Poor dental health; it’s one of the biggest problems our pets are struggling with!
Good dental health is vital for good overall health, not having this means that bacteria in the mouth are free to roam the rest of the body, causing issues elsewhere such as heart and kidneys, as well as long-term suffering for your dog or cat and huge vet bills for you.
More than 80% of cats and dogs in the UK over three years old are in need of dental work.
(Statistics according to Pet Smile). This number is huge and just like with people, not eating the right foods has a lot to do with it.
How it works:
Acid-producing bacteria in the animal’s mouth feast on starches (carbohydrates). These bacteria live on the teeth in a biofilm called plaque. It’s the acid produced by the bacteria that slowly eats away at the tooth enamel, rot the tooth and causes bad breath. This follows on to a build-up of bad bacteria leading to gum decease and total tooth loss as well possible further health issues.
The most common symptoms that your pet might have a dental problem;
- loss of appetite
- missing of teeth
- loose teeth
- persistent bad breath
- gums that bleed easily are irritable
- difficulty chewing or eating
- yellow/ blackish deposits on teeth, healthy teeth are white!
What can you do …
to improve the dental health of your pet
- Feed a species appropriate diet, such as Nutriment which are raw and fresh foods which are not stuffed full of carbohydrates and additives.
- Regularly check your pet’s teeth. Whilst a better diet is the most important change you can make it’s not a magic wand. Dogs and cats are individuals, not all are blessed with amazing teeth.Pets who are little older can have lasting damage from years of processed foods. So if you need to brush teeth, a finger toothbrush can be a great idea… Slowly introduce it to your pet, seconds at a time initially with a treat each time, so they can get used to it. Over time you will be able to gently brush.
- Meaty bones.. these are the toothbrushes of our beloved canine friends,
chicken wings or duck necks or ribs are a great place to start. If needs be hand feed and of course always supervise.
- Pick your treats wisely- again, stay away from anything highly processed opt for good natural treats that require tearing and chomping action, perfect examples are eg pizzles and fish bars. Avoid hide bones, most fruits, or anything that is very sugary.
- Oral exams at your vet if you continue to struggle with your pets dental health