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Chestermere Veterinary Clinic Blog

Celebrating Our Veterinarians on World Veterinary Day – Meet Our Veterinarians!

Dr. Jeff Weissmann

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Dr. Jeff Weissmann was born and raised in Calgary. After having briefly considered pursuing a career in Dentistry, he found his calling in Veterinary Medicine after being allowed to observe a surgery on one of his family’s Miniature Pinschers. While attending the University of Calgary, he spent several of his summers working with large agricultural animals, eventually settling on a career in Small Animal Medicine. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in 2009, before earning his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. Dr. Jeff joined the team at Chestermere Veterinary Clinic in June 2015 after graduating from the U of C.

Dr. Jeff is passionate about advocating preventative measures and he enjoys working with owners to help them make the best choices for a healthy and active lifestyle for their 4-legged companions. After a completing a rotation at the Atlantic Veterinary College in PEI with Dr. Etienne Côté – a world-renowned Veterinary Cardiologist – in his 4th year of study, Dr. Jeff developed a special interest in the area of veterinary cardiology. He also enjoys many other areas of Veterinary Medicine, including surgery, dentistry, dermatology and internal medicine.

Dr. Jeff has enjoyed cooking as a hobby since an early age and is quite an accomplished chef. His friends, family and girlfriend, have all been the happy recipients of his fine culinary experiments in the kitchen.

At home, Dr. Jeff shares his space with his brown-and-orange Paddle Tailed Newt named Saffron. He grew up with a variety of pets: hamsters, guinea pigs, several cats, and later with  a herd of Miniature Pinscher show dogs, and a Basenji. He still gets to visit with the dogs back at the family home, and he hopes to soon own a Golden Retriever of his own. A 3-legged cat named Waffle is the newest addition to Dr. Jeff’s family!

Dr. Gabby Rotaru

Gabby

Dr. Gabby Rotaru believes she has the best job in the world: if you think about it, what other job fills your heart with so much joy that it really brings tears to your eyes, makes you laugh and wonder, discover and create, is never boring and so uplifting? And in what other job can you feel that you truly make lives better (pets and owners alike) and learn every day from each and every pet you meet? There is this invisible bond that forms between you and all animal lovers that come through the door: owners and pets are a second family to her, they get to know each other, trust and respect each other and for this she is so grateful!

Dr. Gabby moved to Canada in 2001 with two cats and two dogs. She feels it was definitely one of the best decisions she ever made! She graduated in 1997 in Romania, Europe and has worked in the small animal field ever since.

Dr. Gabby truly enjoys the combination of internal medicine, surgery, dentistry, radiology and laboratory, which make her job so interesting. She also enjoys educating people how to prevent disease in their pets, this is where the true challenge is! Working emergencies for about 5 years before becoming the practice owner at Chestermere made her realize that some things can be prevented and it is up to us to help our pets stay out of trouble and stay healthy!

In her spare time she loves going biking and hiking with her dog Moxie, or cuddling on the sofa with her two cats Ziggy and Felix. She also enjoys spending time with friends and participating in different activities with them. Yoga, gardening and feng shui are other ways Dr. Gabby uses to relax and appreciate all the blessings in her life.

5 Tips to Help an Overweight Pet

Just like humans, pets can become overweight and experience a wide range of health concerns related to the extra pounds. Not only does the extra weight exert extra stress to bones, joints and ligaments, but an overweight pet is also more at risk of developing diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, increased blood pressure, thyroid problems, heat intolerance, difficulty breathing, lower stamina, decreased liver function, increased surgical/anesthetic risk, reproductive problems, digestive disorders, decreased immune system, increased cancer risk, skin and hair problems and decreased life span and quality of life.

How do you know if your pet is overweight? Ask your veterinarian, they will examine your pet and give your pet a body condition score on a scale of 1 – 5, with 3 being ideal, 1 too thin and 5 obese.

Here are 5 tips to help an overweight pet:

1) Mind the calories – know your pets daily caloric requirement. A veterinarian can help you to determine this amount more accurately than the feeding guides on your bag of pet food. Factors such as whether your pet is spayed/neutered can significantly change the caloric requirement of your pet.

2) Portion control – change to a smaller food dish and get an accurate food scoop to measure out the food. It is easier to overfill a larger dish because it looks close to empty. No more free feeding as you have no way to keep track of how many calories your pet is ingesting. Meals must be precisely measured to ensure your pet is not overeating. Several smaller meals instead of one or two larger ones, may work for the pet that seems hungry all the time.

3) Try a weight loss food – ask your veterinary team to recommend a good high quality weight loss food for your pet. These foods are specially designed to meet all of your pets needs while having reduced calories and fat, and often have increased fiber to help your pet feel full for longer.

4) Watch the treats – if you give your pets bones, biscuits or any other treats, these also contribute to that daily caloric requirement. Which means you will need to cut back on the food according to how many treats you give your pet. Some good lower calorie high fiber options for treats include carrot sticks!

5) Get Moving – a daily dose of exercise is good for your pets health and will help them to expend some calories. Try to aim for a daily 30 minute walk.

The goal is to get your pet to their ideal weight over time. A rapid weight loss is not healthy for your pet. Stop in at your veterinary clinic every 2 weeks for a weigh in and some encouragement! The process can take some time, but remember your pet did not gain all of that weight overnight! Putting in the work to help your pet lose weight or prevent excess weight gain is well worth the effort as you will be rewarded with a happier healthier pet!

Call us at Chestermere Veterinary Clinic to ask us for a food recommendation or to find out more on how to help your pet 403-272-3573, or visit us at http://www.chestermerevet.com.

Source:
Drs. Foster & Smith. Pet Education.com. Health risks in overweight or obese dogs. Web Sept 10, 2015. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1659&aid=694

That Pet Blog. 5 Simple Steps to Prevent Pet Obesity. Web Sept 10, 2015. http://www.thatpetblog.com/page/2/#.VfGhKpfdeRk

10 Summer Pet Care Tips

By following some summer pet safety tips, you can ensure to enjoy those hot summer days with your family and pets!

1. Never leave your pet in the car – even on a cooler day with the windows rolled down, the temperature inside the car can rise and become too hot for a pet in a matter of minutes.

2. Always have fresh drinking water available – bring a bottle of water and a dish or cup for your pet to drink out of. Offer water to your pet frequently.

3. Watch out for sunburn – pets can get sunburn too, especially on areas of their body with less fur such as tips of the ears and nose. It’s best to try to limit your pets sun exposure between the hours of 10 am – 4 pm. If you do need to go out, try to stick to shady areas, or rub a little sunblock into those unprotected bits!

4. Watch out for heat stroke – especially in elderly, young, overweight or sick pets, or short-nosed breeds such as bulldogs and boxers. Signs of heat stroke include: panting, staring, anxious expression, warm dry skin, high fever, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, or collapse. Heat stroke is a medical emergency, so contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has signs.

5. ID – make sure your pets identification (ID) is updated. Have your pet wear a collar with an ID tag with a current address or phone number. They could also have a microchip or tattoo. It is especially important if you are traveling or camping or hiking with your pet.

6. Parasite Prevention – Talk to your veterinarian about getting some parasite prevention products to keep your pets safe from parasites like tape worms, heart worm, and ticks.

7. Wasp or Bee stings – Contact your veterinarian if you see vomiting, itching, hives, swelling or diarrhea following a wasp or bee sting.

8. Clean up your picnic areas – keep you pet from getting into picnic leftovers which can create gastrointestinal distress or create a foreign body if something like a bone gets stuck in your pets stomach or intestines.

9. Vaccines – Get your pet up to date on their vaccines, this will not only keep them safe while meeting other dogs on walks or at the park, but may be required by a kennel if you plan to have them boarded while you go on vacation.

10. Fireworks & Thunderstorms – Loud noises can be frightening for your pet. Try to find a safe confined space your pet can be during these events. Some pets have broken through glass windows trying to escape such noise. Try some white noise, like a radio or TV. Stroke your pet gently and speak low. Try to reassure them that they are safe. If your pet is very bothered, speak with your veterinarian about whether anti-anxiety medication may be a good choice for your pet.

For more information or to book an appointment, contact Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at 403-272-3573 or visit us at http://www.chestermerevet.com.

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Sources:
AAHA. NewStat “10 Summer Safety Tips for Clients.” June 27, 2012. Web June 30, 2015. http://www.aaha.org/blog/NewStat/post/2012/06/27/661512/10-summer-safety-tips.aspx

Johnson, Terri CVT. Pets Matter “Prevention is Key to Enjoying the Outdoors with your Pet this Summer.” May 20, 2014. Web June 30, 2015. http://www.aaha.org/blog/petsmatter/post/2014/05/20/990624/Prevention-is-key-to-enjoying-the-outdoors-with-your-pet-this-summer.aspx

Germinder, L. Good News for Pets “Summer Pet Care Tips from AAHA.” June 29, 2011. Web June 30, 2015. http://goodnewsforpets.com/summer-pet-care-tips-from-aaha/

All about Ticks and Keeping Your Pets Safe

Ticks are present in Alberta, even in the cities, and may be in your own backyard!

What are Ticks?
Small external parasites that are members of the arachnid (spider family). They have 8 legs and their bodies are commonly a sunflower seed shape. They may be hard or soft. The picture shows a tick before and after a feed.

Why are Ticks dangerous?
They can carry many different diseases that can make you and your pets very ill, such as lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis and Erlichiosis.

What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease can cause severe pain, swelling, fever, limping and a loss of appetite. Unlike people bitten by Lyme infected ticks, pets do not get the characteristic “bull’s-eye” rash at the site of the bite within three to thirty days. People can only get Lyme disease from infected ticks.

How is Lyme disease treated?
Lyme disease can be controlled by antibiotics. However, a lengthy course of treatment is necessary. Sometimes the initial antibiotic chosen may not be effective, and a number of other types may need to be trialed before finding the right one.

What can you do to protect your pets?
The key is prevention. Keep your pets from being exposed to ticks. Ticks wait on the tips of grasses and shrubs and are not commonly found in trees. When brushed by a moving animal or person, they quickly climb onto the host. Ticks can only crawl; they cannot fly or jump. Keeping pets from thick underbrush reduces their exposure to ticks. Dogs should be kept on trails when walked near wooded or tall grass areas.

Prevent ticks from attaching. K9 Advantix offers proven protection against ticks. It repels and kills ticks before they can attach. With K9 Advantix, ticks are repelled and killed before they can bite, reducing the potential risk of a tick-transmitted disease. K9 Advantix is a liquid that is applied to the skin of your dog and is absorbed only at the skin level. One application lasts approximately 1 month.

A vaccine is available for protecting dogs against Lyme disease. This vaccine initially requires a booster. Annual revaccination depending on the risk of your pet may be necessary to maintain immunity. The vaccine is safe and effective. Be sure to discuss any questions you may have regarding the type and frequency of vaccination with your veterinarian. To book an appointment for the vaccine call Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at (403) 272-3573. Note that this vaccine does not protect your pet against the other diseases that ticks can transmit, therefore it is still important to limit tick exposure and to prevent them from attaching.

How can you protect yourself?
Cover up as much skin as you can when you’re going to be in wooded or grassy areas. Wear a hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants with the legs tucked into your socks. It’s a good idea to wear light-colored clothes so ticks are easier to identify. Check yourself for ticks after you’ve been outside. Use a bug spray that contains the chemical DEET to repel ticks.

What should you do if you find a tick?
Check your pet immediately after it has been in a tick-infected area. Some ticks are about pinhead size in juvenile stage, but a little more obvious in adult phase and after feeding. If you find a tick moving on your pet, the tick has not fed. Remove the tick promptly. If you find a tick attached to your pet, grasp the tick with blunt tweezers near the pet’s skin and firmly pull it straight out (this reduces the possibility of the head detaching from the body upon removal). Do not twist or jerk the tick as this may cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin, increasing the chances of infection. Continue applying steady pressure even if the tick does not release immediately. It may take a minute or two of constant, slow pulling to cause the tick to release. You may need another person to help restrain your pet. Removing the tick quickly is important since the disease is not transmitted until the tick has fed for approximately twelve hours. If you crush the tick, do not get the tick’s contents, including blood, on your skin. The disease can pass through a wound or cut in your skin. Use blunt tweezers or disposable gloves to handle the tick. If your fingers must be used, shield them with a tissue or paper towel.

