4 Easy Ways to Give Your Pet a Shiny Coat

A soft, shiny coat is not only great for cuddling, it’s also a sign that your pet is healthy from the inside out. As pets age, however, their coats may become dry and lackluster, and you might wonder what you can do to get the sparkle back. The good news is that there are definitely some easy steps you can take to improve the appearance of your four-legged friend’s coat and keep them looking and feeling their best.

Keep in mind, however, that a dull, dry, or thinning coat can also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Be sure to consult your veterinarian if your pal is looking a little rough around the edges.

Here are 4 easy ways to give your pet a shiny coat.

1. Good Nutrition For a Shiny Coat

shiney-coat-blog-1

The quality of a pet’s coat has a lot to do with good nutrition. Your pet should be eating a high-quality, well-balanced diet rich in proteins and nutrients, including Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids work to promote shine and reduce shedding. Many pet foods contain Omega-3s, but you can also give your pet fish oil supplements. Just be sure to check with your veterinarian before starting your pet on any new diet or supplement.

2. Brush Your Pet’s Coat Frequently

shiney-coat-blog-2

Brushing your dog every day is best, but if you can’t commit to the daily routine, brushing at least a few times a week should do the trick. Brushing not only removes tangles, prevents the formation of mats, and removes dirt and debris between washings, it also helps to distribute your pet’s natural skin oils over their body, which makes for a smooth and shiny coat.

3. Wash Your Pet, But Not Too Often

shiney-coat-blog-3

How often a pet needs to be bathed varies from breed to breed. Some pets need monthly washes, while others can go several months without getting a scrub down. Ask your veterinarian or a groomer how often you should be bathing your furry friend, and stick to that schedule (unless of course your pet gets particularly dirty). Just keep in mind that bathing your pet too frequently could strip them of valuable skin oils that are essential for a shiny coat.

When do you bathe your pet, only use a high quality shampoo formulated for cats or dogs, and for extra softening, follow with a soothing conditioner.

4. Protect Your Pet’s Coat

shiney-coat-blog-4

Fleas, ticks, other parasites, and allergies can irritate your pet’s skin, cause them to scratch, and wreak havoc on their lovely coat. Protect your pet from fleas and ticks with a monthly preventative, and if you ever notice persistent itching or scratching, contact your veterinarian; they may want to test for parasites or allergies.

How do you achieve a shiny coat for your pet? Leave a comment and tell us about it, and to get wholesale prices on flea and tick preventatives, healthy coat supplements, and a wide range of other medications, sign up for PetPlus!

Read More...

How to Choose a Dog Shampoo

The shampoo aisle at the pet store is not unlike the shampoo aisle at the drugstore. There are tons of brands to choose from, various formulas, numerous scents, and lots of promises. While it might seem like choosing a shampoo at random is the easiest way to go, the truth is that the shampoo you choose for your dog does matter.

So how can you choose the right dog shampoo for your furry friend?

1. Evaluate Your Dog’s Skin

Healthy fur comes from healthy skin, so the first step in choosing a dog shampoo should be evaluating your pup’s skin. Is their skin normal? Greasy? Dry? Flaky? Itchy? Does it have a funky odor? When it doubt, ask your veterinarian to take a look at your pet’s skin and give you the rundown. This will help you start zeroing in on a good dog shampoo.

RELATED STORY: DIY Dog Dry Skin Treatment (And Handy Medications)

2. Evaluate Your Dog’s Coat

Some dogs have smooth, silky fur. Other dogs have coarse, curly hair. Some dog fur is prone to tangling and mats, while others is greasy to the touch. Feel your dog’s fur, and ask your veterinarian for their opinion. You’ll be one step closer to choosing a dog shampoo.

RELATED STORY: The Causes of Dog and Cat Dandruff

3. Consider Your Options

Once you’ve evaluated your dog’s skin and coat, you can take a look at different shampoo choices for your dog’s particular pampering needs:

If your dog’s skin and coat are normal: Choose a basic cleansing shampoo, like Perfect Coat’s Tearless Dog Shampoo. A basic cleansing shampoo will clean the coat, strengthen it, and leave your dog smelling fresh.

