’t have a banana peel!

AS ALWAYS, CONSULT WITH YOUR VETERINARIAN ABOUT YOUR PET’S OVERALL HEALTH AND WELLBEING.

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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.

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
STILL TIME TO REGISTER – CLICK HERE!

Here is a link to the video on the Fox 2 website: http://www.fox2detroit.com/good-day/93121133-video

dental care fox 2 segment

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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.

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