|Dental Care For Your Dog |
Pets Have Teeth Too!
Imagine how your teeth would look and feel if you didn't brush them daily. The same applies to your pet's teeth. Unless you are regularly providing some form of dental care, you are neglecting an important part in the overall health of your pet.
Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the most common conditions seen by veterinarians today.
Broken teeth, abscessed teeth, oral tumors, gum disease, and many other oral problems affect our pets. These conditions can be painful, yet remain undetected for years
In most cases, owners are unaware that their pet has dental problems. The pets feel pain, but usually do not communicate this to the owners.
Brushing your dog’s teeth is the single most effective means to curtail dental disease. This makes sense because the bacterial film known as “plaque” is the root of many dental problems. This film is easily displaced by simple mechanical disruption as the teeth are brushed. Daily brushing is required to improve dental health, while brushing every other day will help maintain the dental health in its current state. Almost all dogs will eventually accept brushing. The key to success is to be patient and gradual in your approach, brushing mainly the outsides of the “cheek teeth”. A pet that resists brushing frequently does so because they have painful areas in their mouth that need to be addressed. We recommend veterinary approved toothpaste for pets. The CET brand, which is pet safe, comes in several flavors such as poultry, malt and mint. Avoid human toothpastes as they usually contain abrasives and detergents that can be irritating if swallowed. Specific veterinary toothbrushes are very soft and angled to assist in brushing the back teeth.
Oral (Chlorhexidine) Rinse
This rinse provides antibacterial benefits lasting for several hours. It is safe for pets and rarely causes any problems. The rinse is applied by squirting a small amount inside the cheek on each side of the mouth. The chlorhexidine binds to the oral tissues, tooth surfaces, and existing plaque, and is gradually released into the oral cavity. Some dogs may object to the taste of the product.
Oxyfresh Oral Hygiene Solution:
Oxyfresh in the drinking water helps to improve the breath as well as detoxifying certain bacterial products that can interfere with healing of oral tissues. Simply add 1 cap full per quart of water daily.
Chew Type Products:
Anything that helps increase chewing can be of benefit. To the surprise of many owners, feeding exclusively dry food is of little benefit.
Several specific diets have been shown to be of benefit in decreasing dental disease. Science Diet T/D and Science Diet Oral Care are both “mesh-type” diets that scrub the teeth with a fibrous mesh as your dog eats. Acceptance of these mesh-type foods varies from dog to dog.
Friskies Dental Diet, and Eukanuba Dental Defense Diet both employ a chemical coating (sodium hexametaphosphate) that safely decreases tartar formation, and is very well accepted by most canine patients
Tartar–chek biscuits are of benefit and contain the same ingredient as the Friskies Dental Diet. Pedigree Denta-bones are also are of benefit, but contain a significant number of calories and are occasionally associate with diarrhea. Normal “Milk Bone” type biscuits are of little benefit.
CET chews: Rawhide chews have been shown to be safe and effective in reducing plaque accumulation. CET rawhide chews contain a dual-enzyme system that improves their effectiveness compared to plain rawhide chews.
Kongs are firm rubber toys that come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some of the Kongs allow you to place cheese or peanut butter inside to improve acceptance.
We do not recommend cow hooves, pig ears, natural bones, or hard Nylabones. These are all harder than teeth, and are frequently associated with broken teeth. All chew toys require that you monitor your pet while they are using the product. Never leave a pet unattended while they are enjoying any chew toys.