After removing the tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite area and wash your hands with soap and water. Home remedies such as applying petroleum jelly, grease, or a hot match to the rear of the tick are not recommended and do not work. These practices cause the tick to salivate and can actually increase the chance of transmitting disease.

After removing the tick, put it into a small container with a piece of moistened cloth. Be sure to label the container with information about the time and place where the tick bite occurred. This activity will help you to remember details of the incident if symptoms associated with tick transmitted diseases appear later. This information will also be of help to a veterinarian or physician diagnosing an illness. Bring the tick to your veterinarian (if you found the tick on yourself, take it to your doctor) so it can be submitted for testing (this test is no charge). If you do not think you are able to remove the tick yourself, bring your pet into their veterinarian as soon as possible, the earlier a tick is removed, the better chance your pet has against disease.

Erlichiosis – Symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, respiratory distress, weight loss, bleeding disorders, and occasionally neurological disturbances. Dogs experiencing severe anemia or bleeding problems may require a blood transfusion. However, this does nothing to treat the underlying disease. Certain antibiotics are quite effective, but a long course of treatment may be needed.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – Symptoms include loss of appetite, fever, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, painful muscles and joints, dizziness, depression, stupor, seizures swollen lymph nodes, bleeding in the eyes, nose or stool, and fluid accumulation in the face and legs. Some animals develop pneumonia or heart problems, which can lead to sudden death. Renal failure can occur. The disease is treated with antibiotics. Dogs who have severe damage to their nervous systems may not recover completely.

Babesiosis – Symptoms include a wide variety of symptoms ranging in severity all the way from a sudden collapse to an infection with no apparent symptoms. The prognosis for a dog diagnosed with babesiosis is guarded. Owners should be aware that dogs that have survived babesiosis often remain infected. These dogs may suffer a relapse of disease in the future or may serve as a source for the further spread of disease as babesiosis can be transmitted to other dogs through scrapes or wounds.

For these diseases, the only prevention is limiting tick exposure and repelling ticks with a product like K9 Advantix. There are no effective vaccines available.

If your pet is not already on a tick prevention program, please call Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at (403) 272-3573 to discuss how we can help you protect your pets.

This blog is based on material written by Ernest Ward, DVM © Copyright 2005 Lifelearn Inc. Used with permission under license. June 13, 2010

Keep your Pets Egg-stra Safe : 4 Easter Dangers to Avoid

While you are enjoying Easter this weekend with your family, please remember to keep these popular Easter items away from your pets:

1) Easter Lilies – Highly toxic to cats (yet only causing minor gastrointestinal upset in dogs), all parts of the Easter Lily are toxic; leaves, stem and even pollen. As little as 1 leaf or a small amount of pollen is enough to cause serious problems including kidney failure or death. Symptoms begin around 6 – 12 hours after ingestion and include: vomiting, inappetence, lethargy, dehydration, disorientation, staggering and seizures. There is no antidote so immediate treatment by a veterinarian is absolutely necessary. Other toxic Lilies include: Tiger Lilies, Asiatic Lilies, and Day Lilies.

2) Easter Grass – The stringy paper or plastic grass that often lines Easter baskets can create an obstruction in a pets intestines if ingested, and can potentially be a choking hazard. The grass tends to be particularly inviting to cats to play with. If an obstruction were to occur, a pet would likely require an expensive foreign body abdominal surgery. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, inappetence, abdominal pain, and straining to defecate or constipation.

3) Chocolate – The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. For small pets the effects can be even stronger. Symptoms of chocolate toxicity from ingestion include: hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, increased body temperature, seizures and collapsing. Chocolate toxicity can be fatal, so always call your veterinarian to check, even if you think your pet is fine.

