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Dog Tips

5 Advantages for Kids Who Grow Up With Dogs

By | Dog Tips, General

By Gabrielle Feldman

Every child at some point begs their parents for a puppy. As a parent, we can’t help but think of all of the added chores and financial obligations that come with owning a pet. But did you know it can actually benefit the health and development of your kids?

In honor of National Kids and Pets Day, we explore the advantages that kids who grow up with dogs have. The list could go on and on, so here are just a few:

#1 A Life Lesson in Responsibility

Looking for an opportunity to teach your child an important life lesson? Taking care of a living being is different than being responsible for unloading the dishwasher. From walking, bathing, feeding, and picking up after- these are all tasks that your child could do for the household pet.

Child Walking Dog Outside

#2 Kids Who Grow Up With Dogs are Healthier

Immune system:
Recent studies in pediatric health have concluded that children who lived with pets (but especially dogs) during their first year of life actually had a better immune system than those who did not. They believe that exposure to dogs may have positively boosted the maturation of their immune system during infancy. In addition, when they did fall ill, they needed a shorter course of antibiotics compared to the children who did not live with pets.

Dog Licking Child

Allergies:
Another study found that children who were predisposed (at least one parent suffers from) respiratory allergies or asthma, are much less likely to develop similar issues if they they have a dog in the house. They found that the early exposure is key. Children who had a dog after the first year of birth had no added health benefits.

Skin:
Recent studies found that dogs actually protect children who are at risk for eczema. In fact, children with dog allergies, who did not have dogs in the home, were four times more likely to develop eczema than those who did.

#3 Better Emotional Intelligence

Everyone has heard of IQ, but have you thought about improving your child’s EQ (or emotional intelligence)? Owning a dog allows them to practice these skills and improves their emotional intelligence over time.

advantages for kids who grow up with dogs

Caring for another life will require your child to become a more compassionate individual. Feeding or walking them, at times they may have other things they would rather be doing, will mean that they have to step outside of themselves, and practice being selfless. A teacher who participated in a study about classroom pets said, “Having pets is an INVALUABLE aid for helping the children gain pride, caring, and empathy for the needs of themselves and others.”

In addition, caring for a pet builds a child’s self-esteem. Accomplishing small tasks (such as filling up their water dish) will help them feel like they are competent and will also give them a sense of accomplishment.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that children with dogs in the home had reduced anxiety levels and reduced amount of perceived stress. They believe that kids who interact with dogs have increased levels of oxytocin released to their brain. In short, DOGS = HAPPINESS (but you probably already knew that).

#4 More Play and Exercise

Dog Merry-Go-Round

Trying to find a way to pry your kids off of the couch and away from screen time? Try adopting a dog! On average, children who have a dog in the home exercise an average of 11 minutes more per day than those who do not have a dog. Those minutes may not seem like a lot, but they add up to 5.5 hours a month, and 66 hours per year! Some researchers believe that dog ownership may be a viable way to help combat childhood obesity.

#5 Therapy

Autism:
Did you know that 1 in 45 children in the United States have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? That is nearly 2% of the entire population of children ages 2-17 years of age. Non-profits, such as Good Dog! Autism Companions, have found that therapy dogs have an amazing impact on the quality of life and development of children with ASD. Some of the many benefits include:

  • Dog provides sense of security
  • Decrease meltdowns
  • Decrease anxiety and acts of aggression
  • Increased willingness to try new things
  • Increased ability to face fearful situation
  • Increases social interaction due to the dog being an ice breaker and taking the focus off the child’s disability
  • Encourages verbal communication, increased vocabulary
Child Dog Scratching

To learn more about The Drake Center’s involvement with Good Dog! Autism Companions, and how you can help us champion this amazing organization, go here.

ADD and ADHD:
The most recent study in the United States found that 6.4 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD. Even more concerning, the rate increases almost 2% with every passing year. Some of the benefits of a ADD or ADHD therapy dog include:

  • Dogs help create consistency and a routine
  • Provides an outlet for excess energy to help aid in hyperactivity
  • Dogs help children cope with isolation and depression
  • They take the stress out of new social situations
Dog Carpet Baby

All in all, adopting a dog may be one of the best decisions you ever make for your child!

 

Blog Image Credit: Sebastian Garnier.

www.thedrakecenter.com/services/dogs/blog/5-advantages-kids-who-grow-dogs

New Puppy? 5 Tips to Start the New Year Off Right!

By | Dog Boarding, Dog Daycare, Dog Grooming, Dog Tips, Dog Training, General

The new member of your family may walk on all fours and have quite a bit more fur then your other children, but they are just as important to your family. Start the New Year off with a bang and follow these easy tips for a happy and healthy puppy.

5 Tips to Start the New Year Off Right

Tip 1

Choosing the Right Veterinarian: Choosing the right San Diego veterinarian is an important way to keep your pet healthy and keep you up to date on how to keep your pet healthy and safe. Ask questions and tell them your concerns. Some veterinarians are very informative and can explain even the most difficult medical terminology/condition/operation in everyday language. The most important thing is that both you and your new puppy feel comfortable with your new veterinarian. If you’re in the San Diego area we recommend West Coast Animal Hospital located in the Bay Park area. For those located in North County we recommend The Drake Center for Veterinary Care located in the Encinitas area. Keep your new puppy up to date on all vaccines by scheduling routine vaccines visits with your veterinarian so you can take full advantage of doggie daycare, grooming and dog training.

Tip 2

Grooming: We cannot stress enough how important it is to get your pup in for grooming at an early age. When your new puppy has a good relationship with your groomer it ensures they have a great first haircut, bath, nail trim, etc. For those that will need routine bathing and haircuts getting them used to a grooming regimen early on is imperative. This makes the grooming experience for your new puppy easier and more enjoyable for them as they grow because they have come accustomed to their preferred groomer as well as the grooming process. For those with new puppies that are rocking long locks or thick double coats, grooming is an important part in maintaining your pets’ well-being. Regular brushing helps to keep puppies from getting tangles that can turn into mats. Talk with your groomer during your initial consultation and be realistic about what your pup needs versus what you would like them to look like. If you do not have time regular brush your new puppy who has a long coat, your groomer may recommend keeping their hair short to avoid mats and tangles. Most groomers such as our own in Bay Park, Hillcrest and Encinitas, offer a great teeth brushing service that you can add on to any bath or haircut. Start brushing their teeth early so they not only get used to it but regular brushing by both professional groomers and regular brushing at home helps prevent and fight tooth and tarter decay.

Tip 3

Daycare: As many know, no matter what type of breed you have, puppies have boundless amounts of energy. If your new puppy is not given enough exercise to release all that energy you may come home to find chewed up furniture, shoes or worse. It is also important to start socializing your new pup with other dogs and people early. This helps to deter your new puppy from developing any fear or aggression toward new people or other dogs when you take them out and about. Doggie daycare is a great way to allow your pup to both become social with other puppies and people, as well as get tons of exercise while having so much fun. At the end of the day you get to pick up both a tired and very happy puppy!

Tip 4

Lodging: Whether you have a business trip or family vacation coming up, choosing the right lodging resort is imperative. Search online and use such great resources as Yelp to help narrow down the best options for your puppy that meets both your expectations and budget. Come by and visit any of our Paw Commons locations in California (Bay Park, Hillcrest, Encinitas) or Arizona (Gilbert). Our trained and knowledgeable staff are here to help with any questions you may have. One great aspect that our own pet resorts offer are the live web cameras in our daycare yard. Get peace of mind knowing that you can not only call to check on your dog but can hop onto your smart phone no matter where you are and watch your dog or puppy having a blast in our indoor or outdoor day play yard.

