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Dental Dilemmas

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Eeeeeuuuuu BAD BREATH!  We hear this complaint alot and there are a variety of causes of bad breath… but they are most often related to dental disease. When was the last time you had a look at your chum’s chompers? If it’s been a while—or maybe never—you’re not alone. Studies show that up to 70% of pet owners have not ever considered that their pet’s teeth may need some attention.  Pets are very susceptible to periodontal or gum disease, which is actually the number one illness found in both dogs and cats. Estimates from studies conducted worldwide in 2013 suggest that, by the time they are three years old, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have oral disease. So, dental hygiene should be a priority in your pet’s health and wellness routine.

What are the main causes of dental disease?

  • AGE:  Older pets are much more affected by dental disease.

  • BREED:  Certain breeds seem to be more prone to the development of dental disease than others.  Oriental Shorthairs and Siamese cats are the most likely to have troubled teeth, while the dog breeds such as pugs, boxers, poodles, yorkies and bulldogs seem to be the most prone.

  • FOOD TYPES:  Dogs and cats that are mostly fed soft food seem to have a higher incidence of dental issues, while pellets seem to assist in reducing  plaque build up, due to the friction involved in the grinding action of chewing.

  • CHEWIES:  The wrong kind of chew toys can have a negative effect.  Bones and dried hooves can results in wear and tear on the teeth.

What signs to look out for:

  • Smelly breath

  • Sensitivity or difficulty when chewing

  • Inflamed gums

  • More drooling than normal

  • Loose teeth

How can I help?

  • Tooth brushing… yes, brushing your creature’s teeth!  We recommend starting when they are tiny in order to get your critter used to the process and remember to reward them straight afterwards so that they remember it ended positively!

  • Feed your pets high quality food

  • Avoid giving your pets human treats…

There are plenty amazing pet treats that are specifically designed for your pet’s mouth, teeth and digestive system.  These are what we recommend:



There are also some pet food brands with products specifically designed to aid in the cleaning of teeth.  We highly recommend:

You are not alone in the fight against pet dental decay. Ask Dr Duncan to show you how to brush your pet’s teeth and look for dental problems. Dr Duncan will recommend the correct food choices, toys and treats to ensure your pet has a lifetime of healthy chompers.

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Here are some before and after shots of some of our dental patients:

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About Kathryn Jolly

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