Dental Health: The Mouth Maestro

Dental Health: The Mouth Maestro

Our pets’ mouths are like musical instruments, creating a symphony of chomps, licks, and purrs. But if their teeth and gums aren’t in tip-top shape, the music can quickly turn sour. To maintain a harmonious mouth, it’s vital to establish a regular dental care routine that includes teeth brushing, dental chews, and professional cleanings. By keeping their teeth and gums healthy, we can prevent bad breath and painful dental issues, ensuring our pets can continue to serenade us with those adorable sounds and give all the licks.

Common Dental Ailments:

Gingivitis: Gingivitis occurs when bacteria in the mouth form plaque on the teeth, causing inflammation of the gum tissue. Picture your pet’s gums as the orchestra’s sensitive violinists. Now imagine a conductor poking their musicians with their baton whilst playing. Supe irritating. The immune system’s response to the irritation leads to swelling and discomfort. By brushing your pet’s teeth regularly and providing them with dental chews, you can help prevent plaque build-up and keep their gums in line. 

Periodontal Disease: Now imagine the orchestra’s stage crumbling beneath them. That’s periodontal disease. Periodontal disease happens when plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth cause damage to the surrounding gum tissue and the structures holding the teeth in place. As the condition progresses, teeth may become loose or even fall out. Regular dental cleanings and good oral hygiene can help keep your pet’s dominoes standing strong. 

Tooth Decay: tooth decay occurs when acids produced by bacteria in plaque break down the tooth’s enamel, creating small holes or cavities. Like termites being let loose in the woodwind section. Left untreated, decay can reach the tooth’s inner layers, causing pain and infection.. Bacteria in your pet’s mouth feast on leftover food and form plaque, which can lead to cavities, causing toothaches and bad breath. To keep the termites at bay, maintain a consistent dental care routine for your pet, including tooth brushing and providing dental-friendly toys and treats.

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Gut & Digestive Health: The Food Factory

Gut & Digestive Health: The Food Factory

Our pets’ digestive systems are like magical factories, turning their favourite treats into energy and nutrients. But sometimes, these factories experience hiccups. To keep the factory running smoothly, we need to provide our pets with a well-balanced diet, monitor their eating habits, and ensure they have access to plentiful, clean water. Pro and pre-biotics can also help promote a healthy gut environment, allowing the good bacteria to thrive and support proper digestion. Remember, a happy gut makes for a happy pet!

Common Gut/Digestive Ailments:

Vomiting: Picture a factory’s conveyor belt suddenly going in reverse. That’s what happens when your pet’s stomch decides it’s not happy with its recent snack, sending it back the way it came. Vomiting is a reflex action that occurs when the stomach muscles contract forcefully to expel its contents. It can be caused by a variety of factors, such as eating something toxic, overeating, or an underlying health issue. Remember, just like you, if your pet is sick a couple of times don’t feel they need to run off to the vet immediately. To help your pet bounce back, keep them off food for 12 hours. Then, offer small, bland meals like boiled chicken and rice, and ensure they have access to clean water. However, definitely consult your veterinarian if the vomiting persists for longer than 12 hours. 

Diarrhea: When the factory’s assembly line moves too fast, it doesn’t have time to package everything properly. Diarrhea is like that – your pet’s gut rushes through the process, leaving their poop loose and watery diarrhea occurs when food moves too quickly through the digestive tract, causing incomplete absorption of nutrients and excess water in the stool. It can result from dietary indiscretion, food allergies, or infections, among other causes. To slow down the slide, provide your pet with a bland diet (chicken and rice for the win again) and keep them hydrated, but consult your veterinarian if diarrhea continues or worsens over a 24 hour period. 

Constipation: In this case, the factory line is moving too slowly, and the packages get stuck. Poor digestion and dehydration can cause constipation, making it difficult for your pet to poop. Constipation occurs when the stool becomes too dry and hard, making it challenging for your pet to pass it through the colon. Contributing factors can include lack of fibre, insufficient water intake, or a sedentary lifestyle. To help your pet’s conveyor belt run smoothly, increase their fibre intake, ensure they drink enough water, and encourage regular exercise. If constipation persists, consult your veterinarian for further evaluation and treatment. 

