Dental Disease in Dogs
Facts About This Disease:
According to leading experts in Veterinary Dentistry dental disease is the number one medical problem amongst our pets.
It starts with the formation of plaque. This is a combination of bacteria, bits of food, and saliva that sticks to teeth every time the dog eats.
Flat nosed dogs and dogs that have crowded mouths are also very prone to this problem. The British Bulldog is a prime example.
This includes tartar build-up, inflammation, gingivitis periodontal and jaw problems.
It is a fact that over 70% of all dogs and cats will suffer periodontal disease by the age of two.
87% of dogs and 70% of cats over three years of age will also succumb to this serious ailment.
Some breeds are more prone to this potentially debilitating and deadly disease.
These include Yorkshire terriers Dachshunds, Greyhounds and Cavaliers to name but a few.
Left untreated dental disease can lead to infection, tooth loss, bone and jaw damage and severe pain. They may also be at a far higher risk of contracting, kidney, heart, liver, lung disease, diabetes and cancer.
Yet it is one of the easiest diseases to prevent or cure if caught in time.
Why Dogs Get Dental Disease:
Dental problems are generally associated with highly processed manufactured pet foods, especially those with cereals, corn wheat and gluten. Glutens, leave micro-particles adhering to the teeth. If these are not scrubbed off by natural gnawing or brushing then dental disease will flourish.
Commercial pet foods, many of which contain high levels of sugars and carbohydrates are cited as the main cause of the dramatic rise in dental disease in our pets.
What You Need to Do:
Check your dog food. Is it high in cereals, grains and carbohydrates?
Are sugar and gluten mentioned? If so consider looking for a food that does not have any of those ingredients.
(1) Dog Food and Behaviour This is an article where I list the types of dog food available that I have.tested and the ones I recommend and feed my own dogs.
I rate the ones that scored well, by ingredients and with my own dog's approval ratings as healthy tasty and free of grains and artificial ingredients, colourants and dangerous E-numbers.
(2) All Natural Air Dried Treats I also give my dogs totally Natural Air Dried Treats. The best three for dental hygiene are Calves Hooves, Beef Scalp, Bulls Pizzles and Chicken Feet.
Dump those hideous Kongs. they are made from rubber and have colourants added to them. They do very little if anything for oral hygiene.
They used to label them as indestructible, that has been removed some time ago after dogs chewed lumps off and became very ill. Read this story (3) Dog Nearly Died From Defective Kong
Pedigree Dentastix there is nothing natural about them. They contain artificial preservatives, artificial flavours, controversial e-numbers, meat derivatives that could come from anything, though hardly likely to be muscle meat.
Even the flavour comes from what is called animal digest, which is treated with enzymes and sometimes acids to create the flavour. Why not put real flavour in? My recommendation is to steer clear of anything that has the word Artificial in it, never mind all of these other contentious ingredients.
Your dog's overall health and lifespan can be affected by dental disease. Kidney, heart and liver disease is rife in our dogs. many caused by not looking after our dog's teeth.
I recently wrote an article showing that the overall longevity (lifespan) of dogs has reduced by 11% over the last 10 years. Confirmed by in-depth research by the Kennel Club. (4) Research Showing Dramatic Lifespan Reduction in Our Dogs Over Last 10 Years. Poor quality food and inappropriate ingredients are partly to blame for this shocking statistic, lifespan reduction is also affected by oral hygiene and the various diseases it can affect.
According to holistic veterinarian Karen Becker:“These serious health concerns develop or are made worse by the constant presence of oral bacteria flushing into the bloodstream through inflamed or bleeding gum tissue. The good news is that many of these conditions improve once the dental disease is resolved and good oral hygiene is maintained.”
I have owned dogs for over 45 years and never once have any of my dogs had to have their teeth cleaned or an operation to clean or descale them. Over that time I have owned almost 40 dogs.
Stan Rawlinson February 2017
Last updated 2018