Tips to Keep Your Pets Happy and Healthy

Having a pet is a large responsibility and can sometimes feel overwhelming. However, there are some simple things you can do consistently to keep your little guys healthy and happy. 

Spay or neuter your pets. There are a myriad of reasons why this is so important, not the least of which is because there are already so many animals in need of a home. However, there are health implications as well. Spaying your female pet helps prevent disease, such as ovarian cancer. It also stops her from going into heat, thus eliminating her desire to roam away from home in search of a partner. It will also aid her when it comes to the threat of aggressive male cats or dogs. Neutering your male will avoid the risk of certain cancers, such as testicular cancer. It will also alleviate his desire to get out and roam the neighborhood in search of a female, where he can become victim to cars and more aggressive animals. It’s also a great benefit to the pet parent as the urge to spray and mark furniture will be greatly reduced. 

Keeping comfortable is just as important for them as it is to you.

Keep a nice soft bed available for them. Some pet parents allow their pet to sleep in their bed. This is great but just remember that you may have times when your little guy doesn’t have access to the bed. Make sure there is a comfy alternative for him when your bed isn’t the appropriate choice. It is recommended that your pet have a clean, dry, soft bed in a temperate area that is always an appropriate choice, so he knows he always has a place that is for him. 

Keep up with veterinarian visits and, of course, vaccinations. When you first bring your pet home you need to take him to the vet. Your vet will set up an immunization schedule and recommend yearly checkups. Regular checkups help to catch health problems before they become overwhelming, and vaccinations keep your pet free of communicable disease. 

Proper identification is so important. Keep an id tagged collar or harness on your pet at all times. Even if you don’t expect your pet to be out, the unexpected can happen at any time. An identification should have your pet’s name and pet parent’s phone number that is current. If you have both, a cell and home number are a good idea. It’s just as important to have your pet microchipped. Many shelters do this automatically, but be sure to check with your vet’s office and be sure that your pet receives a microchip if he doesn’t have one already. Don’t forget to update the chip company if you move or change phone numbers.

Watch your pet’s weight. It’s estimated that half of pets in the US are overweight or obese. It’s important that your pet is fed a nutritious and properly portioned diet and receives plenty of exercise. Talk to your vet about the best food choices for your little guy as well as the proper portions. It’s a great idea to make good choices when it comes to treats too. Many dogs love carrots and  other produce, there are also great, healthy choices when it comes to premade biscuits and cookies. If you’re unsure, give your vet’s office a call for recommendations. Also, keep in mind that there are foods that are good for us but poisonous to our pets, such as avocados, grapes and raisins. Check an online-accredited pet food reference or with your vet’s office to be sure. 

Exercise is just as important, put aside time for playing with and walking your dog as much as possible, and be sure there are plenty of toys and places to climb for your cat. We recommend our HALE PET DOOR for safe and easy access to the back yard for your dog any time of day as well as access to covered runs for your cat. 

Practice good hygiene from the beginning. It’s never too late to begin a good hygiene regimen, but the earlier the better. Your dog will become accustomed and even sometimes comforted by bathing, combing, nail clipping and tooth brushing, if you start early enough. Your cat will require nail trimming and sometimes brushing or occasional wipe downs depending on the breed. There are many alternative tooth cleaning products on the market if your pet isn’t keen on the tooth brush. Check your local pet store for great ideas and products. It is recommended to do one thing for your pet’s tooth health each day, whether tooth brushing, tartar control bones or teeth cleaning toys. Make a plan of care with your veterinarian if you are unsure. Also, look for cleaning products that work best with your breed, some pets need moisturizing shampoos or hypoallergenic products. 

As always, Hale Pet Door hopes you, your pet and your entire family to stay happy and healthy. We know that this is a trying time for the entire world, we hope your family is safe and comfortable during this pandemic. We applaud the fact that, amid all of the world’s chaos, you are persevering at being the best you can be for your pet’s happiness and health.  http://www.halepetdoor.com

Tips to Keep Your Cat Healthy and Happy Throughout Their Lifetime

Keeping your cat healthy and happy can be easy and painless if you follow a few simple guidelines. Consistent daily habits are a great start to your felines best life.

First things first, find a veterinarian that’s a good fit for your kitty and your family.

