Air Travel Tips and Information

Air Travel Tips

If traveling with your pet is not an option, let them have a staycation with us. Whether it’s one night, one week, or more, your dog will enjoy our clean and comfortable facilities. We provide supervised and loving care around the clock. While you are away we will closely monitor your pet, ensuring his or her comfort and health. We have a veterinarian on premises 24 hours a day for boarding supervision, and can accommodate special medical boarding requests.

Rain, sunshine, sleet or snow, our kennel attendants walk each dog individually 3 – 5 times per day, just like you would at home. Our expert groomer, Gracia, is also available to give your pets the spa treatment with a full grooming before they go home. Call us today to book your space.

University Animal Hospital

(212) 288-8884

354 East 66th Street

New York, NY


Praise Outranks Treats For Dogs | University Animal Hospital NYC

According to ScienceMag a recent study strongly indicated that dogs might actually prefer the praise of their owners over treats. Despite the long-standing use of treats and food by us ‘Hoomans’ to help train our canine companions it would appear that the positive reinforcement of a belly rub or a pat on the head is actually more effective in melting most of your fuzzy children’s hearts.

In the first half of the study (soon to be published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience) the brain activity of fifteen canines was monitored by researchers. After being shown a toy car the canines were then praised by their respective owners. Later, they were each given toy horses with a piece of hot dog. Of the fifteen dogs in the study thirteen exhibited a greater or equal response in the area of the brain associated with reward and decision-making when the reinforcement was praise from their owner vs. food/treats.

The second half of the experiment positioned the dogs at the start of a maze that forked in two directions. One led to a bowl of food and the other led the dog to his or her owner. Most of the dogs chose their owner over the food bowl. The dogs who chose the food were the same subjects who favored treats in the first half of the study indicating that some dogs are just food motivated.

Of course fifteen is not a large enough sample size to reach absolute conclusions but it gives us further understanding of the nature of the dog/owner relationship. The affection does appear to go both ways.

There are always skeptics who question the ability of our furry children to truly reciprocate the feelings of love we have for them but anyone who has returned to their dog from a long absence knows the reaction of their furry child. It’s pure excitement and joy. Watch this dog after he is reunited with his owner after being stolen from him two years before.

So dogs prefer praise. What about Cats?

Are cats on the same level as the canine companions we love so dearly or do they merely tolerate our existence in exchange for food? The latter is apparently much more likely if another recent study is any indication.

In February of 2016 BBC2 broadcast Cats V. Dogs, a television documentary that explored this question by measuring the level of oxytocin in cats and dogs. Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain when we feel an attachment to someone or something. Oxytocin levels in humans rise by up to 60% when we see someone we love.

Researchers tested saliva samples from ten cats and ten dogs before and after playing with their owners for a ten minute period. The dogs showed an increase of 57.2% after the playful interaction with their owners. For cats it was just 12%. In fact, only 50% of the cats tested showed any rise in their oxytocin levels at all. Moo (from the video below) appears to be the exception to the rule.

Again, these small sample sizes can’t back up definitive conclusions but they do seem to support the notion that most of our cats view us as food dispensers above anything else. Compared to dogs they appear to be fairly indifferent to us. As someone who has had multiple cats and multiple dogs I don’t think these theories are too far from the truth. Do I think my cats have loved me on the same level that my dogs have? Maybe — but who can be sure? Look at those glares…


This doesn’t look like satisfaction…


Maggie’s ‘friendliest’ expression. Seriously.





Summer Heat Solutions for Cats and Dogs| University Animal Hospital NYC

The summer heat in New York City is really kicking into high gear. With record heat waves scorching the city and making all of us reconsider even stepping outside there are some that feel the effects of the harsh sun’s rays far worse than we do — our furry children. Both cats and dogs are at risk of overheating as our city roasts like a rotisserie chicken. Cats typically because they’re confined inside baking apartments or homes that often lack suitable air-conditioning when owners are not present and dogs because they’re walking in the intense heat — lacking a sufficient way of naturally cooling themselves.