If your dog’s skin or coat is dry/itchy: Choose a soothing shampoo, like Veterinary Formula Soothing & Deodorizing Oatmeal Shampoo. A soothing shampoo will clean and moisturize the skin and coat without stripping skin oils. Most soothing shampoos contain emollients that increase moisture in the skin, as well as soothing ingredients such as oatmeal, Vitamin E, aloe vera, and fatty acids. If your dog’s dryness or itching is severe, your veterinarian may recommend a medicated shampoo such as Epi-Soothe Oatmeal Shampoo.

If your dog’s skin or coat is greasy/oily: Choose a shampoo specially formulated to remove excess sebum and grease from the skin and coat, like Ark Naturals Neem Protect Shampoo. In severe cases, your veterinarian may recommend a medicated shampoo such as Pyoben, which removes secretions from the coat and flushes grease from the hair particles.

If your dog’s coat gets tangled: Use a 2-in-1 shampoo and condition, like Fresh n’ Clean’s 2-in-1 Oatmeal Conditioning Shampoo, or a soothing shampoo followed by a conditioner, like Richard’s Organics Nourishing Conditioner. Just remember that matted fur is not easy to detangle even after a conditioner is used, so brush your dog’s fur before bathing them and cut out problem mats.

What shampoo do you use on your dog, and why? Leave a comment and let us know. And to save 20% on dog shampoo, sign up for PetPlus! PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at PetPlus.com.

Read More...

How To Build a Dog Dental Care Kit

Dog dental care

There’s no time like the present to start a dog dental care routine. Ideally, you should be brushing your dog’s teeth every day to prevent bad breath and tartar buildup, which can lead to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is serious; it not only causes your dog pain, it can also affect organ and body functions. And because it’s irreversible, prevention is the best you can do.

So how can you start a dog dental care routine? Build a kit filled with everything you’ll need to care for your dog’s teeth, from toothbrushes and toothpaste to products that promote dental health.

1. Toothbrush and Toothpaste

These are the most important items in your dental care kit. You’ll want to select a toothbrush with an angled tip that makes it easy to reach the back of your dog’s mouth, or a rubber finger brush that fits over your finger (many dogs more easily accept a finger brush than an actual toothbrush). With Nylabone’s Advanced Oral Care Kit, you can try both for $8 if you’re a PetPlus member. The kit also includes a peanut butter flavored toothpaste, and dogs go crazy for the stuff. You should never use human toothpaste on a dog as it could be toxic; stick to toothpastes intended for furry friends, and choose a flavor that will make brushing time fun.

RELATED STORY: How to Brush a Dog’s Teeth

2. Mouthwash

Want to give your dog dental care routine a leg up? Incorporate a mouthwash, like C.E.T. Aquadent, which is formulated by veterinary dental specialists. A mouthwash helps to whiten your dog’s teeth, freshen their breath, and even removes plaque and tartar buildup. All you have to do is add a small amount to your dog’s water every day and bingo! Your dog won’t taste it, but you’ll notice the difference in their teeth. Brushing + mouthwash = dental disease one-two punch.

3. Dental Treats

It’s great to reward your dog with a treat every once in a while, but when you do, you should consider giving a treat that has health benefits. Greenies are easily digestible, toothbrush-shaped dental chews that freshen your dog’s breath and have a textured surface to remove plaque and tartar. And they really work (I’ve tried them on my dog). Unfortunately, Greenies are pretty expensive. But with a PetPlus membership, they can cost a lot less — 46% less in fact. They make a great addition to a dog dental care kit.

RELATED STORY: My Dog’s Breath Smells! What Should I Do?

4. Dental Dog Food

While any dog can develop periodontal disease, some breeds — such as brachycephalic breeds with flat faces and small and toy breeds with tiny mouths — are most at risk. Ask your veterinarian if you should be feeding your dog a food that promotes dental health, such as Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dental Dry Dog Food. The texture and shape of the food helps to “brush” the surface of the teeth while your dog eats, sodium tripolyphosphate helps to reduce plaque buildup, and minerals improve digestive function, which can affect dental health.

What’s in your dog dental care kit? Leave a comment and let us know, and if you need to stock up, consider signing up for PetPlus. PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at PetPlus.com.

Read More...

Top 5 Reasons to Take Your Pet to Their Annual Vet Visit

Some pet parents may wonder if the annual vet visit is really worth the time and the cost. The short answer? Yes! Your pet’s annual vet visit plays a big role in maintaining their overall health, and can go a long way in preventing and treating diseases before they become serious or expensive.

So what are the top 5 reasons to take your pet to an annual vet visit? Let’s take a look.