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Coat and Skin Health: A Furry Fashion Show

Coat and Skin Health: A Furry Fashion Show

A pet’s coat is their finest outfit, and their skin is the foundation that holds it all together. Keeping them looking and feeling fabulous is a must, not only for the insta but primarily their health and wellbeing. If you had to wear the same pants and shirt every day, you’d probably want to look after them. So to maintain their stylish (and functional) appearance, it’s essential to groom them regularly, choose a balanced diet, and provide parasite prevention. Besides looking good, a healthy coat and skin also serve as a protective barrier against infections and environmental elements. So, roll out the red carpet and give your pets the superstar treatment they deserve.

Common Coat and Skin Ailments:

Fleas: Like a bunch of unwashed and uninvited guests at a party on your pet’s skin, 

fleas are external parasites that feed on your pet’s blood, causing itchiness and irritation. As your pet scratches and bites to relieve the itch, they may damage their skin, leading to inflammation and secondary infections. Not to mention they will make a b-line for you too. To evict these unwanted party crashers, use flea preventatives regularly, and keep your pet’s living environment clean and free of potential hiding spots for flea eggs and larvae. 

Dermatitis: Dermatitis is a general term for skin inflammation, often caused by allergies, infections, or irritants.  Think of it like a red, itchy Christmas sweater your nan bought you and you can’t take it off. That’s dermatitis. Dermatitis makes your pet’s skin irritated and inflamed, which isn’t fashionable at all! When the skin’s protective barrier is compromised, it becomes susceptible to inflammation and infection. To soothe your pet’s itchy “sweater,” your vet will help identify and eliminate the underlying cause, and provide appropriate treatment, such as medicated shampoos, creams, or oral medications. 

Mange:  mange is a skin condition caused by microscopic mites that burrow into the skin, leading to hair loss, redness, and intense itching. Tiny critters, called mites, move into your pet’s fur like microscopic squatters, causing hair loss and itchiness. Which is hardly runway material. There are two main types of mange: sarcoptic mange (also known as scabies) and demodectic mange or demodex. Each type is caused by a different mite and requires specific treatment. Mites are also a sign that your pup may have another underlying immune condition. To evict these unwelcome tenants, consult your veterinarian for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, such as medicated baths, creams, or oral medications. 

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Joint Health: The Dance of the Joints

Joint Health: The Dance of the Joints

Our pets’ joints are like the hinges of a door, allowing them to run, jump, and perform all those zoomies. But, just like doors, these hinges can get rusty, and we need to keep them well-oiled for our pets to enjoy smooth moves. Ensuring joint health involves keeping our furry friends at a healthy weight, providing proper nutrition, and engaging them in regular exercise. Additionally, preventative care, such as supplements and early detection of joint issues, can help maintain their flexibility and comfort as they age.

Common Joint Ailments:

Arthritis: Kind of like a squeaky door hinge that makes your pet’s joints stiff and painful. Their body is creating too much “rust” (inflammation), making it harder for them to dance the night away. Arthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in the joints wears down, causing friction between them. This friction leads to inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the joint. Helping your pet maintain a healthy weight and providing them with joint supplements, like glucosamine and chondroitin, can support joint health and reduce the discomfort caused by arthritis.

Hip Dysplasia: Picture a door with a hinge that doesn’t fit quite right. That’s hip dysplasia – when your pet’s hip joint doesn’t fit snugly, making them waddle like a penguin. Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition where the ball (femoral head) and socket (acetabulum) of the hip joint don’t develop properly, causing instability and abnormal wear on the joint surfaces. Over time, this can lead to arthritis and pain. Early diagnosis, weight management, and physical therapy can help manage hip dysplasia and improve your pet’s quality of life. 

Ligament Tears: Imagine a door held together with rubber bands, and one snaps! Ouch! This is similar to a ligament tear, where the stretchy bands in your pet’s joints break and cause them pain. Ligament tears commonly occur in the knee joint, particularly the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in dogs. The CCL helps stabilize the knee, and when it tears, it causes pain, inflammation, and instability. Injury, obesity, and genetics can contribute to ligament tears. Treatment options include rest, pain management, and surgery, depending on the severity of the tear. Preventative measures include maintaining a healthy weight and providing regular, low-impact exercise for your pet. 

