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Proper Dental Hygiene For Your Pets

In order to keep your teeth healthy, you need to go see your dentist twice a year. This is when your teeth are professionally cleaned and checked for any problems. However, did you realize you need to do the same thing for your pets? According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), your veterinarian should check your pet’s teeth and gums at least once a year. Doing so keeps their mouth healthy. It additionally helps in looking for any early signs of problems. At 5 Points Animal Hospital, our staff can check out your cat or dog’s teeth and gums as part of a routine examination. We would like to tell you more about proper dental hygiene for your pets.

What kinds of dental problems can my pet have?

You may think cavities are rare in cats and dogs. On the contrary, your pets can suffer from the same types of dental problems that you can. The most common ailment is periodontal disease, which affects the gums. By the time your cat or dog is three years old, it is likely that they will show signs of periodontal disease. This will worsen if left untreated. Advanced periodontal disease can result in extreme pain, as well as loose teeth for your pet.

Other dental problems your cat or dog may experience include:

  • abscesses or infected teeth
  • cysts or tumors on the jaw
  • misalignment of the teeth and bite

What are the signs that I should bring my pet in for a professional dental exam?

Always schedule an annual dental exam for your dog or cat. This is especially true if you notice specific symptoms.

These symptoms include:

  • bad breath
  • broken or loose teeth
  • discolored teeth
  • a reduction in appetite
  • bleeding from the mouth
  • swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth

What can I do at home to practice proper dental hygiene for my pets?

The single most effective thing you can do at home for your pet to prevent dental problems? Simply brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis to remove the tartar and plaque from them. Daily brushing is best. However, if this is not possible, it can still be effective to brush them three or four times a week. The AVMA recommends patience and training to help make regular teeth brushing a habit with your pets. Our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital is happy to show you the best practices to use when brushing your pet’s teeth.

Practicing proper dental hygiene for your pets is important to keep their mouths healthy and happy. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment for our professional pet dental exam services!

Ticks: A Danger To Your Pet?

Does the thought of finding a tick on your precious pup causes you concern? If so, you may be right to be apprehensive. Why? Well, there is a possibility of a disease being transmitted from a tick bite! To avoid this possibility, the prevention of ticks and other parasites is key. This is especially true if your dog regularly walks in the woods or any area with tall grasses. Knowing how to keep ticks away from your dog, as well as how to safely remove them, is important. 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to tell you more about the dangers of ticks to your dog. In addition, what you can do to protect your pet!

Check your dog for ticks as soon as you can to reduce the risk of dangers to my dog.

You may hear a lot about tick transmitting diseases. However, you should know that not every tick is carrying a disease, according to The Spruce. One can never know whether or not the tick who picked your dog as a host is passing along something that could make them very ill and uncomfortable. So, you should always be aware of the threat of ticks when your dog has been in the woods, tall grass, or any other area known for ticks.

Additionally, you should make sure to check your dog for signs of ticks as soon as possible! The greatest danger of ticks can be when one remains on your dog for several hours. By that amount of time, any disease present will have started transmitting to your dog. This is why it is so crucial to thoroughly check your dog as soon as you can after spending time in an area known for ticks.

Be alert to symptoms of tick-borne diseases in your dog.

Ticks can be so tiny and hard to find, especially if your dog has long fur. Does your dog spends a lot of time in tick-heavy areas? If so, you should be alert to symptoms like fever and lethargy. These can appear after hours, days, and months of your dog being bit by a disease-carrying tick. Other symptoms range from weakness to joint swelling. If you notice your dog having trouble walking, they could be suffering from tick paralysis. This is a temporary condition that tends to disappear once the tick has been removed.

Reduce the dangers of ticks to your dog! How? Checking their body for them as soon as you can; especially after being outside in an area known for these potentially disease-carrying parasites. Have questions about removing ticks or noticing any symptoms? Then contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital for everything you need to know about ticks and your dog!

Introducing Your New Baby To Your Dog

With an endless list of things to do before their baby arrives, expectant parents often find it comforting to spend time with their pets. Although, during cuddle time on the couch with their dog, something happens. The realization of how this huge change in their household may affect them! This can lead to more anxiety for new parents. While cats seem to somewhat easily adjust to the addition of a baby, dogs can have problems getting used to the newest family member in the house.

However, this process can go much more smoothly. How? By pet parents remembering a few steps to take before the baby is born. In addition, learn some tips to follow for when the baby comes home for the first time. 5 Points Animal Hospital has worked with many new parents on introducing their new baby to their dog. Therefore, we would like to share our recommendations.

Prepare your dog by teaching him new skills.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), it is important that your dog knows some basic skills. This includes how to follow commands – and how to behave politely. What if your dog cannot sit, stay, get down, or come when called? You will need to teach them these skills to ensure the safety of your baby. You never want your dog to jump on you when you are holding your baby, or to startle the baby by barking loudly.

Although it may sound harsh to first-time parents before the baby is born, the command “go away” can be a hard one for your dog to get used to. However, it is so necessary for the happiness and security of both your dog and your baby! Dogs do not always realize that they can move away if a baby crawling towards them makes them feel trapped and uncomfortable. That’s why teaching your dog to move to a favorite resting spot in another area or room is important. When you say “please go away,” it reduces their anxiety and need to react by growling or snapping at the baby.

