What do you do to maintain your pet's oral health? Maybe you haven't thought about this until now. So why is it important? And what can you do? We are here to help!
Fact: 70% of cats and 80% dogs over the age of three start to show signs of dental disease (that's young!). Not taking care of dental plaque will lead to tartar build up, which then leads to inflamed, irritated gums (gingivitis).
As an effect, your pet's breath will smell bad and they will have a sore mouth. It may become uncomfortable to eat. Bacteria in the gums can travel through the bloodstream and affect other parts of the body too (yikes!).
Dental procedures are very costly! However, regular use of dental products can help your pet avoid needing these procedures. Try these suggestions & tips to help your pet maintain a healthy mouth:
Chews and Bones for Pets
Chews and bones can help clean pets teeth in a natural way. Chews like bully sticks and tendons are great for cleaning teeth as they get sticky and stringy while they moisten, pulling food particles from the teeth and gums (like floss!). Bones are wonderful for polishing the teeth as they scrape against it. Gnawing off the meat and cartilage also provides a flossing effect. Tip: Try out raw or freeze dried chicken necks for cats!
Chew Toys for Pets
Some toys, like Bam-Bones, are built to encourage chewing and have a special design to help clean teeth. Take care to supervise your pet with these chew toys as they are not meant to be ingested.
Dental Supplements for Pets
There are many options when it comes to dental supplements. It's great to have different options to suit the needs of individual pets. For example: if your pet is finicky with food and refuses to eat the added supplement, try the liquid supplement which can be added to water instead!
Each supplement works in a different way. ProDen PlaqueOff works to soften and loosen tartar build up. Nature's Dentist has probiotics to destroy enzymes that cause bad breath. One of our Pet Care Specialists can help you pick the best product for your pet!
Brushing Your Pet's Teeth
Brushing your teeth is part of your daily routine. So why not make it a part of your pet's routine as well? It is important to note that human toothpaste should never be used for pets! It isn't meant to be ingested. Pet-specific toothpaste is totally edible and usually has a yummy flavour, to help pets enjoy the process! Tip: If you find the toothbrush tricky to use, try a rubber finger brush!
Sprays & Gels for Pets' Teeth
If your pet isn't patient enough for a tooth brushing, a dental spray like Leba III, or gel like Tropiclean, is a great alternative. A quick spray, or drop of gel, will mix with the saliva and the tongue will help to spread the product throughout the mouth.
Diet & Your Pet's Oral Health
Lastly, remember that a healthy diet is important for overall health- dental included! Many kibble diets are high in carbohydrates (sugars!). Be sure to feed the lowest carb diet you can- better yet, feed a canned or raw food diet!
If you cannot exclusively feed canned or raw, you can use it to top off your pet's kibble. Some is better than none, and will ultimately reduce the carb count! Just remember to reduce the amount of kibble that the wet or raw food is replacing.