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10 Ways to Care for the Planet While Caring for Your Pet

10 Ways to Care for the Planet While Caring for Your Pet

  1. Use biodegradable poop bags

There’s nothing like the smell of fresh poop in the morning. But instead of using plastic bags that take years to decompose, opt for biodegradable poop bags. Your nose, your pet and the planet will thank you. They’re also affordable and easy to find online. 

  1. Get a doggy bike trailer 

Do you love to bike but feel guilty leaving your dog at home? Get a doggy bike trailer! You can ride together and reduce your carbon footprint while getting some great exercise. Why not try riding to the dog park instead of driving there! 

  1. Grow your own catnip 

Cat owners, listen up! Instead of buying catnip from the store, why not grow your own? It’s easy, fun, and saves you money. The plant thrives in the warmth so it’s best to get planting in spring or summer but if you’re in the tropical or subtropical regions of Australia you can still get away with growing catnip in autumn. 

  1. Clean as you walk 

Exercise is important for both you and your pet, but why not make it eco-friendly? While walking your dog (or very active cat) bring a spare rubbish bag and pick up rubbish as you go. Not only will this help preserve the beautiful path you walk along but it will also make you look (and feel) like a total eco warrior. 

  1. Adopt, don’t shop 

When looking for a new furry friend, consider adopting from a shelter or rescue organisation. You’ll be saving a life and reducing the demand for puppy mills. 

  1. Donate old pet items 

 If your pet has outgrown their toys or no longer uses their bed, don’t throw them away! Donate them to a local shelter or rescue organisation. Beds especially can get expensive for rescue organisations to buy brand new and we all know some of our most picky furry friends all have that one bed they avoid at all costs for no good reason – why not donate it!

  1. Teach your pet to turn off the lights 

Okay, this one might be a little challenging, but imagine if your pet could turn off the lights when they leave a room? That’s one way to reduce your electricity bill and save the planet.

  1. Feed your pets responsibly 

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not make your pet’s food from scratch? You’ll know exactly what’s in it and it’ll reduce the packaging waste from store-bought food. This is a great way to cater to your pets’ particular breed or nutritional needs. 

  1. Avoid over consumption 

There are many days of the year we may want to spoil our pets with plastic toys but consider pampering them with a range of different gifts that won’t just end up in landfill one day. What about a walk in a new place, spoiling them with some extra special treats or throwing them a birthday party where they get to play with all their furry friends. 

  1. Upcycle old fabric into pet accessories 

Textiles are quickly becoming some of the biggest contributors to landfill, so instead of throwing that old t-shirt in the bin, make a tug of war toy out of it by knotting it with some other old shirts. You can also donate old towels or sheets to your dog’s bed for them to cuddle up in. Tired of that pair of jeans? I know just the cat that’s been itching to scratch on them since you bought them! Get creative and have fun with this one. 

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring Has Sprung here in Australia!


With the warming weather, increase in outside adventures and escalation of play dates it’s time to do a quick clear out of the winter clutter and prep for the good times. From a deep clean to a medication check and grooming, there’s lots that can be done to ensure the well-being of pets as the weather blossoms. Dr Evan from FleaMail give us some tips on how to make this one a Spring to remember right from the get-go. 

5 Springtime Health Hazards For Dogs - The Dogington Post

Wash Everything 

If Fido’s favourite teddy is starting to get woofy, throw a load of toys in the wash! Use an all-natural, unscented detergent, not bleach; line-dry or on low without a scented dryer sheet, and check for loose parts before returning to its owner. Dr Evan adds: “Even toys with squeakers and crinkles can make it through the washer unscathed, although let them air dry to be perfectly safe. Spring is as good a time as any to take an accounting of exactly what a pet is playing with, what a pet has heavily damaged and what has been dismissed. If you find things that your pet has not used for ages, why not make a donation to a pet rescue group?” 

