By the staff at Petagogy
February is pet dental health month! Good dental health is an important part of your pet’s overall health and well-being. Too much plaque and tarter can erode your pet’s gums, creating pockets for bacterial infections. These infections can cause tooth and bone decay, sometimes leading to more serious health issues. Many times, bad breath is a sign of too much plaque and tarter. It’s best to help control plaque and tarter before it builds up. Contrary to popular belief, kibble does not clean teeth; that’s like humans eating crackers to clean our teeth instead of brushing. Chewing a protein-based kibble may help remove some plaque near the tops of the teeth, but it is not very effective along the gumline where plaque and tarter do the most damage. Plus, poorer quality kibbles containing lots of carbohydrates and fillers can actually contribute to plaque buildup.
Brushing your pet’s teeth with a special pet toothpaste and toothbrush is great; unfortunately, squirming dogs and cats can make it difficult to effectively brush their teeth. There are several non-invasive, toothbrush-free dental products that can help prevent plaque buildup, as well as remove any existing plaque and tarter:
Raw Bones and Chews – One of the best ways to keep your dog’s teeth healthy is by regularly giving him things to chew on like raw meaty bones, rawhide, bully sticks or sweet potato chews made by reputable companies like Primal, Vital Essentials, Wholesome Hide, Barkworthies, Sam’s Yams and Snook’s. Regular chewing helps polish and scrape teeth as the dog crunches and gnaws.
Ark Naturals’ Brushless Toothpaste – Brushless Toothpaste is a highly digestible dental chew with clinically proven, all natural ingredients. On the outside are breath-freshening ingredients like chlorophyll, cinnamon, vanilla and clove, with ridges that provide effective teeth scrubbing and support healthy gums. On the inside is a patented toothpaste center that provides three bacteriostats to inhibit the growth of plaque-forming bacteria and assist with bad breath, tartar and plaque build-up.
Earthbath Tooth & Gum Wipes –Tooth & Gum Wipes from Earthbath are the easy and convenient solution for keeping your pet's mouth clean from plaque, tartar and odor-causing bacteria. The totally natural formula, made with peppermint oil and baking soda, is free of parabens, alcohol and other nasties that don't belong in your pet's mouth. Use daily for best results.
Grin Daily Treats – These easy-to-digest treats contain premium natural ingredients–– chlorophyll, anise, green tea and FOS––to improve your dog’s health by supporting fresher breath, tartar control and healthy digestion.
PetzLife – When used daily, the all-natural ingredients in PetzLife Oral Care Gel or Spray safely remove plaque and tartar, promote healthy gums, brighten teeth and kill the bacteria that causes bad breath.
PlaqueOff – PlaqueOff’s seaweed formula is clinically proven to reduce, help control and prevent plaque, tarter and bad breath in dogs and cats. The granulated formula can be easily added to your pet’s food daily.
Tropiclean – Tropiclean gel, dental chews and water additive help give dogs and cats fresh breath and clean teeth without the hassle of brushing.
Wysong DentaTreat – DentaTreat is an alternative, natural approach to maintaining pet oral health using cheeses, probiotics, minerals and other natural ingredients. DentaTreat can be sprinkled directly onto food, or it can also be used with a toothbrush as a tooth cleaning powder.
Maintaining your pet’s oral health can help prevent more serious health issues down the road. It’s never too early to start cleaning you pet’s teeth, but it is especially important for older animals who may already have plaque and tarter buildup. So, use pet dental health month as encouragement to start caring for your pets’ teeth––you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the difference it makes!
Petagogy (pronounced pet-uh-go-jee) specializes in premium and natural pet foods, treats and supplies for dogs, cats and small mammals. Petagogy is located at 5880 Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside. Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Visit their website at www.petagogypgh.com.