Dogs are particularly susceptible to the effects of the heat. Heatstroke for canines is dangerous and likely when dealing with temperatures over 100 degrees. Dogs do not sweat through their skin like we do so the heat is much more uncomfortable and dangerous for them. I just read an article this morning about a police dog in Texas that died in the line of duty from heatstroke while pursuing a suspect. It’s a real threat and something people sometimes overlook or forget about. Signs of heatstroke to look out for include: excessive panting (a natural way dogs cool themselves down), drooling, increased salivation, restlessness and other signs of agitation. There are, fortunately, actions pet owners can take in order to help with the dangerous heat that might make these summer months a bit safer for your fuzzy child.

Many people have taken to carrying around a spray bottle when they walk their dog in order to give a relieving cool mist on the face or belly. Consider carrying a collapsible water cup and water to decrease the risk of potential dehydration. Look into obtaining booties to protect his or her pads on the hot pavement and sidewalks. It may seem odd to look at but have you wondered what it might feel like to go barefoot on the Manhattan streets in the blazing heat? Your dog isn’t too concerned with how he looks to strangers (you shouldn’t be either) and avoiding discomfort is probably much higher on his list of priorities.


If your dog is pad/paper trained you should think about foregoing outside walks until the heat has died down. If outside walks are necessary take shorter relief walks as opposed to the usual jog or hour-long strolls. Pay close attention to your dog’s behavior when out and about so you can be aware of significant discomfort or distress. If your dog lays down in the shade or grass perhaps it’s time to head back inside. Take frequent breaks and try to walk in shaded areas or on grass whenever possible.

Keep your home at a reasonable temperature even if you’re not there with your pet. People are often apprehensive about leaving the air-conditioner on when they aren’t home for fear of extreme electric bills. Keep the air conditioning at a level that’s safe for your stay-at-home pets but that won’t kill your energy bill. Make sure the water you leave out is cool and that the bowl is full. Consider dropping an ice cube in from time to time when you are home with them. Do not ever leave your dog in an unattended car for any period of time even if you think you’ll only be gone for a moment. In under ten minutes the inside of your car can reach temperatures of over 102 degrees so no amount of time in a car alone is acceptable or excusable.

The most important thing to remember is that your dogs and cats can’t verbalize the discomfort that the summer heat bestows upon them. It is up to you to keep your eyes and ears open and look for the signs of distress or overheating. Be alert and present when you’re taking your walks and pay attention to the tiny details that your dog is giving you. The dangers of the heat are too great to risk and you know your fuzzy child is worth it.


International Pet Travel | University Animal Hospital NYC

Last year I posted about some of the nightmares that can come out of the process of international pet travel. With the summer months here I thought it was a good time to revisit the topic. For starters, international pet travel can be a complicated scenario.

Beyond all the stresses you have with traveling suddenly you are required to have documentation that’s specific to the country where you are going. This documentation might require proof of certain blood tests, proof of rabies vaccination by a specific time-frame, microchip information. It’s a hassle and there’s no getting around it. Importing your pet into another country means you are at the mercy of that particular country’s rules and regulations for pet transport.

International Pet Travel – France

For reference, let’s take a look at France and their requirements for importing a cat or dog.

Pet dogs, cats, and ferrets exported to a Member State of the European Union (EU) must be identified with a microchip compatible with ISO standard 11784 or 11785.  If a microchip does not comply with ISO standards, the appropriate microchip reader must accompany the pet.  Alternately, if a non-ISO compatible microchip was implanted, and the client is unable to travel with a microchip reader, then the accredited veterinarian can implant an ISO-compatible microchip.  The location and implant dates of both microchips must be documented on the health certificate.

Microchip implantation (whether ISO-compatible or not) must occur prior to or on the same day as rabies vaccination.  A rabies vaccination given prior to microchip implantation is considered invalid.  If the valid rabies vaccination expires before the booster is given, then the pet must be revaccinated. In both situations, the new vaccination is now considered to be the “primary vaccination.”  After a primary vaccination, the pet must wait 21 days before being eligible to enter the EU.

