5 Essential Nutrients Your Dog Isn’t Getting from His Food

Diet is a huge component to ensuring your pet is healthy and stays in optimal condition. Unfortunately, many dog foods that are on the market today offer little to no real nutritional value. You must be very conscientious in making your selections, and choose feeds that offer real and balanced nutrition.

Some foods may be lacking in very important components, such as:

High Quality Protein

Protein is important in helping your dog build and maintain muscle mass, as well as feed and nourish your dog’s bones, organs, immune system, and more.

If your dog is deficient in quality protein, he could suffer from health problems like poor immune response, anemia, and a dry brittle coat, among other things.

The kibble should also be made with meat that is considered “fit for human consumption.” There are many dog foods created using 4D meat, which is extremely unhealthy and poses many contamination risks for your furry pal.

Healthy Fats

Some kibbles may not contain enough healthy fat. Read labels carefully, and even then, take them with a grain of salt, because sometimes ingredients may be listed that aren’t even in the food, or are in such trace amounts as to be useless for health.

If your dog’s food doesn’t have a sufficient amount of healthy fats within it, he may show evidence of the lack or deficiency in his coat and skin. Good fats are also necessary for your dog’s brain, eyes, and more. They also provide a great, concentrated energy source.

Look for foods that contain herring oil, chicken fat, lamb fat, and sunflower oil for some particularly nutritious options.

Healthy Carbs

Carbs are a good energy source for your dog when they aren’t taken overboard. Just like with people, too many carbs, especially unhealthy carbs, can be detrimental to your dog’s health.

Avoid pretty much any dog foods that list corn as the first ingredient, as they offer very little nutritional value and may cause obesity, among other health ailments. Also, keep in mind it’s often a very subpar quality of corn called feed corn, or corn meal.

A better choice is to look for foods that contain carbohydrates like potatoes and rice or starchy foods like peas and garbanzo beans. These at least can offer some nutrition. Just keep in mind that it’s harder for dogs to digest grains then fats and proteins. 

Natural Vitamins and Minerals

Unfortunately, your dog food could be so highly processed, and made with such high temperatures, that virtually all the natural vitamins and minerals it may have possessed have been leeched right out of it. It’s basically been “denatured.”

This forces manufacturers to add synthetic vitamins and minerals back in. This is challenging, because your dog may not be able to synthesize them, or your dog could even be given too much of something, and it could prove toxic. Dry dog foods offer very little in the way of “natural” nutrition, and are not the best choice for keeping your pet healthy over the long-term.

Enzymes

Enzymes are essential in many processes that support and sustain the life and health of your fur baby. Dogs are born with a certain number of enzymes at birth, and that’s all they will have during their lifetime. All other enzymes must to be gleaned from the food that they eat.

Unfortunately, in the process of manufacturing dog food, along with other essential nutrients, live enzymes are mostly destroyed. The lack of enzymes in his diet can cause a noted deficiency in your pooch.

Feed Your Dog “Real” Food, Not “Franken Food”

One of the best ways to ensure your fur kiddo is being fed a healthy and nutritious diet (with all the live enzymes and natural vitamins and minerals they need to live long and happy) is to feed them “real” food.

Feeding your furry friend most commercial pet foods is similar to feeding him a daily diet of Big Mac’s and French fries. It’s also very dehydrating, and your dog needs proper hydration to function optimally.

Remember, you can’t make any health gains eating nothing but junk food and fake nutrition… neither can your dog.

10 Facts About Pet Food That Will Surprise You

Choosing a good pet food that is nutritious and healthy for your fur baby can be challenging to say the least. There are so many commercial pet foods that are (for want of a better term), nothing but dry kibble – lacking all of the essential nutrients your fur kid needs.

However, there are some pet food manufacturers that do value the health of your pet, and strive to create feed that is healthy and nutritious. It just becomes a matter of learning how to sift the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

With that said, here are 10 surprising facts about commercial pet food that just might surprise you. Take them to heart, and keep them in mind when choosing the best pet food for your four-legged companion.

