Tag Archives: veterinarians Roanoke VA

5 Things That Are Good For Your Dog’s Teeth

Did you know that dental issues are one of the most overlooked aspects of dog care? Some of the most loving and attentive pet owners overlook their pups’ oral health. Fido can develop some very painful dental issues, so it’s very important for you to take care of his teeth. In this article, a Roanoke, VA vet lists some things that are good for your furry friend’s choppers.

Brushing

Fido’s toothbrush is your first and most effective weapon against doggy dental woes. Of course, you’ll need to get your pooch used to the idea. Start by just gently rubbing his teeth and gums. Then, slowly incorporate doggy toothpaste and, finally, a pet toothbrush. You don’t have to do your furry pal’s entire mouth every day. Just do one segment at a time, and keep rotating.

Fresh Water

Fresh water is crucial for many reasons, but it’s also extremely important for Fido’s oral health. Make sure your canine friend always has fresh, clean water. You may want to get Fido a pet fountain or an automated waterer.

Chew Toys

Chew toys help keep Fido’s bones and jaws strong. They stimulate the flow of saliva, which will help rinse food particles away. There are a few caveats here, however. First, be sure to get toys that are the right size for your furry buddy. Also, replace your pup’s toys when they start looking grimy.

Checkups!

Home care is important, but don’t forget about Fido’s dental exams. Most dogs should have their teeth checked at least once a year, starting at age one. If your canine pal is overdue for an exam, take a few minutes to schedule one today. You’ll also want to make an appointment if you notice any signs of dental trouble, such as bleeding gums, bad breath, swelling, and/or tartar buildup.

Doggy Dental Products

There are now quite a few products made with Fido’s oral health in mind. You can get your pooch kibble, treats, and/or chews that are specifically made to fight plaque and tartar. (Tip: try putting some pet toothpaste on a chew toy.) Dental flakes are another option. Oral rinses can also be very helpful in keeping your pup’s mouth healthy. Ask your vet for specific information.

Do you know or suspect that your pet has dental issues? Contact us, your local Roanoke, VA vet clinic, today!

Signs of Dental Issues In Dogs

Did you know that dental problems are one of the most common health issues we see in our canine patients? These issues can be very painful, and, if left unchecked, can become quite dangerous. Just like people, Fido needs good oral care. It’s also important to keep an eye out for warning signs. Here, a Roanoke, VA vet discusses signs of doggy dental issues.

Bad Breath

Fido has many charms, but minty-fresh breath is not one of them. That said, your dog shouldn’t wilt plants with his breath. If your puppy’s affectionate doggy smooches leave you gagging, dental issues may be to blame.

Swelling

Visible swelling is a definite red flag. This should be treated as a medical emergency, as oral infections can spread quickly. In some cases, they can even be fatal.

Tartar Buildup

Does your furry best friend have unsightly yellow or brown buildup on his teeth? If so, he could probably use a good cleaning. Tartar buildup often goes hand-in-hand with gum disease, which affects a whopping 80 percent of adult dogs. This is actually a very serious problem. The bacteria from gum disease can spread to Fido’s vital organs, and can contribute to major issues, like heart disease.

Bleeding Gums

Bloody gums are another warning sign. You may also see traces of blood on your pup’s dishes or toys.

Grumpiness

Toothaches generally don’t do much for anyone’s moods. Dogs are no exception here. If your pooch seems uncharacteristically cranky, he may have dental problems.

Shyness

If Fido shies away when you try to touch his face, there could be a problem with his mouth or teeth.

Reduced Interest In Play

Just like people, dogs often don’t feel very playful when they are sick or injured. If Fido has suddenly lost interest in his toys, he may be having trouble with his teeth.

Changes In Appetite

Dental problems can make it hard for Fido to chew. He may take longer eating, dribble food out of his mouth, chew on one side of his mouth, and/or start preferring softer foods.

Tips

Most of the symptoms listed above can actually be indicative of several different medical issues, including some very serious ones. Don’t take chances! Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these red flags!

Please reach out to us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, anytime. We are here to help!

Tips for Playing With Your Dog

Did you know that playing with your dog is one of the best things you can do for him? Regular play sessions will benefit Fido both mentally and physically. Read on for some great tips from a Roanoke, VA on playing with your canine buddy.

Supervise Puppy Playtime

Dogs and kids can make great playmates, but it’s important to supervise these play sessions, especially with young children. Toddlers can be, well, a bit clumsy, and may not understand that not all dogs will tolerate roughhousing. Games like Tug-O-War can also get Fido riled up, which can trigger aggressive responses in some dogs. If you notice puppy playtime seems to be getting a bit too heated, stop the play session immediately.

Games

Playing games like Tag with Fido can be really fun! They’re also a great way for both you and your four-legged friend to get a great workout in. However, some games just aren’t right for every pooch. For instance, some of our canine pals may nip if they get too excited playing Tag. Hide and Seek may be a better option for rowdy dogs. If you want to work on your pup’s petucation, try a doggy version of ‘Red Light, Green Light’ by replacing the traffic signal phrases with obedience commands like ‘Stay’ and ‘Come.’

Toys

Toys are great fun for our canine friends. They’re also a wonderful way for you to make playtime interactive. Just be sure to pick only safe, suitable toys. One thing that is very important is choosing products that are the right size for your pup. A German Shepherd can easily choke on a toy that was made for a smaller dog! You’ll also need to keep Fido’s personality in mind. If your pet tends to immediately rip open stuffed animals, these may not be the best toys for him, as the stuffing and squeakers can be choking hazards. Ask your vet for more information on choosing Fido’s playthings.

Schedule

Regular play sessions help keep Fido active and entertained, which is great for his health and well-being. Try to play with your canine companion every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. This will be fun for both of you!

Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Roanoke, VA animal clinic, today! We are dedicated to offering great veterinary care.

Water Safety for Your Dog

Are you planning on taking your canine companion swimming in the near future? It’s great fun to have your dog swim, and it’s wonderful exercise for him, too! Whether Fido will be swimming in a backyard pool or a public lake, use these tips from a Roanoke, VA vet to make sure he stays safe.

Swimming Ability

Before taking your dog to go swimming, ask yourself a simple question: can your pooch swim? It’s a common misconception that all dogs are great swimmers! Some canines—especially those with short, stout statures—aren’t great swimmers and won’t be comfortable in the water at all. To be safe, have a “test run” in a kiddie pool or the bathtub before taking your dog to swim in a larger body of water.

Providing Support

It’s always best to provide support for your dog while he’s swimming, even if he’s comfortable in the water. Remember: your pet can’t touch the bottom in most areas of a pool, lake, pond, or the ocean! For safety, venture into the water with your dog. This is particularly important in the ocean, where currents can easily sweep your dog far out from shore; a dog can exhaust themselves trying to swim back!

No Drinking

You don’t want your dog to drink salty ocean water or heavily chlorinated pool water, as it can dry out the mouth, irritate the throat and stomach, and even make your pet sick. The same goes for swimming in ponds, lakes, rivers, or streams—these water sources can be contaminated with bacteria, microorganisms, and other things that you don’t want your dog swallowing. Don’t allow your pet to drink while he’s swimming, and bring along a thermos of cool, fresh water just for Fido to drink from.

Floatation Devices

If your dog could use a little help in the water, try floatation devices. They’re available at many pet supply stores and certain retail outlets, and they’ll help your pooch stay afloat. Floatation devices are perfect for puppies or dogs learning how to swim!

Rinse Out the Coat

After your dog’s swimming session has ended, make sure to rinse out the coat thoroughly with fresh water from the garden hose or bathtub. Leaving salt water, chlorine, or sand in the coat will dry out and irritate the skin.

Want to learn more about water and swimming safety for dogs? Contact your Roanoke, VA animal hospital.