Provide positive experiences with the baby for your dog from the very start.

When your newly expanded family comes home for the first time, you should ask your accompanying family and friends to go into the house first. This is so that your dog has time to express excitement at being around people. It allows you to calmly enter the house without alerting your dog to any worry you may have about him startling or disturbing the baby. Speak to your dog softly and gently. Also, have someone else be close by to give them treats for staying calm.

These tips should also be followed when you decide to let your dog check your baby out more carefully. When you allow your dog to take their first sniffs of the baby, you may feel more comfortable by directing him to start at your baby’s feet. Staying friendly and relaxed during this first encounter can set the stage for a happy relationship between your dog and baby!

Are you nervous about introducing your dog to your new baby? Teaching your dog some important skills can help you remain calm and relaxed when you bring your baby home for the first time. If you have any questions or concerns about this topic, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital for more helpful tips!

Important Things to Know Before Your First Trip to the Dog Park

5 Points Animal Hospital is proud to be located in one of the historical neighborhoods in East Nashville, and one of the reasons why we love being in this area is the spacious and friendly dog park at a local city park. A very popular spot with so many dogs, this dog park is also a great place to make friends with your neighbors while you watch your beloved pets enjoy running free off-leash with other dogs. However, it is important to know certain aspects about visiting a dog park, especially before your first time, to ensure both you and your dog have a fun and happy experience. We would like to share a few tips with you to consider before going to a local dog park.

Make sure your dog knows how to come to you when called.

According to The Dog Guide: The Fun Times Guide, the most important command your dog needs to know before going to an off-leash dog park is “come.” Be certain that your dog always responds appropriately to this command. If not, you could be in for a long and frustrating struggle with your dog and possibly with other dogs and owners.

Know the specific rules for the dog park.

Besides the dog park in East Nashville, our city has five other off-leash park areas for dogs, and the rules for all six are generally the same. You should check to make sure that your dog is wearing his rabies tag on his collar because proof of this vaccination is required. While in the past, pitbulls and pitbull mixes were banned from all city dog parks, this restriction has changed. However, you should check to see if the park in your area still has this rule, and keep in mind that any dog that becomes aggressive in the park area must be leashed and removed immediately.

Don’t forget to get in some fun outdoor play interaction with your dog.

Although you may be tempted to huddle up with the other owners while your dog is running free. Of course, it is a lot of fun to watch your dog frolic off-leash and socialize with other canines, but it can be even more fun to bring along a frisbee or tennis ball for a game of catch in an open, wide space with him. Spending a bit of one-on-one time with your dog by calling him to come to you every so often also reminds him that you are still in control.

Want to know about all of the great dog parks Nashville has to offer? Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to find out our special hints and recommendations to help make your dog park experience fun for you and your dog.

Preventing Pet Obesity

According to HealthScope, national studies have found that approximately half of all cats and dogs in this country are overweight or obese. Obesity can cause several chronic health problems for your pet. In addition, it can also shorten his life by as much as two years! A lot of this responsibility falls on you as the pet owner. Why? Your cat or dog depends on you to feed them properly, and to give them opportunities to exercise every day. 5 Points Animal Hospital works hard to prevent pet obesity, and we would like to tell you more about this health problem.

What health problems are caused by pet obesity?

If your cat or dog is obese, they are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Not to mention, insulin resistance, heart and respiratory disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and various types of cancer! Pet obesity is also hard on your pet’s body. This causes your pet to be at a higher risk of having torn knee ligaments and osteoarthritis. The quality of life for your pet is also affected by obesity. Why? They are not able to run, jump, and play around outdoors as comfortably as they did – before they gained so much weight!

How can I prevent pet obesity?

If your pet is at a healthy weight, the most important things you can do to prevent them from becoming obese? Providing them with a balanced diet and with opportunities for daily exercise. Many pet owners do not realize how quickly their pets can gain weight. Many times it begins with just a few extra pounds. However, as pets get older, their weight gain can get out of control. 5 Points Animal Hospital can tell you the caloric needs of your pet. In addition, we can also recommend the best type of food for them. You should also limit treats and never feed your pet table scraps!

Plenty of physical exercise is also key in preventing pet obesity. Do you not have the time to take your dog on a walk every day? If that’s the case, make sure they have plenty of room outside to be able to run around. Monitor your pet’s weight regularly. You should be able to see and feel the outline of their ribs, their waist should be easy to identify, and their belly should not be sagging when you look at them from the side.

How is pet obesity treated?

5 Points Animal Hospital can work with you to find the right diet for your obese pet. Often, a diet that is high in protein will keep your pet satisfied longer. Although a regular exercise routine can also help to reduce weight, excessive physical activity can be hard on your pet’s bones and joints. Although, this depends on how overweight they are. We can let you know when your pet has reached the weight range that is safe for an increase in exercise.

Is your cat or dog overweight? Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to make an appointment to speak with one of our veterinary staff members. We’ll speak to you about the best way to get your pet to a healthy weight!

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5 Points Animal Hospital | 1103 Woodland St., Nashville, TN 37206 | Click to Call Us Now