February is pet dental month. The bacteria that live in your pet’s mouth may be causing that bad breath that makes you avoid those most excited kisses. These bacteria can lead to oral disease and increase the risk for more serious illness. The American Veterinary Dental Society reports that 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age three. Warning signs include bad breath, tartar and swollen red gums. Fractured teeth or cavities can be painful and may change your pets eating habits.
Prevention is the key to helping pets maintain good health. There are many alternatives for dental care with your dog or cat, but it is hard to beat daily brushing; the challenge of course is getting us to comply. Start your pet early to get them used to teeth brushing. Dental chews and bones can aid with removal of tartar.  Fleece tugs and rope bones are a good addition to your dog’s toy pile. These work as dental floss, but do not cause wear in enamel. If your pet already has tartar build up your best bet is to have the teeth cleaned and then start a preventative routine. If you have questions about your dog or cats teeth be sure to have a talk with your veterinarian about what is right for you and your pet.

Getting Started…
To get you off on the right “foot” for teeth care we will have dental items on sale the month of February. Whimzee dental chews will be 15% off. Other dental items such as toothpaste, tooth brushes and water additives will be 10% off.

Something Fish-y Around Here…

The cold dry winter effects your pets skin and coat as much as ours. Some of you have asked about salmon oil as a skin and coat supplement.  We carry Icelandic salmon & sardine oil. For cats and dogs this is a great source of Omega-3s (EPA & DHA). Dogs, and more so cats, have limited capacity to make these fatty acids. The addition of Omega-3 fatty acids relieves itchy skin, acts as an anti-inflammatory, decreases shedding, helps with hairballs, promotes heart health and lubricates joints. Wow, can it clean your house too?

Adoptable Dog of the Month, Sugar…
Sugar is as sweet as his name. He is a 2 year old Pit mix. He loves going for walks. Sugar is available through the Iowa City Adoption Center, call (319) 356-5295 or visit www.icanimalcenter.org  to learn more about the animals at the Center.