Dental Hygiene in Dogs – The Root of Many Evils

Your pooch relies on you to provide the dental care that they need. Before we start it is worth pointing out that your dog will not suffer with a similar number of cavities like we do. But they do suffer with similar dental problems such as gingivitis and plaque.

In fact, The American Veterinary Medical Association reported that 4 out of 5 dogs over the age of three have some form of gum disease.

If these kinds of problems are not treated, then your dog can suffer from worse problems such as kidney disease, liver and heart problems. So, it is essential that you take care of your dog’s teeth and this article will provide the tips and advice that you need to do just that.

Clean your Dog’s Teeth Properly

If you have never cleaned your furry friend’s teeth before then you are in for a treat! They will not be excited about it at all and you need to be a bit cunning to get the job done. It is best to go for teeth cleaning when your pooch is tired – say after a long walk. They will be a lot happier to sit and let you wield the toothbrush.

Start the teeth cleaning process slowly and speak soothingly to your pet as you make each attempt. If you do not manage an effective clean the first time around don’t worry – keep practicing every day until you get it right. Honestly, they will get used to it eventually if you persevere and like any training, remember to use positive reinforcement. I know it sounds strange to give them a treat after cleaning their teeth, but it’s not like giving your kid a sweet after they’ve cleaned theirs. Alternatively, you can give them their favorite toy to play with.

The earlier you start teeth cleaning the better. If your dog is older then they will take to it eventually. If you have a puppy then start straight away.

CARE: NEVER use human toothpaste for the job as it will contain fluoride which is dangerous for dogs. Be sure to buy special dog tooth paste for the job – and if you get a particularly stubborn hound who doesn’t like fresh minty breath, you can even get flavored toothpaste, so they think they’re actually getting something tasty whilst you’re doing the dreaded deed!

How eating and chewing benefits doggie dentures

It is even more important to clean your dog’s teeth regularly if they eat wet food rather than dry food. The reason is that wet food can stick to their teeth and cause decay more easily.

Your dog can clean their teeth through the act of chewing hard dental and hard rubber or nylon chew toys also massage their gums and exercise their oral structures. A nice bone to chew on will also help get rid of tartar build up and strengthen your dog’s teeth.

Look out for these possible dental problems

If you are brushing the teeth and you notice blood or your pooch cries out in pain then this is a sure sign they probably have a problem that needs professional attention.

Try to check inside your dog’s mouth regularly – like once every week. There are a number of symptoms that can indicate dental hygiene problems and these include:

  • Your canine has suddenly changed their eating habits
  • They are drooling excessively
  • You can see that they have a tooth missing
  • Their gums look swollen, overly red or there are signs of bleeding
  • You can see growths in their mouth
  • They have really bad breath
  • They have started to paw at their mouth

If you spot any of these then it is time to take your beloved pet for a check-up with the doggie dentist! You should visit the veterinarian at least once a year for an overall health check-up anyway and this will include an oral check, but please don’t delay until the annual appointment, if your pooch displays any of the above signs.

Us humans clean our teeth twice a day, so it should be no surprise that it’s recommended we clean our dog’s teeth once a day. But, in case you do skip it now and again, the daily addition of a dental hygiene chew to a regimen of tooth brushingevery other day has been proven to reduce the risk of gingivitis and accumulation of dental deposits (plaque, calculus and stain). There are lots of suitable chews available on the marketin various shapes and sizes – my dog loves getting his teeth into Dentastix or Greenies and they certainly seem to do the trick.


Help your pooch by paying particular attention to their dental care – it will avoid painful problems for them and save you a lot of unnecessary expense. That’s a win win in my book!

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health!




Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 



FidoActive donates a portion of sales revenue to charitable organizations in the USA for animal rescue and rehoming. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites, which goes towards helping these incredibly worthy causes too.

Become a Neighborhood Chained Dog Detective!

Why chained dogs need YOUR help

Can you imagine being chained up for several hours each day? How would you feel if you could only move around a couple of yards? You would have to eat, drink, sleep and attend to your bathroom needs all in this tiny space. It wouldn’t be very nice would it?

