Research shows that up to 85% of dogs and 50% of cats over the age of 4 have some degree of dental disease. Just like in the human mouth, plaque starts to accumulate as soon as the teeth erupt. If left to its own devices, the plaque will accumulate and harden into a toxic bacteria loaded matrix called tartar or calculus.
Do you get stinky licks from your best friend? That stink is from the tartar’s bacteria infecting the gums causing gingivitis, or invading the pulp cavity of broken teeth, which can cause painful abscesses. Our pet’s are much more stoic than us, so there can be significant oral pain, yet never a whimper. Worse still, the bacteria from the mouth, can spread to vital organs causing general ill health.
Dr Alice believes “nothing else impacts on the longevity of an otherwise healthy pet as badly as chronic untreated periodontitis.”
FREE Dental Check
At Maroochy District Animal Hospital, we offer FREE dental check with one of our vets all year round. Call us to make an appointment.
First class dental care at a great price!
With extra training and specialised equipment to ensure we can do the best job for your pet, our vets are passionate about gentle dental care focused on the comfort of your pet. Whilst we are committed to gold standard care for our patients, our clients consistently tell us that our dental services are much cheaper than the rest. We are happy to give you an obligation free estimate for your pet as part of the free dental check.
Our 5 point dental home care plan
Our 5 point dental home care plan is designed to stop plaque in it’s tracks. Our goal is to outline a range of strategies, so that pet owners can choose what is appropriate for their pet, and together we can tailor a realistic plan to maintain a healthy mouth. The best time to start is after the teeth are cleaned and the mouth is healthy.
1. Brush your teeth
Dental specialists agree that the gold standard for dental hygiene is cleaning your pet’s teeth every day. “The pet owner who does that deserves a medal!” says Dr Alice, “but, with a bit of training and lots of treats, once or twice each week may be an achievable goal for most pets.” Toothbrushing helps remove the plaque as it accumulates and stimulates the blood flow to the gums.
TOOTH BRUSH CHOICE Soft child’s toothbrush, a pet toothbrush, a finger brush, or a dental wipe wrapped around the finger
TOOTHPASTE Yummy flavours with abrasive texture. We have prozym poultry flavoured or dentipet beef flavoured toothpastes. (tip; never use human toothpaste…YUK for pets!)
TOOTHWIPES The simplest toothbrush, some chux, or an antibacterial tooth wipe wrapped around the index finger can be ideal for small mouths. Ask us how! (tip; toothbrushing can be interspersed with lots of treats to sweeten the deal!)
2. Mouth wash
Mouth washes come 2 versions. Those we squirt directly into the mouth or additives for your pet’s water bowl.
Hexarinse is an old favourite; squirt a bit into both sides, for an antibacterial rinse.
Prozyme liquid concentrate; with the secret active ingredient RF2, a capful in a bowl of water daily, is enough to change the surface tension of the teeth which stops the plaque biofilm taking hold.
3. Let the kibble do the work
TD diet is the easiest part of any home dental health care plan. The kibble are designed to create abrasion to the tooth surface when the tooth is buried into them. TD is super yummy, gentle on the stomach, and an ideal part of your pet’s diet. (Tip: TD is particularly great for cats who aren’t so keen on brushing or mouth washes!)
4. Treats that clean
For a start chewy treats stimulate saliva which has a raft of antibacterial properties of its own, making it the ideal natural mouth wash. They are also designed to abrade tooth surfaces and skim off that dreaded plaque. These chews are made out of plant based proteins designed to dissolve in the stomach if swallowed.
GREENIES These are tasty chews made with parsley which helps with halitosis. Even cats love them! (and that says something!)
PROZYM DENTAL CHEWS A quirky chewy design, great taste and RF2 creating a barrier to the biofilm, these low fat chews are even suitable for most sensitive stomachs…just ask nurse Kat’s IBD GSP Yamba!
5. The natural choice
“Entire Beef Femur Bones, Pig’s ears, and Roo sticks are all natural choices that we feed our own pets” says Dr Alice. Most importantly, we believe that the only beef bone a dog should have access to is an entire femur, and only for a half an hour. Dogs regularly break teeth on cut bones! Uncut femurs are so large and round, that dogs can only go to work on the gristly cartilage instead, which gives a great tooth and gum work out. Try a femur fortnightly!
What is the right bone to give your dog? The range of meat and fish based treats at markets, pet shops and online, is endless! Pet owners need to go cautiously and work out what is right for their dog or cat. (Disclaimer: Not all pets can tolerate raw or dried meat alternatives, so we always recommend supervised mini-trials first, and only ever fresh or responsibly sourced products).