It’s generally recommended to have a vet that’s close by in case of emergency, and willing to receive phone calls for advice when needed. It’s so important to have a great vet that is happy to receive a call when you’re not sure if something is serious or even when it comes to thoughts on food choices and grooming. Be sure to get all recommended vaccinations and please spay or neuter your kitty. This is important for their health and wellbeing as well as helping by not adding kittens to a world that already has more cats than homes.

Pay attention to the food you chose for your kitty. Cats, unlike dogs, cannot be vegetarians, even for short periods of time. They have adapted to rely on meat as the foundation of their diets. Too much dry food gives your cat too many carbs and can cause your cat to become obese and even develop type two diabetes. It is recommended to feed your cat at least one meal of meat per day and keep dry food to a minimum. Check labels and be sure that the food you choose is high in protein and low in carbs. A can of tuna or other canned meat can also be a great dietary choice in combination with small amounts of high quality dry food.

Pay attention to your cat’s hydration. Cats don’t have the same thirst drive as most other mammals as they have evolved from desert dwelling ancestors. They are most comfortable getting most of their hydration from foods, wet food generally contains 70% or more water while dry food is generally 5% to 10% water. Even though you may not see much water being consumed, it’s so important to keep a clean full bowl of water available for your feline all of the time. Pay attention to signs of dehydration such as sunken eyes, panting or lethargy. This is especially important in nursing kittens and elderly cats. As always, if something seems wrong call your vet immediately.

Be sure you give your kitty enough litter boxes. The rule of thumb is one per cat, plus one extra. So one cat needs two but five cats should have six. Many cats feel vulnerable when using the litter box, so if you notice that your kitty is having trouble using the litter box, try putting it in a place where he has a view of all that’s around him. In the wild they developed the strategy of being in the open where they could watch for predators around them when they were in this compromised state. For the same reason, a litter box with a top may be difficult for some cats. If having the kitty box out in the open is not good for you then you can move it a little each day until it is where you want to keep it. If you are having trouble with your cat peeing outside of the box, even when doing the right thing with placement, it could potentially be a medical issue like a urinary tract infection or other illnesses, so check with your vet.

Do yourself a favor and train your cat to use the scratching post. Start with it in the middle of the room and sprinkle with catnip to make it extra appealing. As your cat gets used to using the post you can skip the catnip and slowly move it to a more out of the way place. If you notice scratching on the furniture in the future repeat the steps over again to remind your kitty of the correct place to scratch.

As gross as it seems, it’s really important for cats to be able to adorn their loved ones with gifts. So if you are presented with a dead lizard or some other gruesome gift, try to be thankful and give your kitty positive attention. This is her way of showing love and feeling autonomy. You may be surprised by her reaction as you will get lots of snuggles and purrs. You can discard the “gift” after she has received her desired attention.

Cats love the outdoors, but having free reign outdoors can be quite dangerous. Cats do especially well with a Hale Pet Door exiting into an enclosed outdoor area such as a catio or cat run. These outdoor areas can be quite inexpensive and give your cat the happiness and freedom of the outdoors without the dangers of being an outdoor cat.

Bathing isn’t generally necessary for cats, but daily brushing goes a long way towards a healthy kitty. This keeps his coat clean and removes dead hairs before your cat ingests them while self cleaning. Removing the dead hairs through daily brushing will cut down on furballs as well as keep that coat soft and shiny. It’s a great way for your cat to get used to daily handling and feel love. It’s also a good habit to be in because you will notice lumps, bumps or irregularities right away.

As always, Hale Pet Door wants you and your family to have a rich and wonderful life with your furbabies. Please log onto www.halepetdoor.com for the highest quality pet doors, pet ramps and security barriers as well as info about our Rescue Rewards Program and tips on how to help your pet live its best life.

Have a Safe and Happy Easter for You and Your Pets

Easter is a favorite holiday for a lot of us. A day spent with time with the familiar, delicious food and treats, and fun activities. However, it also brings items into your home that can be very hazardous to your pets. We’ve compiled a list of some of the dangerous Easter items that your pet may come in contact with this holiday so you can feel more knowledgeable about what to keep out of reach!