Tip 5

Dog Training: For your own sanity and the well-being of your home, it is essential to get your new pup into dog training early. Most puppy classes will go over basic obedience skills, such as: sit, stay, and come. These specialized dog and puppy trainers can also provide helpful tips and tricks to help pet parents potty train their new little fur babies. Our own puppy trainer works closely with owners to identify and work on any potential problem areas your new puppy may have, such as counter surfing and jumping. Training is such a tremendous benefit to continued good behavior in public. Whether you want them to behave and listen if you take them out to a dog friendly restaurant in San Diego or you want them to have good doggie manners when meeting new furry friends at doggie daycare, continued training is a great resource to have to ensure good behaviors. Our own dog trainer, who works out of our Bay Park, Hillcrest and Encinitas locations, offers two levels of puppy classes. You can choose to do the puppy sessions with a group or just one-on-one with our trainer.

Still have questions? Call any of our locations or stop by to get more helpful tips and information from our knowledgeable and trained staff regarding anything from daycare, boarding, grooming or dog training.

Holiday’s & Your Pets: Do’s & Don’ts

By | Dog Tips, General

The holidays are a joyous time to count your blessings—including the health of your pet! Keep your cat or dog out of trouble with these seasonal safety tips.

Dog and Thanksgiving Turkey

DON’T Overindulge Your Pet

A sudden switch from kibble or canned food to a plate full of turkey and stuffing can wreak havoc on your pet’s digestive system, potentially leading to pancreatitis and gastroenteritis. More than just a tummy ache, these conditions can be very painful and even life-threatening to your pet. Some foods are also toxic to dogs and cats, including onions, garlic, grapes and raisins, chocolate, alcohol, coffee, salt, avocado and xylitol (found in many sugar-free candies and gum).

DO Offer Your Pet an Appropriate Holiday Treat

Dogs and cats cannot handle rich, fatty foods like butter, cream and gravy the way humans can, but that doesn’t mean they have to be left out of the festivities completely! Set aside small portions of plain turkey, mashed potatoes and vegetables like carrots or green beans for your pet instead. Just remember to make sure the turkey is well cooked and don’t forget to remove the bones and skin.

DON’T Forget to Clean Up Properly

Don’t think your pet is safe just because the food isn’t on the table anymore! One risk that is often overlooked is the disposal of food and wrappings when the big meal is over. It is safest to make sure all trash, including the turkey carcass, is securely tied up and out of reach. Remember that bones can break easily and sharp pieces can be swallowed, causing a blockage or tearing the intestines.

Smiling Dog Garbage

Photo Credit: Bryce Bradford

All pieces of the carcass should be double-bagged and disposed of outside. Aluminum foil, wax paper and turkey strings should also be kept out of reach. Remember, when used to cook with, these items become just as irresistible to your pet as the food itself!

DO Give Your Pet Some Space

Even the most outgoing pets can experience stress in social situations. Allow your pet a safe haven from holiday parties and get-togethers by keeping him/her separated from guests in a quiet room of the house. Signs of stress include vocalizing, panting, pacing or trembling.

DON’T Break the Rules

If you plan on having several guests over the holidays, be sure that everyone knows the dos and don’ts for your pet—including what he/she can eat (Treats? Yes! Table scraps? No!) and whether or not he/she is allowed outside. You’ll want to ensure that your pet also has proper identification, such as a microchip or a collar and tags. The more people in your house, the greater the chances that your pet could inadvertently escape.

DO Pet-Proof the House

No one wants to seek emergency care for a pet during the holiday season, so be sure your house is hazard-free, especially if you have a curious pet or one who is prone to chewing. Ornaments, hooks, turkey bones, tinsel and wrapping materials, such as ribbons, string and bows, can become lodged within the body when chewed or swallowed. Traditional holiday plants like mistletoe, holly and poinsettias are also toxic to pets. When decorating for the holidays, please be sure to keep these items out of reach.

5 Holiday Plants to Keep Away From Your Pet

DON’T Let the Tree Pose a Threat to Your Pet

Be sure to keep the area around your Christmas tree clean. While they may seem harmless, pine needles can actually puncture your pet’s intestines if ingested. Tree water can also result in a tummy ache—or worse, if preservative chemicals are added to it. The artificial snow sprayed on some Christmas trees can also be toxic to pets if ingested. If you have pets in the home, it is strongly recommended not to purchase this type of tree.

DO Monitor Pets Around Open Flames

Fireplaces are dangerous places for wagging tails. Candles should also be kept out of reach of curious pets who can burn themselves or start a fire if the candle is knocked over.

Cat Candle

DON’T Leave Cords Exposed

Electrical cords and wires are a big hazard for pets around the holidays. Be sure to purchase covers for all exposed cords or simply tape cords against the wall to discourage chewing, which can result in shock or electrocution.

Seasonal Safety: Thanksgiving Tips for Pet Owners

By | Dog Tips

Turkey Day is right around the corner! Make sure your feast goes off without a hitch—and an emergency trip to the vet—with this guide.

The Food

This holiday is all about the food. Unfortunately, a sudden switch from kibble or canned food to a plate full of turkey and stuffing can wreak havoc on your pet’s digestive system, potentially leading to pancreatitis and gastroenteritis. More than just a tummy ache, these conditions can be very painful and even life-threatening to your pet.

Thanksgiving

Photo Credit: Christopher Schmidt

This does not mean your pet has to be left out of the festivities completely, however. The key is to keep it simple and in moderation. Remember, dogs and cats cannot handle rich, fatty foods like butter, cream and other seasonings the way humans can. It’s best to stick to small portions of plain turkey, mashed potatoes and vegetables like carrots or green beans. Make sure the turkey is well cooked and don’t forget to remove the bones and skin.

Keep in mind that while a little Thanksgiving meal will not harm your pet, there are a few foods that must be avoided. These include onions, grapes, raisins and chocolate, all of which are toxic to animals.

The Decorations

While home décor may not seem dangerous, some items can present a problem for our four-legged friends. Candles, in particular, should be kept out of reach of curious cats and dogs that can burn themselves or start a fire if the candle is knocked over.

Wires and batteries can also be hazardous. If chewed, wires can deliver a serious shock, while batteries can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus.

Cat Candle

Photo Credit: Sarah Ross

Other items, like decorative corn or pumpkins, may cause gastrointestinal upset or even a blockage if ingested.

The Clean-Up

Don’t think your pet is safe just because the food isn’t on the table anymore. One risk that is often overlooked is the disposal of food and wrappings when the big meal is over. It is safest to make sure all trash, including the turkey carcass, is securely tied up and out of reach. Remember that bones can break easily and sharp pieces can be swallowed, causing a blockage or tearing the intestines. All pieces of the carcass should be double-bagged and disposed of properly.

Food wrappings such as aluminum foil, wax paper and turkey strings should also be kept out of reach. Remember, when used to cook with, these items become just as irresistible to your pet as the food itself!

The Wind-Down

Make sure you give your pet a comfortable, quiet space to retreat to should the holiday activity be too much for him/her. Watch your pet for signs of stress, such as vocalizing, panting, pacing or trembling.

Tips to Start Planning Your Dog’s Holiday Lodging Stay in San Diego

By | Dog Boarding, Dog Daycare, Dog Tips, General

With Christmas and Thanksgiving quickly approaching, people all over San Diego County and Arizona are beginning to plan out their Holiday vacation. Whether it’s a “staycation” in your hometown or traveling across country, make sure your pets have somewhere safe and fun to stay if they are not going with you. Just as people need to reserve plane tickets and hotel rooms in advance during the holiday seasons, dogs also need advance reservations during these same peak times to ensure they have a room.  In order to avoid the stress and worry of leaving your pet behind we have outlined the basic necessities that pet owners in San Diego should do in order to ensure their dog has everything they need while their parents are away during the holidays.

paw commons holiday dog lodging

Reserve a Room: Once you have chosen a pet resort you like, go ahead and make a reservation. It is always better to have a spot and not need it, then miss a chance to have your pup board with your favorite pet resort. Just ask to make sure there are no cancellation penalties. Pet resorts fill up quickly, sometimes 2–3 months in advance for big holidays, to ensure your pet has a room book it as soon as you know the potential dates you may need lodging.

