February is Pet Dental Health Month, and it’s the perfect time for all us pet owners to review our pet’s dental health regimes.
While many pet owners have the best of intentions for their pets, dental health is something that is often overlooked – until there’s a problem. This is commonly a reactive issue rather than a preventive one. However, your pet’s oral health is one of the most important factors in their overall well-being.
Poor dental health has been proven to increase the risk of serious long-term health problems in pets, and people, too!
Here are the top three ways to improve your pet’s dental health, starting right now.
Brush Their Teeth
While easier said than done, brushing your pet’s teeth is an effective way to ensure their chompers are well cared for. There are convenient pet-specific toothbrushes that make it easy to reach all teeth with minimal effort. Combine that with a high-quality, tasty pet toothpaste and you’re all set. For a quick clean on the go in between brushings, consider handy dental wipes or pads.
Consistency is the real key here. Just like we humans are required to brush our teeth multiple times per day, daily brushings for dogs and cats are essential to see optimal results. If brushings are inconsistent. it will most certainly hinder your pet’s dental health progress.
Give Them Raw Bones
Feeding raw bones and necks offers many benefits to your dog or cat’s health. Not only do they fulfill the biological need for a dog to chew, bones are durable, healthy, and are exactly what your pet’s teeth are designed to chew on.
Raw bones come in many shapes and varieties, so consider rotating between different types that best suit your pet. Raw chicken and turkey necks may not be as long lasting as a bone, but they have a roughness - like sandpaper – and their abrasive texture will help scrape teeth clean.
While feeding raw bones is widely considered very safe for pets (under the right supervision), remember to never feed cooked bones. Cooked or boiled bones may become brittle and are more likely to splinter and fragment into dangerous shards.
Consider a supplement
The wide world of supplements. Whether they come in liquid, powder, or treat form, there are effective dental supplements for every pet.
The most popular dental supplements on the market are powders derived from sea plants. Sea plants are loaded with live digestive enzymes, and once introduced into your pet’s diet, these enzymes will not only assist in the breakdown of plaque and tartar, they will also eat away at bad-breath-causing bacteria.
There is no secret to sustained, long-term dental health, and there may not be one product that will solve every pet’s unique dental needs. What is important is to make the commitment to consistency, regardless of which dental remedy (or remedies) you choose for your pet. The better your level of commitment, the better the results.
These recommendations are only to improve a pet’s dental health, not to correct or cure any serious dental issues or periodontal disease. If you believe your pet has a dental health issue requiring examination, please contact your veterinarian right away.
Brandon Forder – also known as The Pet Expert - is Vice-President of Canadian Pet Connection, a family-owned and -operated business located in Meaford. He has over twenty years experience specializing in pet nutrition, behaviour, and lifestyle. Canadian Pet Connection is an industry leader committed to providing their clients with the highest levels of personal, attentive service. Learn more at www.CanadianPetConnection.com.