4) Candy sweetened with Xylitol – A natural sugar free sweetener, most commonly found in chewing gum, but also found in some candies, mints, jello or pudding. Symptoms of toxicity from ingestion include: weakness, lethargy, collapsing, vomiting, tremoring, seizures, jaundice, malaise, black-tarry stool, and coma. Xylitol toxicity can be fatal, so seek veterinary care if you think your pet has ingested something containing xylitol.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these items, contact your veterinarian immediately. You can also call the pet poison helpline: 1-800-213-6680 (24 hours, 7 days a week) or check out http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com for more information.

For more information on things that are toxic to pets, contact Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at 403-272-3573 or visit us at http://www.chestermerevet.com.

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Source:

Pet Poison Helpline. “Easter Pet Poisons” Web April 4, 2015. http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/seasons/easter/.

Meet Your Veterinarians!

At Chestermere Veterinary Clinic we are always accepting new patients and look forward to meeting you and your cats and dogs. We also welcome you to take a tour of our clinic, just ask!

We love getting to know our clients and being involved in the community. We support Chestermere’s Listening Tails program, and frequently present to children at schools. Look for us at Chestermere’s community events such as the Mind Body & Spirit Expo, Pet Fest, the Country Fair, Bark for Life (Canadian Cancer Society) and fall parade. We also put on a clinic open house and pictures with Santa in the winter!

Like our Facebook page or check our website http://www.chestermerevet.com for updates on our next community event!

Now let’s get to know your veterinarians a little bit better!

Dr. Gabby Rotaru believes she has the best job in the world: if you think about it, what other job fills your heart with so much joy that it really brings tears to your eyes, makes you laugh and wonder, discover and create, is never boring and so uplifting? And in what other job can you feel that you truly make lives better (pets and owners alike) and learn every day from each and every pet you meet? There is this invisible bond that forms between you and all animal lovers that come through the door: owners and pets are a second family to her, they get to know each other, trust and respect each other and for this she is so grateful!

Dr. Gabby moved to Canada in 2001 with two cats and two dogs. She feels it was definitely one of the best decisions she ever made! She graduated in 1997 in Romania, Europe and has worked in the small animal field ever since.

Dr. Gabby truly enjoys the combination of internal medicine, surgery, dentistry, radiology and laboratory, which make her job so interesting. She also enjoys educating people how to prevent disease in their pets, this is where the true challenge is! Working emergencies for about 5 years before becoming the practice owner at Chestermere made her realize that some things can be prevented and it is up to us to help our pets stay out of trouble and stay healthy!

In her spare time she loves going biking and hiking with her dog Moxie, or cuddling on the sofa with her two cats Ziggy and Felix. Yoga, gardening and feng shui are other ways Dr. Gabby uses to relax and appreciate all the blessings in her life.

Dr. Jeff Weissmann was born and raised in Calgary. After having briefly considered pursuing a career in Dentistry, he found his calling in Veterinary Medicine after being allowed to observe a surgery on one of his family’s Miniature Pinschers. While attending the University of Calgary, he spent several of his summers working with large agricultural animals, eventually settling on a career in Small Animal Medicine. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in 2009, before earning his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. Dr. Jeff joined the team at Chestermere Veterinary Clinic in June 2015 after graduating from the U of C.

Dr. Jeff is passionate about advocating preventative measures and he enjoys working with owners to help them make the best choices for a healthy and active lifestyle for their 4-legged companions. After a completing a rotation at the Atlantic Veterinary College in PEI with Dr. Etienne Côté – a world-renowned Veterinary Cardiologist – in his 4th year of study, Dr. Jeff developed a special interest in the area of veterinary cardiology. He also enjoys many other areas of Veterinary Medicine, including surgery, dentistry and internal medicine.

Dr. Jeff has enjoyed cooking as a hobby since an early age and is quite an accomplished chef. His friends, family and girlfriend, have all been the happy recipients of his fine culinary experiments in the kitchen.

