Tag Archives: Pet Dental Health Month

Don’t Brush off Your Dog’s Dental Health

nose-1031559_640It’s Pet Dental Health Month; do you show your dog regular dental love?

Halitosis (bad breath) – whether it’s human or canine – is often the brunt of some really bad jokes and equally rude gestures! But just like humans with bad breath, your dog’s nasty breath could actually be a symptom of something much more serious going on with their health.

An oral bacterial infection (associated with bad breath) can eventually spread to other parts of the body (through the bloodstream) and cause serious – even potentially irreversible – damage to major organs including the kidneys, liver and heart. Left unchecked, this damage could lead to premature death of your dog.

Tooth Decay & Gum Disease Starts Early

The research is shocking; approximately 80% of all dogs begin to show tooth decay and gum disease/inflammation (gingivitis) by the tender age of 3! The steps below will help prevent K9 dental issues.

Preventative Dental Care

Annual Check-ups and dog-toothCleanings: Get your dog’s teeth (and gums) checked – and cleaned (a treatment called prophylaxis) – at least once a year by your regular vet. Annual check-ups can also catch the early signs of dental problems which could cause – or be caused by – other serious health issues.

Recommended Dental Products: Your vet can recommend the best dental products, treats or diets for your dog and their history. Raw bones (size-appropriate) are a great option for your dog (NO cooked or rawhide bones). Raw bones are also rich in calcium (promoting strong teeth), probiotic bacteria (the “good” bacteria) and enzymes. Probiotic bacteria/enzymes work to maintain healthy bacterial flora keeping harmful bacteria (which cause gingivitis) under control. (ALWAYS supervise your dog when they are chewing bones.)

Regular K9 Dental Care Starts at Home

Periodontal disease begins whendentalspray bacteria combines with food particles and forms plaque on the teeth. Left untreated, plaque hardens into tartar (that yucky hard brown stuff you can’t wipe or brush off). Daily cleaning helps remove these food particles; but even cleaning several times a week can help maintain good dental hygiene and reduce potential issues.

Use a child’s toothbrush, finger brush, single-use pet dental wipe or a natural dental spray (like the one made by Bark5.com). Do use human toothpaste; only use pet-specific/formulated products that do not contain alcohol or the artificial sweetener, xylitol (both are very toxic to dogs).

(Sources: AVMA.org, AAHA.org and CVMA.net)

February Means Having Love for Your Pets Too!

For most of us, say the word “February” and one of the next things to pop into our mind is “Valentine’s Day.” And while we would never downplay the importance of human love (and memorializing it with copious amounts of chocolate, flowers and sparkly trinkets), did you realize that February also focuses on loving those ever-present critters in our life, our pets?

While the entire month is dedicated to “Pet Dental Health” and “Responsible Pet Owners,” there’s also “Love Your Pet Day” (coming up on February 20th) and “National Dog Biscuit Day” (coming up on February 23rd).

Yes, the month of February is full of reminders to love and protect our beloved pets.

From proper socialization to finding the right diet; from the best positive training to effectively controlling parasites; and from regular vet visits to making sure their golden years are as smooth and pain-free as possible, our pets are a huge presence – and responsibility – in our life.

So as you go through the rest of this month and celebrate that special bond with your particular pet, consider brushing up on the latest research on medical care, best food practices and even emergency measures in the face of a disaster to ensure you love and protect your pet to the best of your ability.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to make a couple of buckets of dog treats for my Great Danes for “National Dog Biscuit Day” . . .