Over winter with everyone indoors the fluff and dust well and truly piles up especially in your little buddy’s bed. Dr Evan explains; “Like people-pillows, a pet’s bed should be renewed each 1-2 years if it contains foam or stuffing. Fleas, dust-mites  and other vermin love a dirty bed as they are full of dead skin, saliva and hair which is like a buffet to a critter.” Ewwwwww!! “To deodorise and clean, a simple sprinkle of baking soda over carpet and other vacuum-able surfaces will absorb pet smells and kill bacteria. After applying, let it sit for half an hour then vacuum thoroughly, making sure to reach every nook and cranny.” 

Dr Evan also urges owners to toss pet food bowls and plastic toys into the dishwasher but skip the heated dry setting to avoid a complete meltdown. For heavy duty rubber toys, he suggests a 15-minute soak in one part vinegar to two parts hot water for 15 minutes before hand scrubbing.

Dress down and Groom up.  

Nothing says spring like a new hair-do and some new attire, meaning it’s time to loosen the jackets and get that hair-did! “A groom of the winter coat will help your pet regulate heat, keep them clean and combat the nasties that want to munch on your bestie,” says Dr Evan. “However, one thing that is really, really important and something that any quality groomer will tell you, is to never ever, EVER shave your dog. Now, I know you might be thinking, “but I wouldn’t like to wear a fur coat in summer.” Well, that’s true and neither would I. However, I am not a dog or a cat and one of the worst things we can actually do as humans is a thing called “anthropomorphise” them. Or in Laymans terms, give them human characteristics or behaviours. They are not little people.
Dog Springtime Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock
For dogs especially, shaving their coat can actually make them extremely susceptible to overheating and sunburn, plus it makes them extremely uncomfortable. The main thing people need to realise is that humans have three layers of skin and most importantly we can sweat. Dogs only have two layers of skin; the third layer is their fur. It’s incredibly important to keep them safe and protected not only from heat but also from physical things like branches, other dog’s claws, the corner of the coffee table and even just rolling on the ground. Dogs also, like almost all mammals with the exception of humans, can’t sweat. Yes, they can sweat through their paws but this is not how they thermoregulate. They pant and one of the biggest tools to keep themselves cool is their fur. I always tell people to think  dog’s coat like a big esky. It keeps them warm in winter and just as importantly, cool in summer.” 

“Brushing your dog or cat not only makes them look dapper but it is also essential for healthy coat maintenance. Long-haired pets need brushing regularly to remove any knots or tangles that can become painful matts and poor insulators. A good old-fashioned grooming session at home is not only a great opportunity to bond with your buddy, but also to check their skin for fleas, ticks, cuts, scabs or lumps. Particularly fluffy pets should be brushed outside, where extra fur can become one with nature. It’s also fantastic for your garden.” 

Health and Medication Check 

Spring’s warmer weather means that fleas, ticks, and other parasites will be making an appearance soon. These pests can cause trouble for pets, especially if they spend quite a bit of time outdoors. Parasite prevention helps protect your pets from potentially serious illnesses and other health issues. Dr Evan explains, “Fleas might be more of a nuisance than a major health threat for most pets, but some have allergic reactions to flea bites. Then there are the deadly ones. Heartworm can lead to life-threatening health problems and paralysis tick just outright kills pets. Having your pet up to date with prevention is far cheaper than the cure. You might wonder if your pets even need any parasite prevention if they stay indoors all or most of the time. Keep in mind that even indoor pets get heartworm, tick and flea problems by catching parasites catching a lift on you.” 

“While you are at it, if your pet is on medication you should check they are all up to scratch. Lots of factors shorten the shelf life of pet meds. There are use-by dates, of course, but also environmental factors like humidity and temperature extremes which Australia is very accustomed to. Administering medications that are degraded can have dangerous health results for your pet,” Dr Evan says. “Some may be ineffective because they’re expired.” 

Now is also a good time to browse through your pet health paper to evaluate when you need to take him or her to the vet for a check-up too. 

Water. Water everywhere.  

And finally … Dr Evan advises; “As the weather gets hotter make sure your pets have a ready supply of clean water at all times, both in and outside. Remember to change frequently as with warmer weather bacteria build up a lot faster, which can make our little buddies quite sick.  Choose a non-toxic disinfectant to ensure that you do not compromise your pet’s health and have more than once source of water per pet.” 

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