Not All Pet Foods Are Created Equal

In fact, some may be seriously subpar. There are certain pet foods that are manufactured from what is known as 4D meat. Worse, this practice is perfectly legal. 4D meat comes from diseased and disabled animals who are dying or have died. Sound yummy?

Yeah, doesn’t sound too appetizing to us either. You wouldn’t eat meat like this, so don’t feed it to your pet. Instead, make sure that the pet food you are buying is “fit for human consumption.”

Consider Feeding Your Pet “Fresh” Food

Or at least feed them fresh food part of the time. Unfortunately, whether you’re buying canned food or dry kibble, the process that makes them stable enough to sit on a shelf for months on end is so extreme that most of the time any natural nutrients that may have been present get eradicated.

This means that manufacturers are forced to add things back in, like synthetic minerals and vitamins and even artificial flavors, just to entice your pet to eat it.

Read the Ingredients. Really!

We bet you only thought you’d have to read ingredients for your own food. Unfortunately, no. Read the ingredients in your pet food of choice, and see how it measures up. Ideally you want the first ingredients to be proteins, not grains and starches.

In fact, you might consider going grain-free entirely. Often grains are corn or cornmeal based, which is highly fattening and offers very little nutritional value.

Sometimes veggies like garbanzo beans and peas may be added in as starches, and those are acceptable. Just make sure they aren’t the first ingredient listed.

Avoid “Meat Meal”

Yes, you want the first ingredients to be protein, but you don’t want that protein to be meat meal. Meat meal is basically an animal by-product, and you probably don’t want to know what goes into its production. Suffice to say, avoid, avoid, avoid.

Added Preservatives Are Unhealthy

Unfortunately, they are necessary for most commercial pet food brands, so that the food can store for indeterminate periods of time. There are some natural preservatives, but they increase production costs, which make them largely undesirable to pet food manufacturers.

Also, it’s worth noting that some preservatives are also used as pesticides, and some are even known to cause health risks, yet they are still used. Even if the preservative agent is illegal in other countries, it could still be legal here in the good old US of A.

Raw Food, Shmaw Food

There’s a belief that is being passed around that raw foods are bad for your pet and you shouldn’t feed them such nonsense. We call baloney.

Obviously, pet food manufacturers have a vested interest in making people believe kibble and canned food is better than raw or real food. It doesn’t make it true.

Just like we can thrive on a raw food diet, animals can as well. So even if you feed your pet commercial food a few times a week, then mix it up with fresh food the other days of the week, you could potentially offset nutritional deficiencies.

Protein Extenders = Bad

Protein extenders are used to save on costs. For instance, blood meal is considered a “protein extender.” However, it is essentially indigestible for your furry friend. What is blood meal, you might ask? It is blood that has been dried and powdered, and then used in various brands of pet food. The other problem with blood meal is that it has the potential to pass along mad cow disease to dogs.

Buyer Beware of Heavy Metals

Metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium have been found in commercial pet foods. Obviously, this is not desirable, nor healthy. 

Nutrient Poison

Another fun factoid: because the manufacturing process depletes nutrients, pet food manufacturers will add back in synthetic nutrients. Sometimes this can be overkill, and even toxic to your animal, such as too much vitamin A or vitamin D.

To Meat or Not to Meat…

Because too much meat can mess with a manufacturers machines, most dry kibbles are made up of about 50% of the good stuff. If it’s the good stuff. See point number 1.

Remember to research your options, and choose your pet food wisely.

Your Dog’s Kibble Isn’t Enough: The Truth About Commercial Pet Food

When it comes to your fur baby, (and obviously, the key word here is “baby”), you want to feed them as healthy a diet as possible. For most pet owners, their dog is like a member of the family, and you certainly wouldn’t feed other members of your family only unhealthy foods or an unbalanced diet.

Therefore, why would you sacrifice quality and nutrition when it comes to your four-legged friend? Unfortunately, most commercial dog food does just that… sacrifices quality and balanced nutrition, at the expense of you and your dog.

