Dental Care for Dogs and Cats

Hello!  February is National Pet Dental Health month!  I just wanted to share some important information about your pet’s teeth.  Did you know that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of periodontal disease by the age of 2, according to the AVMA?  That’s terrible!! And don’t think that kibble helps keep their teeth clean. Because kibble contains carbohydrates, they are actually worse for your pet’s teeth than canned, cooked or raw foods.  The carbs stick to their teeth and bacteria builds the plaque. Just because it’s crunchy, it doesn’t mean it’s good for teeth. Think of eating Captain Crunch, that’s crunchy, but certainly not good for your teeth!

It is important to take care of your pet’s teeth for many reasons.  First, bad teeth = bad breath, yuck! Also, many dogs, especially small dogs, end up getting their teeth pulled because of rotten teeth.  This affects their chewing of food and therefore digestion. Then you have to make sure their food is soft enough for them to gum their food for the rest of their lives.  Periodontal disease can also cause inflammation and infection that can lead to damaging other organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. Not taking care of your pet’s teeth can shorten their lives by 2-4 years!

What can you do?  Try to get into the habit of taking care of your pet’s teeth on a routine basis.  I know it’s hard, I even have difficulty doing this! Rub coconut oil on their teeth and gums every day if possible.  Coconut oil breaks down the bacteria that can cause plaque. You can rub a small amount of essential oils made for animals such as AnimalEO Dog Breath also.  Next, feed raw bones. The bones scrape the teeth to keep them clean. You can also give them treats that scrape the plaque, such as Crumps Plaque Busters or Hunder’s Crunch Fish treats.  Just be sure the treats aren’t loaded with sugar too.

I know it’s hard to even manage your own health, but try to help keep your pet’s teeth healthy too. Make a reminder on your phone or a note on the refrigerator until you get into the habit.  Healthy teeth can help your pet stay healthy!

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