NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

December 13, 2013

Paw Prints: Merry gifts for furry friends

(Continued)

4. Dental care. Fido and Fluffy love to be close to you. Foul breath is not a fair reason to turn them away. All pets deserve a pain-free mouth with fresh breath. Pets are prone to the same toothaches and periodontal disease that we are. Have your pet’s teeth professionally examined by a veterinarian, then start a daily routine at home to keep his mouth healthy.

5. Healthy, safe snacks. Everyone likes to give their little loved ones treats. Fido and Fluffy often struggle with their weight. Many treats are rich and can cause tummy upsets. Most fruits and vegetables are good options for dogs. Pieces of apple, baby carrots and even broccoli florets are favorites for many pooches. Grapes, raisins and onions are no-nos. If your dog is a carb lover, try air-popped popcorn or plain Cheerios cereal. Kitties often find a spoonful of plain canned pumpkin to be quite the treat.

6. Parasite control. No one wants bugs in them or on them. Your pets are no different. Fleas itch, and ticks spread nasty disease. Inside your pet, gut parasites can cause intestinal discomfort, and heartworms are life-threatening. Common parasites are easy to keep away with monthly medication. Ask your veterinarian for help in choosing the right products for your pet.

7. Grooming. A gift certificate for a day at the pet spa is a terrific idea. Fido and Fluffy feel like royalty when their coats are in tiptop shape. Be sure to keep up with mat removal and brushing out loose hair. A gentle hypoallergenic bath invigorates them and makes them feel extra-special. A good groomer will keep your furry friend’s nails trimmed. This will help prevent them from getting caught and torn.

8. More exercise. Make this your New Year’s resolution. Fido and Fluffy are terrific personal trainers. They will learn your new routine and prompt you to continue even if you begin to slack later in the year. Every dog loves to go for walks. If your pooch is too old and achy, talk to your veterinarian about how you can make him more comfortable so that he has a better quality of life. Even indoor cats appreciate physical exercise. Have some fun with cat toys, and encourage your kitty to play chase. Big pieces of cat furniture are often favorites, too. Your feline will stretch and climb and then watch you from his new lookout tower.

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