Vaccines: Once you have the reservation set, make sure that your pup will be up  to date on all their vaccines during their stay. Most pet resorts can call the vet to verify vaccines, pet owners can have their vet fax over the vaccine records, or pet parents can bring the records in themselves. Paw Commons in Encinitas, Bay Park, Hillcrest, and Gilbert require all boarding dogs to be updated on Rabies, DHLPP (Distemper/Parvo), and 6-month Bordetella.

Room and Play Options: At our own pet resorts in San Diego and Arizona we offer two room options: 1) Comfy Standard or the 2) Luxury Suites. Our comfy standard rooms range from 20-40 square feet and offer raised bedding and constant access to fresh water. Our luxury rooms are 40-100 square feet and offer raised bedding, comfy chair, constant access to fresh water and a flat screen television. Pet parents can also choose what play package they would like for their pet. You can choose between all day or half-day play, group play or individual play. Pick the package and the room that fits best with both your and your dogs needs.

Play Evaluations: If the pet resort offers day play, your pup will probably need to be evaluated before they are allowed to stay in the day play yard. A day play evaluation is just to ensure they are happy in that setting and get along well with other dogs. It is recommended to have their evaluation before their stay. If they pass we then recommend letting them enjoy day play for a few days before their stay. This allows them to become accustomed to not only day play but also the pet resort staff and the building. This will usually make them less nervous when you drop them off for their stay because they have become used to and enjoy coming to day play and seeing all the staff they now know and trust.

Emergency Contacts: Whether your cell phone dies or you have no cell service we encourage you to pick 1-2 emergency contacts and inform them of all your dogs needs. This way if the pet resort cannot get a hold of you concerning your dog they can reach out to the emergency contact to ensure all your dogs’ needs are met.

Medications: If your dog is on any medications, whether prescription or holistic, make sure to bring them. Paw Commons has a special medication form we have owners fill out in order to make sure all medications are given at the right time and in the proper manner. If you will be pressed for time at drop off we encourage owners to come in the day before and fill out all the needed paper work. Paw Commons also has the medication sheet available online through their website. You can download and print and fill it in before hand so you don’t have to do that at drop off.

Food: It is always recommend that you bring in your own dogs food. While some pet resorts offer food, make sure you ask about any hidden fees that may be attached. Paw Commons does offer Taste of the Wild dry and wet at no additional fee, but we still encourage owners whose pets are not already eating that brand and flavor of food to bring in their own to avoid upset tummies due to a food change. If you are bringing in their food, make sure you bring enough food for each feeding for the entire stay. Many pet owners will pre-bag the food per day, per feeding, to ensure they bring enough food. If your pet is on a special mediated diet or has food allergies we recommend you bring extra in case you have to extend their stay due to delayed flights or traffic or any other unexpected circumstances.

If you live in Bay Park, Hillcrest, Encinitas, or really anywhere is San Diego County come by Paw Commons, let us give you a tour and answer any questions you have.

