Tag Archives: dog breath

Natural animal chews are packed with flavor that dogs love

A Pit Bull dog laying down and chewing on a big rawhide bone

Natural dog chews are made of food animal products such as skin, bones and animal parts.  These chews are all made of natural ingredients that are typically dried to give it a chewy texture.  Natural chews are packed with flavor that dogs love.  There is a variety of natural chews on the market.

Rawhide
Rawhide is made from the inner hide of cows that has been dried.  Avoid giving rawhide chews to puppies as they can be difficult for young dogs to digest.  For adult dogs, rawhide is fine, however it doesn’t last as long as other natural chew choices.

Rolled pig skin
Rolled pig skin comes in shapes that mimic bones.  It’s fine for puppies and adult dogs.

Pig ears
Most dogs love to chew on pig ears, but they can be higher in fat than other natural chew choices, so avoid giving them to your puppy or adult dog too often.  Also, pig ears do not last as long as rolled pig skin (above) or bully sticks (below).

Bully sticks
Bully sticks are made of dried bull penises.  It may sound strange, but dogs love them.  They are fine for puppies and adult dogs and are a good alternative to higher-fat pig ears.

Antlers
Natural antlers are typically cut into round pieces that provide hours of chewing, however they can be a bit pricey.

Some natural chew products come filled – or you can add your own filling – like peanut butter.  This is a great way to provide added flavor as well as physical activity as your dog works to get the treat out of the chew.

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Treats are fine but in moderation

Depositphotos_19533969_m-2015We all give in to the tail wagging and begging.  But when it comes to giving your dog or cat treats, too many can be bad for their health.

It’s best to view your dog’s or cat’s treat as jus
t like you would chocolate for humans.  (BTW – NEVER let your dog or cat eat chocolate – it can be fatal!)  You wouldn’t sit down to a whole box of Hersey Kisses – just like you shouldn’t feed your dog or cat a whole box or bag of treats.

Treats should be fed as just that – treats – and not as food.  The only exception is that if you have a geriatric pet who is a finicky eater and relies on treats for extra calories.  Elsewhere in this blog, we suggest treats as food replacement under these circumstances.  But for a healthy pet, treats should be limited.

Pets that are fed treats as much as regular food are at risk of becoming obese which can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and other weight-related health problems.  Today, more than HALF of all dogs and cats are obese and many pet owners fail to recognize that too many pounds can take years off of Fluffy’s or Fido’s life.

So TREAT your pet’s TREATS like TREATS.  And the next time your pet begs for more, get out the ball or birdie and make time for play instead.

AS ALWAYS, CONSULT WITH YOUR VETERINARIAN ABOUT YOUR PET’S OVERALL HEALTH AND WELLBEING.

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Dry foods help reduce dental disease in dogs

Dog eating food

Dog owners always have question about whether to feed their pet dry or canned foods.  This can be a daunting decision, given the number of both dry and canned foods.

High quality dry foods can easily meet the nutritional requirements of most dogs.  You will want to check labels for the amount of meat-based proteins the food contains versus grains.  Higher priced dry foods will tend to contain more meat-based proteins than their lower-priced competitors.

The added benefit of dry food is that chewing on it reduces the buildup of plaque and tarter on your dog’s teeth.  Dogs that eat only a wet or canned diet are more prone to dental disease if the diet is not balanced with treats and toys for chewing.  Some dogs – if raised on only canned food – will refuse to eat dry food at all – so it’s important to start your dog early on at least a partial dry diet.  In many cases, we suggest waiting until the dog is of senior age before giving a preponderance of canned foods.

NOTE: The above does NOT pertain to cats who have different nutritional needs.  See other blogs on cat nutrition.

AS ALWAYS, CONSULT WITH YOUR VETERINARIAN ABOUT YOUR PET’S OVERALL HEALTH AND WELLBEING.

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Tooth brushing can save money, improve pet’s oral health

If you were able to attend our dental care workshop: Preventing canine and feline dental disease, you heard Dr. Andrea Putt, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital, talk about the importance of BRUSHING your dog’s or cat’s teeth.  Dr. Putt  stressed the importance of DAILY brushing.  She also said that it’s not so much what is on the brush that matters– but the act of BRUSHING itself — that is most beneficial to your pet.  So if your pet loves delicious cat or dog food, peanut butter, soft cheese spread – or flavored pet toothpaste – BRUSH AWAY with any of them!   (Just NEVER use human toothpaste!)  Dr. Putt even mentioned that she sees one pet owner who flosses her Yorkie’s teeth!

Yorkie’s – as well as other small dogs – are way more prone to dental disease than mid-size and most big dogs, Dr. Putt said.  Also prone to dental problems are dogs with fine, narrow noses – such as Greyhounds and Collies.

Brushing can save money on your dog’s or cat’s dental care and also goes a long way to helping your pet maintain a healthy mouth and teeth.

Read more below about how to brush your pet’s teeth.  Just a few minutes each day can make a huge difference!

brushing Click here for a printable version.

Products that can prevent dental disease in your DOG

171_PawsitivelyHealthy_Dental_Health_Jan16_Flyer (2) DOGThere are numerous products on the market that can help reduce plaque and tarter buildup on your dog’s teeth.

They include dental chews and treats, dental sprays and gels, and toothpastes for brushing.  Click here for some of my favorites and a shopping list for your pet.

Each of these products offers its own benefits. And all will have some impact on making your dog’s teeth cleaner and reducing the signs of dental disease.

But NONE REPLACE AN ORAL EXAM BY YOUR VETERINARIAN.  Your veterinarian can check for signs and symptoms that these products cannot, such as:

  • Broken and loose teeth
  • Signs of gum disease
  • Oral and facial cancers
  • Root problems (why your pet needs dental x-rays!)

So before you rely only on off-the-shelf products for your pet’s dental care, make sure they have a through exam with their veterinarian.

The products are a good way to SUPPLEMENT your vet’s care.  They are NOT a replacement for veterinary care.

Using these products WILL help make you a better observer of your pet’s oral health.

By using them you will become more familiar with “what is normal” and how your pet’s mouth SHOULD look.  Then when something doesn’t  look quite right, you’ll know it.

 

Find out what you can do at home to help prevent dental disease

Imagine if you never saw the dentist! Getting TEETH AND GUMS checked and cleaned is just as important as any other type of exam for your dog or cat. In fact, in some ways it may be more important since a LACK of good dental care can lead to serious illness – such as heart and kidney disease and more.

Join us on February 18 for our Pawsitively Healthy workshop Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease. Andrea Putt, DVM, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital will share her perspectives on this important topic including helpful tips on what you can DO AT HOME to help prevent dental disease. Click here to register.

Brushing your pet’s teeth, proper nutrition and regular veterinary check-ups are all things you can do to make sure your dog or cat has good oral health. Dr. Putt will share with you her thoughts on which products do the best job and how you can provide dental care at home to even the most temperamental pets.