Celebrity Veterinarian Visiting Dog Lovers in South Florida

Dr. Marty Becker, the veterinarian who appears as a regular guest on the Dr. Oz Show and Good Morning America, is coming to the Miami area for a fan event from 1:30 to 3 p.m., Friday, April 29 at PETCO, 9960 Glades Rd., Boca Raton, Fla.

Becker’s signing his new book, “Your Dog: The Owner’s Manual,” giving a presentation and celebrating with give aways.

Actress and dog lover Betty White calls “Your Dog: The Owner’s Manual” “a blessing to all dog lovers,” while Temple Grandin, world-famous animal scientist and autism advocate, says it’s “chock full of practical advice on both behavior and health.”

“Your Dog: The Owner’s Manual,” offers amazing and easy solutions to the questions dog owners ask the most. Readers will discover how to cut shedding up to 90 percent, tips on getting rid of stubborn pet stains and how to solve the age-old problem of the post bath “shake.” There’s even a strategy to increase a dog’s life span up to 30 percent. (That’s two full years longer!) Helpful tips and tricks reveal how to use food puzzles to stave off weight gain and an easy method to turn pill time into treat time. In these cost-conscious days, Dr. Becker explains a weekly measure that can cut veterinarian bills in half. He guides the family through selecting the right dog for their lifestyle and describes how to protect the human family from doggy diseases. This breakthrough guidebook employs strategies that not only add to the quality of life for man”s best friend, but for the dog lover as well.

We asked Dr. Becker a few questions for our Website:

Q: Here in Miami, we are a “social people,” hence the name of our Website, “Social Miami.” How do dogs socialize with each other?

A: Well, they may not throw the kinds of parties you guys do there in Miami, but most dogs are extremely social, with people and each other. The first thing a dog likes to do with another dog is sniff and smell. I call it “googling” because the scent is almost like a road map of where the dog has been. If all goes well with this first meeting, tails start to wag, and the party begins!

Q: What is the one life-saving command every dog owner should know?

A: “Leave it,” is a good command that covers most dangerous situations. Examples of when this may be used is if you drop a pill on the floor and your dog moves to eat it, or you’re out for a walk and your pet comes across something nasty that she considers edible – but you don’t.

Q: What are the two things I can do to increase my dog’s lifespan up to 30 percent?

A: Brushing a dog’s teeth or practicing some kind of daily oral care helps avoid painful and serious health problems down the road. Also, of course, it’s extremely important to keep your pet near his ideal body weight. If you don’t know what that is, you should discuss it with your vet.

Q: How do you get stubborn weight off a pudgy pooch?

A: Food puzzles and exercise. Dogs are natural hunters. But now, in the home with food given to them in a bowl, they have become “unemployed.” Food puzzles make them work a little harder to get to the food, which means they eat more slowly and it requires a little thinking and planning, which keeps their senses sharper. Talk to your vet about specialty food products that can reduce the caloric count of your pets’ meals. And get walking! It’s good for you and your pet, both.

Q: How do you protect the human family from pet-transmitted diseases?

A: Like all food, pet food needs to be handled safely because of the possibility of food-borne illnesses like salmonella. The best advice is to wash pet bowls and utensils in a different sink than the one you use for food preparation. If that’s not possible, make sure you handle pet food and pet bowls safely, washing thoroughly and frequently with warm, soapy water and air-drying. You can also use the “sanitize” cycle on your dishwasher. Also, pick up poop from your yard at least every three days. That does not give the parasites time to mature to a stage where they can be transmitted to humans. Final word on protecting the human family: Keep your pet current on vaccines.

Q: How do you save money without shortchanging your pet?

A: The biggest money-saving strategy is the one too few pet-owners will do – but it really, really works. Dental care! Brush your dog’s teeth a couple of times a week with a special toothbrush and dog-specific paste, and/or use dental rinses from your veterinarian. This is about more than bad breath: Dogs with advanced periodontal disease will become sick, and that costs money to treat, and cuts lives short. Brushing also extends the period between full dental cleanings by the veterinarian. Caring for your dog’s teeth really works: It’s easy, it’s cheap, it’s not time-consuming and it saves money, prevents “doggy-breath” and extends your pet’s life as well as improving quality of life – yours and your pet’s. Other suggestions include buying in bulk and splitting the cost with other pet-owners, bartering for goods and services and asking your veterinarian to match prices on medications – or have them filled elsewhere.

But don’t skip regular exams and preventive care – the problems your veterinarian catchs early can often be treated early at a lower cost. Annual check-ups are a must, and I actually prefer twice a year, especially as pets get older.

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