Dog Training – Why You Should Get the Whole Family Involved

By | Dog Tips, Dog Training

If you recently got a new puppy or just adopted a dog, your new pet may be in need of some training.  One key thing many dog trainers and pet parents miss is involving the whole family in the process of training your pet. Yes, the whole family includes your kid, if they are old enough to walk them or help you with anything regarding your dog (i.e bath time, feeding time, etc.).  It is also important to include your significant other; if they spend a lot of time with you then they probably will be spending a lot of time with your new pet. It is ideal for everyone to attend the dog training sessions, but if one or more cannot make it, it is up to the pet parent who attended class to fill in everyone else and practice with them so everyone stays on the same page during the next class session.  If everyone understands the training then everyone will in turn be using those dog training techniques at home which then helps to re-enforce good behavior. This may seem tedious and overwhelming to keep everyone in the loop if you have a large family, but the pay off will be rewarded in having a well-behaved and perfectly mannered pup.

Dog Training – Why You Should Get the Whole Family Involved

We suggest new pet parents try our own San Diego dog trainer Christie Branch. Along with her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science, she received from Virginia Tech, she has numerous years of experience as a successful dog trainer. Her training varies from good behavior (sit, stay, heel, down) to working with and helping nervous/shy. Christie currently offers training certain days of the week at all three of our California based locations: Bay Park, Hillcrest, and Encinitas.

Types of Training

  • Free Evaluation: Christie offers a free 30-minute evaluation/consultation where you both have the opportunity to express concerns and questions on how Christie can help with your dog training needs.
  • Puppy 101 & 202: These classes are offered in a group or private sessions with Christie to learn and go over basic commands such as: sit, stay, down, etc.
  • In-Home Training: These are private classes offered at the client’s home to work on any training their pup may need.
  • Private Training: These classes are one-on-one with Christie to go over any dog training your dog may need. They are offered at all three locations (Bay Park, Hillcrest, and Encinitas), times and days may vary.
  • The Lab: We just recently rolled out our new training sessions, “The Lab”, at our Encinitas location. These classes enable past clients who have worked with Christie to come back and continue education on any training they may need (i.e. sit, stay, heel, leash pulling, counter surfing, ect.). New Clients may enroll after their pet meets special criteria with our dog trainer Christie.  All our training sessions such as these are customized to fit the client and the pup’s needs. As such The Lab sessions can span from 3-6 and 9 months. Training for The Lab will be held every Friday at our Encinitas location. For these dog training sessions pet parents do not need to stay for every session but may attend 2 of the 4 sessions each month they are in training. Pet parents who enroll in The Lab will also receive special discounts on lodging, daycare, retail and grooming.

Don’t wait, call now to book your Free Evaluation with Christie today, (619) 299-2730

Dog Training – Why You Should Get the Whole Family Involved

Hosting a Dog Party: Top 5 Tips for Success

By | Dog Tips

June 21st is National Dog Party Day and more pet parents than ever are throwing birthday bashes for their pooch. Before you bust out the treats, toys, and let the dogs loose- there are a few things you should consider for it to be a successful, safe, and fun event!

#1 The Guest List

Before you invite every single Fido in your contacts – you will want to consider if your dog is already acquainted or not. It is better to keep it limited to a few pups who play well together on a regular basis. The last thing you want is a situation where a dog fight breaks out during the festivities.

Who Let the Dog’s Out?! But seriously, make sure the doggies are contained in a gated, private area, where they are free to be off leash. A dog on a leash while others roam, is more likely to react defensively or aggressive.

Photo courtesy of Three Dog Bakery Del Mar

#2 Weather

If your party is planned to take place outdoors, you will need to plan ahead to make sure that everyone is comfortable. Unlike humans, dogs are not able to sweat in order to cool down their bodies. For warmer conditions, make sure there is enough shade for dogs and humans alike to find reprieve from the heat. Also, make sure there are enough water dishes to go around, and plenty of water on hand as well. If you are worried about inclement conditions, make sure you have a back-up plan in case of rain. Somewhere that is covered-or consider moving the soiree indoors if necessary.

#3 Extra! Extra!

Be sure you have extra. Extra of everything that your dog, or a doggie guest may become territorial about. For example: toys, treats, water bowels, etc. You don’t want a squabble over resources putting a damper on the day.