1. A Thorough Once-Over

Your pet’s annual vet visit gives your veterinarian an opportunity to thoroughly examine your pet, from head to paw. Many pets hide symptoms of illness and injury (cats especially are famous for staying quiet when they’re unwell), but your veterinarian knows what to look for, and how. Your vet will feel your pet’s body, coat, and skin, check their ears, nose, mouth, and eyes, and listen to their heart and lungs. They will also take your pet’s temperature, weigh them, and may carry out blood tests. A thorough once-over not only allows your vet to make sure that all parts are in working order, it also gives your vet a chance to detect problems before they become serious or costly to treat.

2. Vaccination Boosters

Vaccines keep pets protected from certain diseases, and after your pet’s initial doses, they may require boosters to keep the vaccines effective. Most pets require 2-4 boosters per year and receive them at their annual vet visit; if you slack on making an appointment, you are putting your pal at risk. Don’t wait!

RELATED STORY: All About Vaccinating Your Dog

3. Heartworm Test and Fecal Exam

These are two important tests that your pet will undergo at the annual vet visit. The heartworm test is a blood test that checks for heartworm disease, which is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by parasitic worms. A fecal exam checks for gastrointestinal parasites that could harm your pet (and in some cases, you) if left untreated.

4. Additional Services

Some pets may require additional services at their annual vet visit, such as dental cleaning if your vet notices signs of dental disease, or allergy testing if you mention that your pet has been itching, scratching, or rubbing their face. The annual vet visit is the perfect time to cover all the bases and take care of outstanding issues.

RELATED STORY: Symptoms of Allergies in Cats and Dogs

5. Opportunity to Ask Questions

Maybe you’ve been wondering if your cat sleeps too much or if your dog’s food is right for them. While you should always contact your veterinarian if you have questions about your pet’s health or habits, many pet parents wait when the question doesn’t seem pressing. The annual vet visit is a great time to bring in a list of questions and talk to your veterinarian candidly about your pet’s routines, behaviors, and nutrition. You might end up with answers that can help your pet live a happier, healthier life.

What are you waiting for? Contact your veterinarian now to schedule your furry friend’s next appointment. And if you want to save 25% on vet visits, sign up for PetPlus! Find out more at PetPlus.com.

Read More...

3 Reasons Your Dog’s Heartworm Medication Could Save Its Life

Some pet parents are under the impression that the less medications they give their pet, the better. After all, haven’t wolves survived in the wild for thousands of years without being fussed over with pills and other treatments? The truth is that on average, wolves have shorter lifespans than domesticated dogs as a result of injuries, diseases, and parasites, many of which we are lucky enough to be able to prevent in our four-legged friends.

One of conditions that we can prevent in our pets is heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is a life-threatening condition caused by parasitic worms that are transmitted via mosquito bites. If you live in a colder climate or one with fewer mosquitos, you might wonder if it’s really worth it to protect your dog. The American Heartworm Society says that yes, all pets should be protected regardless of where they live.

But why, exactly? Here are 3 good reasons to give your dog heartworm medication.

1. Heartworm Disease is Life-Threatening

Heartworms reside in the pulmonary arteries of pets and in later stages of the disease they can migrate to the lungs and other organs, causing serious damage. Without prompt treatment, your dog may exhibit breathing issues (such as coughing and shortness of breath), inactivity, loss of oxygen (which can cause collapse), and permanent and irreversible organ damage.

In some cases a dog will die suddenly without exhibiting any symptoms, but in others the disease can progress over several years and the dog may eventually succumb to heart failure, blood clots, bleeding in the lungs, or other some other complication. This is no way for Fido to go, especially if it can be prevented by giving your dog heartworm medication.

2. Treating Heartworm Disease Is More Expensive Than Giving Your Dog Heartworm Medication

Preventing heartworm disease is much safer and much less costly than treating it, especially if you are using a prescription savings plan like PetPlus. For example, protecting your dog with Heartgard could cost as little as $4 a month, whereas treatment for the disease can cost anywhere from $400-$1,000 according to the American Animal Hospital Association.

3. Many Heartworm Medications Also Prevent Other Parasites

Aside from heartworms, there are other parasites that can enter your dog’s body and cause serious complications. In some cases, our dogs may even be able to pass these nasty parasites on to us — eek! Fortunately, many heartworm medications also protect dogs from other parasites, such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms, and fleas.

