Does Your Pooch Have Smoochable Breath?
I think I hear a resounding “NO” screaming through the page from many of my readers out there. Even if your dog’s breath is minty fresh, pet oral hygiene should be taken seriously and monitored continuously. This will lead to not only pleasant breathe but could extend the life of your pet.
How do you know if your pet’s dental health is less than pearly white? The first indicator is bad breath. I am not talking about typical doggie breath…but a can’t stand to be around you….odor that makes your pooches smooches something to be avoided. Also, discolored teeth, mouth pain, excessive drooling, bleeding gums or loss of appetite are all signs.
As with humans, pets will build tartar and plaque if their teeth go uncared for. The build up of these two culprits may lead to gingivitis and then periodontal disease (gum disease). Gingivitis is treatable but Periodontal disease is not. It can be stopped and then managed by the proper professional treatment. You definitely do not want your dog or cat to get to this point.
Poor dental hygiene can also lead to other problems such as Oro-Nasal Fistulas, Feline Odontoclastis Resorptive Lesions and finally Kidney, Liver or Heart Disease. The latter is life threatening and can lead to the death of the pet. It occurs by the bacteria gaining access to the blood stream through the compromised gums. Bacteria-laden plaque can actually lodge in the heart valves, liver, kidney and lungs.
You will be happy to know that there are easy solutions to get you back on the road to pleasant doggie kisses.
1. Brusha Brusha Brusha- Yes, brush your pet’s teeth at least once a week. Use a special pet toothbrush or finger brush and pet toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste or baking soda. Not pet friendly.
2. H2O additives- There are many all natural products out there that you simply add to your pet’s water. So, as they drink throughout the day they are also cleaning their teeth. Many of my customers have tried this and have had wonderful results. A few great products are made by Triple Pet and Ark Naturals. www.triplepet.com, www.arknaturals.com
3. Mouth Sprays and Gels- If a toothbrush won’t work, an easier way may be to spray an all natural cleanser in the pet’s mouth or rub a gel on the teeth and gums with your finger. The PetZLife oral care gel and spray work wonders. These products are made with Grapefruit seed extract, Grape seed extract, Thyme oil, Neem oil, Rosemary oil, and Peppermint oil. www.petzlife.com This one is easy and highly recommended!
4. Rope toys and Chew Toys- Believe it or not play time can be a great time to get a bit of teeth cleaning in without your pet realizing it! While your dog is doing double duty as he earnestly chews his rope bone.
5. All Natural Dental Treats and Bones- Make sure that the dental treat you choose is highly digestible and made of all naturally products. These treats work but just make sure they will not lodge in your pet’s tummy or intestinal track. Flossie tendons by Merrick are wonderful as they help clean in between teeth. They are 100% beef tendon and digestible. Raw bones are great cleaners as well. Make sure the bones you feed your dog are either raw or slow roasted. Bones in any other form may splinter and cause harm to your pet.
6. Yearly Vet Cleanings- the hope is that by doing a few of the above, you can avoid as many trips to the vet and vet bills. Make sure to work with your vet to ensure pet dental health!