NATIONAL PET DENTAL HEALTH MONTH – WEEK 2
Hi Everyone and welcome to week two of Pet Dental Health Awareness month!
When I was a little girl, my Aunt Ann was a veterinarian (my hero, the reason I am a vet!). She would say “Pammy, if you keep a dog’s teeth clean and keep them thin, they will live forever!”. So, even though we know they won’t live forever, we know that a healthy mouth absolutely contributes to a longer and healthier life.
Last week we talked about BREATH ODOR and that any obnoxious odor needs to be checked by a veterinarian. So, how do I ensure my Charlotte has the cleanest mouth possible? This week I want you to know my favorite products to use to keep teeth clean.
My personal favorite, by far, is the Oral-B toothbrush. It rotates and oscillates to give the best cleaning possible. It takes a bit of time and acclimation for most dogs to get used to it, which is why I recommend starting when your dog or cat is YOUNG! If you haven’t started yet, that’s okay, just start now. Use no toothpaste and brush all surfaces of all teeth. How often? Every! Single! Day! I know, I know. I used to say, “brush once a week.” Who can remember to brush once a week? I cannot. So, I brush Charlotte’s teeth every day. By doing this you have the best chance of avoiding the need for full anesthesia dentistry. Charlotte Foster is three years old now. She had a funky breath odor only a few weeks ago (conveniently, right before National Pet Dental Health Month) and I asked one of my brilliant vets to take care of her. She had fibers stuck behind her incisors that I couldn’t see with my naked eye; but as soon as she was under anesthesia, they found the problem. Luckily, I had her checked as soon as I smelled something gross. Had I left her alone for another two weeks I am certain she would have lost several teeth (and have spent several weeks in unnecessary pain). At only 3 years old!!!
My second favorite product (a distant second, mind you) for my dog is the Virbac® C.E.T.® Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Care Dog Chews. The magic is that these rawhide chews are impregnated with chlorhexidine, which prevents tartar and calculus formation.
My third favorite product are also chews: OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews. They actually coat the teeth with a chemical which prevents tartar from being able to attach to the tooth. OraVet chews have calories, so Charlotte does not get them 😉… Also, very occasionally a dog will vomit after eating an OraVet chew, so let us know if that happens!
For a comprehensive list of approved (tested and proven) oral health care products visit www.VOHC.org.
Keep the questions coming. Post questions to the Animal Care Center Facebook or Utah Dog Park Facebook pages; leave a comment on this blog post with your question; or email me your question. (We have to try our best to trick the email spam bots out there; although, they are getting annoyingly smarter and smarter, aren’t they?)
Until next week, wishing you all sweet smelling pet breath, .