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All About Microchipping (May is National Chip Your Pet Month)

Microchipping a cat

It sometimes happens that our four-legged friends wander a little too far for their own good or our liking. One good way to increase the chances of being reunited with pets that have run away or gotten lost or stolen is to have them microchipped.

 

What is microchipping?

Microchipping has grown increasingly popular in recent years because it’s a relatively inexpensive procedure that can help save a pet’s life. Microchipping involves implanting a device about the size of a grain of rice into the scruff of an animal’s neck. When scanned, it identifies the pet’s unique ID number, allowing them to be traced back to their rightful owner.

 

What are the benefits of having my pet chipped?

Many pet owners believe that having a fenced-in yard, electric fence, or a collar on their pet is enough to ensure their pet’s safety. But, collars can be easily removed or lost, and some hunting dog breeds simply can’t be stopped when following a scent! While microchipping can’t guarantee your pet will be found or returned, having them chipped is an extra safeguard that responsible pet owners often choose.

 

One of the first things a shelter or rescue will do when a pet is brought to them is check to see whether the animal has a chip. Studies show that microchipping greatly increases the chances an owner will be identified. (Fun fact: A study from 2009 showed that 74% of found dogs and  63.5% of cats turned in to shelters were reunited with their owners.)

 

Microchips also help to prove ownership of your pet in the event that he or she has come into the wrong hands.

 

What is the microchipping procedure like?

The microchipping procedure is quick and painless. The veterinary professional implants the microchip in the loose skin around the folds of the neck, or between the shoulder blades. Because it’s as painless as getting a vaccination or routine shot, no anesthetic is needed. There’s also no post-procedure recovery time or harmful effects. And, it’s relatively inexpensive.

 

Should I get my pet microchipped?

Of course, the decision whether or not to microchip your pet is ultimately up to you, the pet’s guardian. For most people, though, it is an affordable precaution they can take to ensure the safety and well-being of their pet. For more information on the myths and facts surrounding microchipping, check out this helpful article.

10 Common Cat Behaviors Explained

Cats are especially expressive creatures, and they’re constantly telling you exactly how they’re feeling – all you have to do is learn to “speak cat”! Here are 10 common cat behaviors interpreted, so that you can understand their needs and personality better:

  1. Sniffing your face: Cats rely heavily on their strong sense of smell to give them information about food, prey, and their general surroundings. When a cat sniffs your face, they’re simply trying to commit your scent to memory. It helps them build trust and familiarity, so let your cat sniff away!
  2. Rubbing cheeks on everything: When a cat rubs their cheeks against your hand, the doorway, furniture, or other objects around the house they are essentially marking their territory. Cats have scent glands around their mouth, chin, and cheeks that leave behind their unique scent when rubbed. This behavior is known as “bunting.”
  3. Slow blink: You may have noticed your cat studying you from afar, with a relaxed gaze and a slow-motion blink. When your cat slow-blinks, they’re telling you they are comfortable in your presence and enjoy your company. You can return the gesture by slowing shutting your eyes and opening them.
  4. Head-butts: When it comes to showing affection, our feline friends don’t hold back. Some cats like to butt their heads against your hand or face to ask for attention or head scratches. This is a friendly and loving gesture between cat and human, and means your cat is in the mood to be social.
  5. Kneading: Also known as “making biscuits,” cats sometimes make a kneading gesture with their front paws. This behavior has its roots in kittens’ activity when nursing, and it can be comforting and calming to cats of any age. It used to be believed that this behavior was a sign the cat was weaned from their mother too soon, but there is little evidence to support this.
  6. Surprise “gifts”: Cats are known for their excellent hunting abilities, and although housecats no longer need these skills to feed themselves, their instinct to hunt is still strong. It’s not uncommon for cats to bring their humans the remains of a dead (or live!) rodent or bird. If your cat does this, it’s because they are trying to mother you or teach you to hunt.
  7. Purring: A cat’s purr is recognized as a sign of contentment, but cats actually purr for a few different reasons. For instance, cats sometimes purr to calm themselves down when sick, stressed, or injured. Purring releases endorphins that can reduce pain, and the small vibrations can even help with healing.
  8. Chattering: Chattering is a funny sound cats commonly make when watching a bird through the window. Cats chatter to mimic the chirps and chatters that birds make, or that their prey would make. Some people believe that chattering indicates their frustration at not being able to hunt or catch the bird they are watching. Or, it could be a sign of eager excitement.
  9. Lying belly up: A cat is at their most vulnerable state when lying with an upturned belly and legs spread out. Lying belly up means your cat is comfortable, relaxed, and trusting. When they lie in this position, they are saying, “I feel safe around you.” Flopping down and rolling over at your feet might also be an invitation for petting or snuggles.
  10. Tail curved around you: Cats aren’t always so If your cat snuggles up to you and wraps their tail around you, he or she is giving you a hug!

Get an up-close, person-to-cat experience of these behaviors. Browse adoptable cats near you on getyourpet.com today and give one a loving, new home.

Adopting a Companion Dog: Tips for Seniors

Dogs make wonderful companions for people of all ages – and while you may never be too old to be a dog lover, you may find that adopting a dog later in life is much different than adopting a dog in your younger years. Chances are that your lifestyle has changed a great deal, and so have your priorities. For those approaching (or beyond) retirement age, we put together a list of things to consider when adopting a dog:

  1. Activity level – All dogs need some level of regular exercise, but exercise needs and energy levels vary greatly from breed to breed and even from dog to dog. It is important to consider how much physical activity your new dog will require. If you aren’t as active as you once were, or find that you don’t have the energy to go for long walks each day, then you’ll want to consider a lower-energy dog, like a Bulldog or Basset Hound.
  2. Size – Smaller dogs are easier to handle and can be more manageable for an older Guardian. Small dogs that are popular among senior Guardians include the Bichon Frise, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Pomeranian, and Shih Tzu.
  3. Age – An older dog is usually calmer than a young, hyper puppy. Older dogs make great companions because they’ve already had years of practice! Adopting a senior dog is also a great kindness, because they are less likely to find homes than their younger counterparts. Check out this article about why you should adopt a senior pet.

There are so many wonderful reasons to adopt a companion dog as we get older. Here are a few of the significant benefits of adopting in later years:

  1. Physical and mental benefits: Companion animals have been proven to improve our physical and mental health. Not only can owning a pet give us immeasurable joy, but it can actually lower blood pressure, decrease stress, and reduce depression. Pets have undeniable healing powers and can lift the spirits of everyone around them.
  2. You gotta have friends: Living alone or as an empty-nester can get lonely! Having the company of a lovable cat or dog can make all the difference in the world when friends and family are far away.
  3. Provide structure and purpose: Having another living being to care for can provide routine and purpose to an otherwise unstructured day. Pets have incredible biological clocks, making them the perfect alarm clock, afternoon TV-watching buddy, and dinnertime companion. Having a set schedule can be motivating and uplifting, especially for an older person who is home for most of the day.
  4. Perfect environment: Unless we’re talking about a rambunctious puppy or a hyper-active dog, most pets prefer a quiet living space. Adult and senior dogs especially appreciate the devotion and attention of a senior Guardian. Retired Guardians are more likely to have more time to spend with their new pet, and most pets loving nothing more than to be considered the “king” or “queen” of the house.

Start browsing pets here, or learn more about how Get Your Pet’s direct adoption works.

Dogs That Make the Best Family Pets – What to Look For When Adopting

It’s no surprise that dogs are the most popular family pet; in fact, it’s estimated that over 60 million families in the U.S. own a dog! It’s important to find a dog that’s right for your family— essentially you are bringing a new family member into your life. Here are some things to consider when you are looking to adopt the perfect furry friend for your family,:

Temperament

First, and most obvious: a family pet must be friendly/non-aggressive with kids. If you’re looking to adopt puppy, you need to realize that may not have spent much time around children yet. Expect that they will need to be socialized, trained, and introduced properly into the family. Dogs with a history of aggression, anxiety, or nervousness are best suited for someone without small children or for more experienced dog owners. You want to look for a dog that’s known to be gentle, patient, and laid-back, especially around youngsters.

Energy

How high energy is your household? If your family enjoys being active whenever they can, then a high-energy dog, such as a Labrador, Australian Shepherd, or Husky would be a great match. But, if weekends are usually spent lounging on the couch, then a lower-energy breed, like a Bulldog, Pug, or Basset Hound, might be a better choice. Of course, there are exceptions within every breed, but this is a starting point when you are looking. Exercise is a crucial part of owning a dog, and you want to be realistic about what you and your family will be willing and able to provide.

