Healthy Teeth for Dogs and Cats
Dental disease is a common health problem for both dogs and cats, that can lead to foul breath, infected gums, and eventual loss of teeth. Left unchecked, oral infections can even travel to other regions of the body causing serious ailments such as lung, heart, and kidney disease.
The Role of Diet in Dental Health
Pets who are fed diets containing carbohydrates in the form of cooked starches are at higher risk of forming dental plaque, the sticky biofilm made up of harmful bacteria that break down tooth enamel and attack gum tissue. Oral bacteria like to feed on the starchy residue kibble leaves behind. Alternatively, raw food and high meat diets make a less hospitable environment in the mouth for bacteria to grow, creating a more acidic pH in the mouth and producing very few sugars or starches.
Chew choices abound!
We offer a variety of specially formulated dental chews for dogs that contain plaque-inhibitors as well as breath-freshening ingredients such as sea kelp, seaweed, and chlorophyll.
More ways to keep teeth healthy
Natural dental products that can be added to food or water or applied directly to teeth are an easy way to improve dental health. Minerals in sea kelp and seaweed have been found to inhibit the growth of oral bacteria and disrupt plaque’s ability to adhere to teeth.
Brushing your pet’s teeth along with regular use of specially formulated oral sprays or gels can help to kill harmful bacteria that combine with minerals in the saliva and turn into plaque and tartar.
Chewing plaque away with raw bones
Offering a daily chew is a great way to keep your pet occupied and their teeth healthy and clean. Our favorite chews are raw meaty bones. Often referred to as “nature’s toothbrush,” raw meaty bones help to produce acidic saliva, which prevents plaque from forming while bathing the oral cavity with anti-bacterial enzymes. While the action of scraping their teeth against the actual bone does help with teeth cleaning, the act of pulling bits of meat, gristle, and cartilage off the bone is more important. We offer a variety of sizes and types of raw meaty bones; be sure to select the proper size bone for your pet. Our raw meaty bones are sold frozen and can be given to dogs straight from the freezer.
Keep your dog on a large towel or blanket to contain any mess. If your dog is new to raw meaty bones, supervise their chewing until you feel comfortable that they are chewing it appropriately. We recommend offering raw meaty bones daily as a partial meal replacement, but giving raw bones even just twice a week can make a positive difference in their oral health.
Chewing is for cats, too!
Some cats enjoy poultry necks and receive the same dental benefits and satisfaction of chewing.
Anesthesia-free teeth cleaning
Anesthesia-free dentals may be a good option for animals in need of routine cleanings to remove tartar, but who do not have serious dental issues such as infected gums or teeth needing extraction. It’s also an alternative for animals who are not candidates for anesthesia due to age or poor health.
The team from Canine Dental Service provides monthly anesthesia-free cleanings at all All The Best Pet Care stores. Cleanings are thorough and gentle and take about 15 minutes. Beforehand, a licensed veterinarian does a brief wellness exam to determine if more extensive oral care is needed. If the pet is not a good candidate, the service will not be performed and the patient will be referred to their own vet for treatment.
Only hand-friendly dogs who aren’t aggressive or overly fearful are good prospects for this service. Cats may be accepted for treatment if they are not excessively shy and are under four years of age, or if they’ve had a professional cleaning within the past two years.
Visit our dental cleaning page for more information or for appointment dates.