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Brush Up on Daily Pet Dental Care
Bad breath and poor dental health in pets are common problems that pet parents face and can often be the sign of underlying dental disease. Did you know that poor dental health effects 80% of dogs, and can lead to pain, infection and a large bill from your vet. Here you’ll find out how to care for your pet’s teeth – how to spot the signs of potential disease and how to follow a proper dental routine. It's imperative that daily dental care is part of your dog or cats routine, to avoid tartar build up.
How can I spot the common signs of dental disease in my pets?
Being able to check your pet’s mouth on a regular basis is a really good idea, getting your pet used to this from a young as possible to ensure they are nice and relaxed. Gently lifting their lip so you can have a good look at their teeth and gums. There shouldn’t be too much dog breath, teeth should be as white as possible and gums should be a lovey shade of pink.
Signs of dental disease:
- Build-ups of brown/yellow tartar
- Weight loss
If your dog shows any of these signs, please speak to your local vet as soon as possible. They’ll be able to talk to you about the best treatment for your pet and how they can help. We must stress that if you pet has problems with their teeth, brushing along won’t solve the problem.
Why is it so important to have a dental care routine for your pets?
As we have learnt above, prevention is the best way to help with your pet’s dental health. The first thing you should address is your pet’s diet, ensuring it’s healthy and wholesome. The next step is cleaning… unless you clean your pet’s teeth every day, an invisible film of plaque will build up on their teeth, overtime this builds up and becomes hard and brown which is tartar. Tartar can’t be removed by brushing and will need to be removed by your vet whilst your pet is under general anaesthetic.
It’s better to spend a few minutes brushing every day before it turns into a trip to the dreaded vet.
What is the best way to keep my pet’s teeth clean?
As with humans, thorough and regular brushing removes plaque bacteria before it can accumulate, turn into plaque, cause inflammation and damage to gums and teeth. Brushing your pet’s teeth each day is the single biggest thing you can do to improve their dental health.
How do I brush my pet’s teeth?
As anything wherever possible it’s a good idea to start brushing your pet’s teeth when they’re young. It soon becomes part of their daily routine. It’s never too late to start, though, and older pets will soon get used to a daily brush!
Take things slow for the first few weeks to allow them to get used to having their teeth cleaned.
Let them taste their toothpaste so they think of brushing their teeth as a treat, not a chore.
Get them used to having their mouth and teeth touched.
Gradually move on to using a finger toothbrush, these are ideal for getting your pet used to the feeling of their teeth being brushed.
When your pet is more comfortable with having their teeth cleaned you can start using a proper pet toothbrush. The longer handle will help you reach all of their teeth.
Do you offer teeth cleaning for pets in store?
Yes! In all our Pooch & Pamper studios we offer a dental treatment, this includes a tooth gel clean and a breath fresher.
This treatment package is perfect if you are trying to introduce your dog to teeth cleaning and are nervous about doing it at home straight away – let our grooming experts help you.
This is priced at £5.00. Appointments aren’t always necessary, for more information please contact your local Pooch & Pamper studio.
What about dental dog chews?
Offering your dog a daily chew such as WHIMZEES is ideal to add to your daily dental routine, chewing stimulates the release of saliva with your dog’s mouth, this can help to flush away bacteria which could end up as plaque.
WHIMZEES are made from chews can be offered to your pet daily, they are grain free, gluten free, with no artificial colours or flavours, these treats are even suited to dogs with food sensitivities.
Dr. Danielle Bernal who is part of the WHIMZEES team says: “In today’s ever hectic lifestyle, keeping on top of your pet’s teeth can be tricky. However, regular dental check-ups at your vets, combined with home brushing and supplemented by a scientifically-proven daily dental chew like WHIMZEES; makes for the perfect combination to looking after dogs’ teeth."
Have you considered raw bones?
You don’t need to feed raw food daily to be able to feed raw treats. My dogs love nothing more than chomping on a raw duck neck but are more than happy eating their dry food which makes up the rest of their complete diet.
To keep teeth and gums healthy in the wild dogs would gnaw on the bones of their prey, a practice which chewing on our raw bones simulates. Raw bones are great too as they contain naturally occurring enzymes, which can help to protect teeth and gums.
While feeding pets bones is healthy and totally normal, it must be done as safely as possible:
- Uneaten pieces or splinters of bones should be promptly removed and disposed. Never feed cooked bones.
- Always separate multi-dog house holds before feeding to prevent fights (raw meaty bones/chews have a very high resource value and even the very best of friend dogs may fight).
If haven’t fed raw bones before it’s a good idea to start with something like a duck neck, duck wing or even beef trachea which actually contains no bones but is pure cartilage and perfect for chewing on!
Typically, when a pet is given a bone, they are completely focused and concentrate. This allows your pet to have both physical and mental stimulation, and a natural calming effect. The action of a dog chewing releases lots of lovely endorphins from a dog's brain which are the “feel good” chemicals we all have in our bodies.
Dogs are never happier than when they have a ‘chew’ and the great news is that not only does chewing really help keep their teeth nice and healthy, it relieves boredom and anxiety too.
I've heard of PlaqueOff before... How can it help my dog or cat?
PlaqueOff Powder works systemically against bad breath, tartar & plaque, you simply sprinkle on to your pet's food, it is suitable for both dogs and cats.
How does ProDen PlaqueOff work?
Unlike other methods of plaque control ProDen PlaqueOff works systemically i.e. through the blood stream. It is thought to affect the ability of plaque to ‘stick’ to surfaces in the mouth and softens hard tartar deposits. Improvements should be seen by reducing bad breath by up to 63% after 12 weeks and reduces plaque by up to 35% after the first 8 weeks.
ProDen PlaqueOff Powder comes in a granulated form which is easily added to food every day. It is rich in natural iodine and contains important vitamins and minerals, and is free from artificial colours, preservatives, gluten and sugar. It's a completely natural product, made from specially selected Norwegian Seaweed.
Did you know that you can now buy Canagan Free-Run Turkey Dental Grain Free Dog Food that has ProDen PlaqueOffalready included.... what a revelation!
Canagan Free-Run Turkey Dental is a special grain free dog food formulated by experts to deliver nutrition, close to their ancestral diet, with the correct ratio of protein to carbohydrate and a host of vegetables and botanicals.
Canagan Free-Run Turkey Dental Dog Food contains the clinically effective ingredient ProDen PlaqueOff which reduces plaque naturally, combined with a special kibble shape to help keep teeth cleaner.