There has been a growing awareness over the past few years through national campaigning by dog lovers, leading to the introduction of laws regarding the chaining of dogs in many (but not all!) States.  However, these laws are only enforceable if they are brought to the attention of the necessary authorities and that’s where the problem lies.

It is impossible to resource this centrally, meaning many poor dogs have not seen a jot of difference and continue to live a lonely and miserable existence in appalling conditions.

We want to help continue to highlight their plight and put theissue in perspective with this article, so that you understand the suffering that a dog experiences when chained up and what each and every one of us can doabout it.

Why do people chain up their pets?

Often people will chain up dogs with all of the best intentions. They know that their pooch enjoys being outdoors but they are busy and do not have the time to supervise their pet. They are also worried that if their canine does not have a chain or leash that they will run away.There is also a belief that a dog chained up outside will guard the home well but, in fact, they will do a better job if they are left inside the home.

If a dog is chained up what are the consequences?

Deprived of Social Interaction

Our canine friends like interaction with others and are social creatures. Chaining up a dog means you are depriving them of this interaction. In this situation it is possible that a pooch can change their behavior and even become hostile and aggressive, but this reaction is normally only through fear, as they can’t run away from strangers or other dogs that they perceive as a threat.

Become more Territorial

You probably already know that your dog is a territorial animal. By confining them to a very small space you will heighten this instinct. They can take it upon themselves to aggressivelydefend their small territorial area and this can be a problem for anyone that comes into contact with them.

If you keep your dog on a chain for long periods then you can cause deep psychological problems. Your dog can become unhappy, neurotic, aggressive and anxious. These problems are usually a result of the environment and when the poor pooch is actually unchained, they will normally resort back to being docile with no aggression – but ALWAYS approach a chained dog with caution.

Chains and other Restraints can cause Injuries or Death

A chain, leash or zip line can be dangerous on several fronts:

• Owners run the risk of their pooch experiencing back or neck injuries, and the chances of this happening increase significantly if the chain gets tangled up with something else.
• The potential of hanging through falling from a raised platform such as a deck or porch. This is too horrific to think about but sadly it happens far too often.
They may accidentally knock over their food and water, resulting in hunger and dehydration.
 If the dog were to break free from a restraint then they may face injury or even death by wandering on to a busy road or highway.

Extreme Weather Exposure

Depending upon the location, chaining a dog can expose them to all kinds of problems such as extreme weather, bites from insects and even attacks from other animals. Often when a dog owner chains up there is an “out of sight out of mind” scenario. This is not intentional but the poor pooch suffers.

If there are severe weather extremes then a chain may restrict a dog’s ability to shelter in extremely hot or cold conditions. Also a dog may need more food or water. If the weather is really hot then water that is exposed will evaporate very quickly.

How YOU can help a chained dog

If you see a dog in your neighborhood that is constantly chained then please do everything that you can to stop this. People are busy but hopefully you can now understand how much these poor animals rely on caring animal lovers like you.

It is all too easy to for people to leave adog outside and then get involved in other things and forget about them. If a canine is chained up then this will make things a whole lot worse. Owners need to think about alternative ways to give their dog a good balance of indoor and outdoor life without the chain.

In manyStates chaining dogs up for too long is illegal, but it still happens. If you see a chained-updog here is what you can do:

 Have a conversation with the owner – talk to them politely and point out that their pet doesn’t look very happy/safe/comfortable on the chain and ask if there isanything you can do to help. The owner may be elderly and not as able to look after their dogs needs like they used to and unable to take them for walks.
If you notice that the dog is low on food and water then do what you can to give them more.
It you get a hostile reception from the owner, then walk away and file a complaint with the local authorities or ASPCA– take pictures of the dog, note down the details of the residence and tell them everything you have observed.

These poor animals are reliant on being discovered by someone like you, so become a chained dog detective. When you are out walking,please beon the lookout for dogs constantly tied outside with chains or lines and be their voice, to secure a better future for them – a one they truly deserve!

Wishing you and every dog a happy and healthy life!




Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

Help Take the Strain and Pain off Your Old Dog’s Joints

Just like humans, as our dogs get older, they get to the point where the mind is willing but the body isn’t quite as able! 