Rabies vaccination is not required for pet dogs, cats and ferrets under 12 weeks (3 months) of age.  Note that some EU Member States do not allow import of unvaccinated pets. Import of unvaccinated pets under 12 weeks of age must be authorized by the EU Member State. The exporter should contact the animal health authorities in the Member State for authorization, and documentation of authorization should be attached to the export certificate.  All dogs, cats and ferrets over the age of 12 weeks must be vaccinated for rabies.

Pet dogs, cats, and ferrets returning to the EU after traveling to the United States may be accompanied by an EU Pet Passport issued prior to leaving the EU. If a pet requires echinococcus treatment for travel to the UK, Ireland, Finland, Malta or Norway, the treatment may be entered in the Passport by an accredited veterinarian. An EU health certificate issued in the United States is not required, and APHIS should not endorse the Passport. If an animal needs a rabies booster while in the United States, this information cannot be entered into the EU Passport by a US veterinarian. A regular EU health certificate must be issued by the U.S. accredited veterinarian and endorsed by APHIS.

Does that seem a little complicated? It is. Fortunately the doctors here are experts at handling these documents and all of the treatments your fuzzy child might need in order to travel to the country of your choice. We handle hundreds of international health certificates each year and we take on the stress so you don’t have to.

No matter where you travel you will need an international health certificate from a USDA certified veterinarian (all of the doctors at University Animal Hospital are USDA certified) stating that your pet is healthy and fit for travel. Many countries in Europe use a standard form for this but in some cases there are specific papers required for a specific country. Just a tip — don’t be fooled by websites trying to sell you these documents for a fee. They can usually be obtained from the USDA website free of charge.

Beyond that there could be any number of requirements depending on the country of your destination. If you plan to travel with your pet call us to make an appointment with one of our expert veterinarians to take the stress away.

Cost Effective Heartworm Products | University Animal Hospital NYC

If you have or have ever had a dog then chances are you have heard about heartworm disease before. What exactly is this disease and how can I keep your dog from getting it? Preventative care is your best solution to fight heartworm disease. There are a handful of reputable products currently available to protect your furry child from this potentially fatal disease. Between Sentinel, Heartgard and Interceptor and the cost effective pricing available at University Animal Hospital for these “once a month” medications there is no reason your pet should not be kept safe from these parasites.

Parasites!? What are we talking about here?

First let’s discuss what exactly heartworm disease is.

For dogs the disease is caused by long worms that reside in the lungs, associated blood vessels and the heart of affected pets. This can lead to severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other internal organs in your dog. These monsters can affect the quality of your dog’s life and his or her overall health even after the parasites are gone. Therefore prevention is the best option for maintaining your dog’s healthy status.

Dogs can develop heartworm disease by getting bit by a mosquito that has had contact with a heartworm infected mammal (which includes a large assortment of wild animals besides just dogs). Once bitten by an infected mosquito the larvae are deposited into the bite wound of the mosquito and over time mature into adult heartworms. These unwelcome intruders can live anywhere from five to seven years in dogs.


What might happen to your dog if he or she becomes infected?

Many dogs are asymptomatic at first but as time goes on they may develop lethargy, a mild but persistent cough, fatigue, weight loss and decreased appetite and heart failure. Dogs with large numbers of heartworms can develop a sudden blockages of blood flow within the heart leading to a life-threatening form of cardiovascular collapse.

Your dog should be tested annually for heartworm infection. This is a routine blood test that is necessary even if your pet is on preventative medication. Heartworm medications are highly effective, but dogs can still become infected. If you miss just one dose of a monthly medication—or give it late—it can leave your dog unprotected.

What about those cost effective heartworm products?

At University Animal Hospital we have a few different products we recommend to protect against heartworm disease.

