Sifting through the myths of dental care for dogs By Antlers For Dogs
Antlers For Dogs gives an important insight into dental care for your beloved pet.
You put a lot of thought into keeping your dog healthy: quality food, routine checkups, plenty of fitness.
But what about their teeth?
Vets estimate that 85% of dogs over age four are suffering from some form of periodontal disease, a painful oral condition that can lead to tooth loss and infection.
Oral hygiene is an often-overlooked but it is extremely important for your dog’s overall health. If they have a toothache or sore gums, they’re dealing with pain and stress that you may not even know about.
Left untreated, bacteria from dental disease can enter the bloodstream and affect your dog’s heart, kidneys or liver.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation surrounding dogs and their dental health. Let’s take a look through a few of the common myths.
- Kibble helps keep your dog’s teeth clean.
Just because kibble is crunchy does not mean that it helps with dog’s teeth. Most kibble offers no significant resistance. When your dog’s teeth come in contact with the dry pellet, the food shatters before the tooth penetrates it, losing any of its abrasive action.
- If your dog has a toothache it will stop eating.
For dogs, eating is a strong survival instinct. Mostly they will suffer in silence and keep eating.
- Dogs always have bad breath.
While most dogs don’t have pleasant breath, foul breath can indicate a health issue like poor gum conditions such as gingivitis.
- Raw bones
Because of their mildly abrasive texture and their ability to flex around the teeth, raw meaty bones can help remove dental plaque. These bones are generally considered safe and digestible for most dogs. However raw bones are messy, and smelly. Please remember to never give your pet cooked bones as they can splinter.
The best (natural) ways to keep your dog’s teeth in tip-top condition
As always, prevention is better than cure! Besides regular oral check-ups, try to feed your dog a healthy, nutritious and natural diet. Sugary snacks and foods rich in starch are definite no-no’s!
Include fresh vegetables such as broccoli and leafy greens in your dog’s diet. Hard raw vegetables such as carrots can be given to your dog regularly as dental treats.
Oil of Oregano: Studies have shown that oregano oil has antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic and anti-fungal properties. Feeding your dog two to three drops, twice a day can be an effective way to control minor dental infections.
Alternatively, you can apply topically by adding a drop of oil of oregano to your dog’s toothpaste for good oral health.
Deer Antler Chews: Chewing on something like a deer antler can effectively scrape away plaque and dirt and dogs love them. They’re also high in calcium which helps to remineralise their teeth. Deer antlers are naturally shed by stags each year – which also makes them an ethical and cruelty-free product.
To purchase the best antlers, we recommend avoiding the pet store where you’ll find older/more brittle antlers. Instead look at a provider like Antlers For Dogs who supply antlers from their family farm in the Hunter Valley.
Regular Dental Checkups: It’s recommended that you have your dog’s teeth checked annually by a vet. Most vets will check your dog’s teeth during a regular vet visit.