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Mar 20

National Poison Prevention Week

Posted by Tehachapi Pet Lodge on Sunday, March 20, 2016

The third week of March is National Poison Prevention Week so let's take a moment to review at some of the toxic and dangerous things your pets can get into. Below are a few categories and items you should consider when caring for your cats and dogs at home.

Dinner Scraps and Snacks

Are you ever tempted to throw your pet scraps from your dinner plate? If so, make sure you know what foods can be toxic to them. Chocolate is one of the most toxic foods for pets, especially dark chocolate. Other dangerous foods include raisins, macadamia nuts, candy, and foods with xylitol. To be on the safe side, keep all the sweets out of your pet’s reach.

Rodenticides

If you have a rodent problem in your home, Tehachapi Veterinary Hospital discourages the use of rodenticides, due to the risk of accidental poisoning for your pet. There are several humane ways to get rid of rodents and keep your pets safe. One method involves the electronic unit that emits a beeping sound that repels rodents. 

Lawn Fertilizers

Fertilizer can do wonders for lawns, but it can wreak havoc for pets. Most fertilizers contain toxic substances, and if a pet walks on recently fertilized lawn and licks their paws, they can indirectly ingest these toxins. Lawn fertilizer poisoning can result in upset stomach, drooling, nausea, or pancreatitis. Remember to always read your lawn fertilizer label thoroughly or use a pet-friendly product instead.

Toxic Plants

Now that it’s spring, it’s important to be mindful of the plants that can be toxic to pets. American holly, lilies, and mistletoe in oak trees are among the plants that have been known to cause sickness in dogs and cats in our area, so it’s important to ensure your pet does eat any of these plants. For a more complete list download this helpful resource from the Humane Society of the U.S. or view this online tool to view toxic and non-toxic plants for dogs, cats and/or horses by the ASPCA.



Feb 23

Taking Care of Your Pet's Teeth

Posted by Tehachapi Pet Lodge on Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Dental Care for DogsDid you know that good dental care for your dog or cat can extend their life by as much as five years? It’s true! Good oral hygiene for pets is just as important as our own and it’s more than just being about fresh breath. Dental disease can actually lead to serious health problems such as liver, kidney and heart disease in our furry friends and it is estimated that approximately 80% of all cats and dogs have periodontal disease by the time they are only two years old. So what can you do about it?

Certainly, regular professional cleanings from the vets at Tehachapi Veterinary Hospital is a critical step. Just like your own dentist, our vets will help removed tartar buildup and reduce gum inflammation (gingivitis). But there are also important steps you can take at home to help keep your pet’s mouth healthy.

Most experts agree that daily brushing of your pet’s teeth is ideal but don’t let that deter you from just getting started. Even brushing 3-4 times per week will greatly improve your pooch’s oral hygiene so do what you can, even if you do just half of their teeth each day.

Getting Started

Three products you’ll want to become familiar with are Toothbrushes, Canine Toothpaste and Wipes. While human toothbrushes will work, make sure to find one the right size and angle for their mouth. Most pet owners prefer our fingertip style brushes that slip over your finger and give you ideal control. Since your pooch won’t be spitting when you’re done, the right toothpaste is also important. Our canine pastes and gels not only are attractive to dogs but can safely be ingested by your pet. And if you’re in a rush or just getting started, wipes might be and ideal solution.

Like all new behavior, routine and rewards are important and will help you both feel comfortable with the new activity. Start by just handling your dog’s muzzle and lifting their lips to expose their teeth. Then, try putting a yummy treat such as peanut butter, yogurt or meat baby food on your finger and just massage the teeth and gums a bit. Continue with this behavior for a few days until you both feel ready to take the next steps.

Once your pet (and yourself!) are feeling a bit more comfortable, introduce them to the toothbrush and toothpaste. Like before, start with small steps to help get them comfortable. The fingertip brushes might feel easier to introduce since you’ve been massaging their gums for a few days with your fingers. Just place a small amount of canine paste on the brush, lift their lips and gently start brushing in a circular motion. Once you get going, it will only take a few minutes and likely be an activity you pet becomes quite comfortable with. Best of all, you’ll feel better taking care of their overall health and get to enjoy fresher pet-breath as well.