1. Sentinel

This is a beef flavored pill you give your pet once a month. In addition to heartworm protection it also guards against hookworms, whipworms and roundworms. It controls fleas by preventing the development of flea eggs (it does not kill adult fleas, however). If you purchase twelve doses from University Animal Hospital you receive a rebate for $12.

$12 dollars off a pack of 12

$20 off a pack of 12, or $7 off a pack of 6

2. Heartgard

This is a flavored chew-able treat that is given once every month. Like Sentinel it guards against heartworm disease. It also protects against hookworms and roundworms. If your purchase from University Animal Hospital you receive a rebate for $12 off a pack of 12.

$12 off a pack of 12

$12 off a pack of 12

3. Interceptor

This is a once per month pill that protects against heartworm disease. It also treats and controls hookworms, roundworms and whipworms.


All of these protections are cost effective when factoring in how much they cover

If you have questions about heartworm disease or any of these products reach out to the staff of University Animal Hospital and we will help any way we can.

Cost Effective Flea and Tick Products | University Animal Hospital NYC

Do not let the recent cold temperatures fool you. Spring is right around the corner. Any day now people will be wearing sandals and tank tops and the heat wave will soon be upon us. With that comes an increased risk that your dog or cat might be interacting with the dreaded parasites. The flea and tick problem.

These little monsters are actually a year-round presence but they are far more prevalent in the warmer months of the year.

That is why it’s so important for your pet to be on monthly flea and tick preventative all year round.

Some of our clients at University Animal Hospital have downplayed the need for their pet to be on the flea and tick preventative. I’ve heard people say that fleas and ticks aren’t really an issue in Manhattan. This is simply not true.

Fleas can live up to a year without feeding. Ticks like to hang out on the tops of blades of grass waiting to grab onto unsuspecting warm-blooded beings. You don’t need to leave the city to encounter these creeps. You can find them in plenty of places in New York City. I’ve run into ticks in a few of my apartments in Queens over the last several years. Twice in the month of December.

The health concerns of your pet getting bit by a tick far outweighs any apprehension you should have about the medications. The products are very safe and very effective. It just depends where you get it from.

Many pet stores and online pharmacies sell generic flea and tick medication that can be very harmful to your pet. In the cases where they have the actual product and not a cheap knock-off they are getting them through third party suppliers and not the manufacturer or a licensed distributor. Since this product is coming from a third party seller there is a risk that it is not being shipped and stored based on the manufacturers recommendations. This can leave the product ineffective and potentially harmful to your pet. You don’t really know what you’re getting.

Fake Frontline Plus found on ebay can be very dangerous

Fake Frontline Plus found online

These online pharmacies also do not offer some of the rebates and freebies you get from buying the product from a licensed distributor (like University Animal Hospital.) In our case we’re able to offer two free additional doses of Frontline Plus when a client purchases a pack of six. In the case of Nexgard we’re able to offer a free month worth of the medication. With Bravecto there are rebate coupons available that helps keep the cost of the medication manageable. The net down price of the free goods we’re able to offer our clients often-times makes our product considerably less expensive than one you’re buying online.
There are three fantastic options for flea/tick preventative available at University Animal Hospital.

Frontline Plus

Topical options are effective.

What kind of flea and tick products are there?

1. Frontline Plus. Chances are you’ve tried this before or have at least heard of it. It’s a topical that is placed on the skin of your pet (between the shoulder blades) once every month. This is a highly effective treatment. If purchased from University Animal Hospital you can get 8 months for the price of 6.


Chew-ables are growing in popularity.

2. Nexgard. This is a once-a-month chew-able from the makers of Frontline that is just as effective — if not more.

Nexgard - Chew

It’ s a chew-able treat and thus there is no chance the medication will rub off on your hands or come off if your pet gets wet. It’s also beef flavored so dogs tend to love them. If purchased from University Animal Hospital you can get 7 months for the price of 6.

3. Braveco. Like Nexgard this is chew-able but it only needs to be given every three months. That’s just four doses a year. If you buy multiple doses the rebate amounts increase.