Not surprisingly it’s the joints that take the brunt of it, as they have to support the body 24/7, whether at work, play or relaxing. I know that our glucosamine-chondroitin-MSM based supplement for dogs helps alleviate the pain and increases the flexibility in damaged or arthritic joints.

However, there are other things that I have implemented to help take the strain off my old faithful’s joints and prevent painful accidents that could worsen his condition. I thought you might find it useful too…

If you’ve got an ageing pooch suffering with stiffness or arthritis too, or one that has previously undergone surgery for broken bones or torn ligaments, please check out the top tips below and see if you can help stop your furry best friend suffering in silence.


Top Tips to Help Ease Your Dog’s Painful Joints

• Provide a cushioned bed and position away from drafts

Most dogs sleep 12 hours a day.  Ease your pet’s pain by adding extra fleece or blankets to their bed, and be sure to keep their bed away from windows and other drafty locations.

Exercise for shorter periods but at regular intervals

Exercise is so important to break the vicious circle of joint decay.Pain reduces mobility, which leads to muscle wastage and weakening of the surrounding ligaments and tendons; the joints then become less stable, leading to more wear & tear, more joint decay and more pain.Exercise is therefore essential to keep the muscle tone necessary to support the joints, prevent the decay from worsening and lessen their pain.

Keep your Fido active but take care not to over exert!

Apply a warm water bottle for 15 minutes twice a day

This relaxes the muscles and also promotes blood circulation for faster healing. You can easily tuck one under their blanket when they go to rest after exercise and believe me, dogs love this comfort just as much as us humans!

Help them with obstacles and heights

So they can continue to enjoy their exercise and woodland walks, why not treat them to a harness coat with a strong handle
so you can help them out of water, lift them over obstacles like fallen trees, in and out of vehicles and up steps, without putting pressure on painful joints. Also, attaching the leash to the harness provides more control, helps to stop them pulling and relieves strain on their neck. Another great bonus is the harness will also help keep them dry, warm and promote good blood circulation at the same time! 

Jumping up onto porches or even into the car trunk can be even more difficult and painful, as they put more weight on their hind legs. For larger dogs, lifting them up may not be an option if they are too heavy for you (or you may be suffering from aching joints yourself!) In this case a ramp is an ideal solution to provide a gradient they can manage and help you at the same time.

Provide traction on slippery floors

Dogs, especially those with hip dysplasia, often have a hard time on slippery floors, such as vinyl, polished wood, tile or laminate, so lay carpet down or put a pet gate to keep them out of the area.
If your dog doesn’t travel in a crate, then you can install carpet or a non-slip liner on the back seat or cargo area of larger vehicles, SUVs, station wagons and vans, to provide better stability for your 4-legged friend and prevent them from being thrown around when you’re on the move.

Keep your dog out of damp, chilly weather

It’s not actually the cold and wet that causes the problem but fluid pressure within the joint. It’s the drop in atmospheric pressure that allows the joint tissues to swell, causing stiffness and discomfort. It’s not always possible to walk your dog at the most favorable times of the day, so just make sure they are kept warm or maybe consider indoor alternatives.


Swimming allows the natural movement of muscles and joints in a buoyant environment and helps to build muscle around diseased joints, which in turn relieves the pressure on them when walking or running. The water’s warmer too so blood vessels can do their job properly, supplying healing nutrients to muscles and skin. It certainly helped my dog’s recovery from a cruciate ligament operation and it’s also a fun way to help a slightly porky pooch lose weight!

: Ask your veterinarian about your dog’s suitability for hydrotherapy, just in case there’s a valid reason why they should not swim.


Massage the muscles around your dog’s hip joints, gently rubbing in a circular motion with your fingertips for ten minutes at the most. BUT pay attention to your companion’s response – If massage seems to irritate your dog’s hip, don’t continue.

Healthy Balanced Diet

Weight control is very important as extra weight puts more stress on the joints. A FidoActive supplement nugget can be given as a healthy treat instead of their normal titbits, so your best friend won’t think they’re in the ‘dog house’!

Positioning of feeding stations

Dog arthritis can be prevalent in any major joint; if your dog has shoulder or neck pain, raise up their water and food dishes so they don’t have to bend over.

