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February is Pet Dental Month

Posted on February 9, 2012 at 6:20 AM

February is Pet Dental Health Month and it’s a perfect time to double check how you’re doing with your pet’s own dental health.  Maybe it’s time to make some healthy changes.

It’s estimated that eighty percent of all dogs and cats have some form of dental disease and gum disease and it can be very severe. Dental disease affects much more than fresh breath, it can frequently lead to more serious health problems such as kidney and heart disease. Veterinarian experts strongly recommend daily dental care for pets and twice a year mouth exams, beginning early.

Everyone learns the importance of good dental health when we’re young.  Your dog and cat depend on you to keep their teeth and gums free of plaque and gum disease.  And it’s not as difficult as you may think it is!

Your dog and cat deserve clean, white, bright teeth, fresh breath and healthy gums.  As always, a good preventive, holistic program is the best way to ensure good dental health and avoid many of the issues that can come with poor dental care.

Tartar can lead to inflamed and infected gums (gingivitus) and periodontal disease.  This can cause many health issues, especially in animals with a compromised immune system.  Reports suggest a link between periodontal disease and diseases that effect the lungs, kidneys and heart.

This is easy to avoid with making some healthy changes in your pet’s diet.  Unfortunately it’s a myth that dry dog foods help keep teeth clean and prevent tooth decay. (do croutons keep our teeth clean?) Actually fresh meats, fruits and vegetables are great due to the enzymes in these unprocessed foods.  The enzymes help keep the tartar off the teeth so it doesn’t become a problem.  Raw meaty bones and fresh vegetables like cauliflower, celery, apples and carrots (Salem and Foster love their carrots) are excellent at maintain clean teeth.  You can always tell when a dog or cat is on a raw fresh food diet by looking at their shiny white teeth!

Here’s a short check list for you to get on a dental health program:

  • Check your pet’s gums and teeth regularly
  • Get comfortable with examining your pet’s teeth.  Do this at least once a month and look for red, swollen gums, tartar build-up, abscesses, loose teeth or any other irregularities.
  • Make an annual teeth cleaning visit to the Vet for a professional  cleaning.
  • Provide meaty bones and fibrous fruits and vegetables on a weekly basis.
  • Use a toothbrush or finger brush to regularly keep tartar off their teeth.
  • There are also natural dental oral gels, pastes and powders that work very well at keeping the teeth tartar-free.


 

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