Chocolate

This is probably something most of us already know about – chocolate is extremely toxic to dogs. Not only does it contain caffeine, but it also has a chemical in it called theobromine. Cats are most likely affected by it as well, but typically wouldn’t be interested in eating something sweet like chocolate. All types of chocolate are dangers, so it’s very important to always keep it safe and out of reach at all times. If you suspect your pet has consumed any chocolate, or is showing signs of illness such as breathing problems, diarrhea, or vomiting, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

Egg Dye

A lot of the egg dye you’ll find in stores are non-toxic, since they’re usually made to be used by children. However, that’s not always the case and you always check the packaging before you choose a product. And although consumption of a non-toxic food dye is not likely to cause harm, our pet’s stomachs can be very sensitive and their system’s can sometimes react in unexpected ways so it’s best to avoid sharing anything with your pet that contains food dye.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a sweetener that is prevalent in many, many foods including peanut butter. This ingredient is highly toxic to dogs and can easily cause death. Even a small amount can make your dog extremely ill. Xylitol causes a rapid release of insulin into a dog’s bloodstream which causes a huge drop in blood sugar. Be sure to read the label of everything you bring into the house and if anything contains this ingredient, keep it safe and impossible for your pooch to reach.

Easter Basket Fillers

The plastic eggs, plastic grass, and other enticing items that often go in baskets can be quite tempting to both dogs and cats. These items can easily cause obstructions in your pet’s digestive tract and can be extremely dangerous. Keep a close on eye on all your pets so that they don’t chew on these things and become sick. If you see any signs of ingestion of these items, such as vomiting, lack of appetite, dehydration, or any other unusual symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away.

Keeping these tips in mind will help you and all your four-legged friends all have a fun, happy, and above all safe Easter celebration.

The Important Benefits of Having a Pet Door

It’s an interesting question, why get a pet door for your pet when you’ve gotten along all of this time without one? Well, it’s simple, you and your pet have managed without his or her own door, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for you or your pet. Just like most things in life, we learn to do better for ourselves and our loved ones as we become aware of better and healthier ways.

Surprisingly, pet doors can be an attractive, sturdy and beautiful addition to your home. Hale Pet Doors look beautiful, keep your AC and Heat on the inside, and are hand-made with built in features that do not allow pests inside. These are all good reasons to pick Hale, but here’s why you and your best friend need a pet door:

Avoid Health Problems

Just like humans, it can be incredibly uncomfortable and even cause health problems for your pet to hold their bladder and bowels for long periods of time. We are accustomed to being able to use the facilities whenever we need them, just think about how uncomfortable it is on those few occasions when we can’t. This is an issue that your pet has every day when you and your family are away from the house. A pet door solves this problem for your pet.

Your pet’s potty privileges will make your life easier too, he’ll have fewer accidents, and no more scratches on the door or wall from him asking to be let out. He’ll need fewer walks and there will be no more need to get up to let him in or out, usually when you have just sat down and gotten comfortable.

Promote an Active Lifestyle

Access to the outdoors helps to promote an active lifestyle. Instead of lying around all day waiting for you to come home, your pet can come and go at will, this way he will be up and moving, enabling him to stay fit and trim.

Him staying active is good for you too, you won’t feel guilt pangs when you don’t take him for long enough walks after work each day, and you will be secure during vet visits knowing that your pet is fit and a healthy weight.

Give Your Pet Mental Stimulation

The outdoors provide your pet with mental stimulation, helping him to keep his thoughts and mind active. Just like us, we need daily mental stimulation to be our best. Spending time outside gives your pet access to the sights, smells, and sounds of the backyard.

Your pet will tend to bark less and be less needy when he has an active mind and lifestyle.

Decrease Boredom

Having the opportunity to spend time outside helps reduce boredom. Boredom is the usual culprit when our pets chew our shoes, tear the sofa apart, or scratch the furniture. For the same reasons that we tend to eat too much or watch too much TV when our minds are idle, pets get into trouble when they’re bored.

Allow Your Pet the Freedom to Choose

Freedom gives your dog or cat autonomy, which improves their confidence and attitude. Just like us, animals like to feel like they have control over their environment. The ability to choose when to explore, run, or nap gives them the confidence all living creatures need for a healthy self concept.

Save Your Pet in an Emergency

A pet door allows your dog or cat to escape in the event of a fire or other emergencies. This is such an important thing. If we’re not home we need our pets to be able to rescue themselves if something happens in our home.

