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How to Care for Your Pet's Teeth

FEBRUARY IS PET DENTAL HEALTH MONTH!

Did you know 70% of dogs and cats will suffer periodontal disease by the age of two! If you've ever had to have a dentistry for your pet, you know how important oral health care is for our furry family! 

What causes periodontal disease in our pets you may ask! We don't see toothless wolves or lions! We also don't see them with decayed teeth, tartar encrusted teeth, or yellow teeth! So why is that? The biggest reason, is they don't eat kibble!

But wait! Haven't we been told that feeding kibble is a good way to keep the teeth clean? We certainly have! Unfortunately, eating kibble to keep our pet's teeth clean is the same as saying if you ate Doritos your whole life, you'd never have to brush your teeth because you're eating crunchy food! Sounds a little ridiculous now doesn't it? It is just another kibble myth the big pet food companies have perpetuated long enough that we, as unsuspecting pet parents have come to believe! 

Here's why kibble does NOT clean the teeth! 50-70% of kibble is made of carbs, the carbs come from the starches needed to hold the little pellets of food together, the carbs breakdown into sugar, this is what is left behind on the teeth after eating kibble. Think of how your own teeth feel after eating lots of sugar, now think about how your teeth would feel if half of everything you ate everyday, was sugar! 

Aside from all the sugar a kibble fed pet eats, think about how they actually eat! Their mouths are not made to chew, their mouths are designed to rip and swallow. Kibble doesn't require any ripping, so they're simply swallowing! So the myth that "chewing" crunchy food will clean their teeth is further debunked because they don't actually chew the crunchy food that is supposed to be "cleaning" their teeth. 

So, what is our best bet to keep our pet's teeth pearly white?

Feeding our pets a less processed, more whole food diet will not only provide health benefits to their bodies, it will also help their teeth! Raw meaty bone diets keep wild carnivores’ teeth in top condition and they can do the same for our domesticated carnivores. Even ground raw diets help prevent tartar build up, as the meat contains natural enzymes and raw diets do not stick to the teeth, unlike diets that are high in starch. 

Offering your pet raw knuckle bones to gnaw on can help remove tartar the old fashioned way – by grinding it off through mechanical chewing. 

There are some rules to offering raw bones (not for pets with pancreatitis, diseases of the mouth, weak or fractured teeth, resource guarders, “gulpers,” etc.)

We recommend offering a raw bone about the same size as your pet’s head to prevent tooth fractures.

If your dog cannot or should not chew recreational raw bones, we recommend you offer a fully digestible, high quality dental dog chew, an example is our Icelandic+ Lamb Horns, any of our all natural chews, or our Indigenous Pet Products dental chews. In combination with their chews, brushing their teeth daily is a great way to help keep their chompers nice and healthy and we've got brushes and toothpastes just for them! 

Dental health is important all year round, but February is the month we really want to shine a light on it! If you've got questions, or need help navigating your pet's oral care, pop by to see us, we're always happy to help!

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