Start Good Habits Early
- To prevent damage to your dog's teeth and gums, veterinarians recommend brushing your dog's teeth at least once a week. Work with your puppy or kitten daily, touching his lips and teeth, to get him used to having his mouth handled. (And you'll be much happier if you ever have to medicate or get something dangerous out of your pet's mouth in the future!)
- The recommended way to brush your dog's teeth is in short, circular strokes near the gum line, about two teeth at a time. There are specified toothpaste and brushes that should be used on dogs. Brushes with soft, pliable bristles work best.
- Touch your puppy or kitten's paws often so that when the time comes you can quickly and easily trim its nails.
- Rest your puppy or kitten on your lap and rub the paw you are going to start trimming. From there, hold the paw in one hand and press one of the animal's toe pads to extend the claw.
- You'll want to avoid the pink tissue (the "quick") within the nail. Holding your clippers at a vertical angle allows for better trims. Of course, if your puppy or kitten wants nothing to do with a nail trim, try trimming one nail a day or ask your veterinarian or groomer to trim them.
- Give the pets we love a good name by being a responsible citizen!
- In Chicago, you are legally bound to pick up your dog's waste. Failure to do so can get you a $50 to $500 fine each time. Check your local laws for more information.
- Extremely contagious parasites for both pets and people, like Giardia, are frequently transmitted when irresponsible pet owners don't pick up after their pets.