Your Cat’s Aversion to the Litterbox

Has your cat been eliminating outside of the litterbox, creating messes on your carpets and floors? About one in every 10 cats will experience a litterbox aversion at some point in their life! Here, your Roanoke, VA veterinarian tells you what to do if your feline friend has shunned her bathroom.

See the Vet

First things first—schedule an appointment to have your cat examined at the veterinarian’s office. There is a chance that medical issues, including infection, injury, or disease, could be the cause of your cat’s behavior! You’ll want to have any medical problems taken care of so that your cat doesn’t suffer further.

Many of our older feline companions suffer from arthritis, which can make it difficult for your cat to hoist themselves into the box. Try using a litterbox with low sides if you have an arthritic cat.

Placement

One of the main reasons that cats decide not to use their litterbox is because of where it’s located. Our feline friends are picky about this sort of thing; they don’t want to be disturbed while doing their business. Put the litterbox in a quiet, low-key area of the house where your cat won’t be interrupted by human family members or other pets. In most homes, a basement or laundry room works well.

Cleanliness

Who wants to do their business in a dirty bathroom? Not your cat! If you don’t clean Fluffy’s litterbox often enough, she may decide to go elsewhere. We recommend scooping out your cat’s waste on a daily basis, and changing all litter about once a week. This will ensure that the litterbox stays fresh and will further entice your cat into using it regularly.

Litter Preference

There is a wide variety of litter types out there, and different cats like different ones. There are scented versions, different granule sizes, different base materials… the list goes on and on! You may have to do some experimenting to find a litter type that your cat enjoys using. Ask your veterinarian for help.

Negative Association

If your cat was startled or injured while using a litterbox early on in life, she may associate negative things with the litterbox now. This kind of issue might take the help of a professional animal behaviorist or trainer to correct; ask your vet to put you in touch.

For help with your cat’s bathroom habits, call your Roanoke, VA vet.

Doggy Dental Woes

Do your dog’s affectionate puppy kisses make you cringe? If so, your canine buddy may need his choppers checked. Bad breath is often a sign of doggy dental trouble! Read on as a Roanoke, VA vet discusses dental problems in dogs.

Common Issues

Fido can develop a wide variety of dental issues. Gum disease is a common one. In fact, over 80 percent of adult dogs have some form of this disease! This is quite concerning, because gum disease can cause or contribute to many different health troubles, such as heart disease. Your pooch can also suffer from cracked, broken, or misaligned teeth; abscesses; infections; and other dental problems.

Symptoms

Fido can’t tell you if his teeth are bothering him, so it’s up to you to watch for warning signs. As mentioned above, bad breath is a common one. Some other red flags are tartar buildup; swelling; bleeding gums; and stringy, bloody, or excessive drool. There are also some behavioral cues to watch for, such as grumpiness, reduced interest in play, and lack of appetite. Fido may also take longer eating, and may shy away if you try to touch his mouth.

Doggy Dental Care

As with many things pet-related, when it comes to caring for your pup’s teeth, an ounce of prevention is worth several pounds of cure. One of the best things you can do is get your canine pal accustomed to getting his teeth brushed. At first, just rub Fido’s teeth and gums with your finger. Next, add some doggy toothpaste. (We know, this is kinda icky, but it’s just for training purposes.) The next step is to start using a pet toothbrush. If your furry buddy won’t sit still long enough to get his teeth cleaned, you can still help keep his mouth healthy by offering him dental-formula treats and chews. Making sure your pooch always has clean water and suitable chew toys is also important.

Treating Dental Problems

We recommend getting your canine companion’s teeth checked at least once a year. In between appointments, watch for potential symptoms. Contact your vet immediately if you notice anything amiss. Doggy dental woes are always handled on a case-by-case basis, once a diagnosis has been made. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you know or suspect that your dog has dental issues? Contact us, your Roanoke, VA pet clinic, today. We’re happy to help!