A healthy diet equals a healthy (and long) life. In a day and age where 40% of dogs have packed on more pounds than is optimal, and 46% of dogs today die from diseases like cancer, you should want to give your pet the best chance possible at a long and healthy life. Heart, liver, and kidney disease is on the rise, and it all boils down to being mindful of just what you are feeding your pet.

Much like humans, what you put into your dog is what comes out. If you feed them a poor diet every day, it can manifest itself into various illnesses and ailments. Not the goal when you go to pick up that bag of dog food, right?

So, let’s talk about a few truths when it comes to commercial dog food, so you can see how so many of them miss the mark when it comes to nourishing your furry little cuddle buddy.

Complete and Balanced is a Best Guess

Just because something says it, doesn’t make it true. While it would be nice to believe that one single brand of dog food can meet all the nutritional needs of your dog, the reality is that is most likely not the case.

There is no single brand of dog food that will meet all of your dog’s nutrient needs all the time. Therefore, food rotation and supplementation is encouraged. Which leads us to truth number two.

It’s Healthier to Mix It Up

It’s perfectly fine to mix your dog’s food up. As a matter of fact, it’s important to mix it up for your dog, to ensure that the diet they are being fed truly is “balanced and complete.”

If you think about it, would you like to eat the same thing day in and day out? Probably not. So, if you wouldn’t, why would your dog?

They need variety too, and the message that switching their feed could give them a bellyache, while potentially true in the short-run, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. An upset stomach can actually be a sign that your dog has nutritional deficiency somewhere, and needs a wider variety of food.

Just like people, when your dog is not nutritionally sound, his gut will not work optimally. Once your dog gets the complete nutrition he needs, and his gut heals and begins to work the way it’s designed to do, then he can eat different foods on a regular basis with no issues, just the way we as people do.

Dry Dog Food or Canned?

Dry dog food (also called kibble) can be quite dehydrating. It has been linked to bloat as well as other health problems in both dogs and cats. Dry dog food is exposed to extreme heat during the production phase. Extreme heat causes a loss of potency in the nutritional value, in some cases destroying up to 75% of nutrients and vitamins.

Canned food is a tad bit more “fresh”, and less heat is used to create it, increasing its nutritional value. However, there’s still nothing that beats real (fresh) food for your pet.

Whether it’s cooked or raw, dehydrated, freeze-dried, or frozen… these forms offer much higher nutrition options for your fuzzy pal, and should be weighed carefully against the kibble brands you choose if you want to feed your pet the healthiest diet available.

Filling Your Dog Up With Corn

If you read the ingredients on the back of the food bag, you’ll find that the first one is most often corn, or some derivative of corn. This is because it’s a cheap filler, and lowers the costs of production.

Dog’s bodies are not designed to properly process corn by-products. Corn has even been identified as a possible allergen for dogs. When the main ingredient in your dogs food is corn or a corn by-product, you are feeding your pet a food that will not be easily digested or absorbed in their gut.

You will typically find corn used as a filler in the cheaper, low cost dog foods. To ensure that your dog is receiving wholesome nutrition, and not being filled up with corn at every meal, be sure to do your research and check the label for nutrition information! Your furry four-legged family member will not receive complete, balanced nutrition on food with grain filler as the main ingredient!

Dog Food “Good”, People Food “Bad”- Not!

Obviously, there are some foods that a dog cannot and should not eat. Things like grapes, raisins, onions, macadamia nuts, and garlic to name a few. Also, never give your dog any foods with Xylitol (it can be deadly), and stay away from allowing them chocolate as well. Other than those few no no’s, for the most part dogs can eat the same foods as humans do and be all the healthier for it.

Think of it like this… feeding your dog some commercial dog foods is similar to feeding your dog granola bars every day. Since we already know eating only processed food on a daily basis is not healthy for you, it stands to reason that a “processed food only” equivalent is also not healthy for your dog.

As more research is conducted on the proper diet for dogs, we are learning that a processed food only diet is no longer enough. Processed foods make for a longer shelf life and ease of feeding and convenience, but lack the complete proper nutrition necessary. We now understand that dog’s need whole food nutrition for optimal health and wellness!

Animal By-Product… What is It?

If you tend to feed your dog the cheaper brands, you can bet the cheaper the brand, the cheaper the ingredients will be. Corn and cornmeal will usually be the very first ingredient listed with “animal by-product” as the protein source. This kind of dog food is lacks proper, complete nutrition and can potentially lead to of health problems and diseases.

Keep in mind that the final rendered product that comes out of these many manufacturers of pet food is supposed to be labeled properly, and list its dominant animal source. However, it is hard to identify the main animal source when several different meats are used. As a result, food often gets labeled with terms like “meat by-product” or “animal by-product” as well as “animal fat”. Pretty ambiguous, right? It doesn’t tell you much.

Another unfortunate problem with this practice is that the meat sources can be contaminated. When companies chose to use ingredients such as “meat by-product” or “animal by-product”, these mix of animal species could have been on unknown drugs or antibiotics that can potentially be passed through the food to your pet!

Frankly, some commercial grade dog food is made of material that is considered “unfit for human consumption” … yet somehow it is deemed okay to feed to your dog. It is important to be aware of what you are feeding your dog!

What You Can – and Should Be Doing

This information may be startling, to say the least, but this is not to scare you away from feeding your furry four-legged friend his pet food! What you should take away from all of this information is how necessary it is to take the time to do research on what the best option is for your pet.

This is why you should always check the labels and ingredients of the dog food that you choose to buy, and try to find the brands that truly value animal life. They are out there, you just have to look for them. You also will probably pay a little more for them, but the health of your dog is worth it.

Do your due diligence! Research different dog food brands to compare what they have to offer. Select one that has high quality standards and creates their food recipes based on research and the help of nutritionists. Try to find brands of dog food that have wholesome nutrition and natural ingredients. Take the time to find options that are grain free and do not use any fillers. This can be time consuming, but well worth it for your fur friend’s health!

There are pet food companies that truly want to help you nourish your dog so that you can equip them to live a long and healthy life. Stay far away from the subpar cheaper brands that rely on fillers and by-product to keep costs low. Strive to make the health of your pet top priority and purchase the highest quality food that you can reasonably afford.

How Often Should You Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?

This question probably depends more on who you ask, but keep in mind that the more often you brush your dog’s teeth, the healthier his mouth will be. Think of how often you brush your own teeth, and how yucky your mouth feels when you don’t do it often enough.

The inside of a dog’s mouth really isn’t that different from yours, and it’s susceptible to all the same health problems… bad breath, gingivitis, periodontal disease, cancers of the mouth, ulcers, and more. And if a dog’s mouth is unhealthy, it can affect the rest of his body, leading to things like liver disease, kidney disease, and heart disease.

A Few Fun Facts About Doggy Dental Health

Your dog has 42 teeth. Count ‘em, yes, 42! And it doesn’t matter their size, they still have the same number of pearly whites. Which means smaller breeds and pooches with small snouts suffer from ‘tooth crowding’. Consider tooth crowding a breeding ground for potential bacteria. Bacteria creates disease.

Unfortunately, dogs that have poor dental hygiene are at high risk for gum disease. Gum disease occurs when bacteria-laden plaque proliferates, mixing with food and saliva to create tartar on your dog’s teeth. When that tartar is left there, it builds up and houses even more bacteria, creating a nasty cycle of bacterial growth and unhealthy mouth conditions for your fur baby.

Finally, if you think your dog could never suffer from things like gum disease, think again. About 80% of all dogs suffer from some form of gum disease, whether it’s mild or severe. Typically signs of poor oral health begin to rear their stinky head around age three and up. Don’t worry though, there is plenty you can do to help keep your fur baby’s teeth healthy. Regular brushing happens to be one of them.

