Helping Idaho 4-Hers Have Happy Pets

Published on February 11, 2015 by arothstein

This past Saturday, Broadview University-Boise’s Resident Veterinarian Dr. Tami Hinderager and three veterinary technology students: Dana Simmons, Brian Swartz, and Mista Brock conducted a dog health seminar to about twenty families with children ranging from age seven to eighteen at Expo Idaho’s Premium Building.

“It’s our 4-H District Two Spring Small Animal Project Training,” said Tony Houston, a club leader. “We have 4-H clubs from Adams, Canyon, Elmore, Ada, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties.

Dana started off the seminar by instructing pet owners how to enrich the lives of their dogs. “They are less likely to cause damage if they have something to play with,” said Dana.

She discussed different types of toys and encouraged audience members to keep one near their dog’s food. “Having a toy near a pet’s food can encourage skills of chasing and catching as well as them consuming their food.”

veterinary technology program

Veterinary technology students Brian Swartz and Mista Brock with Killian.

Mista talked about the importance of dental care. “Taking care of your pet’s teeth is recommended since eighty percent of diseases show up in the mouth,” said Mista. “Daily brushing, water additives, gels, and sprays are things that you can use to prevent them.”

Using her dog, Killian, she illustrated how to brush a dog’s teeth. “Never use human toothpaste,” said Mista. “Fluoride has a toxicity, and the toothpaste that you put in your pet’s mouth will be swallowed. Use animal paste; there’s a dozen different flavors. Get a trial size to see which one your dog likes.”

Killian was also used by Dr. Hinderager to demonstrate how a veterinarian would exam the 4-Hers’ pets at an annual exam. “A dog not seen by a vet in one year is like a human not seen by a doctor in ten years,” she said. “But, you do not need to bring in your dog more than once a year if it is healthy.”

Brian highlighted another way that the 4-Hers could keep themselves and their pets healthy. “Parasites are nasty but easy to prevent by doing what I call the Four Ps – Pick up Pet’s Poop Properly,” he said. “Leaving poop on the ground can give parasites time to go off the poop and go into your garden or grass.”

Exercise was other thing that Dr. Hinderager recommended. “The goal is to keep dog around as long as possible.

“It is important to keep dog healthy and well exercised,” she said. “Lots of exercise keeps your dog focused on you, and this is important when doing 4-H shows at the fair.”

Mista added, “A healthy pet is generally a happy pet.”

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