Tired of Doggy Breath? Prevention Is Key to Protect Pets From Oral Disease

Your pet is a beloved family member. You buy him comfy pillows and squeaky toys, premium kibble and trips to the groomer. But if you’re like most pet owners, you’re neglecting a major part of your cat or dog’s medical care – his mouth.

Oral disease, including periodontal or gum disease, is the most common disorder in cats and dogs. The internal research team of Banfield, The Pet Hospital, supports findings that 68 percent of cats and 78 percent of dogs over the age of three display signs of oral disease, including bad breath, pain while chewing, weight loss, yellow teeth, red or swollen gums, missing teeth, nasal discharge or tearing or swelling below one eye. In advanced cases, gum disease can lead to bone infections.

Fleas and Ticks Pose Problems for Pets

<b>Fleas and Ticks Pose Problems for Pets</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – It happens every summer — your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, whether he is playing, hiking or camping, only to end up with swollen ticks on his ears or belly hours later. But parasites, such as fleas and ticks, are not just a summer menace. They can infect pets at any time.

Banfield Applied Research and Knowledge (BARK), Banfield Pet Hospital’s (www.banfield.net) internal research team, recently reviewed more than 2.2 million health records obtained from dog and cat visits in 2009. Fleas are the most common parasite in kittens under six months, middle-aged dogs and senior dogs and cats. Their research also shows that May is the peak season for ticks, and October is the peak season for fleas, making parasites an ongoing concern for pet owners.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Lyme disease, which is carried by ticks, is the most commonly reported vector-transmitted disease. And research suggests that dogs are twice as likely to develop Lyme disease as humans living in the same area.

Parasites are more than annoyances — they spread disease, not only to your pets, but to other members of your family as well. Fleas and ticks “are responsible for potentially severe allergic reactions, tapeworm infections and can cause severe anemia and death in young, sick or debilitated pets,” explained Jeffrey Klausner, DVM, MS, DACVIM, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Banfield.

Preventing fleas and ticks is a critical part of a pet’s health care, but pet owners should speak to their veterinarian before attempting treatments.

“Flea and tick preventive care products, like powders, sprays and spot-on treatments, offer varying degrees of efficacy and safety. Additionally, the huge number of products available can make selecting the proper preventive care product overwhelming to Pet owners,” said Karen Johnson, DVM, vice president and client advocate for Banfield.

Getting flea and tick products directly from your veterinarian helps ensure pet safety, as veterinarians instruct pet owners in proper dosage and application. Pet owners should also ask veterinarians about flea and tick products approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, such as FirstShield.

“At Banfield, preventive care is the cornerstone of our practice — that includes everything from routine vaccines and twice-annual comprehensive physical examinations to recommending the safest and most effective flea and tick preventive product that is right for the pet and their family,” said Johnson.

For more information, visit www.banfield.net.

Sweeten the Kitty: Tips for Easier Traveling with Pets

<b>Sweeten the Kitty: Tips for Easier Traveling with Pets</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – You look forward to your vacation, but leaving your furry friends behind is more than you can handle. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to bring your pets along for the ride.

There are plenty of pet -friendly lodging establishments, restaurants, and a slew of gear and other pet products that make traveling with Fido and Fluffy more comfortable. Consider trying the following tips before packing your pets’ travel bags:

* Plan ahead. Prepare to include your pets in the fun by making a list of the extra gear and supplies that you will need and any special reservations that you may require. Include food, litter, leashes, toys, beds, medications and pet carriers. Just to be safe, carry notes regarding your pet’s medical history and your veterinarian’s contact information.

* Have a practice round. If your pet is not used to car or plane travel, introduce him to the carrier prior to departure. Toss in a favorite toy or familiar object and take a spin around the block. Make sure that the carrier is airline-compliant and sturdy enough to make the trip.

* Travel green. Leaving home does not have to mean abandoning planet-friendly habits. Use biodegradable waste disposal bags when cleaning up after your pooch. If traveling with a cat, use a cat litter that offers odor control, clumping for easy clean-up and all-natural, flushable ingredients, such as World’s Best Cat Litter (www.worldsbestcatlitter.com).

