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.
We are hoping that you can join us on February 18 for our next Pawsitively Healthy workshop, Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease. Click here to register. Our speaker is Andrea Putt, DVM, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital.
Elsewhere in this blog, I talk about some signs of dental disease in your dog or cat. Take a few moments to see if your dog or cat will allow you to look at his/her teeth and gums. A friend of mine routinely rubs her hand around and puts the tip of her finger into her cats’ mouths to get them used to this.
If you are able to take a look at your dog’s or cat’s mouth, try to take note of what you see. Are gums read? Do teeth look yellow or brown? Does your pet flinch in pain when you do this?
If possible, see if you can take a picture of what you see. Do NOT force it. But if your pet will let you, you will have something to show Dr. Putt at the seminar. While she cannot diagnose dental disease from a photo, it will provide a starting point to see if your pet should be seen by a veterinarian.
Below is a photo that my friend took of her cat’s mouth. Again, my friend gets her cats used to having their teeth checked by routinely touching and playing with their mouths. So this was an easy picture for her to take!
The facts about dental disease might surprise you. I am not a veterinarian, but I do know that dental disease in pets:
Is easily preventable
Is prevalent even in young pets
Can lead to more serious health issues
Some pet owners might think that dental exams and cleanings are only to reduce “doggy or kitty breath.” They are actually one of the most important things that you can do for your pet to reduce the natural build up of tartar and plaque that lead to dental disease.
First and foremost, dental disease in your dog or cat can be EXTREMELY painful and affect appetite and activity levels. If left untreated, dental disease can also lead to serious illnesses including:
February is National Pet Dental Health Month. Celebrate it by coming to our workshop, Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease on February 18, 2016. The speaker will be Dr. Andrea Putt of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Putt will talk about how you can spot the signs of dental disease in your dog and cats – and what you can do about it.