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Pet Friendly Newsletter - November 2008

Pet Quotes

"... it takes a strong-minded human to appreciate a strong-minded dog!" (Mary Webber)

"One small cat changes coming home to an empty house, to coming home." (Pam Brown)


"Whenever I might be feeling down, I just have to look at the smiling face of my dear pug Pebbles. Here is a photo of her in a new raincoat, as we live in the Pacific Northwest!"
- Chholing

"This is my dog Turbo with my nephew. Turbo was rescued by SCARS (Second Chance Animal Rescue Society) with his litter mates and we adopted him when he was barely 8 weeks old. He is a sweet boy who just turned one in August."
- Stacy from Stony Plain, Alberta

"These are my two beautiful Basset Hounds. Maggee is the one on the left. She’s three years old and Bailee is on the right – he’s four. Can you guess which one is the “happy, lively” one and which is the “grumpy, lazy” one? :-) We love them both."
- Lesley M. from Fort McMurray, Alberta


Dental problems are commonly diagnosed in cats and dogs. Bad teeth is more than a matter of looking good -- it causes health issues for your pet and can even lead to serious illness. Bits of food and bacteria collect on your pet's teeth and form tartar. If it's allowed to continue, inflammation can occur and may lead to dental disease. Dental problems can lead to:

  • Bad breath: "Doggy breath" doesn't have to smell so bad that you nearly pass out! Bad breath is an indication that your pet's teeth and gums should be checked out by your vet to ensure there's nothing amiss.

  • Pain: Anyone who's ever had a sore or sensitive tooth knows how painful it can be. The same thing can happen to your pet, only they're usually better at hiding it. Signs that your pet's mouth may be sore include a reluctance to eat, or a tendency to chew only on one side of his mouth.

  • Loss of teeth: When bacteria collects it can lead to loose teeth which may need to be extracted.

  • Infection or further health problems: If dental issues are allowed to continue, bacteria could invade your pet's body through the mouth and enter the bloodstream. This can cause serious illness or infection.

What you can do:

  • Have regular dental check-ups with your vet. Your vet will do an oral exam and advise you on whether a cleaning (under anesthetic) is necessary to improve or maintain your pet's dental health.

  • Regular at-home check-ups will let you spot potential problems before they become more serious. Look for signs like of swelling around your pet's mouth and face, and for any signs of abnormal discharge. Open your pet's mouth and look at his teeth and gums. Check for lumps, redness, tartar build-up, and bad breath.

  • Start up a home care program. Brush your pet's teeth regularly (daily is best) with a toothpaste specifically made for dogs and cats (do not use human toothpaste). There are soft-bristled pet toothbrushes for this purpose, but some pets prefer a soft rubber "finger brush". Pet toothbrushes and toothpaste are carried at most pet supply stores.

    Some types of chew toys may also help. However, dogs that like to try to break toys should not be given hard toys since they may crack their teeth when they bite down.

    And finally, feeding your pet crunchy food also helps to reduce tartar build-up.

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