Why is your pet’s dental health important?
Your pet’s dental health is more important than ever! At least 80% of pets will have some form of dental disease by the age of three years old.
And if you’re like me, you want to avoid having to do anesthesia to clean your pet’s tooth every year if possible. But here’s the best part – there are natural pet remedies that you can use to keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy. Now your pup can keep giving you kisses and not make you cringe with your dog’s stinky breath.
By using holistic treats, toys, and even raw, meaty bones, you can help your pets feel their best, optimize your pet’s health which increases their longevity so that you have many more years with them.
“80% of pets by 3 years of age will have some form of dental disease.”
The commonly fed processed kibble diets are contributing to dental disease in your pet’s mouth
Learn how to assess if a dental chew, treat, or supplement is beneficial and safe for your pet
Cats can also benefit from better dental health through chewing on different treats and chews
Certain supplements can optimize your pet’s overall body health which will directly affect their dental health
Dental cleanings can be reduced by utilizing these different natural remedies, supplements, cat, and dog dental chews, and dental treats for your dog and cat together
Dental chews are number one at reducing the tartar buildup and stinky breath that can happen. Here are a few of our favorites from companies using high-quality ingredients and are transparent about their sourcing:
- Natural Farm – Natural Farm sources its ingredients from grass-fed, free-range Brazilian cattle and makes their products in their own facilities. They never use artificial ingredients, and their chews don’t have harmful risks like rawhides. If you have an older pet, check out the collagen sticks for additional joint protective benefits.
- Whimzees – Whimzees are another great treat option for your dog’s dental health. They also have no artificial ingredients or colors added, and are a great natural pet treat option to keep your dog’s breath smelling fresh.
- Silvervine twigs – Silvervine twigs are a great, simple, and easy natural dental chew for your cat. When getting silvervine twigs make sure to get organic options. Some cats go crazy for these and some don’t seem to want them, but they are cheap option to try for your cats.
If you’re wanting to get more into a raw food diet for your dogs, I highly recommend getting Dr. Conor Brady’s book Feeding Dogs. It is packed with a lot of pet health information and gives you the framework on how to start feeding a raw diet for your dog and the science behind it. And make sure to check out our other related posts below on how to assess what type of raw, meaty bones to give to your pets to help clean their teeth naturally.
Other healthy supplements that can help keep your pet’s teeth clean include:
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Does your dog or cat have bad breath?
Have you been wondering if your dog or cat has dental disease?
Maybe your pet is now at a point where they need to have general anesthesia for a dental cleaning because they need an extraction.
Now you’re worried about the side effects of the anesthesia, will your pet do ok, you’re even questioning if you should do it, but you know they’re in pain, and you feel like you have no other option.
I see you, because I feel the same way if I have to put my pets under anesthesia, and I’m a vet. It can be really scary and stressful.
Dental disease is an important topic.
You may have a dog or a cat that doesn’t seem like they have an issue. Their breath still smells good, you don’t notice any signs of tartar buildup or inflamed gums.
However, by just 3 years of age, 80% of pets will have some type of dental disease.
In this short video, I’m going to cover what you need to know about dental disease but most importantly how you can help your dogs and cats maintain optimal health and get rid of that bad breath with safe, natural, and effective dental treats, chews, and supplements.
Hey pet parents, I’m Dr. Katie Woodley, founder of The Natural Pet Doctor. I’m a holistic veterinarian who’s on a mission to help pets thrive naturally by empowering pet parents like you. If you’re excited to learn more about how you can help your pets achieve optimal health, make sure you hit that subscribe button below. New videos post every Monday on our channel so make sure you hit the bell to receive notifications, so you never miss out on new content. You can also check out more of our free content at www.thenaturalpetdoctor.com.
So you may be wondering why is this happening in our pets and what’s the solution for this common problem?
Let’s start with the wild carnivores and how they were able to keep their teeth pearly white.
Their diets weren’t a kibble diet but instead, they had to bite, tear and crunch on whole meat pieces and bones. In a 2007 study done by Pavlovic with wild wolves, they showed that only 9% had any dental disease and it was broken teeth that caused them to chew differently, allowing tartar to build up on that affected side.
Here’s the kicker – there are numerous studies that showcase that diet consistency and texture play a huge role in whether or not dental disease develops, but vets keep recommending kibble diets.