Regular Check-ups

Remember to schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian – not all conditions are visible to the eye in the early stages and you could save your best friend a lot of unnecessary pain.

I hope you find some of these tips help you to manage your dog’s pain and help them enjoy a happier and more active life.

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health – always!




Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

For more information about FidoActive and our all-natural supplements visit or visit Amazon





FidoActive donates a portion of sales revenue to charitable organisations in the USA for animal rescue and rehoming. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites, which goes towards helping these incredibly worthy causes too.

Pet Theft Awareness Day

Do you really value your dog?

If it were a choice between your TV or your precious pet, which would you rather a thief takes? The obvious answer is “neither” but at least your house contents are insured and can be replaced. Sadly, our unique furry family members can’t simply be “replaced”, so what can you do to help protect them from being stolen?

Raising Awareness of Dog Thefts

February 14th each year is not only Valentine’s Day but it is National Pet Theft Awareness Day in the United States. The aim of the special day is to bring awareness to pet owners that they really need to do something about preventing the theft of their beloved animals. Makes sense doesn’t it?

At this point you might be wondering how anyone could be so heartless to steal a dog or other pet from their owner. Well dogs are always the top pickings and stolen to order due to their markings, breed or coloring. There are other reasons, such as being put in a puppy farm to be used as a breeding machine, used as fighting dogs, or worse still used as bait –  but in the main it is all about making money. It is also possible that your pooch just wanders off, simply because they could!

Don’t Let Your Dog Be Stolen

Did you know that every year there are nearly 2 million dogs stolen in the USA alone and every year this figure is increasing? Can you imagine the devastation of losing your precious pooch to thieves? It doesn’t bear thinking about does it.

It is all too easy to believe that the theft of your dog will never happen to you. But the growing numbers suggest that you and your pet are at risk and only a small number are ever reunited with their loving owners again.

So are you prepared to do something about it? If so, read on…

Prevention Methods for ensuring your Dog is not Stolen

There are a number of things that you can do to prevent your dog from being stolen. Most of them are just plain common sense but how many jobs are left undone because “we just haven’t had the time to get around to it yet.”  Believe me, it will take far less time to ensure your pet is safe and secure than searching for them if they go missing!

A Contained Environment

If your best friend likes to wander around in your yard then ensure that it is fully contained and that there is no way in or out for thieves. If you have a gate then fix a secure lock to it –  a strong padlock is a good idea.

Always use a Leash

No matter how well trained your dog is if they are not restrained by a leash when they are outside then they are a lot easier to steal.

Always Watch your Pooch

How many times have you seen it? Someone is in a store and they have tied up their precious dog outside. It was always a recommended way of helping socialize our pups but this is really asking for trouble on so many levels. Friendly dogs don’t know friend from foe and thefts can easily happen in this scenario and also your dog could just break free and run away.

How Organized is your Dog’s Information?

This is an “after the event” measure. Having just suffered the heartbreak of your canine being stolen you need to pull yourself together and get looking. Having a recent picture is a great idea, as is keeping everything about your dog (such as medical details) in one place.

What about Micro Chipping?

The micro chipping of pets is rising in popularity for very good reason. It is not possible to remove a micro chip as they are not located in tags or collars. If you move home then it is really easy to update the information in your dog’s micro chip.

Let’s say that your canine gets lost instead of stolen. A shelter picks up your dog and most of them have a micro chip scanner which will easily identify you as the owner. A tearful reuniting with your precious canine quickly follows. The majority of dogs don’t even realize that they are having a micro chip injected and will not feel it afterwards.

If your Dog is Stolen

In the event of a dog theft notify law enforcement offices, shelters and veterinary clinics immediately. In addition, post notices on social media and produce reward posters and distribute them throughout your neighborhood.

The preventative measures above can save you a lot of heartache. Don’t let these heartless thieves get away with it. Losing your pooch will be unbearable for you and your family, so take action today and always look out for your dog because they can’t do it for themselves.


Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health.




Helen Broadley and the FidoActive Team

Don’t Turn a Blind Eye to a Seeing Dog


There are several advantages a “seeing dog” brings for a blind or visually impaired person. One of the major benefits is that it builds confidence in the blind person as they feel more secure with the guide dog at their side. They also become more independent as they can increase their mobility with a guide dog.