* Keep moving. Just like humans, your pets need as much exercise away from home as they do in their own environment. Make sure you make plenty of stops along the way and allow every member of your family to stretch his or her legs and breathe fresh air. Once at your destination, include your pet in hikes, walks on the beach or a visit to a local park.

* Drink up. Make sure that your pet has access to clean water throughout your travels. A pet’s body is comprised of 80 percent water– proper hydration is key to good health at home and on the road.

* Have fun. Enjoy this extra-special time with your pet. Include him or her in your vacation photo album. Visit a local dog park. It’s likely that your pet will “introduce you” to new friends along the way.

Is Your Pet’s Bad Breath Dogging You?

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(NewsUSA) – Your pet is a beloved family member. You buy him comfy pillows and squeaky toys, premium kibble and trips to the groomer. But if you’re like most …

Is Your Pet’s Bad Breath Dogging You?

<b>Is Your Pet’s Bad Breath Dogging You?</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Your pet is a beloved family member. You buy him comfy pillows and squeaky toys, premium kibble and trips to the groomer. But if you’re like most pet owners, you’re neglecting a major part of pet medical care — their mouth.

Oral disease, which includes periodontal disease or gum disease, is the most common disorder in cats and dogs. The internal research team of Banfield, The Pet Hospital (www.banfield.net), supports findings that 68 percent of cats and 78 percent of dogs over the age of 3 display signs of oral disease, including bad breath, pain while chewing, weight loss, yellow teeth, red or swollen gums, missing teeth, nasal discharge or tearing or swelling below one eye. There are four stages of periodontal disease, starting with mild plaque and gingivitis and progressing to major gum recession and tooth loss.

Dogs and cats use their mouths like we use our hands, so dental disease can seriously affect their ability to eat and play. Worse, evidence suggests a link between gum disease and other serious health problems.

“Periodontal disease has also been associated with changes in a pets’ kidneys, liver and cardiac functions,” said Jeffrey Klausner, DVM, MS, DACVIM, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Banfield. “In short, unhealthy teeth can lead to an unhealthy pet in ways pet owners can’t imagine.”

Experts emphasize that prevention is the best medicine. For example, Banfield hospitals, most of which are located in PetSmart stores nationwide, include comprehensive dental care in two of their Optimum Wellness Plan options, which are packages of preventive care services. In addition to regular exams, Banfield recommends that pet owners brush their pets’ teeth every day, or at least two or three times a week. Feeding pets firm kibble can help slow down plaque formation, as can dental chew toys and dental-specific water additives.

“In addition to professional cleanings, our veterinarians are trained to provide a manageable at-home dental plan that pet owners can easily follow,” said Karen Johnson, DVM, vice president and client advocate for Banfield. “At Banfield, preventive care is the cornerstone of our practice — to us, proper dental care is just as important to the long-term health of a pet as routine vaccinations.”

For more information or to find a local Banfield hospital, visit www.banfield.net.

Helping Pet Owners and Pets “Go Green”

<b>Helping Pet Owners and Pets “Go Green”</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – You’ve switched from incandescent bulbs to low-wattage LEDs. You drive a hybrid and bring your own bags to the grocery store. You care about greenhouse gases and your carbon footprint, but what about your pet’s carbon pawprint? Is your pet living a green, eco-friendly life?

With just a few simple changes, you can make sure that your pet’s living green, too.

* Waste Management. Anyone who has ever had a pet knows that they create lots of waste. It is estimated that 10 million tons of waste from pets fill landfills yearly. What can you do? Instead of using plastic bags to pick up and dispose of your pet’s waste, try using recycled biodegradable pet poop bags.

If you have a cat, switch from a clay-based litter to a biodegradable litter, like World’s Best Cat Litter (www.worldsbestcatlitter.com). Not only will you be using a chemical-free, all-natural and flushable litter, but by switching to a biodegradable litter, you can cut down on the estimated 2 million tons of clay litter that end up in landfills per year.

* Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute. Always pick up after your pet and follow the backpacker’s motto of leaving only footprints. Leaving your pet’s waste behind is not only rude, it can pollute water sources when washed into the storm drains that empty into streams and lakes.

* Buy Green. Purchase pet beds, furniture and toys made from recycled or sustainable materials such as hemp. Environmentally friendly hemp can be used to make almost everything, like leashes, collars, beds and toys.