Did you know that you can save 25% on vet visits? Join PetPlus today for that and savings on all of your pet’s medication. Click here to find out more.

Read More...

Got a Dog That Won’t Quit? 4 Handy Tips to Get Them to Stop Jumping

Get your dog to stop jumping

Does your dog leap up for a hello when you walk through the front door? Do guests sometimes get knocked over when they stop by for a visit? Are the neighbors used to being greeted with two paws on their shoulders? If so, it’s probably time to teach your dog to stop jumping.

A jumping dog isn’t only annoying, they also aren’t showing you much respect, which means that they probably don’t see you as the pack leader. And you should be the pack leader if you want a well-balanced and obedient dog.

So how can you teach your dog to stop jumping? Here are 4 easy steps.

1. Assert Yourself as the Pack Leader

Whether you’re trying to teach your dog to stop jumping, to stop pulling ahead on walks, or to simply follow commands, you need to be the pack leader. The pack leader is calm, focused, and confident, they stand straight up and walk with their eyes forward, and they give cues — they don’t take them. Establishing yourself as the pack leader will make teaching your dog to stop jumping a lot easier.

RELATED STORY: How to Handle 6 Common Dog Behavior Problems

2. Don’t Encourage Jumping

If you greet your dog with a loud, animated voice and lots of affection when you arrive home, you’re encouraging excited behavior, which often includes jumping. The same is true for guests who come over or people who greet your dog when you’re out on a walk. When you arrive home, keep calm, and ask your guests and those greeting your dog to do the same.

3. Make Your Dog “Sit” Before They Can Say Hello

Your dog knows that if they jump on you or someone else, they’re going to get attention, whether it’s positive or negative (in the moment, it doesn’t make much difference to the dog). But you can teach your dog that there is another way to get attention: by sitting nicely. Teach your dog the “sit” command, and when you come home or have guests over, make your dog sit before anyone is allowed to pet them or give them attention. When your dog sits make sure you reward them with a treat and plenty of praise.

RELATED STORY: How to Calm Down a Dog

4. The Right Kind of Punishment

Jumping isn’t always about excitement or asserting dominance; sometimes it’s a way to release anxious energy. And yelling at your dog or shoving them off can actually make the problem worse. If you want to get your dog to stop jumping while it’s happening, simply turn your back, look away from the dog, or leave the room without any fanfair. Ask your guests to do the same. Your dog should eventually learn that jumping only means they’ll be ignored, and that’s the last thing they want.

Does your dog jump? Or have you gotten your dog to stop jumping? Leave a comment and tell us about it, and consider signing up for PetPlus. PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at PetPlus.com.

Read More...

Back To School! Dog Classes to Take This Fall

Within the next few weeks, sleepy-eyed children will begin lining up at bus stops with shiny new backpacks and freshly sharpened pencils, ready for the start of a new school year. It’s an exciting time, but if you have kids and a dog, it can also be a confusing time for your four-legged friend.

Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety when their favorite playmates are suddenly missing every day, and you might notice some moping behavior. One way to get your dog back in good spirits? Sign them up for school, too! Dog classes not only offer mental and physical stimulation, they also teach important skills and provide an opportunity for socialization.

Here are three dog classes to consider for your pup this fall.

Basic Obedience Dog Classes

When it comes to dog classes, basic obedience is a must-do. In most classes, dogs learn important everyday commands like “sit,”“stay,”“down,” and “come” as well as loose-leash walking (“heel”) and impulse control. Many basic obedience classes also introduce ways to problem solve common issues, like chewing or jumping. Whatever basic obedience class you choose, just make sure that the trainers are certified and use a positive approach (versus one based on punishment). You may want to ask friends or family for recommendations, or check out your local AKC dog club.

RELATED STORY: 5 Steps to Dog Obedience Training

Canine Good Citizen Dog Classes

Have you ever thought that your dog might make a good therapy dog? Or perhaps you just want your dog to have good manners in your home, out in public, around other people, and other dogs? Then consider signing up for a Canine Good Citizen training class that will prepare you for the Canine Good Citizen test. The Canine Good Citizen test is a certification program through the AKC that evaluates dogs to determine if they are reliable family and community members. Each dog must pass a series of tests, including greeting a stranger, moving politely through a crowd, sitting politely for petting, being left with a stranger, and more. Once your dog passes, they will receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club. To find training classes in your area, visit the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Training/Testing page.