However, firmer whole-food diets will reduce dental calculus and promote healthier gums.
When our dogs and cats are not getting the abrasive action of the food on their teeth and gums, food particles will combine with the bacteria present in the mouth to form plaque that can harden into tartar, which is very difficult to remove without an anesthetic dental cleaning. This is also what creates the bad, fishy breath you smell from your dogs and cats.
Make sure you check out our previous video on raw food diets and if they’re safe for your pet to learn more.
So what can you do right now (other than diet) to help your pets?
Brushing your pet’s teeth at least three times a week is still the best way to help your pet’s pearly whites stay that way. If you’d like a recipe for a DIY natural essential oil toothpaste, make sure you click the link below.
However, did you know that we can use treats or chews to mimic the same abrasive action from food that can help reduce tartar buildup and promote healthy gums and connective tissue?
What should you be looking for in a dog or cat dental treat or chew to get the best benefit?
Number one should be ingredients.
I know you want your pet to remain healthy so if you’re using a dental treat or chew that has artificial ingredients like sugar, propylene glycol, sodium caseinate, and even wheat flour that could aggravate a pet who already has allergies or GI issues.
Why might these companies be adding these ingredients?
Propylene glycol is what keeps the chew rubbery. Sodium caseinate is essentially casein, the protein from milk. This protein breaks down into casomorphins, which act as histamine releasers and promote inflammation.
Your pet will be ingesting these, and just like when picking the most optimal food, the cleaner the better.
This is where using raw, meaty bones are more beneficial and safe for your pet, keeping in mind that not every pet can handle or tolerate these bones. Make sure you click that link for our previous video on how to assess if your pet can handle bones safely if you already.
If you need an additional resource, make sure you get Dr. Conor Brady’s book Feeding Dogs, which will help guide you with the research on how to optimally feed and give your pet raw bones.
Next thing you need to be looking at when getting treats or chews is the size. Size matters when it comes to dental health chews. Remember, we need the abrasive action from the chews for them to work. If your dog just swallows the treat or chew, it’s not doing what we need it to.
One of the labels you may notice on dental health products for pets is VOHC, which stands for Veterinary Oral Health Council. This council helps screen products that are intended to help retard plaque and tartar on the teeth of animals. However, keep in mind, they are not a regulatory agency. They can be a starting place, but many of the products they recommend contain numerous artificial ingredients that can cause GI upset or lead to inflammation in the product. This is why it’s so important to look at the ingredient lists on the back of the product, and assess what you’re comfortable with giving to your pets.
Dental products made by manufacturers of ultra-processed pet food generally contain large amounts of salt and sugar and are not recommended.
Just because your dog likes chewing on something, doesn’t always mean it’s the best for them.
Ok so what are some of the chews I recommend for your dogs and cats?
We want the least processed chews that will provide the most dental health benefits for your pets.
I’ve already mentioned my favorite chew which is the good old raw, meaty bones. These will be the most optimal for preventing dental disease in your dogs and treating bad dog breath.
When picking bones for your dogs, it’s important to know if you have a gulper (meaning they just swallow everything), if they’re an aggressive chewer, or if they take their time (also known as the gentle chewers). This will help you determine if they can handle a bone safely. Also, bigger knucklebones about the size of your dog’s head will help keep them safer from swallowing bones whole, especially if you have a gulper.
The next dental chew that helps prevent dental disease is a bully stick. There are a lot of companies out there making these products so it’s important to do your research and make sure they are sourcing their products appropriately and not adding any artificial ingredients. A company that I really like that offers different options for their treats is Natural Farm. Their products come from grass-fed, free-range cattle in Brazil, are a single ingredient, and they monitor the entire sourcing and manufacturing process. They also have different options for light chewers to heavy chewers.
If you’re worried about your pet swallowing bully sticks, make sure you get a bully stick holder to help keep your pet safe.
So what about our kitty cats and their dental health?
Feeding an optimal natural pet diet is key. Cats are obligate carnivores and need a high protein diet, not a high carb one that most are getting from eating a processed kibble food. Ideally, when cats are fed a raw diet, they are crunching down on bones, chewing and tearing through the meat and this provides the abrasive action needed to keep tartar and plaque formation to a minimum in their mouth.