* Buy in Bulk. Buying pet food and pet supplies in bulk not only saves money, it also conserves fuel and lowers emissions by saving you extra trips to the store.

* Don’t Support Pet Overpopulation. Make sure your pet isn’t adding to the pet over-population problem, by having your pets spayed or neutered.

* Adopt. If you are thinking about adding to your family, think about getting a pet from the shelter. There are tons of “recycled pets” in need of good homes. While adopting one of these deserving pets may not lower emissions or save fuel, it can save a life.

By adopting these tips, you and your pet can live green and make the planet a better place.

Puppy Love Without Doggie Breath

<b>Puppy Love Without Doggie Breath</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Your dog loves to give you kisses, and while you appreciate the puppy love, you could do without the stinky breath. So, you switch your dog to dry food. You feed him dental biscuits. You even go through the messy process of brushing his teeth. And yet, you still have hold your breath every time he licks your face. What’s going on?

Believe it or not, your dog’s breath shouldn’t smell, and if it does, it’s time to think about your dog’s oral health.

Certain diseases, like diabetes or kidney disease, may cause bad breath in dogs. But most bad breath, or halitosis, occurs when bacteria infect the gums. If left unchecked, the bacteria can create gum disease or go through the gums into the bloodstream, thereby entering other parts of the body.

“Logically, improving the health of your pet’s teeth and gums will help eliminate the halitosis associated with bacterial infection,” says Dr. Jeffrey Hillman, D.M.D., Ph.D. and chief medical officer for Oragenics.

Eliminating bad breath -; and the harmful bacteria that cause it -; begins at home, with a consistent oral health program. But toothbrushing can be irksome for both pet and pet owner, and dental chews can’t reach every tooth surface. For this reason, Hillman, who has studied probiotics for 25 years, first at the Harvard-affiliated Forsyth Institute in Boston and then at the University of Florida, suggests that pet owners give their pets probiotics, or “good” bacteria.

The science behind probiotics is simple -; if your dog’s teeth are coated in good bacteria, there’s no room for bad bacteria to grow. “The good bacteria inhibit the growth of the damaging bad bacteria, leading to better breath,” explains Hillman.

Hillman created ProBiora3, a special blend of oral probiotics that replenish specific “good bacteria” in the mouth. These beneficial bacteria freshen breath and whiten teeth through the natural release of low-level hydrogen peroxide.

ProBiora3 is available to pets in a grooming aid called Teddy’s Pride. You simply sprinkle the probiotics on your pet’s food once daily. Because it’s easy to administer, you’ll have no problem sticking to the program. Teddy’s Pride won’t change the taste, texture or odor of your pet’s kibble — your dog will happily lap it up. And when he kisses you in appreciation, you won’t have to hold your breath or turn away.

For more information, visit www.ForTeddysPride.com.

Good Nutrition for the Whole Family, Even the Four-Legged Members

<b>Good Nutrition for the Whole Family, Even the Four-Legged Members</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – These days, people consider their pets a part of the family, so it is important for them to be cared for in the same way. With more than two-thirds of people consuming foods with proactive nutrients each month, it’s only natural that dog owners would want to provide their dogs with the same nutritional advantages they provide for themselves.

Seeing that health-conscious pet owners want to supply their dogs with extra nutrients, Pedigree brand dog food has developed the Pedigree+ line. The new wet dog food brings together the taste dogs love with the functional benefits that help them live longer, healthier lives. Enhanced with nutrients such as Omega 3 fatty acids, whole grains, which are natural sources of glucosamine and antioxidant-rich ingredients for healthy immunity, are added to six special recipes, each tailored to meet a specific health and wellness need for your dog.

“At Pedigree, we pride ourselves on providing dog owners with the best and most innovative products available,” said Anne Herrington, marketing director of Pedigree Wet. “Everything we do is a result of our love of dogs so we’re excited to do our part to help prolong the human-animal relationship, and we know that good nutrition is a key part of that.”

The six varieties of Pedigree+ aim to provide proactive support for many common canine concerns such as joint health, weight maintenance and healthy digestion. Dogs will experience the benefit from the powerhouse of nutrients not only in the longterm, but even in as little as four weeks, thanks to recipes geared toward healthy joints, healthy immunity, healthy hearts, healthy digestion, healthy skin and coats and healthy weight.

