August is Pet Dental Health Month
August is Pet Dental Health Month. It is such an important issue considering 4 out of every 5 dogs and cats over the age of 3 years has some sort of dental disease. That is an incredible statistic that can be changed with a number of easy solutions. And it is never too late to tackle dental hygiene.
Annual health checks are a great way to keep on top of dental disease but you can take action in between vet checks to make sure your pug doesn’t end up with dental disease. You can start by regularly checking your pug’s breath to make sure it is not smelling worse than what is expected from a healthy pug. You can also be regularly checking for tartar build up on their teeth as well as making sure their gums are pink, not red or white. And most importantly, you can be using one of a number of good teeth cleaning products.
There are a lot of products on the market that are designed to keep your pug’s teeth and gums healthy. Though some just don’t cut it and without you realising, your pug could end up with gum disease and tartar build up on their teeth. I had been feeding Ref a dental chew everyday for over 4 years and at his vet check up in December 2014, I was informed he had tartar build up on his teeth. I was wondering why when he had been having these dental chews for so long. I had a think about it and realised that there was no way that the dental chew would be all that effective when he would scoff the chew in merely minutes. So what next?
I had to find the best combination of products that worked for both of us. And there are more options than there are days of the week. Before I get to my personal choice of dental care, let me share some of the many options with you.
- Dental Chews – there are numerous dental chews on the market but the one that is approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council is Greenies. These dental chews are green, look like a toothbrush and are harder than any other dental chew on the market making them the better choice for a dental chew. When considering dental chews, think about their chewing habits. If your pug has a habit of scoffing their food and not chewing it, dental chews may not be the right option as they could be a choking hazard.
- Dental Wipes – these look like small wet wipes where you can clean your pug’s teeth. They do need to be used on a daily basis to have some sort of effect. I have tried using dental wipes and whilst they help in small amounts, I found that they are not good to get into all the nooks and crannies of teeth. They are a cheap option to introduce your pug to the process of cleaning their teeth though.
- Bones – bones are a healthy and great option to clean teeth as long as the bone is raw. Remember that cooked bones can splinter and cause numerous health problems if consumed by your pug. When choosing raw bones to feed your pug, consider their chewing habits. If your pug has a habit of scoffing their food and not chewing it, bones may not be the right option. You don’t want your pug choking on any bones.
- Natural Chews – now when I say natural chews, I am talking about chew products that you can buy that aren’t processed. This can include deer antlers, kangaroo tendons, shark skin and a whole lot more. These are healthy and take longer to chew than a dental chew so they can be much better for the teeth. Deer antlers are great as a replacement for raw recreational bones as they are not messy to have inside and they last for months.
- Atlantic Kelp Powder – this is an all natural supplement you can add to your pug’s diet that can significantly reduce tartar build up and improve your pug’s breath when it is used on a daily basis. This is a great option for those pug’s who don’t like to chew on bones or dental chews or may choke on. Also a great option if your pug won’t allow you to brush their teeth. Sprinkle it on their food each day and you will see an improvement. Atlantic Kelp Powder is available from Foodie Pooch.
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste – without a doubt brushing your pug’s teeth is the best way to ensure they are free of tartar and prevent dental disease. Brushing your pug’s teeth should be a daily task to get the most benefit. You can pick up a toothbrush and toothpaste at any good pet store. The toothpaste is flavoured so it will taste good for your pug and will make it rewarding to have their teeth brushed. And do make sure that you are using pet toothpaste as human toothpaste is not safe for ingestion. I got a toothbrush and toothpaste set from Love That Pet Online Store.
With so many options on the market, I have chosen to go with a combination of products. I have swapped out the processed dental chew for a kangaroo tendon that is thin enough to avoid choking, though supervision is always there when Ref is chewing on them. I have also been adding the Atlantic Kelp Powder to his food every morning for the last 3 months and have seen tartar from the front of Ref’s teeth disappear and reduce from his back teeth. I am now introducing brushing his teeth in order to get his them in tip top condition. I will also be continuing to add the Atlantic Kelp Powder each day. That way I know I am doing everything I can to prevent dental disease.
And you can too. The best option really is to brush their teeth but if it is impossible for you to do so, there are plenty of other options for you get on top of dental hygiene.
Do you already brush your pug’s teeth? If not, what are you doing to prevent dental disease for your pug?
*** Images featuring the gorgeous fawn pug are of The Pug Diary’s good friend, Homerpugalicious. Thank you to Homer for allowing The Pug Diary to use his photos. Be sure to follow Homer on Instagram, Facebook and his website.***