Proper pet health
Keeping your pet’s teeth in good shape has many more benefits than just fresh breath. Regular cleanings and a few minutes of brushing each week can help give your pet a longer, healthier life.
Bad breath in pets is just one sign of dental disease that can lead to other health problems. Similar to people, your pet needs routine dental care too. Most dogs and cats develop a dental disease by three years of age and the faster the disease is treated, the easier it is to manage.
Talk with us about your pet’s dental health. We can prevent and manage your pet’s oral problems before they become serious!
Warning signs to look for in your pet
• Bad breath
• Sensitivity around the mouth
• Loss of appetite
• Yellow or brown deposits on teeth
• Bleeding, inflamed or receding gums
• Loose or missing teeth
• Pawing at mouth or face
• Difficulty chewing
Ways to keep your pet’s teeth healthy
• Bring your pet in for regular check-ups
• Brush your pet’s teeth at least a few times a week – We’ll show you how
• Choose a pet food formulated to reduce plaque and tarter – ask us for recommendations
• Use plaque reducing treats and toys
Talk with us about your pet’s dental health. We can prevent and manage your pet’s oral problems before they become serious!
Pogo was an adorable and friendly house cat at Ravenwood Veterinary Clinic for 13 years. She donated blood many, many times to save animals in need. She always greeted customers at the front desk with a meow and a purr.
We feel honored to have a non-profit fund named after Pogo.
Pogo’s Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit fund to help provide financial assistance to pet owners who cannot afford urgent, emergency and/or needed healthcare for sick and injured pets.
We appreciate and accept any and all donations. These funds are dispersed at the discretion of the Pogo’s Fund Board of Directors.
We will be adding a donation feature to this section soon so you can help us, help them! Please check back soon.
Ten tips on coping with the loss of a pet
Anyone who considers a pet a beloved friend, companion or family member knows the intense pain that accompanies the loss of that friend. Following are some tips on coping with that grief, and with the difficult decisions one faces upon the loss of a pet.
Intense grief over the loss of a pet is normal and natural. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s silly, crazy or overly sentimental to grieve!
During the years you spent with your pet (even if they were few), it became a significant and constant part of your life. It was a source of comfort and companionship, of unconditional love and acceptance, of fun and joy. So don’t be surprised if you feel devastated by the loss of such a relationship.
People who don’t understand the pet/owner bond may not understand your pain. All that matters, however, is how you feel. Don’t let other dictate your feelings: they are valid, and may be extremely painful. But remember, you are not alone. Thousands of pet owners have gone through the same feeling.
Different people experience grief in different ways. Besides, your sorrows and loss, you may also experience the following emotions:
• Guilt may occur if you feel responsible for your pet’s death – the “if I only had been more careful” syndrome. It is pointless and often erroneous to burden yourself with guilt for the accident or illness that claimed your pet’s life, and only makes it more difficult to resolve your grief.
• Denial makes if difficult to accept that your pet is really gone. It’s hard to imagine that your pet won’t greet you when you come home, or that it doesn’t need it’s evening meal. Some pet owners carry this to extremes, and fear their pet is still alive and suffering somewhere. Others find it hard to get a new pet for fear of being “disloyal” to the old pet.
• Anger may be directed at the illness that killed your pet, the driver of the speeding car, the veterinarian who “failed” to save it’s life. Sometimes it is justified, but when carried to extremes, it distracts you from the important task of resolving your grief.
• Depression is a natural consequence of grief, but can leave you powerless to cope with your feelings. Extreme depression robs you of motivation and energy, causing you to dwell upon your sorrow.
The most important step you can take is to be honest about your feelings. Don’t deny your pain, or your feelings of anger and guilt. Only by examining and coming to terms with your feelings can you begin to work through them.
You have a right to feel pain and grief! Someone you loved has died, and you feel alone and bereaved. You have a right to feel anger and guilt, as well. Acknowledge your feelings first, then ask yourself whether the circumstances actually justify them.
Locking away your grief doesn’t make it go away. Express it. Cry, scream, pound the floor, talk it out. Do what helps you the most. Don’t try to avoid grief by not thinking about your pet; instead, reminisce about the good times. This will help you understand what your pet’s loss actually means to you.
Some find it helpful to express their feelings and memories in poems, stories, or letters to the pet. Other strategies including rearranging your schedule to fill in the times you would have spent with your pet; preparing a memorial such as a photo collage; and talking to others about your loss.
If you don’t have family or friends who understand, or if you need more help, ask your veterinarian or humane association to recommend a pet loss counselor or support group. Check with your church or hospital for grief counseling. Remember, your grief is genuine and deserving of support.
Evaluate your pet’s health honestly and unselfishly with your veterinarian. Prolonging a pet’s suffering in order to prevent you own ultimately helps neither of you. Nothing cam make this decision an easy or painless one, but it is truly the final act of love that you can make for your pet.
Some clinics are more open than others to allowing the owner to stay during euthanasia. Some veterinarians are also willing to euthanize a pet at home. Others have come to an owner’s car to administer the injection. Again, consider what will be least traumatic for you and your pet, and discuss your desires and concerns with your veterinarian. If your clinic is not able to accommodate your wishes, request a referral.
If you prefer a more formal option, several are available. Home burial is a popular choice, if you have sufficient property for it. It is economical and enables you to design your own funeral ceremony at little cost. However, city regulations usually prohibit pet burials, and this is not a good choice for renters or people who move frequently.
To many, a pet cemetery provides a sense of dignity, security, and permanence. Owners appreciate the serene surroundings and care of the gravesite. Cemetery costs vary depending on the services you select, as well as upon the type of pet you have. Cremation is a less expensive option that allows you to handle your pet’s remains in a variety of ways: bury them (even in the city), scatter them in a favorite location, place them in a columbarium, or even keep them with you in a decorative urn (of which a wide variety are available).
Check with your veterinarian, pet shop, or phone directory for options available in your area. Consider your living situation, personal and religious values, finances, and future plans when making your decision. It’s also wise to make such plans in advance, rather than hurriedly in the midst of grief.
Honesty is important. If you say the pet was “put to sleep,” make sure your children understand the difference between death and ordinary sleep. Never say the pet “went away,” or your child may wonder what he or she did to make it leave, and wait in anguish for its return. That also makes it harder for a child to accept a new pet. Make it clear that the pet will not come back, but that it is happy and free of pain.
Never assume a child is too young or too old to grieve. Never criticize a child for tears, or tell them to “be strong” or not to feel sad. Be honest about your own sorrow; don’t try to hide it, or children may feel required to hide their grief as well. Discuss the issue with the entire family, and give everyone a chance to work through their grief at their own pace.
You may need to give your surviving pets a lot of extra attention and love to help them through this period. Remember that, if you are going to introduce a new pet, your surviving pets may not accept the newcomer right away, but new bonds will grow in time. Meanwhile, the love of your surviving pets can be wonderfully healing for your own grief.
When you do get a new pet, avoid getting a “lookalike” pet, which makes comparisons all the more likely. Don’t expect your new pet to be “just like” the one you lost, but allow it to develop its own personality. Never give a new pet the same name or nickname as the old. Avoid the temptation to compare the new pet to the old one: It can be hard to remember that your beloved companion also caused a few problems when it was young!
A new pet should be acquired because you are ready to move forward and build a new relationship-rather than looking backward and mourning your loss. When you are ready, select an animal with whom you can build another long, loving relationship-because this is what having a pet is all about!
Hurricane preparedness checklist
Cats and dogs should always wear collars with licenses and rabies tags as required by state or local law. Break-away collars are recommended for cats.
If a pet has medical problems, a tag with essential medical information should be added.
Microchipping your pet is a more permanent means of identiﬁcation because it is possible for the collar and tags to fall off.
• Current identification should always be worn on the collar
• Additional temporary identification tag with your out-of-area emergency contact phone numbers
• Photos of your pet and you together (to prove your ownership and to help ﬁnd your pet if he becomes lost)
• Pet ﬁrst aid kit, including the Cat First Aid book and/or Dog First Aid book and any medications your pet is taking
Medical records stored in a waterproof container, to include;
• Vaccinations records
• Medical conditions
• Veterinarian’s name and phone number
• Any other special concerns or behavior issues
Note: I strongly recommend using a cloud storage solution such as Dropbox (free) to keep all of the above information available from any computer with internet access.
• Food and water for each pet: a three-day supply for evacuation and a two-week supply for the home, including a manual can opener, if needed, for canned food.
• Food and water bowls
• Bedding/blankets and toys (to help reduce stress and provide comfort)
• Leashes, harnesses and carriers (to transport your pets safely and to ensure your pets cannot escape)
• Litter and litter box for cats
• Garbage bags
• Quart-size storage bags
• Paper towels
• Bleach (to make a sanitizing solution for cleaning up pet waste, litter box and carrier)
* IMPORTANT EVACUATION TELEPHONE NUMBERS
West Volusia Humane Society – DeLand – (386) 734-2450
Southeast Volusia Humane Society – New Smyrna Beach – (386) 428-9860
Halifax Humane Society – Daytona Beach – (386) 274-4704
Daytona Beach – (386) 226-1400
American Red Cross – (877) 272-7337
Pet first aid and supply list
• Cold compress
• Sterile gauze pads, non-adherent (assorted sizes)
• Roll gauze, two-inch width, cotton
• Roll cohesive wrap, three-inch width (stretches and clings to itself)
• Adhesive tape, hypoallergenic
• Absorbent compresses, assorted sizes (sometimes called gauze sponges)
• Assorted bandages and compresses
Medications and solutions
• Antibiotic ointment (triple, available at pharmacies)
• Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) in a dose appropriate for your dog’s size if approved
• Hydrogen peroxide, three percent (has an expiration date)
• Glucose paste or corn syrup (if your pet is diabetic or has a history of low blood sugar)
• Epsom salts (to make saline solution)
• Petroleum jelly
• Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl)
• Sterile, water-based lubricant (such as KY® Jelly) that washes off easily
• Sterile eye lubricant (available at pharmacies)
• Sterile saline eye wash (available at pharmacies)
• Styptic powder (to stop bleeding from broken nails, available at pet stores)
Tools and utensils
• Grooming clippers
• Nail clippers appropriate for your pet’s nails
• Needle-nose pliers (for dogs only)
• Nylon leash (at least one)
• Rectal thermometer, non-mercury/non-glass
• Scissors, small, with blunt end
• Syringe, baby dose size
• Wire cutters, small (to cut barb off embedded hooks if you take your dog ﬁshing)
• Expired credit card (to scrape away stingers)
• Cat First Aid book and/or Dog First Aid book
• List of emergency telephone numbers
• Blanket (emergency or “space” blanket)
• Clean cloth
• Disposable gloves (non-latex)
• Any special items your pet may need, such as medications