Hope everyone had a great weekend! I wanted to post about hygiene for pets, it seems to be an issue and it is very important to keep your pet’s mouth squeaky clean:) According to this article, most owners do not even look inside their pet’s mouths..ever. About 80 percent of dogs have significant oral pathology. My veterinarian recommends brushing our dog’s teeth every day just like we do, and lets be honest..the average dog owner does not brush their dogs teeth every day. If you are one of those, then this article is for you. Read below before it gets too late, you do not want to get to the point where your pet has to be put under for a dental cleaning because their long term health status depends on it.
Vets want you to know that bad breath is not a tall tell sign of halitosis and bad hygiene in dogs. And it is never too late to start practicing good hygiene, your pup is never too old or young to start! Do you understand oral hygiene for your pet? Here are some helpful tips and terms to better understand if you do not. Dogs can get plaque buildup, periodontal disease and gingivitis just like we do! The first sign is a yellowish stain on the teeth close to their gums, this is plaque and is caused from material/food that sticks to the tooth enamel. If it is not taken care of, it will cause periodontal disease and the first sign is bad breath. Chronic periodontal disease will slowly affect your pet’s health and is painful for them, but you will never know since they can’t tell you. “The toxins from periodontal disease are absorbed into the dog’s blood stream. As the kidneys, liver, and brain filter the blood, small infections occur causing permanent and at times fatal organ damage. After periodontal disease is treated, and the owners give proper home care, most dogs respond wonderfully due to the decreased pain and infection.”
“Partly because the mouth is warm, moist and has significant nutrients present for organisms to grow on, the oral cavity of dogs is a perfect incubator for all kinds of bacteria. Most are normal and natural, but once plaque and calculus (tartar) form on the teeth the normal microbial flora gets out of balance — and if pathogenic organisms proliferate, trouble ensues.” -Pet MD
Now and days there are flavored toothpastes, I bought some for my pups and they love it! Yes they are still wiggly and I have to get my husband to hold them still while I brush them. But the chicken flavored toothpaste is a reward for them and lets them know it is a good thing to let me stick my hand in their mouth for a couple of minutes. Try brushing every other day and incorporating a daily dental hygiene chew (we use the Virbac C.E.T. chews), it is proven by study to reduce the gingivitis scores and accumulation of dental deposits (plaque, calculus and stain).
Diet also matters, make sure the dry food you are feeding your pups is meat based. And as far as treats, I have started baking my own for my pups when I have time…so I know exactly what goes in them. We also feed them fruits and veggies if they are begging for some of our human food, this keeps them healthy and trim. For example, our babies love carrots, celery, apple slices, edamame (sans shell), and much more.
I found this last fact very interesting yet sad, and if it does not stress the importance of oral hygiene, at least we tried. If you brush your dog’s teeth daily the average life span is 15-17 years, but if you do not–the dog’s average life span is cut to 11-13 years.
For more information, go to http://www.petmd.com/dog/grooming/evr_dg_oral_hygiene_and_your_dogs_health