Tag Archives: dog teeth

Two toys your dog (and maybe your cat) can’t live without

There is definitely no shortage of dog toys on the market.  In fact, the hardest part of getting a new dog in the family may be CHOOSING which toys your dog will think are the BEST.

While there are many great toys, you can’t go wrong with two that are getting rave reviews from dog lovers.  They also offer variations for cats.  They are:

kongKONG toys

KONG toys are made of high quality natural rubber and come in different shapes and sizes.  These toys are durable and will last longer than many other toys.

Some KONG toys have spaces that you can fill with peanut butter or other treats.  This is excellent for giving dogs who are crated during the day an activity and something to do. kong-cat

Kong also makes a variety of toys for your cat.

ropeRope toys

Rope toys not only provide a source of entertainment and playful activity for your pet, but they can be also be beneficial to your pet’s teeth since the chewing motion helps to remove plaque and tarter.  Puppies can sink their teeth into rope toys which act as a teething ring.

Photos courtesy of Pet Supplies Plus.

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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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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.

 

See us talking about pet dental care on Fox 2

This morning, Dr. Andrea Putt, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital, and I went on Fox 2 / Detroit to talk about the importance of canine and feline dental care.

This is also the topic of our workshop coming up on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016.  THERE IS
STILL TIME TO REGISTER – CLICK HERE!

Here is a link to the video on the Fox 2 website: http://www.fox2detroit.com/good-day/93121133-video

dental care fox 2 segment

IMG_3290

 

Here we are in the Fox 2 “ green room” waiting to go on live TV.  This is  me  with Niko. We are going to show viewers what the symptoms of dental disease look like in a cat.

Niko, who was recently adopted at age 13, is showing signsof dental disease and will be going in for a dental cleaning soon.

The dog in the picture is Esthme along with her person, Beth. Esthme was on camera having her teeth brushed by Dr. Putt.

IMG_3294     IMG_3300

 

Get the most from our Canine and Feline Dental Disease Workshop

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!

Emma Cat Teeth
This is picture of a friend’s cat, Emma. Emma is at least 16 years old and had her teeth cleaned a year ago. Still, she is starting to show signs of some tartar build up, the beginning of dental disease.