Friday, January 30, 2009

February is Pet Dental Month

February is Pet Dental Month.

Brushing your dog's teeth is a great way to keep them healthy. It also makes your life easier as you don't have to smell their breath.

Poochieheaven carries a great selection of dog toothpaste and dog toothbrushes that will help you keep your dog healthy and you happy!

Here is some great advice:

Brushing Your Dog's Teeth - It is Mandatory for a Healthy Pet!

February is National Pet Dental Health Month. There are so many aspects of keeping your dog healthy, but in my opinion, none is more important than brushing their teeth. The American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS) estimates that eighty percent of dogs have periodontal disease by the age of three. A few years ago, the idea of brushing your dog’s teeth was nearly unheard of. While it is gaining popularity, the majority of pet owners still do not brush their dogs’ teeth on a regular basis.

Objections to tooth-brushing:

1. I only give her dry dog food so I don’t need to brush her teeth: Unfortunately most dry dog foods have high starch content. Sugar and starches combine with the bacteria in the mouth and produce acids. These acids can eat away at the enamel on the tooth in addition to causing plaque build-up.

2. My dog doesn’t like it: When I was a kid, I didn’t like brushing my teeth, but it wasn’t a choice. It is part of a healthy lifestyle. If you let your dog make all the decisions in your house, it would be a disaster!

3.I don’t need to; I give them bones and chew toys: This is an equivalent approach to only chewing gum for your personal dental hygiene. You won’t find a dentist that recommends that approach! It is a nice addition but can’t do the job alone.

4. I just put an additive in the water: This is an equivalent approach to only using a mouth rinse for your own personal hygiene, except not even as good because your dog isn’t gargling and rinsing. Again, a nice addition but not sufficient by itself. If you don’t brush your dog’s teeth, plaque will build up on the teeth, break off, and be absorbed into the bloodstream. This can lead to blockage in the arteries causing heart disease and kidney problems.

Hopefully, now I’ve convinced you that brushing is imperative. Here are some things you should know:

1. Brush at least three times per week to get maximum benefits.

2.Don’t use human toothpaste unless you have taught your dog to spit! Look on the back of your toothpaste. You will most likely find a statement that it should not be ingested. This is because it contains soap. Soap creates foam, which gives people the perception that the product is cleaning but is not indicative of the cleaning power of a product (it is for marketing purposes: perception is reality). Toothpaste designed specifically for pets does not contain soap; it won’t foam up; and it can be swallowed safely.

3. Replace the toothbrush when the bristles become frayed or every 3 months, as the brush will start to harbor microorganisms.

4. Follow teeth brushing with praise and an award so he/she looks forward to it next time.

The American Animal Hospital Association says, “proper dental care may add as much as five years to your pet's life!" ( It only takes about one minute. Isn’t increasing your dog’s life expectancy worth a few minutes per week?

Source: Cain and Able Collection

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