CountrySide Veterinary Service and Wellness updates the blog frequently with pet health information and clinic news. Please check back often for CountrySide Veterinary announcements and helpful pet information!

Are You Brushing Your Dog's Teeth Wrong?

Dental CleaningAt-home dental care is a task that many pet owners and yes, even veterinarians, are guilty of rarely or barely doing. Periodontal disease is something that affects most dogs by the age of three. One of the best ways to help battle this disease is by dental care. The following are a few common dental care mistakes you may be making.

One mistake that you could be making is using human toothpaste rather than dog toothpaste. Even though you always have human toothpaste around, some of the ingredients in this causes upset stomach or affects the acid balance in your pet's stomach. You should always brush your pet's teeth with dog toothpaste formulated specifically for dogs so you know it's safe and it's typically flavored with something your dog will actually enjoy.

Rewarding and praising your pet with extra treats may help them warm up to the idea of you sticking a toothbrush in their mouth. Showing your frustration and punishing them will not help and possibly make things harder. Take things slow and let your pet sniff the toothbrush and taste the toothpaste and let them get used to having their mouth touched. This may take a few weeks but eventually work your way up to actually brushing their teeth. Typically, you should brush your dog's teeth every day. Plaque can resurface on the tooth in as little as 24 hours, so brushing every few days/weeks won't be as effective. Remember to always reward and praise them.

Brushing your dog's teeth consistently is a great way to keep track of their oral health. Bad breath, yellow-brown tartar, inflamed gums, bleeding gums, unusual growths and pawing at the mouth are just a few signs to look for and should not be ignored. These could all be possible signs of dental disease or other oral problems.

Veterinarians recommend having your pet's teeth professionally cleaned. Even if you brush your dog's teeth every day, professional cleaning will remove tartar buildup that every day brushing cannot. X-rays may also be recommended to check for hidden signs of disease under the gums and in the bones.

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Need to Switch Your Pet's Food? Here Are Key Steps to Take

Dog EatingHas your veterinarian recommended a change in your pet's food? Maybe it's a change because they have digestive problems, urinary problems or just need to lose some weight. Here are some helpful tips to successfully switch over to a new food.

When changing a pet's diet, always take it slow - diet changes should usually be made over a period of at least a week. When a change is being made, the pet is receiving different nutrients which may take a while for the pet's digestive system to get used to. You may see signs of soft stool, gas, vomiting and possible other symptoms if the change is not made slowly.

Choosing the right time and place may affect how your pet reacts to a new diet. Typically it's best to change a diet once the pet is home from the hospital/veterinarian clinic and feeling better, however, if the diet needs to be made right away, check with your veterinarian on how to achieve this.

There are a number of strategies that can be used when trying to change over your pet's food. One strategy is placing the old food and the new food in separate bowls next to each other so the pet can get used to the smell of the new food. Always offer fresh food rather than leftovers. Gradually decrease the portion of old food and increase the portion of new food until your pet has fully transitioned to the new food. Another strategy is mixing a small portion of new food in with the old food, gradually increasing portions of the new food into the old until your pet has fully transitioned to the new food.

Always keep in mind, diet changes are for the better of your pet's health. If you notice persistent vomiting, diarrhea, gas, weight gain/loss, refusal to eat etc. contact your veterinarian for more solutions to your pet's problems.

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10 Best and Worst Holiday Foods for Pets


With the holiday's right around the corner, there are several opportunities to indulge in family gatherings, parties and of course food, which also brings temptations to share your leftovers with your family pet. Even though pets really don't need human food, there are some humans foods that are safe to give them in moderation and some foods that you should never give your pet. As always, be sure to check with your veterinarian before introducing new food into your pet's diet.

Check out the following list for better food choices for your pet:

  • Turkey (You can give your pet a little bit of Turkey, without the skin and no bones, and avoid raw or undercooked meat.)
  • Mashed Potatoes (Mashed potatoes are okay as long it doesn't contain butter, garlic, cheese, sour cream, bacon drippings or other right toppings.)
  • Carrots (Cooked carrots without any added sugar or salt are safe to give your pets. Raw carrots are usually safe for dogs, but can be choking hazards for cats.)
  • Gravy (Most gravies are too rich for your pets; rather pour a broth over your pet's food.)
  • Green Beans (Cooked green beans are a safe treat for both cats and dogs. Raw green beans are safe for dogs, but can be choking hazards for cats.)
  • Chocolate (Chocolate should never be given to pets as this can be life threatening.)
  • Unbaked Bread Dough (This may seem safe, however, if ingested it can expand in your pet's stomach and cause several health problems.)
  • Alcohol (It is never a good idea to give your pet alcohol.)
  • Sugar-Free Candy and Baked Goods (Even though these may seem safe, sugar-free candy and baked goods should be kept away from pets. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free gum, candy and mints. This causes a sudden release of insulin in a pet's body and can lead to several health problems.)
  • Macadamia Nuts (These nuts may seem like an innocent treat to give your pet, however, several health problems can arise from eating these.)

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Business Hours

All hours subject to change

Appointment Hours

Monday - 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Tuesday - 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Wednesday - 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Thursday - 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Friday - 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Saturday 8:00 am - 11:30 am

Our Locations

CountrySide Veterinary Services

CountrySide Veterinary Services
W3022 Edgewood Trail
Appleton, Wisconsin 54913
CountrySide Veterinary Health
2101 E Evergreen Drive
Appleton, WI 54913