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Which Type of Dog Is Best for My Home?

When you make the decision to get your first dog, you should take a few things into consideration when choosing your new pet. To make sure your dog will be comfortable in your household, you will need to think about your lifestyle and daily habits. One of the most frequently asked questions we hear at 5 Points Animal Hospital has to do with the most important factors to consider when deciding on the best type of dog to become a member of the family. Over the past decade, we have provided comprehensive veterinary services to the community of East Nashville, and we love helping our neighbors find the perfect dog. We would like to share with you some qualities to think about when choosing a new pet.

Choosing the best type of dog for your home

Large or Small?

The size of dog that will be perfect for your home typically depends on whether you live in a small city apartment or a house with a backyard. If you absolutely have your heart set on a Golden Retriever but live in a one-bedroom condo, you can make adjustments but it would take extra work. If you have children, you may want to consider a medium-sized dog so neither the dog nor the children will get injured when they play.

High or Low Energy?

All dogs need daily routine exercise, but if you cannot go on one or two walks every day, The Spruce Pets recommends that you choose a Basset Hound or other lower energy breed of dog. If you are on the other end of the spectrum and want a dog who can be your running buddy, active breeds like Border Collies may be the right choice for you.

Puppy or Adult?

While deciding to bring a new dog home is a major commitment, choosing a puppy will involve taking on even more responsibilities. Make sure that you have the time and patience to successfully house-train your new pet, and realize that there could be many accidents to clean up in the house for the first six months. You will also need to be dedicated in training them on properly behavior, inside and outside your home. Adult dogs typically have been trained and housebroken, but you should keep in mind that they will need a brief period of adjustment to living in a new home.

Choosing your dog is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. For more information about finding the perfect pet for your home, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital. We are here to help you with every step of this exciting and life-changing experience.

February Is National Pet Dental Health Month

When you own a pet, you are responsible for their health and happiness. One of the commitments is to take care of their teeth and gums. You may be thinking that this only mean routinely brushing your pet’s teeth. However, to avoid serious dental health issues, your pet needs get a check up for their teeth every six months to ensure it is healthy.

smiling doggieStatistics show that 85 percent of pets suffer from periodontal disease by the time they turn three years old. At 5 Points Animal Hospital, we understand the importance of your pet’s dental health. We are here to help your pet avoid the adverse effects of periodontal disease. In honor of February being National Pet Dental Health month, we are offering a 10 percent discount on dental cleanings for the entire month of February. We would like to tell you more about the importance of having your pet’s teeth cleaned in our East Nashville location, and we also have tips to help keep your pet’s mouth healthy for the long run.

Why does my pet need to get his teeth professionally cleaned?

Periodontal disease progresses in stages, and it begins when bacteria and food particles combine to form plaque on the teeth. The plaque then quickly bonds with more bacteria in the mouth to become tartar later. Tartar then hardens to the teeth and provides an easy pathway for bacteria to get underneath the gums. This stage is more serious than gingivitis.

The next stage is periodontal disease, which puts your pet at risk of losing their teeth. While you can remove plaque from your pet’s teeth and gums at home, the only way to remove tartar is with a professional veterinary dental cleaning, according to VetStreet. After a cleaning from our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital, we will make a follow-up appointment to check if we were able to reverse the progress of gingivitis. Unfortunately, we cannot reverse the damage once it reaches the periodontal stage. It is so important to bring your pet in every six months for a professional teeth cleaning.

What can I do at home between cleanings to help avoid periodontal disease?

While it is very challenging at first to brush your pet’s teeth, 5 Points Animal Hospital can show you tips with a finger toothbrush to make this task easier. Pet toothpaste is available in a variety of flavors such as chicken and malt, so you may have to try a couple of different ones to see which they prefer.

If plaque is a concern, we can recommend a plaque prevention product that you can apply to your pet’s teeth every week that greatly reduces plaque. Another way to promote good dental health is to give your pet a special diet and treats, which also help to the formation of reduce plaque and tartar. Larger kibbles provide abrasive action that can remove food particles from your pet’s teeth, and there are even food that contain special ingredients to help prevent tartar mineralization.

Celebrate National Pet Dental Health Month with us this February with 10 percent off dental cleanings! Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital today to schedule your appointment.

Keep Your Pets Warm This Winter

One of 5 Points Animal Hospital’s favorite neighborhood spots, the Shelby Dog Park is a popular place throughout the year fordog with scarf dogs to run and play while their owners make new friends, catch up with familiar faces, and enjoy fresh air and sunshine.

However, the moderate weather we usually enjoy can get bitterly cold from time to time during the winter, and you may wonder how safe it is for you and your dog to be outside for longer than a few minutes when the temperature drops below freezing. To help keep your pets warm this winter, we would like to share with you a few tips. When it comes to the health and safety of your pets, you can count on us to help you take care of your four-legged babies.

KEEP ALL PETS INSIDE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

When the temperature drops below freezing, you should keep your dogs and cats inside your home with you and your family, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Even if your cat normally roams around outside during the rest of the year, it is vital that he stay indoors when it is this cold. If your dog must stay outside during the day, you must provide him with an appropriately sized shelter to protect him from the wind, rain, and snow. Make sure the floor of the shelter is raised up a few inches above the ground.