By the same token, leaving your pet outside without access to the indoors can be just as dangerous. They need to be able to escape the outdoors as well. Weather is unpredictable and heat or cold can be deadly, they need to have the ability to access the shelter of their home at all times.

Give Yourself Peace of Mind

The biggest benefit to owning a pet door may be your peace of mind. Imagine being at work and not having to worry about your dog and whether he needs to be let out. Imagine being able to stop for dinner on the way home instead of hurrying home to check on him. And perhaps the most important thing of all, imagine walking in the front door and not feeling the guilt of having left your pet at home bored all day.

At Hale Pet Door we always want to give pets their best possible lives and we do this by providing the best possible pet doors and pet door products to pet parents and by supporting the pet shelters that keep pets safe and comfortable while waiting for their forever homes. To find out more about our products of for information about how we support pet shelters log into: www.halepetdoor.com.

Tips to Keep your Pet’s Skin, Coat and Paws Healthy During Cold Weather

First things first! Please do not leave your pets outside in the cold. Most pets do not have a much higher tolerance for cold than we do. Pets can experience hypothermia as well as frostbite to their ears, noses and paws. It is just as important that they have a warm and comfortable place to spend their time as it is for us. Provide them with a warm area away from drafts and cold floors. A pet bed and a cozy blanket are perfect.


Keep your pet’s hair longer during the winter months. It goes without saying that an animal’s fur is their natural coat, so keep it as effective as possible. If your pet is of the short hair or sparse hair variety, then a pet sweater is a great idea. Animals can wear a comfortable sweater all winter long. Just be sure it’s not too tight or too loose.


Keep your pup’s paws healthy. Bring a towel with you on walks and wipe down his feet and underbelly to remove ice, salt and chemicals. Don’t forget in between the toes.  

Check your dog and cat’s paws regularly, especially during colder months. Look for dry, rough or cracked skin. Contact with snow, salts and cold ground can be very damaging to skin, even on the tough pads of the paws. It’s helpful to rub petroleum jelly into the pads of their feet before leaving the house.This will create a barrier between their skin and the elements and keep moisture in their skin. 

Booties are another great option, if your pet tolerates having them on their feet. Keep in mind that they will need some time to adjust to the feel of shoes, so give them enough time to get used to the idea.

Bathe your pet as little as possible during the winter months.

Just like us, their skin can become dry, irritated and flaky during cold weather. Keeping their natural oils on their skin and coat is the best protection their body has. When you must bathe them, use a moisturizing shampoo. A quick call to your vet for a brand recommendation may be in order. 

As always, Hale Pet Door encourages the use of our pet doors, especially during the winter. Your pet knows when their feet are too cold or when they can comfortably go out to play or potty. Freedom of choice between indoors and outdoors is a great way to keep your pet healthy during cold weather.

HALE PET DOOR wants you and your family to have a safe and happy winter. Enjoy your loved ones, including your four-legged kids. The winter is a beautiful time of year. Get out and enjoy the snow in a safe and comfortable way, and enjoy plenty of time inside snuggled up. Have an amazing winter season and please stay safe and healthy! 

Go to www.halepetdoor.com for selection, sizing and options for a new HALE PET DOOR 

Tips for Keep Your Pet Happy and Healthy During the Holidays

Tips for Keeping your Pet Happy and Healthy During the Holidays.

Secure your Christmas Tree. Be sure to make certain that your tree is stable enough that your pets cannot knock it over, potentially causing injury. It’s also dangerous for the tree water to spill out as it can contain fertilizers and bacteria that can harm your pet if ingested.

Mind your candles. Lit candles can be a major hazard when you have mischievous animals running around. They could knock a candle over and start a fire or simply burn themselves playing near one. Please keep them out of reach of your pets and never leave them unattended.

Tinsel is a no-no. This sparkly, fun, light-catching decoration is just as attractive to kittens and sometimes puppies. If eaten, tinsel can cause severe stomach distress and even a GI obstruction. It’s really not worth taking a chance.

Avoid Mistletoe and Holly. Both of these plants can cause major gastrointestinal distress, including nausea and vomiting. Mistletoe, especially, can be very lethal, causing cardiac problems. Be mindful of all seasonal plants, as well. Lilies can cause renal failure if consumed and there are countless other flowers and plants that can be toxic.

