In general when we think about the human-animal bond, we can all associate with unconditional love and companionship. How does a little being, who never says a word assimilate so effortlessly into our lives? Using our own physical senses we form a bond with our pets and in turn emotionally, we get a dog or cat’s lifetime of friendship and happiness.

One of those senses is physical touch. As mentioned in my previous blog, dogs and cats enjoy the sensation of us patting them as much as we enjoy doing it. The closeness helps to form that very special bond. However, not only this but physical touch can actually provide you with many clues into the well being of your pet. By grooming or checking your pet's skin daily, you are more closely in tune with what is 'normal' for your pet. This in turn leads to early detection of any changes in their skin or fur. Part the fur in numerous places over the body and look for areas of redness, flakiness, scabbing, any new lumps or bumps. If they are concerning to you, get your pet to the vet for a check up. By using the Dr Zoo grooming cream daily, you can run your hands through your pets coat and this will help you feel for any changes, which is a great starting point.

Another great way to keep an eye on your pets health at home is to become familiar with the normal colour of their gums and mouth. A soft pink gum colour is normal and the breath shouldn't smell. If you observe the gums and they are not a nice pink then disease could be occurring such as anemia, shock, oxygen depletion, heat stress, dehydration, toxic insult, and lots of other causes including severe gingivitis. If getting up close and personal with your pet makes you wince then it is likely that dental disease occurring. This can be painful for your pet and often goes unseen, as they will continue to eat even with infected teeth and gums. Dental disease is the common illness affecting dogs and cats and it is the most overlooked. So please do your pet a favour and you will be blessed too, with nice fresh breath.

Imagine what state our teeth would be in if we didn't brush them everyday? Well the same goes for our pets, brushing certainly helps as do other dental chews. Only use specific pet toothpaste and toothbrushes though when doing this, your pet or vet should be able to advise you on this. However, starting with a clean slate and then going onto your preventatives is always best. This involves a scale and polish under general anaesthetic as your vet will use an ultrasonic scaler similar to what our dentists use to physically remove the plaque and calculus build up over and around the teeth. By placing them under general anaesthetic it means we can accurately visualise the entire mouth, the patient is still and we can do the best job possible to correct the dental disease occurring.

Get your pup used to touching around the face, mouth, nails and paws and tail from a very young age and this will certainly help later on. If your pet is older then you can always start by repetitively touching between the paws and up under the gums daily but it will take some time for them to get used to it!



Dogtor Andy