SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

November 16, 2012

Make sure your pet has a happy holiday

(Continued)

What to gift the pet that already has everything? Shop carefully for chew toys. If a chew toy does not have some flexibility, it may be too hard for your pet’s teeth. Hard marrowbones and beef bones can fracture dog’s teeth quite easily. If chewed all the time, bones can wear the teeth down. Tennis balls can wear teeth down to nubbins with exposed and painful nerves. Rawhide dental chews can be safe and are great for getting the smelly bacterial biofilm off your dog or cat’s teeth. A solid scratching post that your cat can climb will exercise your cat’s claws and muscles. Treat your exotic pet to a more varied diet after consulting with your vet on the proper foods.

A microchip will provide you peace of mind and your pet with safety. One-third of all pets are lost at some point in their lifetime. Ninety percent of pets lost are never recovered. If they have a microchip, they are much more likely to be returned to you. More than 1 million pets have been recovered thanks to microchips. A microchip could save a lot of heartbreak for you and could save your pet’s life. It would make a great present.

Our dog Otis ran away to a local camp while we were on Cape Cod this summer. Before we knew he was gone, we received a call. The girls in the cabin at the camp had called the number they found on his tags. The microchip company contacted our practice, my receptionist called my husband, and then my husband contacted me to let me know he was at Cape Cod Sea Camps being adored by a cabin of campers. It turns out Cape Cod Sea Camps is right next door to our cabin through some woods. Otis probably heard the sound of laughing kids and blew through the screen window to go visit. If he did not have the microchip and tag, he might not have been found. Before we walked back down the beach, Otis received his own camp badge donated by a friendly counselor who, amazingly enough, was also named Otis.

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