Through this partnership, a visually impaired or blind person will be able to live their lives more productively with the help of their trusted furry guide. This can range from being able to commute to a place of work, attend school/college or improve their wellbeing by simply being able to go for a walk – things that most of us can take for granted.

Then there is the devoted companionship that a guide dog will offer them. This not only cuts through the boredom that many blind people suffer but it’s proven to make them less stressed and anxious. There are many occasions I can recall when the dogs in my life have helped me through tough times, from teenage heartache to periods of ill health and personal loss; I’m sure all dog owners have similar stories. I can therefore only imagine what an invaluable support they must be for a blind person.


Guide Dogs usage in the United States 

Sadly, there is a desperate shortage of these amazing dogs. There are only around 10,000 guide dog teams operating in the USA according to Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

It typically costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one guide dog and most organisations that supply them rely totally on public support and donations. The average “working life” of a guide dog is 8 years, so it’s impossible to match continual supply and demand.

A 2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) revealed that around 10% of adults in America stated that they were visually impaired even when wearing contact lenses or glasses, or that they could not see at all and were blind. This means around 23.7 million adults in the United States, many for whom a guide dog could literally change their lives.


Impact of Attacks on Guide Dogs by other Dogs

One of the biggest concerns for guide dog teams is the threat of attack or unwanted attention from other dogs. Even for any of us lucky enough to have good vision, an attack on our dog can be frightening but usually relatively straight forward to deal with. This is clearly not the case for a visually impaired or blind person.

For a guide dog team to be safe and efficient it is vital that the guide dog be able to concentrate fully on their work. If other canines distract the guide dog, then the owner and the guide dog are immediately at risk of harm. The owner cannot protect themselves and their guide dog because they don’t have the visual capabilities to do this.

The impact of an attack on a guide dog team can be far reaching, for example:

  • It can affect the guide dog’s performance and behavior even if there is no physical injury
  • If the guide dog is affected to the point that it cannot work, then the owner will suffer loss of mobility and potentially their own ability to earn a living
  • With a physical attack the owner could face medical and veterinary bills for themselves and the guide dog
  • Replacement guide dogs are very expensive and not readily available

Guide dog attacks are a serious issue. A Seeing Eye survey of 744 respondents showed:

  • 44% of the respondents had been the victims of at least a single attack
  • Of this 44%, there were 58% who reported more than one attack
  • 83% of the respondents experienced aggressive canine interference
  • Sidewalks and roadways were the location for the majority of attacks (80%)
  • The number of incidents occurring within 30 minutes walk from home was 74%
  • In the severest of cases 3% of guide dogs had to retire and 16% could not work for a while
  • 37% of guide dog handlers reported being disorientated temporarily after an attack


Preventing Guide Dog Attacks and Dangerous Distractions

There are a number of things that dog owners can do to help on this front:

  1. Ensure that your dog is leashed and keep them away from guide dogs at all times
  2. Tell a blind or visually impaired person that you are approaching and have a dog

  3. Keep your pooch close to you when near to a guide dog team. Your dog may be really sociable but even saying “hello” to a guide dog will distract them from their very important job.

  4. Don’t be tempted to pet a guide dog in a harness. Even if the dog is resting without their harness, ask the owner before you pet the dog and don’t get upset if they say “no” – there will undoubtedly be a very good reason!

  5. Take control of your canine and train them in obedience

  6. Ensure that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date

  7. Help out a guide dog and their handler if there is an attack or interference.

  8. If you see loose dogs in the street try to identify and return them to their owner (if it is safe to do so). Otherwise contact a local shelter to see if they can help out – this will also get any strays into safe hands too.

One of the most disturbing facts revealed in the Seeing Eye survey was the number of dog owners or handlers who had simply walked away after their dog had attacked or interfered with a guide dog, without offering any assistance to the blind person. How could anyone be so callous?

At the end of the day accidents can happen but we must all take responsibility for our pets or canine charges and put things right.

I know as dog lovers it is so hard to resist going over to pet these amazing creatures, but perhaps now we can all do more for them by being an extra set of eyes.




Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team