Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How Can You Keep Your Pets Warm in the Snow?


It looks like we are going to be getting more snow this week.  Here are a few tips to help keep your pets safe and warm on snowy days.

Cold Weather Pet Safety:

  • Bring Pets Inside - Freezing temperatures can be dangerous to even the most cold-tolerant breeds of pets.  If the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (which is more common than not lately!) it's important that you bring your pets indoors.  Short-haired pets should come inside any time the temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Provide Plenty of Water - Make sure that your pets are staying hydrated on cold days.  Make sure that their water bowl doesn't freeze and replenish the water frequently.  Lack of water can lead to dehydration.
  • Keep Anti-Freeze Out-of-Reach - Antifreeze is a common pet poison during the winter months.  If you spill antifreeze, dilute the area well and try to cover up the area to protect your pets.
  • Wipe Pet Paws Down - Ice melts contain chemicals that can cause blistering on your pet's paws.  It's dangerous for them to ingest, too!  Wipe down your pet's paws before they come indoors to keep them from licking ice melt off their feet.
Check out this article for more tips on how to keep your pets warm on snowy and icy days.  You can also contact one of our offices if you have any questions about how to keep your pets healthy this winter.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Today is World Spay Day!


It's World Spay Day!  Today we would like to emphasize the importance of spaying and neutering your pet, not just for their health, but also for the community.  Spaying and neutering plays an important role in preventing unwanted liters and keeping animals happy and healthy!

Benefits of Spaying and Neutering:

  • Increased Lifespan - Spaying and neutering helps prevent a number of pet health issues, including uterine infections, breast cancer, and testicular cancer.  
  • Improved Behavior - Pets that are spayed and neutered are  more likely to be better behaved.  They are less likely to spend time marking their territory and more likely to spend more time with you.
  • Better the Community - Stray animals are a problem in New York and throughout the world.  Spaying an neutering your pets helps play a huge role in reducing the number of animals left on the streets.

You can make a big difference by participating in World Spay Day!  Contact one of our offices to learn more about how spaying and neutering can benefit your pet.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Healthy Treat Recipes for Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day!


Happy Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day!  

While we love to give our pets treats, you don't want to add an excessive amount of calories to an otherwise healthy diet.  It's important that we reward dogs with treats that are safe and and low in calories.  Here are a few healthy treat options that you can make at home!

Homemade Low-Calorie Dog Treats:

"Easy Homemade Dog Biscuits"

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup brewer's yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup low-sodium canned chicken stock + additional for brushing

Visit the Martha Stewart website for baking directions.

"Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Biscuits"

1 egg
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 egg white for brushing

Stir together egg, peanut butter, banana and honey thoroughly.  Then stir in the flour and wheat germ.  Turn dough onto floured board and roll into 1/4 inch thick pieces.  Cut into your desired shape, brush with egg white and bake biscuits at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.'

"Low Fat Carrot Treats"

1 banana
1 cup of shredded carrot
1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/8 cup of water
1.5 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.  Knead the dough until it's about half an inch thick and use a cookie cutter to cut the biscuits.  Bake the treats at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Visit this website for additional baking directions.

"Blueberry Dog Biscuits"

1.5 cups oat flour
2.5 cups quinoa flour
3/4 cup flax meal
1/2 cup frozen, unsweetened blueberries
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large egg

Mix ingredients in a large bowl and roll out dough onto a plastic wrap sheet.  Use a bone-shaped cookie cutter to cut out your biscuits.  Space the biscuits 1 inch apart and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Visit the Martha Stewart website for additional baking directions.

Treats and snacks should only make up 10% of your dog's daily caloric intake.  If you have any questions about how you can improve your pet's diet and help them achieve a healthy weight, contact on of our offices.

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Why Does Your Dog have Bad Breath?


Does your pet have bad breath?  While common, bad breath is often a sign that your pet needs better dental care.  Here are a few of the most common reason why your pet has bad breath.

Reasons for Bad Breath:
  • Periodontal Disease - Just like us, pets are prone to periodontal disease.  After they are three year old, 80% of dogs and cats begin to show signs of periodontal disease.  This can cause bad breath as bacteria and plaque build.
  • Teething - Puppies and kittens both have bad breath when they are teething.  Fortunately, this should only last a few months.
  • Oral Disease - Gum inflammation, oral masses, and other problems with the gums can create crevices where bacteria can get stuck and grow.
The best way to prevent bad breath and keep your pet's teeth beautiful and healthy is with regular brushing.  We recommend training your pet early on so that they become used to the habit and bringing them into our practice for annual teeth cleanings.  This will help make sure that their teeth stay healthy and that you avoid smelly breath.

