Petcare Info

Does your pet have bad breath?

bad breath in pets - dental careBad breath is indicative of periodontal disease & bacteria in your family pets mouth. 85% of cats & dogs over 3 years of age have dental disease Dental disease is PAINFUL!

Periodontal disease is loss of attachment of the tooth to the surrounding bone & gums. Bacteria multiply under the gumline destroying bone, inflaming gums and creating BAD BREATH. Bacteria will enter the blood circulation to potentially lodge in organs such as kidneys, liver and heart valves. The TOXINS produced can depress bone marrow function & weaken general immunity. Would you tolerate the same degree of pathology in your mouth? Periodontal disease is IRREVERSIBLE beyond grade 1 stage. The process can be slowed and the pathology limited with dental treatment for grades 2 to 4. Extractions are required for a grade 4 mouth. PROPER DIET is extremely important in preventing the onset of periodontal disease.

Feed firm textured food. Some individuals (especially maltese, toy & mini poodles, dachshunds and greyhounds) will be better off long term on a designated food such as dry Royal Canin Dental as their staple food. Others may do well on standard good quality dry food with a shape and content that inhibits dental calculus formation. Royal Canin is very suited to this purpose. AVOID all dry foods that are labelled as "small breed" for the smaller dogs. The physical shape and size of this type is not conducive to chewing. The older adage of "if you don't use them, you lose them" applies to our pet's teeth & dental hygiene. BONES - Lamb or beef necks cut lengthways are ideal. For tiny dogs these can be cut in half again (quarter necks). Feed bones 3-4 times weekly. Together with the dry food your dog should require no other food. Brisket/rib type bones are alternative choices but can be fatty for some dieting dogs. Only feed bones raw. AVOID feeding leg type bones (eg shanks, femurs, trotters, crosscut soup bones) recognised by their marrow within - these bones are very dense and may CRACK teeth. AVOID also chicken bones / flesh as there is a reasonable risk of gut infections from poultry meat (Salmonella, E. Coli, Campylobacter, Listeria) and they are generally too soft and too small to be of benefit.

Generally the same theory applies except that lamb ribs (eg whole lamb cutlets) are more petite. Sheep or beef heart cut into long strips are another choice for those not tempted to chew a bone. Dry food as the staple is advised for normal cats; so choose the brands with a larger kibble size and with the dental defence ingredient that absorbs the calcium salts that leads to plaque formation, such as Royal Canin. If your cat is especially prone to dental disease then you should consider specialised dental dry food such as Royal Canin Feline Dental. This dry food has a cylindrical shape, and seems not to induce the odd vomit that occurs in some cats on other brands of dry food.

Commercial treats (use the bone as a treat) or soft foods of any type including canned, roll food, mince or diced meat, or casserole type food in either the dog or cat diet unless a specific medical condition overrides this advice (eg kidney disease or FLUTD in cats). PLEASE NOTE - Specialised dental diets such as Royal Canin Feline or Canine are more expensive to initially purchase; but compared with other dry foods are usually more nutritious per unit volume. That is less food is required to maintain bodyweight, so cost per day is comparable to supermarket brands. If a bone is given 3-4 times per week, this will make the food more economical, and generally with the avoidance of treats most owners find the cost will drop compared to the present regime.

As the advocate for your family pet's health EHVH message is simple 'Take your family pet's oral health seriously' Your family pet will live longer - be healthier - smell better - eat better - live in LESS pain!