Pet Dental Health Month

Pet Dental Health Month

Prevention, maintenance and aftercare

The VCA states that over 80% of dogs in the USA have some type of dental disease. While it is difficult to completely prevent plaque and tartar build up there are many ways to help prevent, clean and maintain a healthy dental regimen. At Contigo Dogs we believe in doing what's best for you and your pet, while always consulting with a veterinarian. That being said here are some of the ways we help prevent plaque and tartar build up:

Dental chews Dental powders Single ingredient chews (duck necks, Beef Cheek rolls, etc) regular teeth brushing (dog safe toothpaste optional)

All of these items can help remove or reduce the amount of plaque and tartar build up if used regularly. Depending on what you feel comfortable with you can always add more or less items. Unfortunately some dog breeds have a higher rate of build up and chews/ supplements alone cannot clean teeth fast enough. In those cases we recommend yearly dental check ups with your primary veterinarian. Yearly check ups can help reduce the chances of gum disease, find cracked teeth and help reduce the amount of extractions necessary. The AVMA (American veterinary Medical association) does not recommend anesthesia free dental cleaning. The reason anesthesia free dental cleanings are not recommended by most vets is due to a number of reasons: 1. cleanings can be time consuming and painful, keeping the animal awake can cause a lot of stress. 2. when the animal is not sedated the medical professionals cannot clean below the gum line properly if at all, meaning the patient might still have build up, cracked teeth and other issues they are unable to see at that time. 3.radiographs are usually taken before surgery to ensure there is no underlying bone/ root problems (cracking, abscesses, etc). when patients are awake it is extremely difficult to get proper radiographs. 

Oral health is an extremely important topic that should be discussed with your veterinarian year round, no matter the pets age. Dental health can affect other parts of the pets life such as gut health, immune system and behavior. The most obvious signs of dental issues are bad breath and visual build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth, however bad breath can also be a sign of poor gut health so it is always best to talk to your vet about these types of concerns. Periodontal disease and other infections caused by broken teeth can compromise the pets immune system. Dental problems can also cause behavioral changes in pets due to pain. Many times trainers will recommend owners taking their pets to see vets before considering behavioral training. An example would be a pet that has always enjoyed chin scratches and one day pulls away from owner or try's to bite them - the animal can be in severe pain and the only way for them to communicate that is through physical displays of displeasure. All of this to say, take your pets dental health seriously, it can come back to bite you later - hehe sorry I had to. All of our supplements and chews are Wheat, Soy and Grain free (which are not ingredients easily digested by dogs and can be a source of allergies for most pets.