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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

Center for Pet Loss Grief, which offers resources and support dealing with a loss of your loved one 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!

Nina Ottosson Dog Food Puzzles has a great variety of options and difficulty levels to keep even the smartest pup on their toes!

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!

Did you know most pets without a microchip never make it home? It's not just escaping on a walk or from the yard-what if there's a natural disaster, fire, or tree falls and allows your pets to escape? Don't beleive me? Check out the stats here:

Microchipping is a relatively inexpensive, quick procedure that your regular vet can do. It requires a rather large needle though, so it may be best to ask your vet to microchip your pet the next time they undergo a sedation (such as for spay/neuter, dental cleaning, etc.). Always be sure they scan your pet first to make sure there isn't one there you aren't aware of! Read more about Microchips here:

Have a microchip but not sure if it's got your current information? Go to the AAHA Universal Microchip Look Up and type in the number, and it will tell you who to call to check (and usually the last time the info was updated). Without updated information, your microchip won't bring your baby back!

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.

EZ Faucet which is a great solution for kitties who link to take some sink drinks, without being beholden to their owners present (or driving up the water bill)!

Nina Ottosson Dog Food Puzzles which makes food time more fun and enriches pups lives! Also, check out the No Bowl Cat Movement -food puzzles are great for all furry family members!

Mendota Check Cords long leash options that are highly visible, waterproof, and great for working on training with your pups!

Thunder Leashes which are a great no pull option that can be used with your current dog collar

Appalachian Wildlife Refuge's Wands for Wildlife - Peace of Mind is helping our clients participate in this endeavor! Simply leave out your used mascara wand with a note indicating you wish for us donate it towards this cause and your pet sitter will collect it at the next visit and send it in with our next batch!

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

Mission Reunite - who's mission is to increase awareness, provide education and advocacy in the field of missing pet prevention and recovery.

Pet insurance is a great option for pet owners! An unexpected emergency can happen at any time, and depending on the circumstance you could be looking at a bill anywhere from $100-$3,000. If that's not the kind of cash you have on hand, and in an emergency you'd rather not have to factor in cost of treatment to your decision making process, pet insurance can make all the difference!

Unlike many pet care wellness plans offered by hospitals, pet insurance will cover you REGARDLESS of the facility you are at-they will cover emergencies at your regular vet, at the ER, and many times they will even cover certain veterinary specialists (cardiologists, chemotherapy, rehabilitation, internal medicine, etc.). You can opt for a wellness plan (which includes vaccines and other wellness care) or an emergency/illness only plan (cheaper but only covers illness related costs).

While Peace of Mind doesn't endorse any one particular company over another, we highly recommend everyone without a few grand at their disposal to look into pet insurance. It's saved us and many we know quite a chunk of change!

Simply Google 'Insurance Comparison' to see who offers what! While Pet Insurance policies are often easier to understand than human ones, it's worth reading through to ensure you know what you are getting! Also, always accept the prescription food rider if offered! Most pets end up on prescription food at some point in life, and those can be very pricey!

Also, since pet insurance works by reimbursing you, if you don't already have Care Credit you may want to look into it, as this is essentially a credit card you can use for doctors and veterinarians and if you pay it back within a certain amount of time there is no interest.