NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

January 10, 2014

Paw Prints: New year, new habits

(Continued)

Everyone with teeth needs home dental care. We don’t question this for us or for our children. It’s no different for your pooch. Pets have teeth, too. Because dogs age seven times faster than humans, gingivitis, periodontal disease and tooth abscesses occur at a much faster rate, too.

By age 3, almost 80 percent of dogs have periodontal disease. That’s a scary statistic. Getting Fido on a daily tooth-brushing routine is inexpensive and easy. If you’re not sure how to brush your dog’s teeth, ask your veterinary team to show you.

Relaxation with Fido is calming and bonding for both of you. Start a routine of patting and massaging him all over. He will surely roll over for belly rubs, too. This is the perfect time to inspect for lumps or skin sores. Anything new that doesn’t seem to improve in a few days warrants further investigation.

Happy New Year to you and your pooch.

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Dr. Heidi Bassler practices at Bassler Veterinary Hospital (www.BasslerVet.com) at Crossroads Plaza in Salisbury. She hosts a radio show, “Your Pet’s Health,” every Sunday morning at 8:30 on WNBP 106.1 FM and 1450 AM. Do you have questions for Dr. Bassler? Send them to heidibasslerdvm@comcast.net.

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