#4 The Feast

You will want to have snacks on hand for humans- but make sure that it stays away from the dog pack. Here is a list of table scrap no-no’s that could upset a pooches tummy and land them in the vet’s office. If you want to treat the dogs, have a variety of dog appropriate treats on hand – you could always add peanut butter (xylitol free), cream cheese, cheese wiz, and deli meats as an added bonus. Also, look into a specialty bakery for dogs, such as Paw Pleasers, to create a custom “cake” for the birthday dog! Dogs love to poke around in the trash, so make sure it’s picked up, secured, and thrown away into a larger receptacle as often as needed.

Photo courtesy of Three Dogs Bakery Del Mar

#5 Party Pooper

It is to be expected that your four legged guests will be leaving you “party favors” throughout the event. So be prepared with extra poop bags, cleaning spray, and paper towels!

Lastly, have fun!

Five Reasons to Consider a Professional Dental Cleaning for your Pet

By | Dog Tips
dog teeth cleaning

Did you know that dental disease affects nearly 85 percent of dogs and cats over three years of age? Imagine the equivalent—a human not brushing his/her teeth for 20 years—and you can easily understand why! Fortunately, dental disease is a treatable and preventable problem in most pets.

Here are five great reasons to consider a professional dental cleaning:

  1. Dental disease is painful. Pets suffering from dental disease are silently living in pain. Plaque buildup often causes inflammation of the gums around the base of the teeth (gingivitis), which is a continuous source of discomfort. When periodontal (gum) disease advances, inability to chew hard food, as well as excessive drooling, bleeding and difficulty opening or closing the mouth may occur. More importantly, without proper care, these problems will only get worse.
  2. Dental disease affects your pet’s general health. Bacteria under your pet’s gum line can travel to the heart, kidneys and liver, which can lead to serious health problems. A professional cleaning eliminates potential sources of infection and the risk of damage to these organs.
  3. Digital X-rays allow us to examine your pet’s oral health below the gum line. Some stages of dental disease are not visible to the naked eye. In fact, studies show that less than 50 percent of all dental problems in dogs and cats can be identified without dental X-rays! At The Drake Center, digital dental X-rays are obtained with every anesthetized dental procedure to further detail the health of the teeth below the gum line and determine the extent of periodontal disease.
  4. A dental cleaning bans bad breath. Offended by your pet’s breath? What we lovingly refer to as “doggie breath” is actually not normal for our furry friends—in fact, dogs’ and cats’ breath should not have a disagreeable odor at all! A professional dental cleaning addresses the dental disease at the root of your pet’s halitosis, which in turn will leave your pet’s breath smelling much better.
  5. Your pet’s teeth will look pretty! In addition to eliminating bacteria under the gums, a professional dental cleaning removes all visible plaque and tartar on the teeth, leaving your pet’s pearly whites looking like new. A registered veterinary technician (RVT) performs the cleaning portion of every dental procedure, which includes ultrasonic scaling to remove calculus and plaque, sub-gingival hand scaling to remove debris below the gum line, polishing and fluoride application.

www.thedrakecenter.com

Love Your Pet, See Your Vet

By | Dog Tips

National Pet Month is April and this year’s theme celebrates the importance of regular veterinary exams with the message, “Love Your Pet, See Your Vet.”

So, what exactly are you getting when you bring your pet in for a check-up? More than you might think!

Love Your Pet See Your Vet Paw Commons

Annual and bi-annual exams are actually a complete head-to-toe physical for your pet, including examination of the eyes, ears and mouth, heart and lung auscultation and abdominal and overall body palpation.