PAY ATTENTION ON WALKS

Although it is recommended to keep your pets inside when it is below freezing, you should still take your dog on short walks at least a couple times a day. When it is this cold, the windchill can be dangerous by increasing the risk for frostbite and hypothermia. If your dog is short-haired, he may be more comfortable wearing a sweater. Another thing you should be careful about when walking your dog is rock salt. It can irritate his paw pads. Just be sure to wipe all of his feet off with a damp towel as soon as you can to keep him from licking them because it can irritate his mouth. If your dog does happen to ingest any rock salt, contact 5 Points Animal Hospital immediately. The sooner we can treat your dog for salt poisoning, the better.

Stay warm and cozy with your pets this winter. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital for any more tips on how to keep your furry friends safe and healthy this season.

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers for Your Pets

If you include your cat or dog on your holiday gift list, you are not alone. According to a survey from PetMD, 80 percent of pet owners put something special under the tree for their pets. Looking for last minute stocking stuffers to make this holiday the best one for your pets? To help you save time during this hectic rush before Christmas, 5 Points Animal Hospital has picked out our favorite treats for your pets.

CHEW TOYS

dog by the Christmas tree Dogs absolutely love to have a new chew toy to conquer. However, you need to make sure to not give your dog a toy that could harm his teeth. Rubber toys offer more flexibility than rigid metal toys, and you can never go wrong with dental treats. Taking care of your dog’s teeth is easy with chews that contain ten percent Chlorhexdine Gluconate. Other chew toys recommended by 5 Points Animal Hospital include bully sticks and pressed pork hide.

COZY BLANKETS

If you are having a hard time finding holiday stocking stuffers for your cat, a kitty crinkle sack is a great idea. It is made from synthetic lambswool. Your cat will love snuggling inside this sack when he is not playing with it. This adorable sleeping bag also provides the perfect setting for sweet kitty Instagram moments, which can be hard to capture.

LASER POINTERS

Cat owners no longer have to be envious of the interactive fun that dog owners have when they play catch. LED light pointers allow you to play active games with your cat. You can even find rotating laser pointer toys that you can control by pressing a button, this gives your cat red dots to chase for hours.

TASTY TREATS

You can never go wrong with special food treats for your pets’ holiday stockings. Your cat will love a box of catnip fortune cookies, and your dog will appreciate organic cookies with festive holiday decorations. While the holidays are typically a time to splurge on treats, 5 Points Animal Hospital does recommend that you consider your pet’s diet when selecting food gifts. Moderation is always key, as this helps to avoid your pet getting an upset stomach over the holidays.

Our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital wants to wish you, your pets, and the rest of your family a safe and happy holiday season. We are here to help you with all of your veterinary needs, so please do not hesitate to contact us!

Dry vs Wet Food: Which Is Best for Your Pet

Your pet depends on you for food every day, and you want to give him the best diet you possibly can. 5 Points Animal Hospitalrottweiler chihuahua food bowls knows how overwhelming it can be when you are shopping for pet food. With so many choices available, how can you decide which diet is right for your dog or your cat? One of the first decisions you will have to make when shopping for pet food is choosing between wet and dry food. While the choice mostly depends on your lifestyle and on your pet’s tastes, it is always good to check with our expert veterinary staff to see if there are any considerations for your pet’s breed and age. We would like to tell you more about the pros and cons of both wet and dry pet food to help you make the best choice for your pet.

WET FOOD

Your pet’s health plays a huge role in the type of food that you should be feeding him. If your pet is reluctant to drink as much water as he should be drinking every day, wet food is a good source of hydration, according to PetMD. Because wet foods are typically more rich in both flavor and scent, 5 Points Animal Hospital recommends this type of food for older and ill pets who have lost their appetites and/or sense of smell as well as for dogs and cats with missing teeth, jaw alignment issues, and other dental problems. The stronger scent can be a deterrent, however, for some pet owners. It can also be messy to eat for some pets. Other drawbacks to wet food include its higher price tag and lack of shelf life after it has been opened. Although you can put opened food in the refrigerator, it must be used soon after to avoid spoilage.

DRY FOOD

If you need a more economical way to feed your pets, dry pet food generally not only costs much less than wet food, but it also lasts much longer and is easier to store. If you have multiple pets, dry food may be much more cost-effective for you. You also have more options of sizes and types with dry food so it is easier to find the best one for your pet. You can also use this type of food as a training treat and as a dental supplement. Some types of dry pet food can even clean your pet’s teeth as he eats it. The drawbacks of dry pet food include lower levels of moisture, which can be an issue for sick and elderly cats and dogs and in hot, dry climates. This type of food is also lower in animal-based proteins, which are essential for your pet’s proper development from puppy to big boy.

If you still are not sure which type of food is right to feed your pet, 5 Points Animal Hospital is here to help. Contact us today with any questions you may have about your pet’s diet.

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