Me So Groomie loves to help and here are several links that might be useful for you. Do not hesitate to let me know if you have other suggestions or questions.
A very special THANK YOU to all the wonderful people who sent me precious links to share with you. Your contribution is very much appreciated!
PRODUCT TO HELP KEEP YOUR PET'S TEETH CLEAN
I have been using PlaqueOff for my dogs for years and it works! They're between 8 and 10 years old and had their first teeth cleaning a year ago (without anesthesia), and the build up was very light.
This completely natural product is made from seaweed and you just have to add a tiny spoon daily to your pet's food. You can read about PlaqueOff on their official web site. The cheapest price found is on the web on Amazon or in store at Centinela Pet Feed and Supplies.
They also have a similar product for humans!
A lot of people don't know about this, but if your pet's teeth only need a good cleaning, you don't need to pay $350+ and have your pet anesthetized at the vet, you can get that service for a fraction of the cost, AND save your dog all the drama of going to the vet and being put under. But if your pet has aggressive behavior, loose or rotten teeth, etc, then you do not have any other choice than to go to a vet.
The best way to find a good service in your area, either with or without anesthesia, is Yelp.
You can also try Pet Dental Services for non-anesthetic teeth cleaning. Type in your zip code in the top right end corner to find options in your area. I haven't personally used their services, but it seems like a good place.
FLEAS & TICKS
There are several products on the market, but many topical brands (ex: Frontline) are not effective anymore, as fleas and ticks have become immune to them. I've been giving Comfortis (pill) to my dogs for the past 3 years and they are working great. There are many new pills on the market as well, some even last 3 months.
Please talk to your vet on what is best for your situation, budget and pet's health before selecting a product.
Also note that winters in Southern California are not cold enough for the fleas to hibernate, so you need to treat your pet all year round. Please take this matter seriously as not only is it irritating and totally uncomfortable for the pet to have fleas (some even develop hotspots, allergies to bites, etc), but if your house gets infested, it can cost over $1,000 to deal with the clean up.
low cost vaccination
With 3 rescue dogs, I am a big fan of low cost vaccination clinics! Here are some convenient places … it is quick, easy and inexpensive compared to a visit to your vet.
MICROCHIPPING YOUR PET
Those same clinics offer that precious service. Microchipping is a virtually painless procedure that takes minutes and provides positive permanent identification for your pet. You can do it at several locations, including these for a low cost. Do not forget to complete the process by registering the serial number either by mail or online.
SPAY & NEUTER
PLEASE, pretty PLEASE, do it and save lives! Approximately 7.6 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year. You may even qualify for free services and there are mobile veterinary clinics providing that service.
The LA Animal Services web site gives very useful information as well as places to go for this services.
health, diseases & more
Here is a great link that can probably answer any health related questions you might have regarding cats and dogs.
When your dog has tummy issues, it's always best to consult your vet, but here are some tips and tricks that might help for mild issues:
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF DOGS
I've heard great experiences as well as horror stories when it comes to pet insurance. The main problem seems to be that insurance companies are experts at deciding that everything is a "pre-existing condition", and pre-existing conditions are not covered generally. My best advice is to research the companies, read the reviews, compare the pricing, etc.
Here is a link that was suggested by someone who visited my web site: