In honor of Pet Dental Health Month, this month, we’re all about…

The Tooth, The Whole Tooth, and Nothing but the Tooth!

Did you know 85% of all cats develop painful periodontal disease by the time they are 6 years old?  That dental disease can actually SHORTEN your dog’s lifespan? That a rabbit’s tteth are continually growing at a rate of 2 mm per month, and if you do not properly care for their dental care, they can actually die from dental issues?

Don’t play games with your pet’s good dental health – if we don’t take proper care of their teeth, they’ll pay the consequences.

Here are 5 tips to help make sure your pet’s mouth stays healthy and happy!

It all starts with a great diet. 

Diet is the first key to preventing dental disease, no matter what type of pet you have.

For dogs and cats, a raw diet is one of the best ways to keep their teeth healthy – the natural enzymes and the moisture in natural foods do a great job of keeping their teeth in good order. Raw bones also help to physically clean the tarter off the teeth before it can become plaque. If you can’t do raw, high quality moist foods or a raw alternative (freeze-dried, etc) is a great way to feed your pet what they need for good dental health.

Small animals, like rabbits, guinea pigs, and rodents need PLENTY of high quality roughage to chew on. Their teeth are ALWAYS growing, so these guys need to be chewing all day! Pellets aren’t enough – all small rodents require hay in their diet, and plenty of it!

Give ’em Something to Chew On!

Dental treats are great for both dogs and cats. These have nubby surfaces that can help scrape the tartar off the teeth, and many contain extra ingredients to help keep your pet’s breath nice and fresh (an added bonus!)  We like to opt for all natural, easily digestible brands that won’t upset their stomachs. You can also provide raw bones. Marrow bones are great for dogs, and cats love raw chicken necks. (Note: Do not feed cooked bones. They shatter when chewed and become very dangerous for your pets to swallow.)

Rabbits and small rodents actually need tasty chewables as part of their diet.  Chew toys or natural items like twigs and sticks, wood treats, etc. are essential to keep their teeth at the optimal length.  In fact, lack of adequate chew materials is a major cause of health problems for these animals!

Brush Up!

Yes, you can brush your pet’s teeth.  And you really should do this every day. Just like mom says, you only need to brush the teeth you want to keep!

We offer a wide variety of easy to use pet toothbrushes. Just do not use human toothpaste – please come on in and get a tube of pet-safe toothpaste that your pet will love!

Yes, this grooming technique DOES take practice and patience, but your pet will thank you for it in the end.

Keeping it Clean

While great preventive care makes a huge difference, regular professional teeth cleaning is an essential part of the equation, too.

Your groomer may offer teeth cleaning as part of their services, and your vet certainly will provide all levels of dental care. Professional care is vital to help prevent your pet from suffering from painful dental conditions. Proper dental care will also help them to live a longer, healthier life.

Follow the Signs

How do you know your pet may have a tooth problem? Bad breath is a pretty clear sign something is amiss.  Head shaking, picking over or refusing their food, losing weight, rough or dull coat, all can be signs that your pet is suffering from some sort of dental issue.

Want to know more about how to take great care of your pet’s teeth – and find all of the products you need to show your their choppers a whole lotta love?  Drop by any of our Benson’s locations.  Our associates will be happy to steer you to the products that are right for you and your pet!

Or listen to this great video with our friend Kevin where he shares TONS of good info on great dental health for your dog!