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Dog with Tooth Brush

Podcast: Pet Dental Health

February is Pet Dental Health Month when dog and cat owners are reminded of the importance of brushing their four-legged friends’ teeth. The awareness event is sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), which says dental disease in one of the most common problems veterinarians see in pets.

Pet dental problems can become serious if untreated and dental infection can spread to the heart, kidneys and other organs, becoming a life-threatening condition for pets. Practicing good dental hygiene with your pets is the best prevention and AVMA recommends brushing at home and regular dental cleanings by your veterinarian. (more…)

Most Popular Dog Breeds (2014)

AKC Announces Most Popular Breeds

For the 24th consecutive year, the Labrador Retriever is big dog on the American Kennel Club’s list of most-popular U-S breeds. That’s the longest reign of any breed in the history of the AKC, which was founded in 1884.

Labradors are also among the most popular working dogs for search and rescue, guide and therapy work and hunting. They were initially bred to fetch game but they’re also sensitive family companions.  According to the AKC, Labs “make an excellent family companion with a natural tendency to form strong bonds with kids, an easy-to-care-for coat and minimal exercise needs.” The breed made it to the AKC top spot in the 1970’s and has been there ever since. (more…)


Podcast: Cold Weather Tips for Pets

Many breeds love to go outside in the winter but smaller dogs and those with little or no hair should have sweaters or coats to protect them from the weather. It’s important to pay close attention to your pet when outside in winter weather. If your pet is shivering, it’s probably time to go inside.

“Bitter cold can damage the lining of a dog’s respiratory tract, a problem for pets with heart or lung disease,” says Dr. Julia Georgesen of Blum Animal Hospital in Chicago. “Prolonged exposure can lead to hypothermia and frostbite, which usually occurs at the tips of ears and tails and is characterized by red or gray-tinged skin,” she says. If you suspect frostbite, never rub the affected areas and gently warm them up by immersing them in water – warm not hot – then seek medical attention. (more…)


No Tricks or Treats for Pets this Halloween

Pet parents who want to keep their felines from turning into scaredy-cats and keep their pooches out of the pet emergency room at the witching hour should follow some keep Halloween Safety Tips.

“The number one tip is to keep your pets away from the candy,” says Dr. Julia Georgesen of Blum Animal Hospital in Chicago. “Keep the candy up high and make sure your children don’t leave Halloween bags on the floor where pets can ingest candy and chocolate.”

Chocolate in all forms, especially dark chocolate or baking chocolate is very dangerous for dogs and cats. A key ingredient of chocolate is Theo bromine, which is similar to caffeine, and causes vomiting, restlessness, heart disturbances and even death. Candies containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol are also potentially deadly.  Xylitol drops glucose levels to dangerously low levels in pets causing weakness, seizures, and death. (more…)