And just like dogs, brushing your cat’s teeth will help them tremendously. Always start slow and use lots of tasty treats to get them used to you being in their mouth, but this will help their gums and teeth stay their healthiest.
But you can also use dental chews for your cats too.
Silvervine is a natural herb that acts very similar to catnip, but more cats respond positively to silver vine. There are dental sticks that are actually silver vine twigs that you can get that will attract your cat, get them chewing on them to provide the abrasive action all while helping them be calm, purr, and enjoy this new experience. When looking for a product like this, make sure you pick a company that is using organic products to reduce the number of chemicals entering your cat’s body.
Cats also love raw chicken necks, which you can give to them once a week as a treat. These can be messy, just like raw, meaty bones for your dogs. However, if you can get your cat hooked on chewing on necks, not only are they easier to transition over to a raw food diet but you will significantly reduce their risk of dental disease. When picking a company to shop from, make sure you know where they are sourcing their products and how they handle and store the product.
Getting cats to accept new food can be really difficult.
Have you ever tried to switch your cat over from kibble to a real food diet?
I have personal experience with a recently adopted senior cat that has been fed kibble her whole life, and she looked at me like I was crazy when I put real meat in front of her.
Keep in mind when starting out with these as treats, cats prefer fresh so in the beginning freeze the products as little as possible. You can also do the transition in stages to get them used to a new food.
Start with raw meat only in small strips or minced (especially if they prefer pate canned food). You can lightly sear the outside if your cat prefers cooked food (but the bone inside must remain raw or there’s a chance of splintering). Smash the neck with a tenderizer to break up the bones. Mix with their favorite food. The biggest thing is to be persistent. You can even reduce their normal diet a little to make them more hungry for the raw chicken neck. You can also try chicken wing tips also for your kitties. As always, make sure you’re monitoring them at first to make sure they’re eating it safely.
If you can get your cat used to eating these as treats and even feeding a raw diet, your cat will thank you with more optimal health, which means fewer vet bills and chance of developing dental disease.
Another company that has dental treats that can positively benefit both your dog and cat’s oral health is VetriScience. Their Perio Plus sticks and cat treats are a great way to give your pet something as a reward and treat, but you can also use the Perio Support powder in your pet’s meals to help prevent tartar and plaque buildup. This powder contains natural zeolites that help prevent plaque formation and probiotics to reduce plaque-building bacteria. And the best part is that it’s tasty, so even picky pets usually eat this.
Standard Process is another company that provides high-quality pet dental supplements that we can use for dogs and cats. They have a formula specifically for dental health called VF Bio-Dent for Pets which contains calcium, phosphorus, and manganese for support of the bony structures and connective tissue in the body, including the mouth. Why I love Standard Process for my patients is that they use complex food-based ingredients and organotherapy that provides support for the whole body and they are a great company that is doing things right.
If you’re still excited about learning how to optimize your pet’s oral health and trying some of the above recommendations, make sure you hit that like button, and if you’re ready to try some of these supplements for your pets, click the link down below.
Your pet doesn’t have to be a statistic.
When you focus on feeding the best healthy pet food and using optimal natural dog treats, chews, and supplements, you can help your precious fur family avoid painful and costly dental disease. By using a combination of the above, brushing teeth, natural pet supplements, treats, and natural cat and dog chews, you will help your pet thrive naturally so that they can live a long and vibrant life.
If you found this video helpful, click the like button and hit the button to subscribe so you never miss out on our future content that gets released every Monday. As always, I love hearing from amazing pet parents like you, so if you have other pet health topics you’d like to hear about, make sure to leave a comment below. Remember, you have the power to help your pet live a long and vibrant life – being here is the first step and I commend you for taking time to learn more to better your pet’s lives. Together we can make the change that’s needed to help your fur family thrive naturally. Until next time, I’m Dr. Katie. Take care, pet parents!
*Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. The information contained in thenaturalpetdoctor.com is strictly for educational purposes. Therefore, if you wish to apply ideas contained in thenaturalpetdoctor.com, you are taking full responsibility for your actions. Please consult your veterinarian for medical advice for your own pets. Dr. Katie Woodley cannot answer specific questions about your pet’s medical issues or make medical recommendations for your pet without first establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.