***The following blog and all subsequent blogs will be written in memory of my sweet boy Toby, who I sadly lost last month. Give your dog a hug!!!

Toby's Doggy Tip

Toby’s Doggy Tips #3

THREE AVOIDABLE PROBLEMS THAT CAN HELP YOUR DOG LEAD A HAPPIER AND HEALTHIER LIFE:
1. DENTAL DISEASE – there are very few dog owners who don’t dread the idea of keeping their dogs’ teeth clean and well-maintained. Some lucky dogs can go through their whole lives without developing a problem with tartar buildup. But most dogs will develop this problem which can lead to periodontal disease. And this lead to kidney, liver and heart problems. In addition, without regular inspection and cleaning, a cracked or broken tooth can be overlooked. This means your dog is in daily pain and can effect his eating and can lead to behavioral issues. (just think how you feel walking around with a toothache!). It’s so very important that you make the effort to clean your pup’s teeth – there are many products and methods on the market. If you look in your dog’s mouth and her teeth are crusted with plaque, it’s time to schedule a teeth cleaning with your Vet!
2. OBESITY – The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) estimates that 50% of dogs in this country are overweight or obese! And the primary cause is owner non-recognition. Over the years I have tried to gently suggest to our doggy daycare dog owners that their pup could stand to lose some weight. Mostly, I have seen surprised reactions and sometimes even indignation! When you stand over your dog, looking down you should see a clearly discernible waist. When you run your hand along her ribcage area you should be able to feel their ribs. If not, your dog is probably overweight. Obesity in dogs can cause a variety of problems including osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory disease, cruciate ligament injuries, kidney disease, many forms of cancer and a decreased life expectancy. Our dogs’ lives are short enough already! Have an honest discussion with your Vet. Develop a sensible nutrition and exercise plan. If your dog is already fat, slowly increase the lengths of the walks you take her on. And hey, you just might lose some weight too!!
3. OVER-LONG NAILS – While maybe not as serious as the first two problems, over-long nails can decrease your dog’s quality of life by making his every step uncomfortable. Extra long nails are easy to spot, but dogs who have longer hair hiding painfully long nails – and perhaps even lesions on their toes from where long, curving nails have created pressure sores on adjacent toes. If you can hear his nails go “tick, tick, tick” as he walks on tile or wood floors, then his nails are too long. If you are easily able to cut your dog’s nails, trim a tiny bit off each nail weekly. If you are uneasy or if your dog struggles, you should find a Groomer (like Veronica here at Toby’s) and schedule frequent trimmings. Your dog will thank you!!