RELATED STORY: The Top 10 Dog Training Tips

Agility Training Dog Classes

You might be looking at your wrinkly Bulldog thinking, “agility training? Perhaps not…” But the truth is that any dog can take part in agility training, so long as they are healthy and the course and obstacles are appropriate for your dog’s size. Agility training is an active sport in which your dog follows your cues to move through an obstacle course of tunnels, poles, jumps, and more. It’s loads of fun, and great exercise too. To get started, find a local agility training group. To learn more, visit the AKC’s Agility Homepage.

Will you be signing up for any dog classes this fall? Leave a comment and let us know! And to have more money in your pocket to spend on classes, sign up for PetPlusPetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at PetPlus.com.

Read More...

How Much Do Dogs Sleep?

A sleeping dog is an adorable sight to behold, whether they are curled up in a furry ball or stretched out and displaying their warm little bellies. While it’s awfully cute to watch your fuzzy friend snooze away and twitch (dreaming of chasing squirrels, no doubt), some pet parents wonder if their dog is sleeping too much or not enough. We’ll take a look at how much dogs sleep so you can determine if your pal is catching the right amount of zzz’s.

How Much Should Dogs Sleep?

Dogs sleep a lot; most adult dogs sleep an average of 12 to 14 hours a day. Some small dogs sleep even longer hours, and some giant breeds get a lot of shuteye too; 17 hours a day is normal for Newfoundlands. Puppies also sleep a lot; they clock in at 18 to 20 hours of snooze time a day. And senior dogs may also require more sleep.

RELATED STORY: Senior Dog Care: Keeping Your Senior Pet Healthy

When Dogs Sleep Too Much or Too Little

If your dog is sleeping more than what’s normal, talk to your veterinarian. Many illnesses cause lethargy, so your dog’s excessive slumber may be a sign that they’re not feeling well.

On the other hand, if your dog isn’t getting enough sleep you might notice that they seem tired when they should otherwise be active (for example, on walks or while playing). Other signs that your dog may not be sleeping enough include sleepiness during the day but energy at night, needing to go outside for a bathroom break in the middle of the night, and waking up early in the morning.

Additionally, there are a number of sleep disorders that can affect how well your buddy snoozes, including insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, REM Behavior Disorder, and Limb Movement Disorder. Talk to your veterinarian if you’re worried that your dog isn’t getting the rest they deserve.

RELATED STORY: Create a Special Space For Your Dog

Tips To Help Dogs Sleep Better

If you suspect that your dog’s sleep habits are off, contact your veterinarian first so that they can check for any illnesses or sleep disorders. Additionally, there are things you can do to help your dog sleep better:

  • Make sure that your dog is getting the right amount of exercise (that means not too little and not too much). Talk to your veterinarian about an appropriate exercise routine for your particular pooch.
  • Offer your dog a cozy place to sleep that is free of distractions. Many dogs learn to love their crate and it becomes their sleep haven, while other dogs get used to a comfy dog bed. If your dog sleeps in bed with you, just make sure there is enough room for everyone; if you and your dog are disturbing each other at night, neither of you will be getting the sleep you need.
  • Get your dog on a routine. If you dim the lights and tell your dog to “go to bed” at the same time every night, their body clock will mostly likely get used to the schedule, and you’ll find your friend heading off to the dreamland when they should.

How much do your dogs sleep? Leave a comment and let us know, and try PetPlus, a new benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding and more.

Read More...

3 Common Shelter Dog Breeds to Adopt

Common shelter dog breeds: Pitbull

Thinking about getting a dog? Think about adopting! When you adopt you not only save a life, you also save money. Dogs adopted from shelters or rescue groups are much less expensive than those bought from pet stores or through breeders, and because most shelters take care of spaying/neutering and vaccinations, the initial health care costs will be less, too.

Of course, when you adopt a dog from a shelter you won’t necessarily get the “ideal” dog that you have in your mind: a perfectly pudgy French Bulldog puppy? A soft and fluffy Labradoodle? You might see these dogs at the shelter, but it’s not as likely as seeing one of the breeds below. These are the breeds that end up in shelters most often, for a variety of reasons, and well, they just don’t deserve it. If you’re a dog lover, consider loving one of the common shelter dog breeds below.

