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Dog Health | PetsWeekly

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February is a special month for a lot of reasons. The Arabian Horse show comes to Arizona for ten days, the Renaissance fair is in town for a month (Huzzah!), Valentine’s Day is on February 14, it’s my birthday month, we do LOTS of giveaways (there are SEVEN going on this month alone!), and perhaps least exciting (but most important) it’s national pet dental month.

There are more reasons than you think to get your pet a dental. The mouth is often the first sign of problems in people and pets. Odor can be an indication that there is something more drastic happening in the internal organs of your pets, bad teeth can be a serious source of pain for dogs and cats, and missing teeth can indicate serious autoimmune problems, particularly if you have cats.

 

Periodontal disease is a very common condition for cats and dogs – but the good news is that it’s preventable. Not only is it preventable, it’s a good way to anticipate future problems and treat them before they become a problem.  According to a 2013 analysis conducted by VPI Pet Insurance, the average cost to prevent dental disease in pets is $171.82, but it costs $531.71 to treat dental disease. Here are some ways you can offset those costs.

Brush your pets teeth.

If you don’t know how and the idea frightens you a bit, you can watch this helpful video that will show you how to do it successfully.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB3GIAgrTPE

Use a rinse for your pets mouth.

There are new products on the market that make keeping your pets mouth healthy a lot easier! Here are two of our favorites:

  • Tropiclean Fresh Breath Plaque Remover Pet Clean Teeth Gel: Read our review of Tropiclean and learn why we think it's super important to use this rinse on your pets.
  • PetzLife Peppermint Oral Care Gel is another wonderful product line that helps you keep your pets clean between brushing.
  • The Orapup Starter Kit is a great way to get started on your journey to a cleaner mouth for your pet (and especially freshening breath). It doesn't even entail brushing! Just pour a bit of the the formula on the brush and your dog will lick it right off. This helps keep the tongue clean and reduces bad breath and bacteria in the mouth. Learn more about the OraPup Tongue Cleaning Brush here.

Give your pets treats.

Don't give them just any treat, because you want one that cleans the gums and teeth. In the wild, they clean their teeth by gnawing bones. We need to provide healthy treats that keep your pets teeth in shape. These are a few of our favorite healthy, holistic treats that benefit the teeth and gums:

  • Zuke's Z-Bones: Zukes Z-Bones edible dental chew bones for your dog are loaded with all natural, breath-freshening herbs and healthy wholefood antioxidants. Z-Bones grain-free formula is easy to digest and has the ideal texture to help scrape and polish teeth.
  • PetSafe Indigo Trip Chew Chicken Dog Treat: Each blue chew is infused with immune-system boosting antioxidants, with a chewy texture that helps clean gums and teeth. The chews also feature a moist strip packed with probiotics for proper digestive health. Be sure you pick up the proper size for your pet!
  • Himalayan Dog Chews: This treat is made from an ancient recipe of yak and cow milk. It’s all natural, and does not contain preservatives or additives. We love these treats and so do our dogs! The treat is very solid (go ahead and try to break it – I dare you). Dogs must work the end of the treat for hours, softening it with their mouths before small parts of it can be slowly chewed off. But, once the dog begins chewing on them, the saliva softens it up and the entire treat can be consumed.
  • Marrow Bones: Thick, raw bones that you can pick up from a butcher for soup are usually good. Beware giving them to small dogs and be sure that you always keep an eye on pets for over-chewing, choking or other problems.

Your pets gums and teeth are critical to their well-being and a good indicator of health. You should check your pet's teeth at least once a week and make your best attempt at brushing (and if you're really motivated, you can even try flossing with Doggie DentalAID - but we're not nearly that motivated). Ask your veterinarian for their recommendations on how often your dog or cat needs a dental and follow that recommendation. Your pet's lives may just depend on it!

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    stacymantle
    Author: stacymantle
    About the Author

    Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.


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