Here’s a closer look at what these exams can tell us:

  • Ocular exam: Looking into your pet’s eyes allows us to visualize current or potential problems in the external and internal eye.
  • Aural exam: Ear infections are very common in dogs. A dog’s ear canal is very long and deep; often, we find infections in a dog’s ears that the owners were unaware of.
  • Oral exam: A look at your pet’s teeth and gums can give us an idea of potential dental problems as well as your pet’s overall health. For example, did you know you can tell how a pet is feeling by the color of his/her gums?
  • Body Condition Score (BCS): The BCS is a scale (1-9) that allows us to assess your pet’s weight. This helps us formulate a diet and exercise plan that best suits your pet’s body, activity level and lifestyle.
  • Abdominal palpation: Palpation is the act of feeling with one’s hands. By doing an abdominal palpation, we can actually feel some of the pet’s liver, kidneys, intestines, spleen and bladder. Most importantly, we can find abnormalities that warrant further investigation on perfectly normal and healthy pets.
  • Overall body palpation: This allows us to scan the body for abnormalities, such as enlarged lymph nodes or tumors.
  • Heart and lung auscultation: Auscultation is the act of listening to the internal sounds of the body with a stethoscope. This allows us to listen for normal rates and rhythms, as well as pick up murmurs and arrhythmias in otherwise normal and healthy pets.

In addition, wellness exams are the perfect time to discuss any concerns regarding behavior, nutrition, weight, grooming, sleep patterns, family interaction and more.

The American Veterinary Medical Association created National Pet Week in 1981 to foster responsible pet ownership, recognize the human-animal bond and increase public awareness of veterinary medicine.

www.thedrakecenter.com

Spring is Here: When Should My Dog Visit the Groomer?

By | Dog Grooming, Dog Tips, General
paw commons grooming san diego

All dogs usually grow thicker coats during the colder months of winter, including our short-haired pups too like Chihuahuas, Boxers and even Dobermans! While pet owners may not notice the difference during the winter months, they will start to notice now that spring has sprung. This is due to increased shedding or as groomers call it, “blowing their coat.” Below are some telltale signs it may be time to see your groomer:

Pollens: All this fresh grass and new blooming flowers brings about more pollen in the air. These pollens can cause irritants to dogs with sensitive skin or skin allergies. Our trained groomers in Arizona, Phoenix and Gilbert can help ease some irritations with a hydrating oatmeal shampoo and conditioner. However, a groomer is never a substitute for a veterinarian when it comes to treating skin issues. Please see your vet if you believe your pet is suffering from skin allergies or if their skin just seems more irritated than normal during this spring season.

paw commons grooming gilbert

Tangles, Knots, Mats, and Dirty Fun: With spring also comes lush green grass, bright flowers and plenty of sunshine.  That extra dose of sunshine and extra green grass is the perfect mixture of good old-fashioned dirty fun for your dog. Nice weather means more time for your pup to play outside, either with friends, toys or just running wild and rolling around. All this romping around may leave your pet with dirt and grass stains. Unfortunately, rolling in the grass wont give them that fresh-cut grass smell either and may lead them to smelling a little stinky. Leave the bathing hassle to the groomers and let them clean and pamper your pet in Arizona, Phoenix and Gilbert after a day of fun! This extra dose of fun in the sun can also lead to knots, tangles and matts for those breeds with long hair, such as Australian Shepherds, Doodles, and Malteses. Whether you live in Arizona, Phoenix and Gilbert, don’t let your dog miss out on those fun spring days because you are worried about the upkeep of keeping them tangle-free. Spring is the perfect time to bring your dog to the groomer to ensure they stay knot and matt free.

Blowing Their Coats: Pet owners can help keep the shedding down by brushing, brushing, and more brushing. All that hair has to go somewhere though. It usually ends up all over the house and may even clog up your bathroom drains during bath time. Let your pup enjoy a nice massage, bath, extra brushing and a nail trim with their groomer! Leave the mess at the groomers’ and enjoy your clean and soft pup. For dogs with extreme shedding many groomers, including our own in Arizona, Phoenix and Gilbert, offer special de-shedding treatments.

Don’t wait until spring is over; make your grooming appointment today!