1. Pit Bull

Common shelter dog breeds: Pit Bull

These widely misunderstood dogs are perhaps the biggest populators of shelters across America. According to the ASPCA, 35% of shelters take in at least one Pit Bull a day, and in one out of four shelters, Pit Bulls make up more than 20 percent of the dog population. Why are there so many? The main reason is irresponsible breeding by individuals who are only interested in Pit Bulls for one of two reasons: fighting or protection. But these common shelter dogs are not inherently dangerous; with the proper training applied from a young age (just as you should with any other dog), they can be incredibly gentle, obedient, and friendly — and they are even great with children.

RELATED STORY: 10 Questions to Ask When Adopting a Dog

 

2. Chihuahua

Common shelter dog breeds: Chihuahua

It might be difficult to imagine someone kicking a tiny Chihuahua out of the house or dropping it off at the shelter, but in California alone, Chihuahuas make up about 30% of the shelter dog population. This is likely the result of unprepared owners who think that a small dog won’t be much work, and when they find out that taking care of a Chihuahua is not unlike taking care of a larger dog, they send it packing. Chihuahuas are strong-willed dogs who require a strong leader, but with the right training they can be fun, lively, and affectionate companions.

RELATED STORY: Bringing a Pet Home From an Animal Shelter

 

3. German Shepherd

germanshepherd

Like the Pit Bull, the German Shepherd is commonly purchased or adopted with a job in mind: protection. However, German Shepherds are intelligent, sociable dogs who crave companionship and require lots of stimulation. Many owners soon realize that they can’t just plunk their Shepherd down on the front porch and leave it to its own devices. Without proper training and exercise, these dogs can become destructive, and an undedicated owner may decide dropping them at the shelter is easier than putting in the work. This is especially unfortunate given that one of the German Shepherd’s greatest traits is loyalty.

What are the most common shelter dog breeds in your area? Leave a comment and let us know. And if you’re getting ready to adopt a pet, consider signing up for PetPlus! PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at PetPlus.com.

Read More...

5 Reasons to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

If you own a pet, you’ve probably heard by now that you should brush your pet’s teeth. Whether or not you’re actually doing it — well, that’s another story. Even pet parents with the best intentions slack on this important duty. Maybe you simply forget, or maybe you think you can get away with brushing just once a week — or eek — once a month. The truth is that you should brush your pet’s teeth daily. And if you understand the reasons why, chances are you’ll stick to that schedule.

So why should you brush your pet’s teeth?

1. To Prevent Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a very common and very serious problem in pets. Periodontal disease not only causes pain, abscesses, tooth loss, and infection, it can also impact the brain, heart, liver, kidney, lungs, skin, and joints. It’s an irreversible condition, so prevention is key.

RELATED STORY: 19 Products That Clean Dog and Cat Teeth

2. To Prevent Bad Breath

Some people think that bad breath — also known as halitosis — is normal in pets, but it’s not. If your pet has bad breath, something more serious is probably going on. While bad breath can result from a wide range of diseases, it is most commonly caused by a periodontal condition. Plaque mixes with saliva and bacteria to create one foul furry mouth. Brushing your pet’s teeth prevents the buildup of plaque, and thus bad breath. However, if brushing doesn’t seem to be keeping your pet’s bad breath at bay, contact your veterinarian.

3. To Prevent Pain

Periodontal problems can be incredibly painful for a pet, whether we’re talking about gum disease, gingivitis, abscesses, or broken teeth. And most pets don’t show it when they’re feeling dental pain; they just go on living with it. Pretty sad, right? To prevent your pal from feeling discomfort, keep up with regular brushing.

4. To Check For Problems

Brushing your pet’s teeth is a great opportunity to check for problems such as fractured or broken teeth, retained baby teeth, abnormally positioned teeth, and abnormal bite. These issues can all cause problems for a pet, so you should contact your veterinarian if you ever notice anything unusual while examining their mouth.

RELATED STORY: 5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Dog’s Dental Health

5. To Keep Their Teeth Looking Their Best

Most pets will exhibit some mild tooth discoloration as they age, but it’s possible to avoid heavily stained yellow, brown, or green (yes, green!) teeth with regularly brushings. Heavy staining is caused by bacteria found in plaque, and brushing helps to remove it.

Do you brush your pet’s teeth? Leave a comment and tell us your technique. And to keep your pet healthy, sign up for PetPlus. PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.

Read More...