At home, Dr. Jeff shares his space with his brown-and-orange Paddle Tailed Newt named Saffron. He grew up with a variety of pets: hamsters, guinea pigs, several cats, and later with  a herd of Miniature Pinscher show dogs, and a Basenji. He still gets to visit with the dogs back at the family home, and he hopes to soon own a Golden Retriever of his own. A 3-legged cat named Waffle is the newest addition to Dr. Jeff’s family!

Call us to book your pets next appointment with one of these caring and highly qualified veterinarians at 403-272-3573.

Pet CPR

CPR can be used on pets that have no pulse or have stopped breathing. Just like with human CPR, pet CPR involves chest compressions and mouth to nose breathing (instead of mouth to mouth). You may be able to save your pets life, so print out these instructions and stick them on the fridge or with your first aid supplies, in case of emergency! Remember, CPR even in the hands of professionals, does not always revive an individual.

The steps of pet CPR:

If you find your pet with no pulse or not breathing, always place a call for help or have someone else call for help while you begin CPR. Call your veterinarian at Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at 403-272-3573. Have your veterinarians number with your other emergency numbers listed near a phone in your home.

Remember your ABC’s, Airway, Breathing and Circulation.

First ensure your pet has an open airway. Try to see if there is an obstruction in your pets mouth, be very careful as pets may try to bite in reflex. Hold the upper jaw with one hand and push down on the lower jaw with the other hand. If you can see an object, try to remove it. If you cannot remove the object and have a small dog or a cat, hold them with their face toward the ground and your arms around their lower abdomen and gently sway them. If the object is still stuck, lay them on a hard surface on their side, with one hand stabilizing their back, use your other hand to press in and up under the center of the rib cage in a thrusting motion (essentially performing the heimlich maneuver). For a large dog you will likely need to use both hands to press with. You can also stand or kneel behind a large pet and wrap your arms around them to perform the maneuver.

If your pet is not breathing, but still has a pulse, you can begin mouth to nose breathing. For large pets, hold the muzzle closed and seal your mouth over their nose. For small pets, form a seal with your mouth over their mouth and nose at the same time. Be careful to not blow too much air into your pet, especially with a small pet, you may cause lung damage if you over inflate. Watch their chest rise to ensure you are getting air in. Give 4-5 quick breaths then check for breathing. Pets should receive around 20 – 30 breaths a minute.

Check for a heartbeat or circulation. At your pets next physical exam with a veterinarian, ask to be shown how to check your pet for a pulse. It is a good time to practice while your pet is healthy and active. It is typically checked on the femoral artery, in the inner rear leg about half way from the body to the knee. If there is no pulse begin chest compressions. Place the pet on a hard surface lying on their right side. For small pets you will squeeze the chest with both hands, by placing one hand over the ribs where the pets elbows would touch the chest if they were standing, and the other beneath the right chest wall. Perform 5 compressions to 1 breath. For medium to large pets, compress with both hands cupped over the ribs where the pets elbows would touch the chest if they were standing, ensure your arms are straight, elbows locked, and that your body is squarely over your hands. Again, compress at a rate of 5 compressions to 1 breath.

We hope you never have to use CPR on your pet, but it is a good skill to know how just in case! For more information on pet CPR, or for help finding your pets pulse, contact Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at 403-272-3573 or visit us at http://www.chestermerevet.com.

You can also take a course in pet first aid, which covers pet CPR by visiting http://www.prairietrainingservices.ca/pet-first-aid.html.

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Sources:
SPCA of Texas. “Heimlich Maneuver for Dogs.” Web March 2, 2015. http://www.spca.org/document.doc?id=100.

Hill’s Pet Tales Monthly Newsletter. “CPR Can Save a Dog’s Life – Information from the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association.” January 2010. Web March 2, 2015. http://www.hillspet.ca/newsletters/Canada/Assets/2010/January/Dog/CPR_Can_Save_a_Dogs_Life_Hills_Pet_January_eNewsletter_English.pdf.

5 Ways Pets Help Kids & Families

1. Learning – Studies have shown that children can learn in a relaxed fashion when in the presence of a pet. Since pets are non-judgmental, children feel safe exploring and trying new things, rather than fearing they will be critiqued if they make a mistake. Chestermere’s Listening Tails program operates on this finding, a program designed to improve children’s reading skills and confidence by having them practice reading out loud to dogs. For more information on the program visit http://ctds.ca/listening-tails/.

2. Comfort – After a difficult day, sometimes there is nothing better than returning home to a wagging tail or a purring cat to curl up with. Pets often instinctively sense when we need some extra comforting, and it can be a relief to just snuggle up with a pet who isn’t going to ask you a lot of questions. The act of petting has even been shown to foster a sense of relaxation, inducing stress relief and even reducing blood pressure.

3. Nurturing – Pets provide children with an opportunity to practice caring for something other than themselves, helping to plant the seeds of parenting skills for when they are adults. Learning to feed, walk, brush fur and teeth, encourages responsibility. Nurturing animals is especially helpful for boys, as they tend to have less practice than girls using their nurturing skills. Girls are encouraged to play house, play with dolls, and become babysitters more often than boys do.

4. Health – Studies have shown that having pets reduces a child’s risk of developing certain allergies and asthma. Particularly during the first year of life, exposure to pets helps a child’s immune system to develop protection against allergies.

Pets can also encourage the family to be more active, whether taking the dog for a walk, hike, or playing fetch.

5. Bonding – Have you ever taken your dog out for a walk only to be approached my someone wanting to pet your dog or ask questions about him? Pets are great social magnets, and allow us to bond with other people that have pets and make new friends.

Having a pet also encourages family bonding. Even picking out a pet in the first place, is something that can bring a family together, and even involve children in making a large decision with the family. Many people consider the pet as part of the family, and every family member enjoys being involved in the care for the pet. Everything from going on family walks, to buying Christmas presents for the pet!

Make sure your pet is healthy by visiting Chestermere Veterinary Clinic for their wellness examination and vaccinations or any time you have concerns, call us at 403-272-3573, or visit http://www.chestermerevet.com.

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Source:
Strickland, Bill. “The Benefits of Pets.” Parents Magazine. Web February 16, 2015. http://www.parents.com/parenting/pets/kids/pets-good-for-kids/.

5 Steps to Brushing Your Pets Teeth

1. Get your pet comfortable with you handling their mouth: Gently handle your pets mouth for a few seconds frequently. Try to do it when they are relaxed, and always make it a positive experience. Offer them a treat or a favorite toy after you are done.

2. Use pet toothpaste: Human toothpaste should not be used on pets as it is not meant to be swallowed. Pet toothpastes often are flavored with things your pet may find very tasty, and this may help your pet accept brushing more readily. Chestermere Veterinary Clinic can provide you with a free pet toothpaste sample to try. Start by using a small amount of paste on your finger and rub it on your pets teeth and gums. Try to work through the entire mouth.

3. Use a toothbrush: Once your pet is comfortable with you handling their mouth and enjoys the pet toothpaste you have chosen, introduce a toothbrush. Ask the team at Chestermere Veterinary Clinic for a free toothbrush for your pet. The toothbrush should be size appropriate. Wet the bristles and apply some toothpaste to the brush, try to push the toothpaste into the bristles so it doesn’t come off in one globule as soon as you begin brushing your pets teeth. Gently brush, starting off by focusing on the fang like canine teeth.

4. Brushing: When your pet becomes comfortable with this, you can begin to brush more teeth and gradually increase the amount of time spent brushing and pressure you use. You do not need to brush the inside surfaces because most of the tartar accumulation occurs on the outside surface. When brushing the front teeth, lift the upper lip and use an up and down motion.

5. Frequency
:
Your time and commitment to brushing regularly can result in a vast improvement in your pets dental health. It can enhance their quality of life and deepen the bond that you share. Ideally, brush your pets teeth once a day!

Ask the team at Chestermere Veterinary Clinic for food and treat recommendations to help support your pets dental health! Call us at 403-272-3573, or visit http://www.chestermerevet.com if you have questions or concerns, or would like to book a dental examination.

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Source:
“Simple Steps to Easier Brushing” Hand-out by Medi-Cal Royal Canin.

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