During festivities, have a quiet place that is only for your pet. Loud guests and merry gatherings can be overwhelming for some animals. It’s always best practice to have a room or area that they can retreat to where others won’t follow. This is their space where they know they can feel safe and comfortable. This way they can come and go as they feel comfortable.

Having guests over? Do yourself a favor and make sure they know your house pet rules. They need to know if your animals are at risk for running if the door is left open, if your pet needs more space and less attention, and to follow your instructions when giving your pets any treats. It’s also important to stress the need for any luggage to be zipped up and any medication to be stored properly.

Be mindful of food. As we know, chocolate is a no-no for both cats and dogs; but, fatty and spicy foods are bad for them as well. Be sure if you do share some meat with your pet, it is lean and there are no bones in it. Carrots and sweet potatoes with lean meat are great options if you want your pet to have a holiday plate of their own.

Consider the temperature. Please don’t leave your pets outdoors during cold weather. It’s nearly as hard on them as it is on us. Of course, we recommend our Hale Pet Door so they have access to the outside as well as the warmth of the indoors. If your pet is easily chilled, a sweater is a nice option for indoors. Just be sure it fits snugly enough that it can’t catch on things, but also not too tight, as this can cause painful rashes under the arms.

Here at HALE PET DOOR we hope you and your family have a wonderful Holiday Season! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Omisoka! Please be safe, be blessed and enjoy your family, human and four-legged alike.

www.halepetdoor.com

Tips to Help your Pets De-stress During Quarantine

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Most families have been impacted greatly by the coronavirus pandemic and all of the associated changes. It’s easy to forget that our pets have been impacted as well.

Pets are wonderful at adjusting to their human’s routines, however, experts warn that it is difficult for many pets to adjust to their pet parents being around so much more than before. It may be easy to assume that dogs will want their human around as much as possible while cats want their alone time. However, experts note that this need for personal space is much more specific to your pet’s individual personality. Here are some tips to help recognize the signs of stress and help your best friend navigate these uncharted waters.

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Watch for changes in level of activity. Many animals will display restlessness and pace back and forth. Other pets may stay in one place and seem very lethargic. Both of these extremes may indicate anxiousness and can easily be misinterpreted as a need for more attention rather than less.

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Keep your ears open. Listen for higher pitch and more frequent barking from your dog or vocalization from your cat. These can be your pet displaying signs of distress or hypervigilance due to anxiety.

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Keep an eye on body language and aggression. Some animals may feel stiffer to the touch or develop new obsessive behaviors, tics or spasms. For example they may over groom, bite themselves or lick their lips repeatedly. Some pets may show more aggression towards their owners in the form of nips or bites even when being handled or treated the same way as normal.

If your pet is exhibiting any of these symptoms, don’t despair. This is a normal reaction to shifts in your pet’s family life. There are ways you can make this time a bit easier for your furry friend, however. Here are some tips to help your little one out.

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Give your pet their own space. If they have a corner of your home that they spend time in, just let them choose to come out and mingle as they please. Remember, your pet is used to having 8 or 10 hours a day of down time while the family is at work and school. They may be happy to have a place where no one will interact with them until they are ready.

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Stick to a routine. Your dog and cat thrive on routine. Things like when the family wakes up and scurries around, when the smell of food cooking fills the home, the hour before bed that the family sits together in front of the television or when they are walked and played with. Just like people, animals feel confident and comfortable when they know what to expect from day to day.

Finally, slowly reintroduce the change back to your regular routine. If you have been working from home and know that you’ll be going back soon, take a few steps to help your pet get ready too. Reinstitute the daily waking and feeding schedule that is their normal during the work week. Also, start leaving your pet at home for some errands and outings before you are gone for the entire day. This will help your pet to not be shocked when the door closes without them in tow.

Remember, pets and humans are great at adapting and overcoming changes and obstacles. Enjoy your family and your pets during this trying and unexpected time

Pet Poison Awareness Month

Did you know that March is Pet Poison Awareness Month? It may not always be obvious, but potentially harmful, even fatal, poisons could be lurking around your home or yard without you even realizing it. It only takes one accident for a tragic outcome. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common, but not always thought of, poisons that could be in or around your home.