Size

The size of a dog may factor into how compatible he or she is around children. Larger, sturdier dogs may be a better option for a home with young children, because they’re able to withstand the stray whacks to the leg or surprise hugs. Smaller, miniature dogs, by contrast, tend to be more nervous around, and more vulnerable to, the unpredictable behavior of children.

Personality

Are you in search of a loyal and protective guard dog, or a laid-back companion who makes instant friends with everyone? Certain dogs are natural protectors, and are more likely to ward off intruders or mistrust strangers. Then, there are those dogs who come to the door, tail wagging, and ready to give kisses! If that’s what you’re looking for, then a “pack” breed might be right for you. Examples of pack breeds include Labrador retrievers, Siberian Huskies, Collies, and Australian Shepherds. Pack breeds tend to form quick bonds and accept all family members as their pack.

Breed

When it comes to family dogs, mixed breeds are often calm and kid-friendly. But there are some breeds that are known for being especially good family pets. Some of the most popular family dog breeds are Pit-Bull-Type dogs, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, Beagles, Basset Hounds, and Boston Terriers. In general, these dogs tend to be friendly, sociable, even-tempered, and highly trainable. It’s always important to remember that no matter the breed, dogs will require proper training, attention, and socialization in order for your family (and dog) to be safe and happy.

Are you looking to adopt a dog for your family? Start browsing profiles now on getyourpet.com to find the perfect furry friend for you!

What First Time Dog Owners Should Know

Sharing your life with a dog is an exciting and rewarding journey. There’s nothing quite like the bond between human and canine: unconditional love, special memories, and a lifelong friendship. For first-time dog owners, there are a lot of unknowns – and maybe a little anxiety — that come with this relationship. Here are a few guidelines:

  1. Stock up on the essentialsIt’s perfectly okay to raid the pet store and stock up on a variety of doggy essentials! Your dog will need basic things like food and water bowls, a doggy bed, and a collar and leash, but he’ll also love to get his paws on a neat toy or two, too! Tennis balls, a Frisbee, and a Kong or chew toys are a good place to start, until you figure out what your dog prefers. If you’ve adopted through Get Your Pet and live near a Pet Valu store, you can take advantage of money-saving coupons valuable to Pet Valu in-store shoppers.
  2. Training is important – Training takes time and patience, but it’s easier to prevent a bad habit from forming than to break one. If the idea of training your dog yourself seems overwhelming, there are plenty of options for professional training. Puppy classes, basic obedience classes, or even one-on-one behavioral lessons with a professional dog trainer are all great ways to go. Find out which is right for you and your pup in this blog about obedience training. It’s worth looking into, especially for first time dog owners.
  3. The vet is your friend – Part of being a responsible pet owner is being proactive and in tune with your pet’s medical needs. You’ll need to keep track of things like vaccinations, flea and tick treatments, and any other medical issues that may arise over time. You’ll want to get familiar with what’s “normal” for your dog and pay close attention to any changes in energy level or weight, injuries, or other physical changes.
  4. Pet insurance is a good idea – We believe pet insurance is a great idea for any Guardian. All adoptions through Get Your Pet come with a certificate for 30 days of pet insurance from Trupanion (offer varies in CA). Depending on your needs and means, there are options for pet insurance that can cover veterinary costs for illness or accidents, death, or even theft. It’s a good idea to do some research to find out what’s right for you and your dog.
  5. Exercise is key – Beyond the basics, dogs need plenty of exercise in order to stay healthy and happy. Do not underestimate how important this is! Make time in your schedule for regular exercise, whether that be a daily walk, a game of fetch in the backyard, or some other stimulating activity that will help your dog release his energy in a healthy way. Not only does it keep your dog active and healthy, it can help to prevent destructive behavior at home.
  6. Discipline isn’t a bad thing – It’s important to set boundaries and make the rules clear. Being a doggy parent may require you to stand your ground and enforce the rules just like you would with a child. It’s normal for puppies to test your resolve and see what they can get away with. Don’t be afraid to be firm – dogs are pack animals, and often look to a leader to take charge and set boundaries. Establishing this dynamic is crucial in a dog’s younger years, and will benefit the relationship for years to come
  7. Don’t forget to check out more about our adoption package and what it includes, here.

