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Dental health for your cat and dog


Brushless toothpaste for dogs and cats!

A lot of dog and cat owners have pretty much accepted that bad breath is something they have to live with.    Although bad breath makes us distance ourselves from our pets (because who wants hot, stinky, air  in their face?) dental health is important not just to make us happy to be closer to our pets, but because it could also indicate a larger problem threatening your cat or dog’s health.

Human breath, overall, is much better smelling than animal breath by and large because of our oral hygiene routines.  Can you imagine what your breath would smell like if you never brushed or flossed your teeth?  Well, the same goes for your pet!  Dental or gum disease along with plaque or tarter may be the culprit in causing your pet’s bad breath.  Plaque on your dog’s teeth not only contributes to stinky breath, but can cause heart problems, organ failure and tooth loss.


If you are dedicated to starting a new oral care routine with your dog or cat, there are a few things you may not be aware of that are contributing to dental disease.   If you look at your dog or cat’s teeth,  they are much different than our human teeth.  Since they are carnivores, dog and cats are designed to eat meat and bones.   Now, go look at your pet’s food.  Carbohydrates and fillers can cause plaque to form on your pup’s teeth.  With nothing to scrub them off, this will eventually turn to tarter (that hard, yellowish crust that cakes the teeth).  Dogs and cats need to chew to clean their teeth, because they certainly aren’t going to floss! Kibble just does not provide as much cleaning as meat and raw bones.  Even if you are feeding a high quality kibble, you can give your dog or cat raw bones to clean their teeth.  This may prevent plaque from forming, and break off existing tarter.  If you are already feeding a high quality kibble or raw meat diet and your dog or cat has plaque, tarter, gingivitis or bad breath, don’t fret–there are things that will improve their oral health!


Pet Life Oral Care Gel

Ventura Pet Barn has several options to help you banish dog breath for good!  Every 4th Wednesday of the month, Smile Specialists come in and provide anesthesia free cleaning. Smile Specialists are like a dental hygienist for your animals.  They will work with your pet to comfortably clean their teeth while providing the least amount of stress.  Since there is no anesthesia, this is pretty risk free, however, if they determine there is a large problem than just plaque, such as loose, broken or abscessed teeth, you may have to get that taken care of with your regular veterinarian.   Also, on the day your pet gets their teeth cleaned, you will enjoy 10% off all dental products.  Before you can begin maintaining your pet’s clean mouth at home, they need to start fresh, and a thorough cleaning is a great start!  Call today to schedule an appointment!


Whimzees are great dental treats

Humans have floss, dogs have chews.  Ventura Pet Barn has a wide variety of great dental chews like raw bones, Whimzees, bully sticks and other fun products your dogs are sure to love.  Giving your dog a chew comes with an added benefit: in addition to helping to clean their teeth, it helps reduce frustration and pent up energy.  Raw, meaty bones are probably the best for clean teeth, but keep in mind that large, weight bearing bones can be too hard for teeth and cause breaks and fractures.  Know what type of chewer you have and make sure to shop accordingly.

Plaque Zapper by Ark Naturals works to prevent plaque and tarter from forming on your pet’s teeth.  This simple product is easy to use, just add the powder to your pet’s drinking water!  It is odorless and tasteless, and most pets do not even know that it is there.

Finally, toothbrushes are not just for humans!  Several companies make special pet friendly toothpaste in a variety of flavors including liver and chicken.  Most dogs and cats tolerate tooth brushing very well, and it is a great way to keep their teeth and gums healthy.  In order to get your pet to accept a toothbrush, start small and don’t rush.  Use a little bit of toothpaste on your finger, a cotton square or a finger brush so they learn how tasty it is.  Let your pet sniff it and lick it so they are comfortable with something  moving around their teeth.  Eventually, you should be able to graduate to an actual toothbrush.   Keep in mind, you should never use human toothpaste on your dog or cat as it can cause stomach issues.