These items are also available for purchase through the University Animal Hospital Online Store

There’s really no reason you shouldn’t take measures to protect your dog or cat from these creatures. The cost of the medications is minor and the peace-of-mind they provide should be more than worth it. Trust me when I say you don’t want to have to treat your pet for Lyme disease if you don’t have to. Not to mention dealing with fleas is a burden I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy (okay, maybe I would but only because I have firsthand knowledge of how terrible it is). You’ll get that story next time

New Dog Flu Hits the City | University Animal Hospital NYC

The newest strain of dog flu to really begin impacting New York City dogs isn’t necessarily a new strain of the virus. This virus (know as H3N2 CIV) actually evolved from an avian flu and appeared in both South Korea and China nearly ten years ago. People may remember the virus being a big deal last March in Chicago when a wave of outbreaks were being reported. Since that time at least twenty-six states have reported cases.

It seems as though the virus is now showing signs of life in New York. A new vaccine is now available. This H3N2 flu vaccine is different from the H3N8 vaccine that has been protecting many NYC dogs over the last couple of years and you will need that particular vaccine to keep your dog protected. Neither vaccine can protect against both strains.

In most cases the symptoms include nasal discharge, fatigue, coughing and lack of appetite. The H3N2 virus is spreading more effectively than the H3N8 virus because some dogs do not exhibit symptoms and dogs stay contagious longer. That means an infected dog can be spreading the virus around while the owner is completely unaware there is any problem.

Social dogs are, of course, at a greater risk of infection. The dog flu virus is spread through air, contaminated surfaces (food and water bowls) and humans that have had contact with infected dogs. Boarding facilities, groomers, dog runs and apartment buildings that house many pets are all places that, if frequented, could put your furry child at more risk than others. It’s probably a good idea to avoid those stores or banks that have communal water bowls set out for dogs as well. Can you imagine drinking from a single cup of water that your bank left near the ATMs that several dozen strangers had used that day? I just pictured it and it made me queasy.

Though rare, the canine influenza virus can be deadly in some circumstances. Apparently fewer than ten percent of cases are fatal but that number isn’t minuscule by any means.

Is the dog flu worth vaccinating against or not?

At the very least it is worth discussing with your veterinarian if the vaccine is right for you. Make an appointment to meet with one of our amazing doctors if you are thinking about vaccinating your pet for the flu vaccine.




Traveling Tips for Cats and Dogs | University Animal Hospital NYC

If you have ever traveled with your cat or dog you must know that it isn’t the easiest endeavor. Besides finding an airline that is pet friendly there is often paperwork and several hoops that must be jumped through that are necessary in order to board the plane without issue. If you are flying internationally then there’s a whole assortment of steps you have to take in order to cover your bases. If you have not traveled with your pet before then hopefully these dog and cat traveling tips will prepare you for any potential issues that can arise.

The first thing to consider is if it is worth the effort to take your pet on your trip with you. Factor in the length of your trip and what will be required in order to bring your fuzzy child along. Most importantly consider the effect it will have on your pet. Does he/she travel well? Will the three days apart be easier than going through all the motions? If it’s a long trip maybe it would be worth it to bring them along for the adventure.

If you’re traveling domestically with your pet you should immediately contact your airline and ask what their specific requirements are. Most often the airline has rules specific to them. Almost every major airline will require a domestic health certificate, signed by your veterinarian, that states that your pet has been examined within a certain period (usually 30 days) and is fit for travel.

Many of them require your pet be in a certain sized carrier. They have to be certain that your pet, in the carrier, will fit under the seat. I learned the hard way that the size of this space can alter depending on the size of the plane your flight is scheduled for. I spent at least an hour on the phone with Delta Airlines customer care team having my flight changed to ensure that the plane I would be flying on would have the appropriate sized space under the seat to fit my cat (Maggie Rooneymara Nilbog-Ackerman IV) in her carrier.

Should I get my pet micro-chipped before I travel?