So How Often Should You Be Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth Anyway?

Ideally you should strive to brush your dog’s teeth daily. Not only is daily brushing good for your fur kid and the health of his teeth, but daily brushing helps establish a routine that he will become used to. When a dog gets used to a routine, it makes things much easier for everyone and much less stressful.

If you don’t make it a routine and only brush your fur kid’s teeth sporadically, life becomes much harder for you both. You may find yourself fighting your dog because he is weirded out by the whole experience, and that makes it difficult to do a thorough job.

If absolutely necessary, you could brush every 2 or 3 days. It’s still frequently enough that a routine can be established with your pet, and it can become an experience they submit to willingly. However, I would still recommend daily if it’s within your power to do so, simply because daily is brushing is good for anyone, including your pooch.

Tips to Make Brushing Your Fur Kid’s Teeth Enjoyable… For Both of You

Track down a yummy peanut butter or chicken-flavored toothpaste made especially for dogs. Your furry friend will begin to think of brushing time like ‘treat time’ because it tastes so good.

You can use the toothpaste on your finger at first to help ease him into the experience.

Try to brush at a time when your dog is already relaxed. Right after a lazy nap could be ideal, or perhaps after vigorous exercise when your dog is about to conk out to recharge.

Train your fur baby to accept your touch to his mouth. Again, this falls back on making it routine, but it takes practice. Flip his lips, run a finger along his gums, try wetting a warm wash cloth to rub along his teeth to get him used to the feeling.

Talk to your pooch. Use a calm, soothing voice, and try not to get frustrated if he resists. Offer a tasty, healthy treat when he submits.

Regular and frequent brushing will keep your fur kid’s mouth clean, healthy, and sparkling. Bonus points if you can coax a doggy smile from him!

 

Resources:

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/dental-disease-in-dogs

What Are the Signs of Periodontal Disease in Dogs?

It might surprise you to learn, but just like you, your dog can suffer from periodontal disease. Canine periodontitis is a bacterial infection raging rampant inside your dog’s mouth. It is an insidious disease that is largely silent (especially at onset) but extremely destructive if left unchecked.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the disease, many fur parents may not even notice the signs and symptoms at first. When you do begin to notice something is amiss, most often it is in an advanced stage with significant damage already present.

Once it reaches an advanced stage, periodontal disease in dogs can be chronically painful. It can erode your fur kid’s gums, contribute to missing and broken teeth, and cause significant bone loss.

Dog periodontal disease progresses through four stages, beginning with plaque build-up and mild inflammation. From there it turns into gum disease (or gingivitis), and as time goes on can progress into mild periodontal disease.

If the disease isn’t treated right away, mild can evolve into severe periodontal disease, which is when you will begin to notice your dog losing teeth and experiencing bone loss.

According to some sources, your fur baby’s risk factors for periodontal disease increase by 20% for every year that passes. Four out of five dogs will show evidence of gum disease at age three and beyond.

What Is Gum (Periodontal) Disease?

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that leads to severe decay. It must be treated right away, or your dog will be at risk for many other health issues. When a dog suffers from periodontal disease, the supporting structures of his teeth become weak and eroded from a build-up of plaque and tarter. The disease eventually results in bone loss and tooth loss, along with many other nasty and uncomfortable symptoms and related health problems.

Your furry friend’s risk for kidney, liver, and heart disease increases exponentially if he suffers from periodontal disease. Heart disease is especially a big concern, as it has been shown to be linked to periodontal disease in dogs. This is because bacteria in your dog’s mouth will enter your canine’s blood stream and attach itself to the arteries surrounding the heart, creating build-up and interfering with healthy heart function.

The sad thing is that dog dental disease is quite preventable with proper care and a fastidious oral hygiene routine. However, many fur parents are not consistent in caring for their dog’s teeth, so many dogs suffer from gum disease needlessly.

Signs of Periodontal Disease in Dogs

As stated, it can sometimes be easy to miss the onset of dog periodontal disease until it has reached a more advanced state.

Once past that initial stage however, some signs and symptoms to be on the alert for are:

¥ Red and/or bleeding gums
¥ Loosened teeth
¥ Stinky breath
¥ Issues with picking up food
¥ Mouth bumps or lumps
¥ Saliva that looks bloody
¥ Saliva that looks ‘ropey’
¥ Mouth chewing (often on one side)
¥ ‘Head shyness’ (when your dog ‘shies’ away from you touching their head)
¥ Noises when your dog yawns or eats
¥ Nasal discharge and sneezing
¥ Discolored enamel (yellow or brown)
¥ Loss of appetite
¥ Trouble chewing (food, bones and chew toys)
¥ Weight loss
¥ Anti-social behavior
¥ Irritable behavior
¥ Depressed behavior
¥ Pawing at the mouth
¥ Pus around the teeth
¥ Blood in their water bowl or on their chew toys
¥ Digestive and stomach problems can sometimes also be an issue

Risk Factors of Dog Dental Disease

Risk factors for periodontal disease is often related to breed and genetics. Smaller dogs are more prone to gum disease simply because they have smaller mouths with less space. This causes their teeth to crowd together, making them difficult to keep clean.

Although any dog can suffer from periodontal disease, the breeds that appear to be genetically predisposed to gum disease are:

¥ Shetland Sheepdogs
¥ Maltese
¥ Papillion
¥ Yorkshire Terriers
¥ Standard Toy Poodles
¥ Pomeranians
¥ Dachshunds
¥ Havanese
¥ Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Diet can also play a role in whether your pooch will develop gum disease. Your fur baby’s age and general health will contribute, as well as his tooth alignment. Tooth alignment is related to breed.

Again, smaller dogs will suffer from improper tooth placement and crowding. Grooming habits can contribute to gum disease, chewing behaviors can play a role, and obviously, your dog’s overall dental hygiene is a big indicator of whether your pooch will eventually develop periodontal disease.

Stages of Periodontal Disease in Dogs

Stage 1

Unfortunately, stage one of dog periodontal disease is easily missed. Sometimes bad breath may be the only discernible sign. You also may see mild inflammation and redness along the gum line. This stage is called gingivitis.

Stage 2

In stage two of gum disease, your dog’s vet may notice little pockets between the gums and the teeth called periodontal pockets. When your vet finds these pockets, she will measure them. If they are more than 3mm’s deep, they are considered abnormal and treatment needs to begin immediately.

Stage 3

In stage three of periodontal disease, your dog’s vet will look for periodontal pockets that measure more than 5mm’s deep. It is in stage three that bone loss begins to occur, which is why you want to address this condition before it reaches this stage, if possible.

Stage 4

Stage four is when you begin to see up to 40 to 50 percent bone loss in your fur baby’s mouth. Extensive tartar buildup will be evident, as well as a receding gum line.

Causes of Gum Disease in Dogs

Gum disease, at its core, is related to bacteria. When food, saliva, and bacteria all mix together, they form plaque. Plaque then coats your fur kid’s teeth in a sticky film. When this plaque sits for several days, usually around day two or three, it starts to combine with other minerals and turns into tartar.

Once tartar builds up, your dog’s immune system steps in, trying to fight off the all the bacteria. This immune response is what causes the redness and inflammation in the gums and along the gum line.

When your fur child’s body is unable to fight off the bacteria contained in the plaque, it continues to set and calcify. As the tartar builds upon itself, it pushes the gums away from the teeth, creating little pockets between the teeth and gums that become a dream home for bacteria.

Those little pockets create a ripe breeding ground for more bacteria, which eventually results in abscesses and destroys tissue and bone. This is the stage where your dog’s teeth begin to break and become loose, and the bone erodes entirely. This stage can be quite painful for your pooch.

Another complication that occurs when the disease has spread this far is destruction in the bones, as even the slightest pressure could fracture the jaw of a small dog.

