February is officially pet dental month. Sponsored by AVMA to highlight the neglect of oral care by pet owners. Not a week goes past that i don't hear from a customer that their vet wants hundreds of dollars for a dental cleaning and now they want a chew or toothpaste to fix the problem overnight. The reality is that pet oral care is no different than human care. Daily care is required and regular examines by a vet. Bacteria build up can affect a pets overall health from the liver and kidneys to heart health. 

 Consistency is key. My advice is always pick the product that you find easiest to use therefore you are more likely to use it frequently. If you’re not going to brush your pet’s teeth at least a few times a week don't buy a toothbrush. If you’re dealing with a sensitive stomach or over weight pet don't buy a dental chew. There are multiple types of products on the market today so choose one that fits your time, budget and pet.

I am not one who wants to fight my dogs with a toothbrush every day. They get groomed once a month and we brush their teeth then. So for regular maintenance I add enzymes to their water. Couldn’t be easier and i get 60 day supply for $17.99. The dental chew is always the most popular product, and why not it doubles as a treat and pets love them. Make sure you are using a quality proven product, just like pet food there are a lot of poor quality chews that are not at all effective out there. The reason I went away from chews is that one of my dogs is picky and won't eat them consistently.

Bone, bully sticks, hide chews etc. while not having oral health ingredients are a good way for dogs to scrape their teeth and remove tartar build up. Make sure your dog is using all his teeth to chew therefore not leaving some untreated. A good trick is to get an oversized bone that they have to try harder to get their mouth around. That makes them use their whole mouth.

Good nutrition is key to a heathy mouth. Processed food will always play a large part in plaque and tartar build up. So being proactive with oral care is important. One of my biggest pet peeves, excuse the pun, is that kibble cleans teeth. It actually causes the bulk of the problem. Does eating a crunchy cereal keep the dentist away? I doubt it and my dentist has never recommended it as a good solution. Fresh or raw feeding eliminates additives in the food and regulates gut bacteria much more effectively thus reducing the buildup of tartar causing bacteria’s keeping the mouth healthier.

Do a little or do alot but do something to protect your pets oral health.