A sparkly, white mug is more then just an addition to your dog’s adorable smile, it can save his life! Periodontal disease is one seriously important issue in canine care. Healthy teeth and gums are vital to longevity and, more importantly, a content companion.That darn dry kibble that has been marketed to pet owners with glossy ad campaigns, the allure of a ‘complete’ diet and veterinary endorsement is a direct cause of tarter build up. That tarter becomes the plaque and bacteria that creates a plethora of diseases and puts pups on the fast track to being a geriatric.Carbohydrates are the basis of commercially prepared pet foods (look at the ingredients on your dog’s food label. If the first 2-3 ingredients aren’t meat or fish - its time to change!!) While being broken down by the enzymes, these carbs form sugar, increasing tarter build up and creating an unnatural alkaline state inside Fido’s body.
In turn, tarter leads to gum inflammation and bacteria. If you aren’t ready to reach for the toothbrush yet, know that this bacteria can then seep throughout the body wreaking havoc on pretty much everything.Ick!
So, what are we to do? Start with a healthy diet!! (I sound like a broken record - I know.) Dogs are meant to eat meat and bones. You can read all about this in previous posts, the Poop Chronicles - The Great Raw Debate and Yummy Raw Meat. In spite of thousands of years of domestication, that finicky, fluffy white Maltese has virtually the same digestive track as a wild wolf. I am totally not making that up. Their intestines and teeth are geared to eat raw food and doing this keeps them healthy.
Whatever food you are feeding your pet, the long term ramifications are going to end up expressing themselves in his mouth and your vet bills, so do your research!
Moving on. Chewing on bones and tendons exercises the jaw, scrapes plaque and decreases tarter. In addition, I know I have said this, but chewing alleviates boredom and anxiety. Yay for bones! Make sure your dog has plenty and that they are all natural, digestible and won’t splinter.
Don’t wait for your annual vet visit to schedule a time to anaesthetise your dog for a complete dental cleaning. Why put your friend through such trauma? Besides the unnecessary risks of anesthesia (which are even greater if your dog is one of the 40% of obese dogs in the country), a regular dental hygiene routine is a fun way to bond with your pal, get sweet smelling kisses and keep him healthy.
I brush Louis’ teeth with this super cool three sided brush, made by Triple Pet, that really gets at his teeth and gums easily. We have been doing this for a while and he is pretty laid back about the whole process. For those of you with older dogs, don’t let the training that it takes to brush your dog’s teeth deter you! You can teach an old dog new tricks. Use praise and positive reinforcement!
Louis prefers a nice, meaty flavored enzymatic toothpaste. Enzymatic, you say, what is that? Simply put, the enzymes are antibacterial catalysts that work with doggie saliva, boosting the saliva’s ability to ward off tarter, plaque and other ickies.
Just imagine how you would feel if you completely neglected your own oral hygiene. Besides unhealthy, you’d be quite the unpopular, stinky person. Let’s change the world’s perception of dog breath! Your dog’s teeth are your responsibility. Feed them according to what their digestive tracks are made to cope with, give them bones to chew and brush often!Louis says a heartfelt ‘thank you’ on behalf of dogs everywhere to those pet owners who are doing the dental hygiene thing.