Preventing Periodontal Disease in Dogs

Just like people, your dog needs to see a vet on a regular basis for routine cleanings and exams. Exams with x-rays are your best course for prevention, because x-rays allow your vet to see a more complete picture of what may be going on in your dog’s mouth, especially below the gum line.

Again, just like with people, daily brushing of your dog’s teeth is vital. You already know that it is good for you, so why wouldn’t it be equally as good for your furry friend?

With some practice, some patience, and a little instruction from your vet, you can train your dog to allow you to brush hiss teeth without too much fuss. Just make sure you have the right tools.

Remember that food quality is also important in preventing many health conditions, including periodontal disease. In the same way a poor or incomplete diet can affect your dog’s overall health, it can also impact your dog’s teeth. Also, some vets may recommend foods that help scrub your dog’s teeth as they eat. You can also give your dog special foods and treats that contain additives to prevent plaque from hardening. This is often called the ‘dental diet’.

Another great way to help prevent gum disease in your pooch is to provide them with plenty of healthy treats, goodies, and safe toys for chewing every day.

The best treats and toys you can give your furry friend are:

¥ Thin rawhide strips
¥ Little rubber toys you can hide treats inside of
¥ Rubber balls

You don’t want to give your fur baby any treats or toys that are too hard. Treats and toys that are hard, such as nylon bones, pig or cow hoofs, and animal bones, can all contribute to broken teeth and fractures.

Sometimes you can find treats that are treated with enzymes to help reduce the formation of tartar. Obviously, this is not to take the place of regular brushing, but it can be an enjoyable and helpful way to contribute to keeping your dog’s teeth healthy.

One thing to keep in mind is that even with your best efforts, depending on the breed, your pet could still develop periodontal disease, simply because it’s in his genes. In those cases, reducing the potential for decay is the best thing that you can do to keep your dog’s mouth as clean and healthy as possible.

Another thing that is noteworthy—if you brush your fur baby’s teeth daily on your own, you could find that professional cleanings aren’t necessary quite as often.

How to Treat Periodontal Disease in Dogs

Unfortunately, the damage caused by periodontal disease in dogs is irreversible. However, you can treat it and prevent future pain and decay by using the preventive methods recommended above.

As far as treatments go, it can get costly. The stage of your dog’s teeth and the progression of the disease will determine what treatments are necessary. Professional dental cleaning, including scaling and polishing is common if large amounts of plaque coat your dog’s teeth. Most treatment procedures will require general anesthesia, so often blood work will be the first step.

Antibiotics could be given as part of the overall treatment protocol before a procedure to help keep bacteria from spreading. Remember that a complete oral exam with x-rays and probing can only happen if you are willing to put your dog under anesthesia.

The x-rays will help your vet determine the extent of the damage and what can be done to mitigate it, and whether there are any teeth that need to be extracted. Typically, all the exams and treatments needed will be done at the same time, so that your dog is only put under once.

Once a treatment plan is decided upon, your vet will thoroughly clean your fur kid’s teeth, removing plaque both below and above the gum line, and removing tartar as well using a tool called an ultrasonic scaler. Then your vet will polish the surface of your dog’s teeth and fill in any crevices to prevent future bacteria and plaque from building up. Sometimes an antibiotic gel may be used.

Once a dog is in stage three or four of gum disease, not only is cleaning and scaling necessary, but other treatment actions such as extraction, periodontal surgery or splinting, sub gingival curettage, and bone replacement procedures could become necessary.

Your vet may recommend or use sealants, as well as growth stimulants to promote regeneration of tissue, and slow-release antibiotics to help with healing. In the case of extractions, your vet will remove cracked, loose, or dying teeth to prevent the disease from spreading any further.

Remember that it is up to you to keep your fur kid healthy and happy. With regular attention to your canine’s oral hygiene, there’s no reason for your dog to suffer from such a preventable disease as periodontal disease in dogs.

Resources:

Stages of Pet Periodontal Disease


http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/perlis-gum-disease-dogs
http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/mouth/c_multi_periodontal_disease
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2089&aid=379