Human Foods

Most of us are probably guilty of occasionally sneaking a little treat of human food to our pets. We all know that it’s really not that great of a thing to do, but darn it, sometimes it’s hard to resist those big eyes! And while, yes, human food is really not that great for the waistline of our dogs and cats, sometimes it can truly be dangerous. Chocolate is famously dangerous for dogs and it can easily be fatal. It contains something called theobromine, which is related to caffeine. But have you heard of how deadly Xylitol is? It’s a sugar substitute that is in lots of things. This is seriously one you need to watch out for. It’s found in gums, drinks, candies, snack foods, and plenty of other prepacked foods. Not to mention a lot of us keep bags of the stuff in the pantry to use in our baking. So, make sure to check your cupboards and if you find anything containing this sweetener, please keep it well out of reach of your pooch! There are also produce items that can be harmful such as onions, and garlic, that can cause anemia in both dogs and cats. So before you decide to make any homemade foods for your dog or cat, please research the ingredients to ensure that they are healthy for them.

Rodenticides

We cannot stress enough how much we recommend using a different method to control rodents than rodenticide. Obviously, most users would be very responsible in keeping this stuff well out of reach of both pets and children, but it doesn’t end there. Have you ever considered what happens to the target animal after it ingests the poison? Sometimes they wander away and end up dying somewhere where your dog, cat, or even a wild animal such as a hawk, can find it. Unfortunately, when an animal eats another animal that has ingested rodenticide, it can very easily become quite severe, even fatal. This type of poison causes internal bleeding, kidney failure, and seizures. It is truly nasty stuff and for the sake of your pets, the pets living near your home, and the wildlife, we strongly suggest using other methods to control the population of rodents if you’re having issues with them.

Human Medications

This is one of those ones that a lot of people may not immediately think of! But just as you keep medications out of reach of kids, you’re definitely going to want to keep them out of reach of pets, too. There are tons of different medications that can have various harmful effects on both dogs and cats, even over the counter medications, so just don’t risk it by keeping anything out in reach. Always keep them locked up in a medicine cabinet, or you can purchase a small medication lockbox in many pharmacies and online.

Household Plants

Many houseplants are perfectly safe for cats and dogs, but there are a few that you need to look out for. Some common plants are Lillies, Aloe, Elephant Ears, Asparagus Fern, and Sago Palm, just to name a few. Before you purchase your plant from the nursery, look it up and double-check to make sure it is safe to have in your home. And remember, often times the tag from the nursery will not say if it is poisonous or not, but typically a quick internet search will help you determine it.

This list was just a few possibilities of poisonous items you could have around your home. If you’re ever questioning, it’s always best to double-check! And if you’re concerned that your pet has ingested something poisonous, don’t wait! Call the Animal Poison Helpline right away at (855) 764-7661 (FYI, there is usually a fee involved for consultations), or contact your veterinarian. Remember, when it comes to poison, time is of the essence and it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.

February is National Cat Health Month

Cats. Such self-sufficient little creatures that like to pretend like our presence in their lives is not really that necessary. That we’re really only there when they are feeling particularly generous. Solitary hunters, cats enjoy a friendship with us that is loving, yet aloof. But the truth is, they of course, really do need us! Whether those kitties like to admit it or not, they depend on us for food, shelter, and all of their medical needs. Since February is National Cat Health Month, we thought it was the perfect time to talk about some of your cat’s basic needs to keep him happy and healthy!

Litter Boxes

A good general rule of thumb for litter boxes is one per cat. It’s important to stay on top of keeping their box clean. Depending on how many cats you have, it may even need to be scooped more than once a day! Leaving a cat box dirty for too long invites some very unwelcome health issues for kitty, so be sure to keep it clean for him! There are tons of different litters out on the market, so you’re sure to be able to find one that fits your needs. Some are made for multiple cats, some are made out of cedar or pine pellets, some are even made out of recycled newspapers! My personal favorite is the kind that easily slides out of pans and into the trash when it’s time to dump it.