Consider the possibility that your pet could be lost at some point during your trip and make sure that your pet has a collar and ID tag with your contact information (address and phone number) clearly visible. It’s also a very good idea to have a microchip implanted into your pet (if you haven’t already) which can help locate your pet if he/she is lost at any point during your trip. It’s a quick injection, non-invasive, that can be done when your pet is awake.

If your pet is a nervous traveler discuss with your veterinarian any supplements or medications they might suggest to help keep your pet calm during travel. There are calming supplements that can help your pet without actually having to medicate them. In some cases your pet might need a sedative but this should always be something you discuss with your veterinarian first. Do not attempt to administer medications without discussing with your vet beforehand.

Pack some water if it’s a long flight. You don’t want your dog or cat to get dehydrated. A few treats to reward good behavior couldn’t hurt either. A chew toy or something to keep him or her distracted is always helpful. Don’t forget to pack a leash, some toys, extra water/food bowls, poopy bags, any necessary medications, etc.

If you’re staying at a hotel make sure it is a pet-friendly establishment. A little bit of research goes a long way and you’d rather have things set up in advance than be scrambling to figure them out in a crisis.

Remember that emergencies can happen so it’s also very important to do some research on emergency veterinary hospitals where you’ll be staying just in case your pet begins experiencing symptoms of illness. It’s a good idea to have a copy of your pet’s medical history on hand for this very reason. Save it to your e-mail as a PDF file so it can be easily accessed in an emergency.

How hard is it to traveling internationally?

If you are traveling internationally things get a little more complicated. The rules for international travel are not standard. They vary from country to country and change on a semi-regular basis. In almost every case you will need an international health certificate issued by a USDA certified veterinarian that proves your pet was examined and found fit for travel. Most often this needs to be done within ten days of arrival in your destination country. The vets at University Animal Hospital are USDA certified and fully capable of filling out any documentation required to travel. They are familiar with paperwork necessary and can inform you what you’ll need when trying to get into the country of your destination.

If you are planning on traveling with your pet set up an appointment with one of our doctors to get the process moving and to answer any questions you might have. Let them handle the details and the nightmare of paperwork so you can focus on your trip and the fun things you plan to do, with your dog or cat in tow.

Vet Terms: What Your Veterinarian is Talking About

Does your heart skip a beat or two when you hear your vet refer to your pet using unfamiliar and unnerving words? Learn what some of these more common terms mean so going to the pet hospital with your pet is less stressful for both of you.

“Your dog (or cat) has otitis externa or otitis interna

Your pet either has a middle/inner ear infection (otitis interna) or is suffering inflammation of the external ear canal (otitis externa). Symptoms of otitis interna include frequent head shaking, greenish discharge from the ear (may be tinged with blood) and deliberate pawing/scratching at the ear. Symptoms of otitis externa are similar to symptoms of otitis interna but do no include discharge. In addition, your pet may flinch if you touch his ear and the ear may have a foul smell.

Treatment for both outer and inner ear infections involves antibiotics and regular pet grooming.

“Your pet is suffering gastroenteritis. He needs his blood electrolytes balanced and rehydrated”.

If you brought your dog or cat to the animal hospital because of vomiting and diarrhea, the veterinarian may diagnose him with gastroenteritis. Attributed to viral, bacterial or parasitical infections, gastroenteritis causes rapid dehydration if the animal isn’t treated with appropriate medications. In addition, a dog or cat suffering gastroenteritis may run a low-grade fever, avoid food and sleep much more than usual.

“We will give your pet local anesthesia before performing a biospy, removing a small skin growth, stitching a small wound, etc.”

When veterinarians gives animals local anesthesia, they will inject a specific amount of a numbing agent directly into the area needing treatment. Pets given local anesthesia remain awake during a procedure. On the other hand, pets needing major surgery are given general anesthesia  to put them to sleep.

“Your dog has hypothyroidism” or “Your cat has hyperthyroidism“.

