South Central WI Archive
  • South Central Wisconsin
  • February 2016
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Your pet’s dental health

Pet dental health and good hygiene are extremely important to our dog or cat’s overall health.

Pet owners should look for signs of dental disease by inspecting your pet’s teeth regularly. Bad breath, discoloration, a yellow-brown crust of tartar around the gum lines as well as red and swollen gums that bleed or are painful to the touch are all indications of a problem. Also, if your pet refuses to eat or is eating minimally, this is another sign that there could be some discomfort in your pet’s mouth. Poor dental health could lead to serious health risks, affecting not only your pet’s teeth and gums but their internal organs as well.

Regular oral hygiene to prevent dental disease is critical. Be sure you are brushing your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. If your pet is resistant to brushing, consider an enzyme additive to their water, or an enzyme mouth spray that will help break down tartar and plaque, and harmful bacteria in the mouth.

If your pet has existing dental issues, a visit to your veterinarian for a complete checkup of your pet’s teeth is recommended. Some high end facilities provide a non-anesthetic dental procedure for your dog. Ideal candidates will have healthy gums free of cavities and cracked teeth. Non anesthetic dentals are ideal for older dogs or dogs with heart disease who may not do so well with anesthetic.

Feeding your dog a balanced raw meat diet will also promote healthy teeth and gums. The high levels of enzymes that exist naturally in raw meat create an acid saliva that prevents tartar and plaque from developing. In less severe cases, switching your pet to a raw diet can reverse the effects of existing plaque and tartar. If you prefer to not feed a complete raw diet, consider “treating” your dog nightly with a 2 ounce raw medallion before bedtime to allow the natural enzymes to eat away at the plaque. There are also many healthy dental chews on the market that can also provide the enzymes necessary to promote healthy teeth and gums.

Not only will good dental hygiene extend your pet’s life, you will enjoy your pet a little bit closer without the offensive bad breath!

Michelle Lonergan

Michelle Lonergan is a holistic groomer and owns Tabby & Jack’s Pet Supplies and Holistic Grooming in Madison and Fitchburg. She has studied pet nutrition her whole life and is well known in the Madison area for her expertise in healing dogs and cats with a tailored diet, supplements and natural topicals. She works with many holistic vets in the Madison area to manage a health plan through proper nutrition. If you have questions or comments about this article or need advice on tailoring a diet for your pet, please contact Michelle Lonergan at [email protected]

Website: [email protected]
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