8 Things First Time Cat Owners Should Know

Cats have quite the reputation on the internet—they’re known for being especially quirky, cuddly, and sometimes even a little crazy! Befriending a cat is one of the most rewarding bonds a person can form. Cats are full of personality, and have a special place in our hearts. If it’s your first time adopting or owning a cat, here are some things to expect:

  1. Cats can be lazy. Cats know that Saturday mornings are best spent on the couch or lounging in the sun! They spend most of their day sleeping, and most won’t turn down the opportunity to nap on a warm lap, purring to their heart’s content.
  2. They are relatively low maintenance. Unlike dogs or other pets, cats are considered to be fairly low maintenance. They don’t need constant attention or stimulation, and they will be fine if left alone for a few hours by themselves. That being said, cats make wonderful companions who value the company of a loving human.
  3. Invest in a scratching post. Cats have an instinctual desire to scratch. You can prevent damage to your home furnishings by providing your kitty with a scratch post, emery board, or cardboard scratch board. Encourage your cat to use these by sprinkling a bit of cat nip on them—he won’t be able to resist!
  4. Cats like their alone time. Like people, most cats are perfectly content relaxing on the couch after a long day. Cats are notorious for choosing when they receive affection; it’s not that they don’t like your company, they simply are independent by nature. It’s important to respect their space when they need it, and the time you do spend together will be that much more valuable.
  5. Cats require minimal physical exercise. That’s not to say they don’t like to play—cats are especially good hunters and love a new challenge or a spontaneous run around the house! It’s not uncommon for cats to have bursts of energy and then nap for a few hours at a time. Physical exercise is especially important during the kitten stage, and playtime is a crucial part of their early social and cognitive development.
  6. Cats can be slower to form bonds and build trust, but once earned, their love lasts for a lifetime. Cats may not immediately open up to a stranger, excitable child, or other pets—but once they’ve spent more time around them, cats can become loyal, devoted companions.
  7. Stay on top of the litter box. Cleaning isn’t anybody’s favorite chore, but for cat owners, it’s one of the most important things they can do. Cats are happiest and healthiest in a clean environment, so it’s important to keep up with cleaning out the litter box to avoid any accidents or health issues.
  8. “Curiosity killed the cat” isn’t just an old saying! Cats are curious by nature, and love exploring new things. Many cats love to jump up high and hunt through food and other things, making countertops and tables prime spaces for exploration. Keep any sharp, dangerous or valuable items (or poisonous foods) out of reach or stored away to keep your things and your cat safe.

Owning a cat is a wonderfully rewarding experience, and with these tips, you and your feline friend will enjoy many happy years together! Start browsing cats for adoption now by visiting https://getyourpet.com/search#/

How to “Puppy-Proof” Your Home

One of the things you’ll want to do before bringing home your newly-adopted puppy is “puppy-proof” your living space. Puppy-proofing a home is much like baby-proofing—you want to ensure the safety of your new pup while keeping your things (and your sanity) protected! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Move breakable objects or valuables out of reach –Move or safely tuck away anything that could be considered dangerous or hazardous, such as sharp or small objects or stray electrical cords, so that they’re not mistaken for playthings.
  2. Eliminate poisonous plants – Not all house plants are safe for dogs or curious puppies who love to chew! Make sure your home décor isn’t a potential safety threat by tossing those toxic flowers or plants and replacing them with dog-friendly ones. You can double- check which species of plants are toxic and which plants are safe for dogs by browsing this list.
  3. Use physical barriers – Some dog parents choose to section off parts of the house until their new dog is acclimated to their new home. You can use gates to prevent a clumsy pup from falling down the stairs and hurting himself, or to restrict access to certain rooms or places in the house. Be sure all windows the dog has access to are screened, as well.
  4. Don’t neglect outdoor space – While having a fenced-in yard can be a definite bonus for doggy parents, it should never replace human supervision. Whether or not you have a fenced-in yard, be cognizant of the outdoor space your new puppy will be using. Be sure any gates or fences are in good shape and that they don’t pose a hazard to your dog. Fenced in or not, your dog needs constant supervision and should never be left alone outside (especially tied on a leash, where there is a risk of choking.) A particularly energetic dog can jump a fence, while a smaller dog or may be able to fit through tight spaces. Be aware of any poisonous plants or shrubs that your dog could have access to, as well.
  5. Child-proof latches – Kitchens and bathrooms can be dangerous places for puppies, who tend to explore face first! Make sure your puppy can’t get into any kitchen or bathroom cabinets that contain harmful cleaning chemicals. Medications, tools, and cleaning supplies should be safely out of reach, covered, or locked away.
  6. Food – Having a new puppy around means suddenly having to be aware of food left out or lying around on counters or tables. Never leave food unattended around your puppy, especially chocolate, avocado, and onions, which are extremely dangerous for pets. See the list of all foods that are not safe for dogs here.