Hypothyroidism is a common disease affecting all breeds of dogs but especially targets cocker spaniels, dachshunds, retrievers, setters and Dobermans. If you’ve brought your dog to our pet hospital because he is losing his hair, has flaky skin, appears to be gaining weight for no reason and seems lethargic, he may have hypothyroidism. When blood tests determine your dog’s thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormones, your veterinarian will prescribe a synthetic hormone call L-thyroxine that restores normal thyroid functioning.

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) is a common endocrine disorder affecting cats, especially cat over ten years old, that increases their appetite but causes weight loss. Cats with hyperthyroidism also drink and urinate more, may vomit and have diarrhea and present skin, nail and coat abnormalities. Restlessness, nighttime meowing/yowling and noticeable behavioral changes are other symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

If diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, your cat can take a medication called TapazoleTM to suppress an overactive thyroid or undergo radioactive iodine therapy. In some cases, the veterinarian may need to remove the thyroid gland if overactivity is caused by a benign tumor.

For more information about veterinary medical terms and procedures as well as services we provide, call our animal hospital today at (212) 288-8884.

The Importance of Pet Teeth Cleaning

Dogs and cats need pet teeth cleaning to keep them healthy both inside of the mouth and in other areas that contribute to the total overall health of your pet. Your veternarian will check inside your pet’s mouth on his or her annual exam. However, a pet dentist at your animal hospital will take x-rays to evaluate any beginning problems below the gum line to better access your pet’s dental condition and keep him or her healthy.

Dog and Cat Oral Health

According to VetStreet, “Eighty-five percent of all pets have periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years of age.” This is why it is so important to have dental exams starting at about the age of 2 years old. Periodontal disease is a progressive disease of the tissue around the teeth and it can cause early tooth loss in your pet. Bacteria combines with food particles and then minerals from saliva to form a hard substance of plaque on your pet’s teeth. The bacteria works itself under the gums and causes gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums. The bacteria then destroys tissue around the teeth and causes tooth loss. If this dental disease is not corrected, it can travel through the bloodstream, infect the kidneys and heart, and possibly cause organ failure of the kidneys or heart in your pet.

Signs That You Need a Pet Dentist

Your pet should see your veterinarian at your pet hospital sooner than one year if you notice any signs of dental issues including broken or loose teeth, retained baby teeth, bad breath, teeth covered with a hard discolored substance, excessive chewing, drooling or dropping food when eating, pain or swelling in the region of the mouth, decreased appetite or mouth bleeding. Each of these problems point to some sort of dental disease in your pet. The American Veterinary Medical Association  suggests that you take your pet to a dentist if they have changes in behavior and act irritable. This is often how they display the pain of dental problems.

Pet Teeth Cleaning

When you take your pet to have his or her teeth cleaned, they will be put under anesthesia. Our pets do not understand that they must remain still to have a thorough teeth examination and cleaning as humans do. The anesthesia keeps them still and quiet so your pet dentist can expertly clean their teeth after taking x-rays, where your dog or cat needs to remain still for them to display under the gum health issues. After your pet wakes up from anesthesia, he or she will be very groggy and will likely spend the night at your vet’s office for safety so that he or she doesn’t injure himself or herself by falling.

Pet Parents Role in Teeth Cleaning

There are several things that you as a pet parent can do to help your dog or cat have great oral health. Pet toothpaste and a pet toothbrush is a great way to start. Vet’s recommend brushing your pet’s teeth once a day. The toothpaste’s are flavored and most pets love the taste of chicken. Dental chews are available for pets to clean their teeth while they enjoy them. Dental chews usually have a nice scent and can alleviate bad breath at the same time. WebMD recommends checking dental chew packaging for the statement “Approved by The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)” This organization evaluates pet products to make certain they meet certain standards for reduction of tartar or plaque for good oral pet health. Taking care of your pet’s teeth is as important as pet grooming, dog grooming or cat grooming to keep their pearly whites clean and healthy.

1 2 3 12