A natural approach to pet dental health
Dental disease is one of the most common reasons that your dog or cat may require costly surgical and medical treatment. Recent statistics in Australia have shown that 60 percent of pets over the age of three have some degree of dental disease that will require costly veterinary attention – and generally under general anaesthetic. The increased popularity of carbohydrate-rich processed pet foods, in place of a balanced fresh meat diet supplemented with bones, can result in the accumulation of significant levels of plaque on the surface of our pets’ teeth, which in turn calcifies to become tartar.
The tartar contains literally billions of bacterial colonies that invade the gums causing painful gingivitis, and will ultimately erode the tooth root attachment, resulting in damage and tooth loss. Rotten teeth and gums are a modern disease caused by inappropriate diets, and the flow-on effects include pain, infection, immune suppression, kidney, liver and heart disease, just to name a few.
So what can you do to help reduce the risk of dental disease in your dog or cat?
Here are my three top tips for a natural approach to dental health that can maintain your pet’s teeth for a lifetime and potentially avoid many expensive dental bills.
1. Feed a balanced fresh meat diet
Many pet owners mistakenly believe that feeding dry food actually prevents dental disease, but the truth is quite the opposite. Are your teeth clean after eating a biscuit! A natural, raw food diet based on fresh meat and raw bones, will naturally maintain your pets’ teeth and gums by creating correctly balanced saliva and an oral environment that naturally cleans and helps to prevent plaque formation.
2. Bones are nature’s toothbrush Raw bones play an integral role in dental hygiene for dogs and cats.
The process of macerating the meat and bones actually massages the animal’s teeth and gums to clean away any food residues or tartar development. This prevents plaque formation, bad breath, dental cavities, gingivitis, and expensive veterinary teeth scaling and extractions. A good supply of calcium and other nutrients during the early growth stages of puppies and kittens will also help to ensure strong healthy teeth. Feeding a raw food diet ensures natural normal acidity levels in the gut that naturally breaks down bones. A balanced fresh meat diet creates the right acidity levels in the gut to help pets digest bones, where many on-the-shelf products don’t.
3. Check your pet’s mouth on a regular basis
Gently lift the flaps of your dog or cat’s gums and have a quick look at the teeth you can see there – pay attention to the colour of the gums, any developing ‘lumps’, signs of broken/chipped teeth and areas that seem/look painful. Also ask your vet to perform an oral exam during regular checkups so they can alert you to any existing or potential problems.
Dr Bruce Syme BVSc (Hons), Founder of Vets All Natural.
Dr Bruce Syme is a practicing vet and expert in natural pet nutrition, has spoken at the Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference, and provides regular comment on TV and Radio.
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this article are based upon the opinions of Dr. Bruce Syme, unless otherwise noted. The information is not intended as medical advice, it simply shares the knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Bruce and his community. Pet health care decisions should be based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified pet health care professional.
© Copyright 2015 Dr Bruce Syme and Vets All Natural. All Rights Reserved.