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Pet Gazette | February 2012 Vol. 1February is Dental Health Month (For Us Dogs)Dental Care Made Easy

By Susan Moss

Kisses = Love

Dental hygiene is enormously important for dogs and cats, not only to keep teeth and gums from becoming diseased and painful, but because of the infections that can spread to the heart, liver and other vital organs if bacteria is allowed to grow unchecked.  Prevention is surely cheaper and easier than treating problems and pulling teeth. The first step is to prevent soft plaque from hardening into bacteria-laden tartar after it mixes with the minerals in saliva.

What's the best way to keep your pet's teeth clean and free of tartar build-up? 
Brushing your pet's teeth is a noble idea, but most people try it once and give up when their fur friends struggle and resist.  For the majority of us, daily brushing just isn't in the cards.  Fortunately, there are some simple and effective alternatives:

Kisses = LoveRaw bones, a carnivore’s original toothbrush—primordial dental care and chew drive satisfaction rolled into one pleasurable activity! The bones scrape and floss as your pet chews and gnaws.  Most dogs like chewing on marrow and knuckle bones from beef or buffalo.  Dogs and cats alike can consume raw meal replacement bones from whole chicken or turkey wings, necks or other bony parts. For tips on introducing raw bones for the first time, click here.

Plaque-dissolving food supplements – mix a bit into food daily. Wysong DentaTreat is a good-tasting powdered cheese enzyme that is well received by cats as well as dogs. The enzymes dissolve the plaque to help prevent tooth decay and gingivitis and freshen breath. Pro Den Plaque Off, an algae powder, prevents the plaque bacteria from adhering to the surface of the tooth. It will also soften existing tartar deposits over time, allowing you to scrape them off with your finger wrapped in a piece of gauze. We have seen amazing results in just a few weeks.

Dental disease is the #1 health problem seen by veterinariansOral sprays and gelsPetzLife Oral Care Spray and Oral Care Gel kill harmful bacteria on contact safely and naturally. The active ingredient is food grade grapefruit seed extract, which is combined with grape seed extract, rosemary oil, thyme oil, neem oil and peppermint oil.They coat the teeth and mouth, eliminating the root cause of bad breath and dental decay. With daily use, you’ll begin to see plaque and tartar disappear, with brighter teeth and fresher breath in 30 days. Safe for all animals. Tip: Using for two weeks before a dental cleaning will soften tartar and make the cleaning more productive.

Anesthesia-free dental cleanings – a less in-depth treatment than cleaning performed under anesthesia. A dental technician working under veterinary supervision will scale and polish the teeth using hand tools. Good for mellow, non-aggressive dogs or cats with light to moderate tartar deposits and no complicating infections or gum disease. It’s safer, less expensive, and a great teeth saver! Some local vets offer this service, or click here for more options in our retail stores.

PetzLife: $3 Off any spray or gel (regularly $25.99 - 29.99)

Nature's Toothbrushes

Each month we sell over 5000 pounds of raw bones from our freezers  – beef, buffalo and venison for recreational chewing, and whole chicken, turkey and duck parts as meal replacement bones. We even have tiny neck sections sized for the little guys and adventurous cats! Both kinds keep teeth clean, help make breath fresh and provide great nutritional benefits.

Mental Health for Dogs
Most dogs have a strong chew drive, and hard recreational bones are a great tool to direct energy away from destructive pursuits. Pet parents often incorporate them into daily routines, giving a bone when they come home in the evening, when their dog goes into his crate, or when they leave for work to ease separation anxiety. Raw bones provide hours of chewing pleasure!

10% off all Raw BonesMeaty Bones – Breakfast of Champions
As an entire meal or a snack, meal replacement bones as are a great way to introduce raw into a dog or cat’s diet. Raw poultry parts have soft digestible bones and are a rich source of protein, essential fatty acids, cartilage (natural source of glucosamine), and a host of other nutrients not found in processed diets. Many dogs get chicken wings or turkey necks for breakfast, and a regular meal for dinner. How about a duck neck as a bedtime snack?

Which Bone for Which Beast?
Big dogs and heavy chewers do best with denser, harder beef and buffalo bones for recreation. Marrow bones are the richest, with a delicious and nutritious fatty marrow center. Kneecaps are lean and dense. Rib bones are less rich than marrow bone and good for medium and smaller dogs. But for over-all value and teeth cleaning, knuckle bones are the best. They have ligaments and tendons that function like floss, getting into the crevices of the molars and making contact with the front teeth when the dog “nibbles” to pull the stringy stuff away from the bone. Knuckle bones are softer and less fatty, good for seniors, puppies and overweight dogs.

Size is important, and larger is generally safer. Small bones may be a choking hazard for a big dog. For tiny dogs with small mouths there are mini-marrow bones. Cats can eat smaller necks or wings, but many are not interested unless they’ve hunted outdoors or have been introduced as kittens. The bathtub is a good place to serve a cat!

Favorite stress relivever | Clean teeth, fresh breath | Biologically appropriateIntroducing Raw Bones
Because they can be messy, serve outside or train your dog to stay on his special “bone blanket” or towel. When giving bones for the first few times, be sure to supervise closely, observing how your pet reacts. Gulpers or indiscriminate chewers may need more watching or shorter sessions, no more than 20 minutes at a time. Some dogs get so excited that they throw up afterwards. This usually resolves quickly as they calm down and the digestive system adapts. A dog’s stomach secretes extremely strong acids that can dissolve lumps of bone. The same stomach acids will also kill any bacteria present.

Safety Concerns
All our bones are from human-grade, USDA-inspected sources and facilities. Treat raw bones as you would any raw meat product in your kitchen, washing hands and counters afterwards to protect yourself and your family. The vast majority of dogs and cats seem to have no problems related to bacteria, but if your dog is immune compromised or has very delicate digestion, caution is advised.  All in all, our customer feedback about raw bones is overwhelmingly positive.

NOW! | Dry Food For Dogs & Cats

There are many reasons to trust the quality of Now! Pet Foods. They contain only fresh, de-boned  turkey, salmon and duck– never any rendered meat meals or by-product meals.  Another reason for trust is because it’s made in Canada where, by law, every single ingredient going into a pet food must be fit for human consumption. Rounding out the list of wholesome human ingredients are canola and coconut oils, and a broad array of steamed vegetables and fresh fruits: peas, spinach, broccoli, lentils, carrots pumpkin, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, pineapple, papaya, bananas, grapefruit, alfalfa sprouts and kelp.

Great for Transitioning
Because it’s an easily digested food with moderate protein and fat levels, we often recommend NOW! if an animal is transitioning from a grocery store brand or has a sensitive stomach and needs a formula that won't result in intestinal upset or loose stools. Dog formulas: Adult, Senior, Puppy and Small Breed. Cat formulas: Adult and Senior.

NOW! on sale! | $5 off any 15 lb bag | $3 off any 10 lb bag | $2 off any 3 or 6 lb bag

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