February is dental month for pets. Taking care of your pet’s teeth is very important because excessive tartar can lead to gum disease. And where there is gum disease there are bacteria. The bacteria associated with dental disease can lead to infected teeth (abscessed teeth) which are very painful and these teeth then have to be extracted. The bacteria can also spread to other places in the body – especially the heart, kidneys, and liver. That’s why paying proper attention to your pet’s teeth through brushing, and having a professional dental cleaning performed when there is a problem, is so important. Keeping your pet’s mouth healthy helps to keep them healthy overall.
Proper nutrition is a very important way to care for your pet’s teeth. And that doesn’t mean feeding kibble. Contrary to popular belief, feeding the kibble-type food does not prevent dental disease. I see plenty of animals that eat only kibble that have horrible teeth. I recommend feeding a high quality diet like the ones I mentioned in my post about Daminger’s Natural Pet Foods. Or even better, if you are feeding kibble, add some fresh food into their diet. I love the recipes in Richard Pitcairn’s Book: Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs and Cats. He has some great recipes in there for fresh food to add on top of kibble.
There are some other ways besides fresh food to help dental health. Dogs like to chew as part of their natural behavior. The veterinary dentists do not like giving dogs hard objects to chew on as it is possible for them to fracture teeth; however, I’ve decided to take that risk and let my dog’s natural instincts serve as my guide. Raw meaty bones are the most natural choice for dogs to keep their teeth health. If you don’t like the mess of a raw bone, antlers are also terrific. If you’d like to avoid hard chewing objects altogether, my favorite natural dental products come from AromaDog/AromaCat: Bluto’s Yummy Gum Brush for the dogs and Peppermint Catty’s Purrly Whites for the cats are great for tooth brushing.
If you are looking for the perfect place to find an antler for your pooch, come visit me this Sunday. On Sunday, February 26th, I will be at Cutter’s Mill in Cherry Hill from 12 noon until 3:00. I will be doing free dental exams and giving out dental health goodie bags (while supplies last). I’ll also be doing free mani/pedis for those pets that need some extra pampering. And last, but not least, I will be doing low cost microchipping: for $40 you get a lifelong registration. ~ peace, love, and plenty of tail wags