Puppies love to investigate new places; getting to know their new home is much like exploring a playground. Just make sure that you take precautions to keep their playground – and your valuable or fragile items — safe.

Feature on Pit Bull-Type Dogs: Ending the Misconceptions

It’s no secret that Pit Bull-type dogs have a less than favorable reputation. But they’ve gotten a bad rap. To set the record straight, I’m going to go into some of the most common misconceptions surrounding these dogs and what the reality is.

(If you want to know why I use the term “Pit Bull-type dog”, I suggest you take the time to read “Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon” by Bronwen Dickey. If that’s too lengthy, read this article for a shorter explanation.)

Myth: Pit Bull-type dogs have “lockjaw”.

One of the most prevalent myths out there is that Pit Bull-type dogs have a unique “jaw locking” mechanism that allows them to latch onto things with more force.

The reality? No such mechanism exists.

Pit Bull-type dogs have a strong jaw, like many other breeds. They are mostly terriers, so their natural behavior is to bite and shake, as opposed to what you would see in bird dogs, with their gentle mouths.

Myth: Pit Bull-type dogs are more vicious than other breeds, and are more likely to bite.

The reality? All dogs have the potential to bite, and Pit Bull-types are gentler than many.

I’ve been around a lot of dogs – thousands, really – and I’ve learned one very important thing: Dogs do not bite without warning or cause.  Just like humans, dogs have the “flight or fight” response and biting is usually their last line of defense. If a dog is scared or feels threatened, they will exhibit many behaviors to try to communicate their mental state. The problem is that as humans, we don’t always know what to look for.

Lip licking, yawning or crouching can be signs of fear. If a dog is leashed, they cannot act on a “flight” instinct and they may feel they have no other option than to bite. While this rumor about “vicious” Pit Bull-type dogs has been circulating and taken as fact for many years, studies have proven the opposite to be true. Take the American Temperament Test Society’s findings for example: in tests measuring things like aggressiveness, protectiveness, and stability, both Golden Retrievers and Chihuahuas scored worse than Pit Bulls.

Personally, I can tell you:  I have been bitten multiple times… but it has always been by a Chihuahua or other small dog!

Myth: Pit Bull-type dogs are routinely selected to fight other dogs, and so must be aggressive towards people.

The reality? Dog-aggression and people-aggression are two completely separate traits, and should be treated as such. Unless a dog, any type of dog, has been trained to attack humans, it’s likely to love people just the same as any other dog would.

It’s past time that we put some facts behind the way we talk about Pit Bull-type dogs instead of letting emotion, assumptions, and common misconceptions guide the conversation.

Interested in adopting a Pit Bull-type dog? Check out some of these lovable Pit Bull-type pups currently looking for a home on Get Your Pet:

Ash – Loves kids, hates squirrels.

Bella – Enjoys belly rubs and prances when excited.

Benji – Will fall asleep on your lap every night!

Blue – Knows how to give paw and lots of kisses on command.

Eisa – Can never get enough attention!

Ella – Fully potty trained and needs a yard to run!

Isabelle – Friendly with all animals

Introducing A New Dog or Cat to Resident Pets

Bringing home a new dog or cat is unquestionably exciting, but existing pets in the home can add a layer of complexity that you need to be prepared for. True, some cats and dogs simply share a mutual sniff and are good to go. But it’s asking a lot to just assume that a new pet will immediately be comfortable with you, their new surroundings, and every other pet in the household. As often as not, the getting-to-know-you process takes a bit of time from you, the Guardian and the other pets in the household.

Before you even bring a new pet home, we strongly suggest you have the pets meet someplace neutral: at the meet-up, for example, if you are adopting through getyourpet.com.

Whether in the home or not, it’s important to approach introductions carefully and responsibly, to ensure right off the bat that neither pet develops any unwanted behaviors or tendencies.

Here are some things to keep in mind before going full steam ahead:

  • Just because the new pet lived with other dogs/cats in the past, that doesn’t guarantee that they will get along with yours.
  • If you have multiple pets, introduce them one at a time so that the new pet does not get overwhelmed.
  • Don’t leave pets unattended until they are fully socialized with one another.
  • The introduction process often takes time and patience, but is extremely important in establishing boundaries and behavior in the home.

How to introduce your new dog or cat to your existing pets:

  1. Prepare your home: Even non-territorial dogs and cats can feel like their “home turf” has been invaded when a new pet is thrown into the mix. Prepare your home to accommodate your new friend before he or she arrives: make sure each pet has his or her own space and toys; keep their food separated.
  2. Take your time: When you first bring home your new pet, it will be tempting to simply open the carrier and let them roam free. Better to transition them slowly to the home by giving them a “tour” of the house. Lead them around, encouraging them to explore the home at their own pace. Once he or she is comfortable and familiar with this new environment, it’s time for formal introductions.
  3. Keep dogs or cats at a distance: If possible, restrain one or both pets while introductions are made. Discourage any chasing, fights, or other sign of aggression by remaining calm and in control of the situation. Be prepared to distract them by using toys, food, or verbal commands.
  4. Pay attention to body language: Look for loose, wiggling body and tail movements, playful bows, and a relaxed mouth – all, positive signs. Be alert for stiff, slow movements, barring of the teeth, growling, hissing, or intense staredowns, as these signify a negative reaction. If this happens, quickly take control of the situation and lead the pets away from one another until they’ve calmed down. Then, try once again to re-introduce at a greater distance.

What you can do to make it go smoother:

  • If possible, bring any existing pets to the meet-up to get a feel for how they will interact before bringing the new pet into the home.
  • Don’t force a friendship between two pets if they simply don’t get along. Remain in control of the situation and always take steps to ensure the safety of all involved.
  • If you’ve tried everything, but things just didn’t work out—it’s okay. Don’t endanger either pet any further if it’s clear they can’t interact safely. If this is the case, you can choose to relist the pet on Get Your Pet to find a more suitable home for him or her. For more info, check out: What if my newly adopted pet isn’t working out?

Dog Grooming Tips, Tricks, and How-To’s

Dogs are lovable for so many reasons—they’re adorable, they’re always excited to see us, they make great cuddle- or exercise-buddies—but one thing they’re not known for is their hygiene. That’s why grooming is so important. Not only can regular grooming help to maintain clean, healthy coat and skin, it can also cut down on shedding, prevent disease and infection, and make your pup look and feel great overall.

Yeah, we know grooming is important but it’s a hassle, right? It doesn’t have to be. Here are some dog grooming tips, tricks, and how-to’s that will help make grooming your dog an easier, more manageable task.

Bathing

Experts typically recommend that dogs be bathed at least once every three months. But if your pup spends a lot of time outside, especially in the sticky summertime, you may want to bathe them every few weeks. Be sure to give your dog a good brushing before you bring out the hose, then gently work in the shampoo, taking care to not get any near their eyes, nose, or ears. After you’ve lathered them up, rinse clean and dry with a big towel to ensure that no bacteria forms from the excess moisture. For playful puppies that view bath time as a chance to act especially goofy, try placing a floating toy in the tub or pool so that they have something to focus on.

Brushing

Regular brushing can help keep your dog’s coat in good condition by distributing natural oils through their hair, removing dirt, and keeping their skin clean. It also allows you to check for ticks, fleas, and any other skin irritants that may be bothering them. Brushing once a week is recommended for dogs with short to medium coat length, but longer-haired dogs who experience matting should be brushed frequently, using special brushes made to safely detangle.

Dental Care

Dental care is an important part of the grooming routine. You can help keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy by regularly brushing their teeth and making sure their diet doesn’t promote the build-up of bacteria and plaque. Brushing can help to remove this build-up, as well as prevent gum disease and gingivitis from forming. Be sure to use a toothbrush specifically designed for pets. If possible, establish a regular brushing routine early on or slowly introduce them to having their mouth handled by gently massaging it.

Maintenance

Regular maintenance will ensure your pet stays healthy and happy. Keeping your dog clean, brushed, and trimmed throughout the year will keep you in touch (literally) with any problems that might be developing and that you would not have otherwise noticed. That means you are not only keeping your dog healthier, but you are dealing with issues that, unattended, could end up being expensive to treat.