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Dental Care for Pets:
Do You Need to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth, Too?



A whopping 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by the young age of 3, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS). This is more than a problem of stinky breath, as tooth and gum problems can progress into serious health conditions for your pet.


Two-thirds of pet owners do not provide the dental care that is recommended as essential by veterinarians, according to a recent AAHA survey.

In fact, oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets, according to American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) President Dr. James Cook.

Why Your Pet’s Oral Health is So Important

Bacteria and food debris can lead to plaque formulations that accumulate on your pet’s teeth. As bacteria continue to grow and calcium salts are deposited, this plaque turns into tartar. The rough surface of tartar allows even more plaque to accumulate and spread.

In time, a buildup of plaque and tartar can lead to periodontal disease, which can cause mouth pain, gingivitis, receding gums and tooth loss. You can often detect oral disease in pets by:

  • Bad breath

  • A change in eating or chewing habits

  • Pawing at the face and mouth

  • Depression

If oral disease is left untreated, your pet’s heart, liver and kidneys can all be impacted.

“Besides causing receding gums and tooth loss, bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream, potentially infecting the heart, liver and kidneys, which can be potentially life threatening,” says Dr. Cook in an AVMA press release. He continues:

"Just as the public has come to realize that their own oral health is linked to their overall health, veterinarians want people to understand that dental health care is essential to maintaining the overall health and well-being of the family pet."

Is Feeding Your Pet Kibble the Key to Healthy Teeth and Gums?

Many veterinarians recommend feeding your pet dry, crunchy foods as a way to clean their teeth. However, just as chewing cookies won’t adequately clean your tooth, chewing kibble is not a good substitute for regular dental care.

Further, many dogs and cats do not chew kibble, they simply swallow it whole, giving absolutely no benefit to their teeth.

Feeding kibble may also not be the best choice nutritionally, and you can read more about the ingredients that may be lurking in many commercial dry-food kibble diets in the past article What’s Really in Your Dog’s Food?

That said, there are certain treats that can be an effective tool to promote your dog’s dental health. Look for those that promote chewing, which can help scrape off soft tartar, and also offer healthy ingredients to support your dog’s health from the inside out, as well. Two nutritious options that highly recommends are:

  • Elk Antler Chews from Elk Antler Chews are the longest lasting chews available on the market. Made from naturally shed antlers that won't splinter like other hard chews, they're great for promoting healthy teeth and gums. They're also a 100% natural source of over 40 essential nutrients promoting strong bones and healthy joints.

What Else Can Keep Your Pet’s Teeth Healthy?

Daily tooth brushing is recommended for dogs and cats, although only 2 percent of dog owners do so, according to AVMA. This does not have to be the chore you may think it is, as many dogs and even cats can become accustomed to a quick daily brushing, and may even learn to enjoy it.

If your pet is not used to having their mouth touched, start by getting him or her used to having your hands in the area. Then gradually progress to using a specially designed pet toothbrush or fingertip brush, along with a toothpaste designed especially for pets.

Keep Your Dog’s Pearly Whites Clean and Fresh With Bluto’s Yummy Gum

This all-natural blend is exceptional for pet oral hygiene, bad breath and periodontal disease.

Bluto's Yummy Gum contains hydrosols of peppermint and helichrysum, combined with anti-inflammatory (thyme linelol) and antibacterial (niaouli) ingredients to provide an effective and natural oral hygiene treatment.

This is one of the most effective and natural oral treatments to keep your dog's gums healthy and breath fresh! It even comes with a pop-up brush, making it an all-in-one oral hygiene system for your dog.

blutos yummy gum Learn More and Order Bluto’s Yummy Gum

Do not use human toothpaste for your pets, as it may irritate your pet’s stomach. Fluoride can also interfere with young pets’ tooth enamel formation, so stick to pet toothpastes or make your own paste out of baking soda and water.

At first you may only get to brush a couple of teeth at a time, but gradually you will be able to do their whole mouth.

Another excellent supplement to brushing that is highly recommended is Bluto’s Yummy Gum for dogs. This all-natural blend is exceptional for oral hygiene, bad breath and periodontal disease.

Bluto's Yummy Gum contains hydrosols of peppermint and helichrysum, combined with anti-inflammatory (thyme linelol) and antibacterial (niaouli) ingredients to provide an effective and natural oral hygiene treatment.

This is one of the most effective and natural oral treatments to keep your dog's gums healthy and breath fresh. It’s quick and easy to use, too. Simply swab the included pop-up brush over your dog’s teeth and gums for an effective oral treatment!

Professional Dental Cleanings are Important, Too!

AVMA recommends twice-a-year check-ups, including an oral health checkup, to ensure your pet’s teeth and gums are healthy. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends regular oral examinations and dental cleanings annually starting at 1 year of age for cats and small-breed dogs, and at 2 years of age for large-breed dogs.

You can help to minimize your pet’s need for professional cleanings by brushing daily and offering healthy chews, which will help to dislodge some of the soft plaque. A healthy, species-appropriate diet will also help to keep your pet healthy overall. However, once plaque hardens and develops below the gum line, a professional cleaning will be necessary.

Want to Give Your Pet the Longest, Healthiest, Happiest Life Possible?

Choose healthy, natural pet food and treats from! Your dog or cat will thank you!

Greener WienerAt Greener Wiener their mission is simple: to provide natural pet products that promote wellness for dogs and cats.

Greener Wiener believes your pets deserve healthy food and treats, and toys made from non-toxic materials. They believe the Earth deserves a break too, which is why they actively seek out products made from safe, environmentally friendly materials.

Visit now to view their unique line of all-natural pet products to enhance the health and well-being of your furry little ones.

Recommended Reading

Pet Obesity is Now the Leading Cause of Preventable Death in Dogs and Cats

Do You Kiss Your Dog? Are Doggy Kisses Delightful or Dangerous?

What’s Really in Your Dog’s Food? Top Reasons Why Your Pet’s Food Could be Slowly Killing Him

Still Need Some LAST-Minute Gift SAVINGS Sent To You via FREE SHIPPING: Why is so much already SOLD OUT?! Don’t SNOOZE, You’ll LOSE!

What NOT to Do When Shopping for Holiday Gifts: 11 Key Steps

Sources February 4, 2009 AAHA Dental Care Guidelines

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