The new recipes are scientifically based on specialized research developed by the Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition. As an authority on pet care and nutrition, it encompasses the expertise of respected veterinarians, nutritionists, universities and breed organizations throughout the world.

“We understand that feeding your dog goes beyond what you put in his bowl; we created Pedigree+ to be a mealtime solution that nourishes from the inside out,” commented Herrington.

Find the right food for your dog by using the Food Finder tool at www.DogsRule.com.

Pets in Small Packages: Keep Your Littlest Friend Safe

<b>Pets in Small Packages: Keep Your Littlest Friend Safe</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As companies downsize their workforce, Americans are also downsizing their dogs.

Labrador retrievers remain America’s number-one dog, but dogs under 20 pounds are enjoying increased popularity. Yorkshire Terriers, Beagles, Boxers, Dachshunds, Bulldogs, Poodles and Shih Tzus all make the American Kennel Association’s (AKC) list of top 10 dog breeds.

Small dogs can require less food, less space and less exercise than larger canine companions, making them a perfect fit for the busy homeowner who wants a lap animal to cuddle.

Of course, small dogs come with their own challenges. The great outdoors, for example, presents a greater hazard to Chihuahuas than to Great Danes. In April 2009, one 6-pound Chihuahua puppy made the news when she was reunited with her owners after being blown away by a 70-mile-per-hour wind.

Luckily, most small-pet problems prove more mundane. Small pets can squeeze through fences that would stop larger animals. Areas like pools can pose threats — a very small pet might not be able to climb from the pool.

But as small pets become more popular, American pet care companies are creating products to keep tiny companion animals safe. For example, Invisible Fence Brand recently launched its MicroLite Computer Collar, which weighs in at just 1 ounce. The collar is so light, it’s great for dogs and cats, small and large alike.

The collar works with a fencing and training system. Invisible Fence Brand collars alert pets with a warning tone when they’re about to leave a boundary set by their owner. Unlike traditional fences, Invisible Fence systems can go through rocky terrain and wooded areas and under water. Pet owners can use the system to section off their driveways, pools or gardens or specific rooms in their home, as well the perimeter of their yard.

For more information, visit www.InvisibleFence.com.

Tips to Keep Kitty Healthy, Happy

<b>Tips to Keep Kitty Healthy, Happy</b>“></td>
<p>(<a   href=NewsUSA) – Cats are low-maintenance, attractive pets. They’re warm, they’re soft, their purrs sound soothing, and nothing looks cuter curled up on a windowsill. No wonder Americans keep more pet cats than any other nation.

But taking care of a cat can be more involved than some people may think. Medical problems, for example, catch many cat owners off guard. And while cats do not need the level of attention that dogs require, they do need grooming and physical activity.

Here are some tips to keep your kitty in the best health possible:

– Keep your cat indoors. Going outdoors puts cats at risk — they can encounter dogs or wild animals, cars, fleas and ticks or other cats, who may carry contagious diseases. Worse still, domestic cats can decimate local songbird populations. For the health of the planet, as well as your cat, it’s best to keep cats indoors. Outfit your cat with a collar and an ID tag in case it slips outside.

– Get your cat spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering can help protect your pet from certain cancers, while also helping the problem of cat overpopulation.

– Choose the best food possible. Many inexpensive cat foods contain plant-based fillers and low-quality meat. Cats were meant to eat an extremely high-protein diet, so look for organic brands of cat food that do not contain chemicals or fillers. Always supply fresh water.

– Keep kitty away from toxins. Don’t choose kitty litters that contain dubious chemicals. Instead, choose a biodegradable, flushable, septic-safe cat litter, like World’s Best Cat Litter (www.worldsbestcatlitter.com). The cat litter is made from whole-kernel corn and controls odors and clumps better than other litters. The litter doesn’t contain silica dust, making it an ideal choice for people and pets with allergies.

– Take your cat to the vet for regular check-ups. Catching potential problem areas before disease develops can extend your cat’s life.

– Provide entertainment and exercise. Buy safe, natural-fiber toys. A string or a pointed flashlight can give cats activity. You should also consider providing pots of grass and scratching posts.