Check out this article for more information on why your pet is suffering from bad breath and what you can do to alleviate the issue.  You can also contact our office with any questions you may have!  

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tooth Brushing Tips to Help Keep Your Pet's Teeth Clean


When was the last time you took a look at your pet's teeth?  Although many pet owners don't realize it, dental health care is important for cats and dogs, too!  Since February is Pet's Dental Health Month, here are a few tooth brushing tips to help keep your pet's healthy.

Tooth Brushing Tips:

  • Develop a Cleaning Routine - If you can, try to get your pet used to teeth cleaning at a young age.  The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends getting cats used to the process when they're kittens by using a finger cot or gauze, along with toothpaste.  You can help your dog adjust by gently cupping their muzzle and eventually lifting the lips.  Reward them at the end of the session with a treat!
  • Use Special Toothpaste - Fluoride can be harmful if ingested by your pet.  Use a toothpaste that is specifically designed for your pet.
  • Stimulate the Gums - Inflammed gums are the first sign of tooth decay.  Try to massage your pets gums to accelerate healing and prevent gum problems further on.  The gums should be pink and healthy, not red or irritated.
  • Schedule a Checkup - A dental checkup is an important part of your annual vet visit.  Just like us, your cats and dogs can suffer from periodontal disease and tooth decay if their teeth are left unchecked.
Check out this article for more tooth brushing tips or contact our office.  Our experienced vets can help make sure that your pet's teeth are beautiful and healthy.  Visit our website to learn more.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Healthy Valentine's Day Treats for Your Cat


What better way to spend Valentine's Day than with the real love of your life - your cat!  Here are a few healthy Valentine's Day treats that will show your pet how much you care.

Healthy Valentine's Day Treats:
  • Baked Tuna Hearts - Canned tuna can be baked into small hearts.  Put them in the oven until warm for a special Valentine's Day treat.  You can even add a little catnip!  Just remember, these treats should be ingested in limited quantities.  Large amounts of at and sugar can give your pet an upset stomach.
  • Mashed Frozen Banana - This is a great, healthy ice cream alternative for your cat.  Slice the banana first, then freeze it.  You can use a food processor or a spoon to mash it.
  • Heart-Shaped Melon Slices - Fresh cantaloupe or water melon (without the seeds) is a great healthy treat for snacks.  The colors are great for Valentine's Day, too!
  • Carob-Dipped Strawberries - We know that chocolate is a no-no when it comes to your pets.  Fortunately, carob is a safe chocolate alternative.  Melt down some carob chips and dip strawberries into them for a "chocolate"-covered strawberry alternative.
  • Grilled Salmon - Grilled pink (for Valentine's Day) salmon is healthy and fishy.  It's a treat your cat will love!
Check out this article for more Valentine's Day treat ideas.  You can also contact our office if you have any questions about what your pet should or should not eat. 

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Keep These Valentine's Day Gifts Away From Your Pets


Valentine's Day is a time for showing your loved ones how much you care, but certain treats can be dangerous and toxic to your furry friends.  Celebrate a pet-friendly Valentine's Day by keeping these common toxins away from your pet.

Valentine's Treats to Avoid:

  • Roses - Although the flower itself won't seriously poison your pet (beyond an upset stomach), the thorns can cause trauma to the mouth and paws.  Look out for signs of vomiting,diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, discomfort, drooling and reduced appetite.  These are all signs that your pet may have found its way to your Valentine's Day roses.
  • Lilies - Lilies can be used as an alternative to Valentine's Day roses.  However, lilies are extremely toxic to your pets.  They can cause acute kidney failure within one to two days of exposure in cats.
  • Chocolates - Chocolate and cocoa contain a chemical called theobromine.  This ingredient is highly toxic to both dogs and cats.  The darker the chocolate is, the more theobromine the candy contains.  Semi-sweet and dark chocolate are toxic to pets, while white chocolate has very little theobromine.
  • Chocolate Covered Raisins - Not only is chocolate likely to cause a stomach problem, pets are sensitive to both grapes and raisins.  Even if your pet ingests just a small number of grapes or raisins, it's considered an emergency.
  • Xylitol - While the name xylitol might not seem familiar to you, xylitol is a common sweetener.  Many colorful Valentine's Day candies, sugar-free cakes and muffin mixes contain Xylitol.  When ingested, xylitol can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar, as well as liver damage.
If you suspect your pet has come into contact with any of these harmful Valentine's Day toxins, give our office a call.  Our veterinarians can help determine the reason behind why your pet isn't feeling well and provide proper decontamination and care.  Visit our website to learn more about Bregman Vet Group and how we can help your pet stay healthy.

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