Dental health is an important part of your pets overall health. Did you know that poor dental care can significantly shorten a pets life span? Or that the majority of pets over 2 years old show signs of dental disease, which aren’t always obvious at home? Many people expect their pets to stop eating if they experience dental pain, but that’s not usually what happens! Your pets don’t know not eating = veterinary care to fix the pain, they only know not eating = death. Many times, the signs of dental disease are subtle changes in behavior, such as chewing with one side of the mouth, dropping food, increased finickiness, behavior that looks like ‘slowing down’ unrelated to eating (i.e. playing less).

The best way to keep your pets mouth healthy is to follow your veterinarian’s advice on scheduling anesthetized dental cleanings at facilities which perform full mouth radiographs (XRAYS) on ALL the teeth, training your pets to accept (and even enjoy) daily toothbrushing, and supplementing these with VOHC approved dental treats and toys.

Don’t need a cleaning? Check out for products to help keep your pets teeth clean year round! For more information about dental disease check out: and for more information about anesthetized cleaning check out:

For more information about your own pets dental health, give your veterinarian a call or e-mail!

Nobody wants to think about saying good-bye to their furry family member, but please take some time to check out the resources available. It’s far better to start the planning ahead of time than trying to make important decisions amidst your heartbreak.

Lap of Love, which not only offers resources to help you identify when it’s time, but also provides limited in home service options as well.

The Pet Loss Center, which offers resources (such as walking you through what you may want to consider beforehand ) and memorial resources holds a wealth of knowledge and offers a great starting point for encouraging your cats natural instincts to play with their food! Food puzzles not only help keep cats entertained, mimic natural behavior, and slow down their eating, but many cats find them just plain fun!

The No Bowl Movement (don’t google! Auto-correct will get you!) is another great place to go for more information about food puzzles, plus they even have an option to buy a pretty cool looking one!

Regardless of what puzzles you use, I recommend having a few, and ‘meal prepping’ on the weekends, where you wash them all, and then load the ones that need loading, so in the morning chaos you only have to toss out a few, rather than go through the entire process. The helpfulness of this tip will vary dramatically based on the style of toys your cat prefers!

Check out these links to products you and your pets might enjoy!

Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips, which aim to increase traction for dogs on slick surface.

Re-Tail, a local thrift store (3503 Lafayette Blvd, Fredericksburg, VA 22408) whose proceeds go to help Rikki’s Refuge.

Appalachian Wildlife Refuge's Wands for Wildlife collect and use old mascara wands to remove fly eggs and larva from the fur of wild animals.

Rikki's Refuge Animal Sanctuary, a 450-acre, no-kill, all species peaceful sanctuary supported solely by donations of kind and loving individuals.