As you may or may not know, February is National Pet Dental Health Month. This is the month we beg and plead owners to do just one little trick- flip your pet’s lip up and check out those back molars, where the worst tartar tends to hang out.
Confronted with the yellow, malodorous reality of what’s really going on behind those fuzzy jowls, most people are quick to realize that canine and feline dental disease is more widespread than they realized. Virbac has a very nice visual of the progressive stages of periodontal disease if you’d like to get a picture for what we’re looking for.
If you are one of the 1% of people who brush their pet’s teeth everyday, give yourself a high five. That is amazing, seriously. If you are part of the other 99%, don’t worry, you’re not a horrible person. There are other things you can do:
- Make sure your pet is receiving regular veterinary care, including oral examinations and dental cleanings when needed.
- Consider one of the many over the counter home dental care products available to help reduce tartar load.
Like all things in life, there are good products and there are not so good products. In response, the American Veterinary Dental College has established the Veterinary Oral Health Council to give a seal of approval to products clinically proven to be efficacious. It’s like that ADA seal of approval on all the toothpaste tubes.
That makes it easy, huh?
Brody and Kekoa’s dental care protocol is as follows:
- Tooth brushing sometimes, but not every day. I have no reason to lie to you.
- Greenies (which is on the VOHC list)
- CET Chews (which are not, but I am still a fan.) Between the brushing, the Greenies and the CET chews, they get some sort of dental attention once a day.
- Brody occasionally gets a raw bone, but with the kids around I have to be really careful with how and when he gets them. I know those of you who use these regularly are very happy with the results.
- Dental cleanings yearly (for Brody) and 2-3 times a year for Koa (who arrived with Stage III periodontal disease.)
Apollo is allergic to the ingredients in all the OTC products, so for him, we are limited to the occasional brushing and the regular dental cleanings- which on his wet diet, he certainly needs.
What’s your dental routine with the pets?
P.S. For every re-tweet of this post with the #VOHC tag, Greenies will donate $1 to the wonderful AAHA Helping Pets Fund! So please share away!