Water Bowl

Now, this may go without saying, but it’s always good to have a reminder about water. Access to clean water is, of course, a vital part of your cat’s health, so please don’t neglect it! Washing his water bowl regularly is a great way to keep it free of harmful bacteria. It’s also probably a good time to point out that cats can be pretty darn picky about their water. Some do just fine with a regular old water dish, others prefer to drink out of a tall glass so that they don’t have to bend over so much. Some felines refuse to drink from anything but a water fountain (cats totally dig moving water!). So, if your kitty appears to not be drinking water, it might be time to mix things up and try another way to offer it.

Grooming

Grooming your cat may not seem necessary to you, especially if you have a kitty with a short coat. But it really is. Regular brushing will not only help keep their coat in good shape, but it will strengthen your bond. Cats groom each other, so if you take part in grooming your cat, you’ll really start feeling like best beds. Not only that but if any bumps or other irregularities pop up on his skin, you’ll notice it much sooner and be able to get it checked out by a vet.

Urinating Outside the Box

Just like we mentioned above, it’s so important to keep your cat’s litter box clean. One of the many reasons to do so is that if it gets too yucky, your cat will begin to go somewhere else. Yuck! Nobody wants that! But, should your cat ever begin to urinate outside of his box, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your vet to get checked out before you blame it on a dirty litter box. Urinating in strange places could mean serious health conditions, so please rule that out just in case.

Keep Those Chompers Clean

Just like with dogs, it’s also important to keep your cat’s teeth in healthy working order. There are special toothbrushes and toothpaste made just for cats, so don’t try to use anything made for humans. If you work with your cat regularly, it’s likely that you’ll be able to get him used to an occasional brushing. But do talk to your veterinarian as well about scheduling annual teeth cleanings for kitty to really keep that tartar away!

Spay or Neuter!

Don’t forget to do the right thing by getting your cat fixed! You’ll not only help the overpopulation epidemic facing cats in our country, but you’ll also help your kitty avoid health issues in the future. Spaying and neutering help prevent many reproductive cancers and other illnesses in both male and female cats. Not only that, but it can help ease your male cat’s urges to roam or spray to mark territory.

February is Pet Dental Hygiene Month

The oral health of our pets is often the most overlooked part of their everyday care, and yet, it’s one of the most important! It’s so easy to ignore signs of periodontal disease, like bad breath, but there are so many reasons why it’s important to stay on top of your pet’s oral health. Just like in humans, poor dental health in dogs and cats can lead to serious health problems. Think mouth abscesses, painful tooth loss, and infections that can spread throughout the body. So, while it might not seem like a big deal, keeping your dog or cat’s teeth clean and healthy is vital for their health! Here are some easy tips on just how to do that.

Chew Toys

Toys are an easy and effective way to keep your pet’s teeth clean. There are toys that are made specifically for cats and dogs, and most of them are specially designed for helping clean teeth. The act of chewing on the toy actually knocks tartar off the teeth. This makes for an easy solution as your pet probably already loves gnawing on chew toys.

Brushing

This activity is often not the favorite choice of most dogs and cats, but it is really one of the most effective ways to clean your pet’s teeth. This is not something that needs to be done daily, but the more often it’s done, the better. There are specially made toothpastes for dogs and cats that are safe, so don’t try to use human toothpaste. Start slowly at first, just to get them used to it. Before long, they’ll be accustomed to having their teeth brushed and you’ll be able to do it on a regular basis.

Tartar Control Treats

Another easy tactic for battling tartar and gum disease are treats that are specially designed to help keep teeth clean and healthy. They’re tasty and fun to eat for both dogs and cats and typically much more appreciated than brushing. Similarly to the chew toys, these special treats help remove tartar and build up from teeth as they chew. Make sure you read the label to ensure that they are designed for dental health.

Dental Cleanings

Of course, it’s always a good idea to have your pet’s teeth professionally examined by their veterinarian. They may suggest that a cleaning is needed, and it’s not a bad idea to have your pet’s teeth professionally cleaned every now and then. Out of all the tips we’ve mentioned, this may not be the cheapest option, but it’s surely the most thorough. Veterinarian offices are skilled at cleaning pet teeth and it’s one of the best ways to help maintain dental health. Make sure to discuss this option with your vet at your pet’s next checkup.

Maintaining your pet’s dental health is not always easy, but it’s important to start now and now wait until there are issues that must be addressed. If you try these easy tips, you’re sure to help keep those chompers in working order.