This is a very important topic because canine (and feline) periodontal disease is becoming very prevalent in younger Dogs and puppies mainly due the large numbers of Dogs that are fed on only dry food diets.
Dry Dog foods are generally high in sugars, carbs, starch and sodium. Unfortunately, unlike humans, Dogs do not produce amylase in their saliva and are unable to begin the carbohydrate break down from the mouth, leaving the stomach and pancreas to do the hard work (which can lead to other digestive issues like pancreatitis for example).
Some of this food gets stuck in and between the Dog’s teeth and gums providing their oral bacteria with an all-you-can-eat feast! When the bacteria metabolises these foods, they leave behind an acidic residue that forms plaque resulting in bad breath, gum inflammation and over time, gingivitis and then possibly periodontal disease which can then bring us to a losing of teeth situation, where the Vet will be forced to pull to stop the disease from causing more difficulties.
According to the Royal Veterinary College/Veterinary Dentistry in the UK, periodontal disease affects over 70% of adult cats and 90% of adult dogs, so combating this as a puppy will do them the world of good! So what can we do? The best way to combat this is to move away from the starch/sugar based foods we are so familiar with to a carb free fresh food diet like Kaya Complete Raw Meals. Even if you wish to remain with Kibble, raw meaty bones are great for cleaning a Dog’s teeth.
Raw meaty bones are a Dog’s natural toothbrush and they also provide both mental and physical stimulation along with much needed oral health maintenance. We understand that not everyone is comfortable with feeding raw meaty bones, so please get in touch with us and we can talk you through the process if you are interested.
An alternative method (or in conjunction with) would be to add a seaweed supplement such as Canident to their meals. The seaweed in this product has been proven to systematically break down plaque but you will need to follow this with some chewing treats such as dehydrated chicken feet like here: necks, pizzles or other hardy natural chews as these provide the abrasion needed to actually scrape away the softened plaque build up.
If you don’t want to do this, you have to step away from natural processes entirely and manually brush the Dogs teeth but this can be a step too far for many. It is important to start this process at a young age to get the Dog comfortable with the intrusion. You can use natural pastes such as cold pressed coconut oil mixed with bicarb, this will suffice in cleaning those gnashers as it’s mildly abrasive, palatable and chemical free or you can buy some of the commercial pastes on the market like here.
You will however need to do this regularly, ideally after every dry food meal to ensure there is no food left behind on the teeth. Some groomers now offer Ultrasonic cleaning options too. These are non-invasive teeth cleaning methods, which are great but can be costly and are obviously not a natural cleaning method.
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