Probably one of the number one myths our store busts on a daily, weekly and monthly basis is that kibble (dry, hard, crunchy food) is responsible for cleaning teeth in animals. We often hear this as a reason to not switch a pet to a completely wet or moist diet. The truth is – when is the last time you ate a bag of chips or a bowl of cereal and felt like you didn’t need to run brush your teeth? Why would we expect that our pets are any different? In fact, the ingredients in kibble that help the kibble bind and form together are typically higher in sugar and can lead to more build up on teeth. February is “Pet Dental Month” and we are hosting some super significant discounts on pet dental care items to help you combat these very problems to help keep your pet’s pearly whites, pearly white.
So the first thing to note is that kibble is not going to clean your pet’s teeth. So you will need to invest in some products that will help keep your pet’s teeth clean to avoid the dreaded dental at your vet’s office and even worse, extractions! Items that your pet can chew on are a great first step as the chewing action generally helps knock off some of the tartar (while also alleviating boredom). We do recommend asking for assistance to pick the right bone for your pet. We highly recommend only giving your pet items to chew on when you are able to supervise to make sure no large pieces are ingested that could potentially cause a blockage. Non-compressed rawhide is not ever recommended as a good chew option for dogs as it is not very digestible and can cause major blockage issues. It is also highly recommended that you pick a chew or bone that is sized appropriately for your pet – too small can be a potential choking hazard (especially if they are able to soften the chew).
Second defense against plaque buildup and frequent veterinary dentals would be a products like PetzLife (http://www.petzlife.com/) or Tropiclean (http://tropiclean.com/product-category/oral-health-for-pets/fresh-breath-dental-chews/) that can help break down the plaque on teeth (and freshen breath) naturally with little “elbow grease”. We always recommend following up these products with a toothbrush and pet toothpaste (very important not to use human toothpaste because fluoride is an ingredient in most human labeled toothpaste which is VERY TOXIC to pets). If your dog is upset by your using a toothbrush you might try a finger brush or even a slightly abrasive paper towel wrapped around your finger to rub gentle over your pet’s teeth and gums.
All of these wonderful things should help improve that “fishy kiss” that greets you each morning. In the event you still need something to freshen breath – we have several breath freshening treats like Zuke’s Fresh Breath (https://www.zukes.com/supplements/enhance-fresh-breath/chicken-formula/) or Ark Naturals Chewable Brushless Toothpaste (https://www.arknaturals.com/product/breath-less-chewable-brushless-toothpaste/) or HerbSmith Dog Breath Chews (https://www.herbsmithinc.com/product/dogbreath/). All of these products have been tried by our furry staff family and found to offer relief to the fishy breath issues!